Superbowl-Sized Running Workouts

race-day-720x288In honor of two massive sports events happening in the same week: the Superbowl and the Olympics, I asked a few running coaches for a super-sized workout. A FARTLEK is best completed once or twice per week for long-distance runners. However, sprinters will run them at almost every workout. Try these out for a month or two and see if your times start to decrease:

Track Workout:
800m warm up
4 x 400m pick ups every 400m; all out sprint on last 400m
2 x 400m resting jog
4 x 400m pickups every 400m; try to sprint as hard as possible on last 400m.
800m cool down

Total distance: 3.5 miles
*To make it as challenging as possible, try for a negative split on the last 400m sprint against the first 400m sprint.

Treadmill Workout:
6 min. warm up
4 minute increase in speed
1 minute rest. Do not stop. Just lower the speed.
4 minute increase in speed, at least .2 miles/hour faster than previous increase
1 minute rest. Do not stop. Lower speed to jog.
4 minute increase in speed, at least .2 miles/hour faster than previous increase
1 minute rest
4 minute increase in speed, all out sprint
5 minute cool down. You can walk the cool down if you need.

Total time: 30 minutes
*To make it more challenging, try adding .4 miles/hour faster with each pick up. This will shock your body and build your lactate threshold.

Cross-Train Workout
We all know we can’t run every day. We need a complete day off at least once a week to rest the muscles, but it is a good idea to add in a cross training day and switch it out for running. You’ll work different muscles while still keeping up your cardiovascular shape. One of the best ways to cross train is swimming.

250m warm up
5 x 50m pick ups, start out slow
Rest 1 minute
50m all out sprint
200m at your regular speed
250m cool down

Total distance: 1000m

Good luck on your training!

Running Races on Holidays

It’s no secret I run to eat. I love food and should be concerned much more about calories. I’m secretly envious of those that follow the perfect paleo diets or my friends who’ve lost tens of pounds following Atkins and eating eggs and bacon all the time. I even admire those who complete juicing cleanses and drink lemon water with cayenne pepper. (I lived near Los Angeles for a while and this was very popular among the trendy SoCal residents.)

I don’t have such willpower. I tell myself one day I’ll do a detox and see what happens to my body. Maybe I’ll become such a faster runner as all the toxins will flush themselves right out. But that day hasn’t come yet.

This is why I adore races that take place on holidays because I get to burn the calories off and then a few hours later eat them back. Because yesterday was the Superbowl, which is basically considered a U.S. holiday, I list my favorite races to do on holidays.

Superbowl Sunday 10K: I don’t mind getting up early on the weekends if it means I’m heading to a race. While most people sleep in (which I do if I’m not racing), I enjoy having my workout done before 10am. Such was yesterday when I participated in the annual Superbowl Sunday race. Runners come dressed up in their jerseys and the post-race spread is sports-themed. I can then retire to the couch for the rest of the day and eat submarine sandwiches and cheer on the teams…or just watch the commercials.

Turkey Trot: As the greatest day in the country for food, I appreciate the ability to burn off approximately 700 calories in a 10K before the Thanksgiving dinner. I also love the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade and typically, depending on how fast I run, I can get back in time to see the Broadway teasers. I also love running with Tom the Turkey and the special feeling this day brings.

Skirt Chaser for Valentine’s Day: While I am single, Valentine’s Day means nothing to me.  In fact, I call it Single Awareness Day and while I usually feel complete apathy toward Hallmark, I very much dislike them on this day….except for my salivation over all the candy. I love conversation hearts, gummy hearts and pink M&Ms.  Luckily, I participate in a race to burn it off. The Skirt Chaser generally falls around Valentine’s Day in my town. For those  unaware, the Skirt Chaser is a 5K event that allows women a three-minute head start. Men always catch up, at least to me, but I don’t mind.