The conditioning session today is one that I used a lot when I was training the Canada Women's Sevens Rugby team. Sprint tempo runs are a great way to get some conditioning while developing a strong running stride than enhances rather than detracts from top speed abilities.
With the rugby team, we were always looking to balance stress in training between drills, speed work, weights, and conditioning. What I found was if we pushed too hard with conditioning, their speed would start to drop off.
Tempo runs were the best way to find that balance and I think they will be very effective for you guys too. Two issues that tend to pop up with CrossFit participants is that a. they don't have great top end speed and b. most don't really like to run that much!
Sprint tempo runs, by virtue of being performed at a faster pace than we would ever run in a workout, can actually help to build run speed, making repeat 400s in particular go by quite a bit faster.
Sprint tempo runs also are not super gut check, gross sessions. The work time is generally half of the rest time, and the goal is consistent speed as opposed to smashing yourself and crashing.
Keep in mind that sprint tempo runs are quite different than distance tempo runs, primarily in that for sprint tempos, distance is usually kept at 50-200m. Distance tempos would be usually 1000m or longer.
If you want to come out and learn a bit more about tempos and do a session together at the track, head over to Oak Bay track (right behind Oak Bay high school and rec center). I'll be there to run the session (and do it myself!) from 530-630pm. See you there!
4 rounds for quality of:
Jog, 200 m 10 Leg Swings 10 V Sit-ups 10 Glute Bridges 10 Arm Circles
Rest 1 min
Gradually build the speed of your 200m runs, add in a 5th round if you need to, or shorten the runs if you haven't been running much lately.
WOD: Sprint Tempos
2 sets of 8 reps
20 seconds work, 40 seconds walk rest
Do the runs on grass preferably and have a marker to keep the distance the same on each run. Focus on powerful strides but keep your body relaxed. These are NOT max sprints but should be around 60-75% effort.
If you've been running quite a bit, bump the sets up to 2 x 10. Upper target for each 20 seconds would be about 100m, if you're not as strong a runner, set a target for 60-80m.