I rarely feel stronger or faster or more totally badarse than when I’m running a track workout with short repeats. Today, I want to share that feeling with you.
In our fitness challenge this month, we’re learning about the benefits of different types of running workouts. Even within the category of short fast things you can do on a track, you have a ton of options.
How to run on a track
A standard track is 400m if you run in the inside lane (the one with the shortest path around the track). So, you can run one lap (“I’m doing 400’s today,” you can tell your runner friends), or you can run two at a time (800’s).
The point isn’t to run your chosen distance as an all-out race, but to run it at the fastest pace that feels like you could do it again and again with some rest in between.
Before you start, though, warm up. Jog (or walk) an easy four laps; that’s 1.6km. In between intervals, you can choose whether to walk, jog or just stand around. Which one you choose may depend on your goals for that workout, but as a general rule I like to walk for the same amount of time that I ran. If an interval took two minutes to run, I’ll walk for two minutes before the next one.
Try my favourite
OK, I have two favourite workouts, and they both involve short intervals. The shortest is a 100m interval. That’s the distance of the straight portion of the track, so find a line marking the finish, and one marking the start, and run from one to the other.
But if I could only pick one track workout, it would be 200’s. One of those lines on the track goes straight across and is often marked “finish”. It’s at the end of the straightaway, as you run counterclockwise. Start exactly halfway around the track from there (there will be a series of staggered lines since each lane will have its own start line).
Run from this start to the finish, which is half a lap. Remember, go fast enough that you’re like wheee this is fast! but slow enough that you can make it to the end and not collapse. Then walk back around to the start, and do it all over again. Try four of these if it’s your first time; as your body gets used to the workout, you can do more.