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taken from Directions & Definitions


Speed work may involve intervals at the track or on the road. It may also involve running at your anaerobic threshold pace or at a specific tempo for a determined distance or period of time.

The term "interval" is used to describe a specific type of speed work out. An interval workout involves running identical or varied repetitions at faster paces followed by intervals of recovery [thus, the term interval]. The repetition and interval phases may be based on distance and/or time. A typical interval workout may incorporate as little as 1.5 miles of speed work and upwards of 6 miles of actual speed work. Of course, the intervals of recovery, the warm up and the cool down add up to more overall miles. An example of a common interval workout is 6 x 800m with a 400m recovery. This means running 2 laps at a meter track (800 total meters) at a faster pace [determined by 5k or 10k race performance, time trial, and/or VO2 max test], followed by a recovery interval of 1 lap (400 meters) at an easy pace, and doing this cycle six times.

Interval workouts are often performed at the track. Running intervals on a measured, predictable course [a track] improves pacing and allows you to stay on top of the times you should be running. You can easily compare similar workouts after time because conditions are very similar - except for weather, of course!

Anaerobic threshold (a/t) workouts usually cover longer distances or last for longer periods of time than an interval workout. Ideally, when using a heart rate monitor, you run at your "anaerobic threshold" for specific distances. Anaerobic threshold runs typically vary from a few minutes to many miles and may or may not be incorporated in another run. An example of a common a/t workout is 30 minutes at a hear rate determined to be your a/t, let's say 162.

Tempo runs are similar to a/t workouts, but a pace (based on your current running fitness level) is determined and used as your tempo pace. Just as a/t workouts vary, tempo runs typically vary from a few minutes to many miles and may or may not be incorporated in another run. AN example of a typical tempo run is 5 miles at 7 min pace.

In simplest terms, speed work teaches your body how to run faster and how to "handle" running faster. By running at specific speeds for specific distances, you have a better chance at improving your overall running performance at various distances.

Keep in mind that speed work is ONE component of a running training program. Injuries often occur when runners ONLY do speed workouts during their training and never incorporate other easy and recovery runs in their training.
 

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They can be a little interchangeable...

speedwork is usually intervals focused on speed, hills can either be hill repetitions, or a continuous hilly circuit, emphasis on building strength.

I'm guessing you're asking this in regards to your training run with the club last night?... personally I don't tend to use the 'intervals' option on the blog, it's either speedwork or hill work for me.

If you're reps were uphill, i'd call it hill work ;) speedwork tends to be on flattish ground where you can really get your legs turning over quickly ;)
 

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Speedwork and hillwork are the two specific sessions I do...and often the speed session will involve a hill section ...just for good measure and to wind up others in the group.......;)
 

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I *think* the training blog must've originally been set up to cover all types of runs, and how anyone might perhaps refer to them? e.g. one person may say they've just done intervals, and someone doing teh same session would say speedwork etc... low run... low effort? low HR? who knows eh?

I'd imagine it's something that gets looked into if/when the training blog system is updated :)
 

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I was wondering what a Low Run is?
Dan named em originally. I shall ask if I remember.

Seriously I believe bairy has already got the blogs on his growing todo list
He has.

Is it just me or does Bairy have something of the Stig about him?
Some say that he can't draw the number 7, and that he has a spade for a right hand.

All we know is he's called the one who makes the site do exciting stuff.
 
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