Base before Speed
In any running program it is very important to remember 'Base before Speed'. A wise runner knows that before beginning speed work, it is essential to have built a strong base. This base should include at least 12 months or more of running, and approximately five weeks of hill training.
While establishing your base training the main emphasis should be on getting the cardiovascular system adapted to handle the demands of speed work. This base period should improve cardiovascular efficiency as well as the efficient cleansing of by-products from the body.
The Strength Training Period
By using hill training the muscles in your lower legs, hamstrings and glutes will strengthen. This will allow the shifting of body weight forward and permit you to use your ankles to develop a stronger push-off. The strengthening of the leg muscles prepares you for what lies ahead.
The Speed Work
The purpose of speed, also known as anaerobic training, is to have the body learn to run fast when the muscles cannot get enough oxygen. This is known as anaerobic training. The object is to simulate the level at which anaerobic demands occur.
The purpose of doing speed work is very simple. It makes you run faster. The goal in speed work is to tax the cardiovascular system at a higher rate than usual, by providing overload. With overload, the system adapts to the new level, and you (the runner) may then be able to run faster.
Speed work should be done in progressively longer distances. Do not expect to run the same distance that you do now - only run much faster.
-Fariyal Samson, Women in Motion
Women in Motion