How to get a faster 5K with Matthew Kingore and Ryan Reynolds

Ryan: Today we are talking with Matthew Kingore again, but this time we are getting into track workouts. A couple of weeks ago, we introduced you to Matthew Kingore, an awesome running coach from Dallas, Texas. He and I took you through some jargon not only to get you ready for the knowledge that we are about to drop on you in this video but to help you make sure that you are understanding everything in your workouts and in your training moving forward.

Today Matthew is going to talk to you all about track workouts. He will talk to you about what a track workout is, why you might want to do one, when you might want to add this into your training routine.

Matthew: A track workout is usually done on a 400-meter track like we have here where we are today. It is a flat surface. It is measured 400-meters, about a quarter of a mile, give or take a few meters. That allows you a consistent surface on which to do speed work. It allows you to time yourself to the lap, rather, than a longer interval like running in your neighborhood or running in a park where you may be hitting those lap splits on your watch but really, what is happening inside of that mile. Do you want to break down a workout where you do not have to do a whole mile at a time into smaller pieces? Work on that speed by doing a track workout like 400s, which is one lap or a quarter-mile at a fast pace, maybe a 5K pace but followed by some recovery time. Recovery time could be a slow jogging lap, maybe just half a lap if that is all you need depending on where you are or even just standing rest to catch your breath, and you would repeat that a set number of times. If you had a workout that looks like ten times 400 meters, it is ten intervals around the track. That will add up to two and a half miles, but you will have that rest between so you know what splits you want to hit every quarter mile you can time yourself on the track. It is flat. You are not running up and down hills and thinking about what is affecting your pace even though that will be part of the race conditions. Track workouts strips it down and is a simplified way to focus or hone in on the speed work.

Ryan: One of the reasons that I really love track workouts is the consistency it gives me. I know that my speed and my lap times are not being affected by things like terrain, like stopping at stoplights and that consistency allows me to accurately measure the progress that I’m making.

Matthew: Absolutely you want to be able to compare one day to the next one week to the next and chart your progress but also inside of a workout be able to compare where you started and where you finished. Was the first lap as fast as the last lap? Was the last lap even faster? Do you have something that we need to correct through some different kinds of workouts? Do you tend to trail off at the end of workouts? Are those last laps getting slower and slower? What can we do to keep you from burning out at the end of the race? That consistency, provided you’re not blaming it on “Oh well I had to turn here in the neighborhood run up that hill or the wind was in my face,” track is the same every time you go around. 

Ryan: Next, let’s dig a little bit deeper into why you might want to incorporate track workouts into your regular running routine.

Matthew: Track workouts are very important for speed development. It depends on your running goals, how much, or if you want to incorporate track workouts and training. For a 5K or a 10K, I suggest coming out to a track like this maybe once a week and making that a regular workout. You will do up to three miles of intervals four or five miles of intervals at a 10K pace if you are training for a 10K. Maybe they are not so important if you are training for a marathon if you want to run a fast marathon, then you have got to be able to run for three, four, five hours, probably not something you want to do on a 400-meter track. They tend to lend themselves to some of the shorter, faster, more intense events, but if used wisely, they break up the monotony of training. Sometimes one of these every other week or one every month can make a marathon training plan a little more interesting. Do not throw them in when you need an easy day. Do not do it the day before the day after a long run, but if you have got a tempo workout on Thursday and you are tired of those three-mile tempo runs, maybe come to the track and do three miles of intervals instead. Give yourself that variety because there is an infinite way to structure track workouts to keep that running interesting. It is supposed to be fun, and the track is another tool in your arsenal to keep that variety in your training.

Ryan: If you are not quite sure where to find a track, most high schools and universities will have them. They are most likely going to be that 400-meter or quarter-mile distance, but not all tracks are created equal so if you find one at maybe a middle school or an indoor track at a gym, make sure that you just check to see what the official distance. If you are running on it assuming it is a quarter-mile it might mess up your results.

Now I just got to find a track that is not covered in snow. All right guys, you have a great week.

Stay safe! Have fun training, and I will see you right back here next Tuesday. 

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