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If you’ve heard anything about race training or speed workouts, you’ve probably heard the term ‘tempo run’ thrown around — and for good reason. Among all the workouts we’ve discussed so far, tempo runs are probably the most beneficial speed workout you can add to your regimen. Don’t take these workouts lightly and throw them into your schedule all willy nilly, because tempo runs are often some of the hardest workouts you can do! As White Goodman tells Average Joe’s Gym’s dodgeball team, “best bring your bib, ‘cause it’s gonna get messy.” In a tempo run, your pace should be just a bit slower than your goal race pace. During a tempo run, you’ll be picking up the pace for a more sustained distance or time, as opposed to the shorter, faster intervals you do in fartlek training or pyramid workouts. That pace will be somewhere between goal race pace and…

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Over 4,000 years ago, when the Ancient Egyptians were designing their dream burial sites, they came across another sort of blueprint — a plan for a speed workout to train for long distance running. Long before Pheidippides’ famed run from Marathon to Athens, the Ancient Egyptians discovered that they could make the most progress and build the most strength by starting with short speed intervals, gradually increasing to longer intervals, and then finishing with shorter intervals that mirrored the first half of the workout. They called it the pyramid workout. After looking at unstructured Fartlek training, we’ll turn to this more focused workout — one that is best done on a track or predetermined loop. Structured speed workouts like the pyramid workout are similar to Fartlek training in that they involve alternating between slow and fast running. However, while warm-up, cooldown, and rest periods are still just as important in running…

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Not just for Ikea lovers or the faint of heart, Fartlek training is one of the most commonly used workouts in running — and one of the most beginner-friendly! Swedish for ‘speed play’, Fartlek training refers to any type of run or workout in which you alternate periods of faster running with periods of slower running. They’re a great introduction to speed workouts, mostly because each runner gets to decide for herself how hard to push. There’s no need for GPS devices or tracks to measure how far you’ve gone, either — Fartlek training can be as simple as dashing to the next tree down the road! While training can be structured with pre-determined time or distance intervals, Fartlek training is often done based on feel. All you need to know is this — mix in bursts of faster, more intense running with stretches of slower-paced, relaxed running. You have the…

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You’ve been running steadily and consistently and are now looking to take the next step forward in your training. You’re Luke Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi is whispering in your ear that you need to head to Dagobah to train with Yoda. You’ve gotten as far as you can in your base building phase and are ready to get a bit faster. Well, here’s how to run faster — you start to incorporate speed workouts into your training schedule! Speed workout is an umbrella term for all the different types of strength building and faster paced exercises that should, if done correctly, make you faster. They often consist of shorter, quicker runs, also called intervals, broken up by small periods of slower running or rest. The key is to run these intervals much faster than your normal runs, often even faster than your goal race pace (if you’re doing any kind…

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I can’t remember which pair of shoes I bought when I first got into running a few years ago — and that’s a problem! Like a lot of fellow novice runners, I bought something online that looked like a pair of running shoes, threw them on, and hit the pavement. The pavement hit back, and everything hurt — shin splints, calf soreness, and quads that felt like they’d been on the wrong end of a meat tenderizer. But, that’s the price of getting into running, right? Not necessarily. Turns out, running doesn’t (always) have to be painful. It all starts with getting into the right pair of running shoes for you, and odds are you’re not going to get them by accident. That’s where the gait analysis comes in. The gait analysis — a detailed look at the way you move when running to determine which shoe is right for you — is…

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