As your new run captain and long-standing runner (I only switched to Tri 3 years ago having done competitive running and /or athletics since about 1983) here are a few thoughts for running faster when it counts (in races)

The four key sessions each week are:

Tempo or threshold running

Recovery run

speed/endurance intervals

Long steady run

It's slightly different for triathletes as I wouldn't necessarily suggest that all triathletes need to do a long run for distances of standard and shorter. and fitting the others in around a full week's cycling and swimming can be tough.

Having said that of course, it's easy to get a quality 4m/6k tempo run done during your lunch break at work.

But the really critical bit, and the bit that many don't naturally realise, is the importance of training at your target race pace. if you want to run a 40:00 10k, you need to 1k reps @4:00 pace. if you want to run a 20:00 5k/parkrun, you have to do 4:00 pace 600/800 reps. and so on.

While I'm not a coach - and we have several extremely good ones to set the sessions - what I will say is that the simplest place to do the speed-specific work is on a track.

why? well, it is accurately measured, flat, a more forgiving surface than the road, and best of all there's a mark every 100m so you can check you are running at the right speed throughout each rep!

watch this space but I am going to work with Lucy and the coaches to seek a few volunteers for a specific-pace coaching study into the new year with a parkrun at the beginning and the end. I will take the test myself and can assure you that the results will speak for themselves.

but, my briefest, and summary point, is - Get To Track! that's where the magic will happen.

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Thanks for posting this Lloyd. I will be Defo hitting the track from December onwards and building this into my training plan for one of next years event. My aim is to make myself into a faster long distance plodder :-) 

Great post Lloyd, I always find an inverse relationship between the experience behind advice and the amount of money the person expects to be given for departing with it.

Listen to this stuff, I'll try to get around to one for biking - it will say many of the same things, especially "get down track, its where the magic happens"

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