It’s the workout you love to hate and hate to love. For most, track work means running as hard as you can, trying the whole time not to puke, and feeling awful the last few steps of every interval. For others, the fear of stepping foot onto the track is enough to make you run in the other direction..get it, run…anyways. But like everything that is good for us, even though despised at first, can end up being the thing we love most! Track work, love? Really?
Track work can and probably will lead to an increase in quickness, overall efficiency while running and help us all reach those PR’s.
Here are some benefits of track workouts:
- Track workouts teach your lungs to turn over oxygen faster, helping you run harder, longer. (Read as, one day I’ll actually run a 5K without having to walk…still waiting on that one)
- The uncomfortableness you feel during track work may actually help you learn to deal with tough spots during races or tempo runs. Mind over matter.
- You learn pacing. For most of us who rely on our Garmin watches, looking down and seeing a 7:00 min pace for those 800’s might seem like a great thing until you poop out on the 2nd lap. The finesse needed for pacing starts to become second nature…when to push pace, when to hold back some, and when to hold the pace. You become really good at reading your body’s signals. You’ll surprise yourself how speedy you actually are!
- It’s flat and easy to record distance. The perfect environment to tear it up! See what you are made of!
- You burn fat!!! Who wouldn’t love to lose some fat?! You kick start your metabolism with speed work and you’ll keep burning fat long after you finished that last 400.
- Pride and a sense of awesomeness. When looking at a track workout and you see 12 x 400 (Thanks, FURMAN First plan!), a sense of dread and a feeling of failing before you even start wash over you. If you just take each interval as a separate excuse to celebrate, by the last 400, you feel a huge sense of accomplishment!
Here are some sources I referenced:
“That which does not kill me makes me stronger” – Friedrich Nietzsche