Be honest – have you ever thought ...
• I’m built for comfort not speed
• “Speed” – what a terrifying thought, not in my vocab!
• Speed work? That’s for those 6-milers, not me
• I don’t have a fast pace, I'm a plodder
• I don’t need to do speed work, I only want to be able to run further not faster
• I’m training for a marathon, I don’t need to do speed work
If the answer is YES to any of the above, then please read on. You may be surprised to learn how essential speed work is and how it is genuinely for everyone, whether you are a fitness walker or a runner, whether you are aiming for 5km or a marathon.
The science of speedwork is quite simply that it increases your aerobic capacity – it doesn’t just make you faster, it makes you stronger. It helps you keep running even when you are tired. So, wherever you are in your running/fitness walking journey, speedwork will help you.
We know how scary the concept is, but we wrap it up nicely in a package called “grass track” and we make it fun and appropriately challenging depending on your own ability. An area is marked out using cones – and participants will be given different running challenges around the area. All sessions involve a warm-up, followed by drills (to focus on your running technique), the main run session, finishing with a stretch. It is very much an individual workout and everyone is encouraged to work at their own pace and not worry about anyone else. Coaches can flex the sessions to meet the needs of all abilities so whether you are a walker, an experienced runner or a beginner, the session will fit you. And of course the good thing about Grass Track is that if you feel exhausted and want to stop - you can! Equally if you'd like to try and push yourself a little bit - you can have a go and need not worry about not having enough energy to get back to base.
Speedwork is frequently neglected but it pays enormous dividends regardless of fitness level. Very often this type of training is avoided by those heading for marathons when in actual fact it should be a part of training plans, along with the steady increase of miles. Even 10km performance will improve with the addition of these types of sessions. It is simply good for everyone!
So, please do come and try out a grass track as they will be at your club very soon! Check out your club page to see session dates. And remember, as a member you can attend any session, so feel free to try out grass track at other clubs too. Big thanks to our volunteer Coaches who are travelling around the whole of the Fitmums & Friends network to deliver sessions. They will be delighted to see a good turnout.