Run Faster on Race Day...


ED. Well-traveled Mike Buenting is a two-time nominee for Minnesota Master of the Year He is also a triathlon coach and a real estate guy.


By Mike Buenting (agegrouper.us)

In order to run fast on race day, one must be willing to push hard in training and run fast on those days when nobody is watching.

Most of us age groupers find joy in running. We rise up each morning, go run our miles and enjoy the outdoors or treadmill. We just run based on how we feel, which really becomes the same pace day in and day out.

But then as we progress we start to set goals, lofty goals and we aspire to be faster!

So, how do we become faster?

I know it sounds simple, but to race faster we must train at faster paces. Here are some tips – three key sessions each week – I use in coaching athletes to run faster. (I have a knack for taking the average athlete and turning them into a Boston marathon qualifier!)...

1. Speed Work 

This can be done on a track, treadmill or roads, and it’s done in a variety of ways. I like to use two key types of speed work to get faster. 

One, the track, yes the 400 meter oval; this is truly a happy place for me. Track workouts are structured and typically done with specific sets of intervals and rest periods. For example, a workout may be 6 x 800 meters (6 sets of 2 laps). You’ll have a set pace target for each 800 and a set rest time between each interval. There are so many different track workouts, and key workouts to mix into a training cycle to build speed, strength and endurance. They can also help measure your progress.
Example of a key track workout: alternate 400 and 800, a set of four of each, where the 400’s are done at a 5k effort, and the 800’s are done at more of a half marathon effort, with about 60-90 seconds of rest in between each one. The key is to run the 400’s fast, so when you settle into half marathon effort, it feels easy even though it’s fast!  READ MORE