So what type of workouts will do this for you? First and foremost you should include interval training on a regular basis, particularly as you move towards the racing season.
There are hundreds of different ways of doing intervals, so it pays to experiment a little. The variables to play with are:
- The length of the interval
- The number of intervals
- The intensity of the interval
- The length of the recovery between intervals
There is no magic prescription for this, but it makes sense that the longer the event you are training for, the longer your intervals and rest should be. A heart rate monitor is the best way to judge intensity, so be sure to use it when you are performing intense workouts.
The rule of thumb is to do no more than two interval sessions per week, though some programs, such as Phil Campbells' Sprint 8, are routinely performing intervals three times per week.
The other ingredient is to add some explosive resistance work. This is new for most people, so either read up on the subject or consult a coach before starting this - it will make you sore if you are not used to it!
As the research shows, you can make rapid progress in as little as five weeks, so this is particularly effective when you have logged your steady endurance miles and are looking to add some speed.