For many, the word quarters indicates a drinking game. For runners, it means a challenging workout that is meant to increase speed. But what business does a marathoner have trying to increase speed? Isn’t the goal just to be able to run 26.2 miles and finish the race?

The addition of speed workouts to the training program adds a very important anaerobic workout to the routine. You run fast, then recover, then run fast again. Leg turnover increases, and so does stride strength. Obviously the ability to recover and do another quality repeat is important. The speed workouts I most dread doing are hill repeats, but I actually enjoy the quarter repeats. Using the Garmin 205 watch, I do these on the open road where the rest of my training occurs, so there are some hills involved.

On Wed I did an 8 x 1/4 mi repeat.The recorded times were:

  • 1:33
  • 1:39
  • 1:30
  • 1:28
  • 1:29
  • 1:27
  • 1:24
  • 1:21

The first 4 averaged 6:10 pace, and the last 4 averaged 5:41. The 2:00 recovery period between each interval is there to enable me to spend more total time running at high intensity before I was too tired. The other benefit of intervals is that it improves resistance to muscular acidosis, a major contributor to fatigue in all-out running efforts.

I feel that I’m faster – will know more after Sunday’s 5K time trial.

“It’s not what you say or hope, wish or intend, but only what you DO that counts. Your choices tell unerringly who you are.”– Brian Tracy