We've done a few different workouts, such as 400m repeats, 800m repeats, shorter sprints like 100m and 200m combo nights, and one of my favorites we call 5-4-3-2-1 hill repeats. In the last one, we use a small hill at the edge of the track. The workout looks like this: Sprint uphill and slow downhill 5x, do a combination of strength exercises like russian twists, push-ups, squats, then sprint 400m. Recover back to the base of the hill, and repeat the whole thing again with 4x hill repeats, 3x hill repeats, etc. This one ends up being a great workout and adds nice variety to the evening. In addition to the speed and interval workouts, we've gone through cadence drills, breathing drills, and running form drills in detail. The other great part of each night is that we add drills, leg workouts, and core workouts - all things I tend to neglect a bit if left to my own devices.
I know there are people out there who love speed workouts, but I can't say I've ever been one of them. I love my long, slower runs while enjoying the outdoors quite a bit more than I like running around the oval. That said, I know these workouts are good for me and I'm glad I joined the group to get my butt out there. I always feel awesome after the workout, and maybe someday I'll even become a speed work fan.
As I go through this year and work toward my sub-2 hour half marathon goal, I'll need to increase the distance of my speed workouts. The coach plans to focus more workouts on 800m repeats, and I'm hoping to request mile repeats too. I'm pretty sure I'll regret that request at some point in the near future.
So tell me, do you include track workouts in your training plans? What is your favorite or your most helpful speed workout for the half marathon? Should I include mile repeats? I want to know your secrets; I need all the help I can get on my 2013 half marathon goal time!