Speed Running – Preparing for the New York Marathon
Now is the time to integrate speed running when preparing for the New York City Marathon. The team at Anderson Peak Performance wants you to finish at your personal best. Last week, I talked about using long runs to guarantee that you have the stamina for the Marathon. Now, I want to discuss speed training to prepare your muscles for the burst of energy that you will need to run at your fastest. This is a step that will help you to be a better runner for the big day and will carry forward to enhance all of your future running.
Speed running requires that you understand your bodies structure, muscle mechanics, energy stores, use of internal fuel, build up and removal of toxins and your mental mettle. When you become determined to increase your overall racing speed these things must be taken seriously to avoid injury and to allow you to successfully finish the Marathon.
When you run, do you try to maintain a specific pace? This will not help you to increase your speed and power as a race runner. To increase your speed requires that you work through some uncomfortable feelings and possibly some pain. You’ve heard the time honored term “No Pain No Gain”. Speed running drills require that you push yourself to a certain limit – this is not “the limit” where your body cannot keep up but it will be a stretch for you.
When you are running or exercising, pay attention to your bodies form and gait. If these are out of alignment you can easily hurt yourself during the exertion period that is required for speed drills. During this time of pain and exhaustion you may not realize that you are injuring yourself until after the sprint – and then it may be too late. I want you to be successful in every aspect of your Marathon (training and completion). Consider seeing your Chiropractor for a gait and posture analysis to evaluate your biomechanics.
During speed workouts you will train yourself to adapt to the physiological changes in your body. Your legs will learn to turnover faster. Your lungs and heart will learn to be more efficient and your mind will learn to handle the pain and discomfort. You will teach yourself to be a faster athlete.
Pay attention to your fuel needs. Fueling your body is important for the long run and you will be able to speed up when you are properly fueled and hydrated. During your speed drills you will be pushing yourself hard and the build up of toxins will be extreme. Maintaining hydration and your electrolyte levels will help your body to remove these toxins after the workout.
During your Marathon training, excess pounds will shed from your body as your body fat decreases and your muscle mass increases. Pay attention to everything that you eat and drink. A marathon runner is a healthy person. Research (About.com) has shown that, “on average, runners get two seconds per mile faster for every pound they lose” as you become a lean and faster running machine.
In order to cross-train go to your gym and ask a trainer to teach you the basics of Plyometrics (to develop explosive jumping and bounding) and Ballistics (to develop your muscles to react and contract more quickly). The speed and quickness of your muscles is achieved by conditioning your fast twitch muscle fibers. This can be done by doing your weekly speed drills. Also I recommend daily stretching and doing leg weights one time per week.
Active.com has a comprehensive article on exercising for speed. For four exercises to increase your running speed click here.
Try to do one speed workout each week while training for the marathon. After your speed workouts, stay healthy by eating right, hydrating, stretching, icing and resting. You can read about staying healthy and becoming a better runner in my previous posts.
Push Yourself Toward Greatness!
See You on the Track,