The Running Coach: Annual Four for the Fourth Workout

usashoesOdds favor that by now, you are heavy into your summer training schedule, including regular track workouts. The track is one of my favorite places for building fast leg turnover and for anyone looking to improve race times, I think it should be an essential piece of regular training.

One problem many runners face, however, is coming up with new and different workouts on the track. Last year as we approached the fourth of July, I shared with you one of my favorite workouts on the track. It was four miles worth of speed, which is right for just about anyone who has been doing regular speed for some months now. This year, I thought I’d share another four-mile track workout for the fourth.

Let’s lay it out:

2 x 1,200 at 10k pace

4 x 400 at 5k pace

4 x 200 at just about all out pace

Run an easy 400 between the two 1,200s; an easy 200 between the 400s; and an easy 100 between the 200s. Before beginning any of the speedwork, run an easy two-mile warm up and then finish off with an easy two-mile cooldown.

What I like about this workout is that it will work your different systems all in one session. It also teaches you to negative split because you’ll be starting at the slower speed and getting faster as you go along. The faster repeats at the end will really get your heart rate going, along with your leg turnover. All of these are useful skills come race day, regardless of your race distance of choice.

My usual routine with track is to do it on a Tuesday, with something like tempo later in the week and a long run on the weekends. This spaces the speed out nicely so that you recover enough to get the most out of those hard efforts. Good luck!

What are your July 4th running plans? Do you have a race you usually run or is it a time to take it easy?

– Amanda

(Amanda Loudin is a runner, coach, and freelance writer with 15 years experience in endurance events. As a runner, she’s in perpetual training mode, usually with a slate of about eight races per year on her plate. As a coach, she has helped runners achieve their goals in every distance from 5k to the marathon. She shares her passion for the sport on her blog, MissZippy1, and daily on Twitter at @misszippy1.)


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