I've done three speed interval running workouts in the last few weeks and I've learned quite a bit about my current running skill level: I can use more skill. I know this will always be the case because there's always some aspect of running form that I can improve on.
My speed interval workouts include a 10-minute warm-up at an easy pace (I have a pace min/km display on my Garmin FR60 for easy reference). My easy pace is about 6:00 min/km. I've been doing 4 or 5 faster pace intervals for about 100 metres or so. My faster pace is about 4:00 min/km. After my speed interval, I'll walk until my heart rate goes back down to 150 BPM then return to running my easy pace for a minute or two, then repeat a speed interval. Then I run home at my easy pace.
Here's an image from my Garmin data of my first speed interval workout:
Here are some observations I've made about running speed intervals (based on how I feel and a video I took of my last speed workout):
- I need to focus on my landing more because I tend to land more on the lateral side of my foot when running faster
- Running fast with the metronome at 180 BPM feels much less taxing on my cardio than running fast without the metronome
- My posture still feels good at either speed
- I could focus more on hamstrings than hip flexors when running faster
- I don't overstride any more when running at speed than running easy (thankfully)
- Running easy tends to be at a faster pace the next time I run after a speed workout
- My cardio could use improvement (not a big surprise)
- Running fast is FUN! (also not a big surprise :) )
If you do speed workouts, how do you incorporate them into your running?