Benefits of speed work
Speed work or interval training works because we are overloading the body which in turn adapts to the extra stress. This results in the body being able to cope better with the demands of future sessions or races.
Runners who do these sessions find they are able to improve their fitness and performance. You work harder during speed work and so the body’s metabolic rate is increased. Thus, you are burning more calories. It has also been shown that the body will burn up more calories at rest, due, probably to the increased muscle mass and we are not talking body building here!
So, speed work is a good way to lose weight if this is one of your goals.
As a stronger runner we are less likely to suffer injuries. Also, at the end of a run/race it will be easier to retain good running technique which in turn will help us to maintain pace.
Another benefit of speed work is that it adds variety to our running. If we run the same route each time running can become a bit boring. By introducing some efforts we focus on the efforts rather than running the usual route.
Whilst running faster we enhance our neural pathways – this helps us to run more efficiently at speed.
I am not sure there are many runners who look forward to speed work, however, most would say they feel good for having done it and with all the above advantages why not give it a go?