When I run on a track, I’m thankful that the hurdles are off to the side because I might suffer PTSD from running the 300 hurdles in high school. I always cleared the first few hurdles before my brain decided otherwise, and my leading right foot hit the hurdle smack in the middle of the wood that sent the back end to hit my butt. Track workouts tend to bring back these memories, but I guess the good news about running intervals on a track is that no runner is left behind. And the hurdles are stashed to the side.
In addition to a tempo run and a long run, a track workout is a great way to add overall speed for any runner. Of course, it’s not a good idea to do any of these workouts back to back because your body needs to rest in between them. Run easy in between these harder effort workouts or take a rest day, depending on your schedule.
Whether you’re a beginning or experienced runner, there are track workouts for you. On Monday, I’m coaching a Couch to 5K workout for runners as well as an interval session for more seasoned runners. Here are the workouts we’ll do below. Try them yourself, and know that I’ll keep an eye on those nasty hurdles so they won’t bother you.
Couch to 5K (Beginning Runner)
Walk for 5 minutes to warm up. Alternate running for 60 seconds and walking for 90 seconds for a total of 20 minutes. Do a 5 minute cool down walk. 1-2 miles total. This is the first week of the Couch to 5K workout; ideally, runners would do this workout three times in the first week of the 8 week program.
Easy Track Workout
Run 1/2 mile warm up (2x around the track). Run the straight parts of the track fast and jog/walk the curves of the track. Repeat for 20 minutes. Run 1/2 mile cool down. About 3 miles total.
Harder Track Workout
Run 1 mile warm up. 6x800s at 30 seconds faster than 5K race pace. Rest for 3 minutes in between each 800. Run 1 mile cool down. 5-6 miles total.