Spring racing season is right around the corner. Like most runners, if you've been doing mostly endurance runs indoors on a treadmill during the cold weather months, you may feel unprepared to hit that first 5K in a time that won't make you cry. Replace one day of your regular running routine by trying these different speed drills. It will pay off on race day!
Boot Camp Hills. Find a steep hill that's at least 50 to 75 meters long, and run hill repeats on it once every two weeks. Alternate running up the hill at close to top speed with "bounding" up the hill more slowly, with an exaggerated vertical motion. Start with six repeats per workout and gradually increase to 10. Between repeats, jog slowly back down to the bottom of the hill.
Hill Hops. After you've finished the above workout, begin hopping up the hill on one foot for 15 hops, then shift to the other foot for 15 more hops. Walk for a few seconds to recover, and then repeat.
Running on your Toes. After you have warmed up properly, "sprint" on your toes for 30 meters, taking small, quick steps with high knee action. Jog easily for 15 seconds to recover, and then repeat twice more. When finished, do the rest of your workout.
Jump and Sprint. Do a standing long jump, but at the moment you land, sprint for about 10 yards.
Laterals: Get in a slightly crouched position with your back straight and your arms out in front of you. Step quickly side to side, bringing the trailing leg next to the leading leg. Stay in the crouch and move 25 yards to one side, then return with the opposite leg leading.