My Recipe for Speed

After running my fastest mile to date last week (5:58),  I began to reflect on my workout routines.  I firmly believe that the combination of  simple plyometrics and biking have tremendously lowered my running times in a matter of weeks!  While training for last year’s Chicago Marathon, my average pace was between 7-8minutes/mile.  After the Marathon I left the distance running in the dust and began to focus on different exercises that would lower my times and increase my speed.

A regular workout day would start with me doing 25 push-ups, 25 sit-ups, and then biking 2 miles to warm up my legs.  When I arrive home from the bike ride, I would do some minor stretching, then 25 more push-ups and 25 more sit-ups.  I would then begin my run and ran anywhere between 1 and 3 miles at an all out pace.  Once I finished the run, I would do 25 more push-ups and 25 more sit-ups then go for another 2 mile (cool down) bike ride.  When I returned from the second bike ride, I would do 25 more push-ups and sit-ups totaling 100 of each for the day.  After stretching for 20 minutes, my workout was complete. I did this same workout every other day only changing the distance of the run every time.

I did this routine for the whole month of November and at the end of the month I recorded my 5k PR at 20 minutes flat.  My previous 5k PR was 21:54. Given, that time was recorded before I started training for the Marathon so I had a solid distance foundation in place before my speed training. Also, I recorded the PR with a stress fracture  in Barefoot shoes (see Beating a stress fracture).  Due to this, the doctor ordered me to take 3 weeks off from running.

Although I stopped running for three weeks, I still completed my workouts by replacing the running with more biking.  I would do 4X 25 push-ups and sit-ups along with 4x 2miles biking in between the sets.  I would also randomly throw in 4 sets of 10, 50lb squats build leg strength. After a week, I noticed a difference in my body.  My arms and core were becoming more defined and my legs were getting stronger.

When I started running again, I continued this workout adding the running in SLOWLY.  By only increasing my mileage by fractions of a mile every workout, I allowed time for my foot to heal. On a regular day now, I am running around 3 miles at a 6:50 pace and doing an all out 1 miler once a week. I feel stronger, though I don’t necessarily feel any faster, the clock doesn’t lie!  I recorded a 5:58 mile last week and was blown away by my results.  I guess that’s my reward for all of those push-ups and sit-ups.

My plan is to continue these workouts, slowly increasing my mileage and completing more sets of the biking and plyometrics.  I’m also experimenting with 100-ups to help my running form.  For those of you not familiar, check out this link——–> 100-ups.  Its a fun exercise that can only help.  Anyways, If you’re looking to lower your times please try my simple workout routine and see if it helps.  Here’s to speed and happy running folks!


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