You don’t need a doctorate in exercise physiology to incorporate track work into your training program—but mistakes are common. Avoid the most prevalent errors by following these three rules.
1. Don’t overdo it.
A little track work goes a long way. One track session per week is plenty; overuse will quickly lead to burnout. While your sessions should always be challenging, they should never leave you completely exhausted. These beginner or advanced track workouts are a perfect way to add some speed to your training without burning yourself out.
2. Run ready.
It’s important to be fairly well rested before track workouts in order to get the most benefit. Make sure each workout is preceded by at least one and preferably two lighter days of training. Be sure to take it easy the day following your workout as well. A relaxed run will allow all of the gains from your workout to settle in.
3. Be specific.
There is no one-size-fits-all workout. The ones you choose should be tailored according to the distance of your next race, where you are in the training process and your fitness level. As a general rule, the shorter and faster your upcoming race is, the shorter and faster the repetitions you do on the track should be. 400-meter repeats might be great for your next 5k, while mile repeats or longer are best suited for longer races.