December 8, 2024
Half Marathon, 10K & 5K Races

Big Breakfast Day on Sunday…an update on speed training

“I had a big breakfast on Sunday”.  Eggs, hash browns, toast, bacon.  There I said it and it feels good.  I know it’s not the typical Jamaican-style breakfast of Ackee and Saltfish but I had a massive (for me anyway) training weekend and well, I deserved it!  It wasn’t as tasty as the Reggae Marathon Pasta Party buffet being enjoyed by those Reggae Marathoners in the photo above, but hey, I’ve got something to look forward to!

What brought this on was that recently I’ve It really started with a move over a year ago to forefoot or mid-foot strike to get over a nagging, nasty bout of Plantar Fasciitis (Running with an Injured Foot).  With that behind me I have found this natural-style running technique really, well, ‘natural’.  I haven’t gone the whole way to barefoot but have settled on the Puma Faas line of shoes.  Most every other manufacture has ‘natural style’ running shoe models that promote mid/forefoot running but the Puma’s seem to work best for me.  Most importantly though I feel like I’m running faster due to the shorter stride and faster leg turnover.  It’s an illusion I know but if I could see myself running I’m sure I’d look ‘Good’!

Seriously though, I have been working on running faster.  I’ve been using a couple of training techniques.  Both of these speed workouts are based on two basics:  first, training my body to increase it’s tolerance of lactic acid and second, recover faster .  Here are the two I’ve focused on over the past couple of months.  And keep in mind that I’m not advocating any particular method, just sharing what I’ve experienced:

  • 10-20-30.  This involves a series of repeats as follows:  10 seconds sprint, 20 seconds at moderate pace and 30 seconds low speed.  I repeat this ‘block’ 5 times before taking a break.  For a more detailed explanation, click this link:  10-20-30 Training .  This technique can be done during a normal run but I’ve found that for me I enjoy it most on the local track.
  • 400 Repeats.  This has been my nemesis.  Try as I might, these repeats hurt!  The basic concept is to run each 400 at your fastest mile pace, jog for 1 – 2 minutes before repeating…6 times! Try as I might, the 4th through 6th repeats HURT!  For more details, click this link:  400 Repeats.  For sure this is a track workout.

This past Saturday morning I did my first 6 sets of 400 repeats!  Sunday morning I went out for a 90 minute early morning run.  And after these 2 days of back-to-back running, I felt great!  The big breakfast was a nice way to celebrate!

I’d love to hear from you regarding your own experiences.  We can share stories when we meet up in Negril at the Pasta Party Friday night but if you have a story, don’t wait until then.

Since this original post, I have heard from Reggae Marathoners Larry Savitch and Dan Cumming who reminded me that it is essential that you ease into speed workouts.  Trying too much too quickly increases the risk of injury…and who wants to be injured before coming to Negril for Reggae Marathon.  Both Dan and Larry will be at Reggae Marathon this December.  Hmmm…do I hear a special Reggae Runners Negril Challenge heating up?

Until next time…

Reggae Marathon RunninGuy (aka Sugar ‘Tuff Gong’ Bong)


For more information check the Reggae Marathon Web Site.  To register now click here for the Reggae Marathon Registration Page.  Click here for more details on Reggae Marathon’s Abe Issa Award for Excellence.

Photo courtesy of Errol Anderson.