Monday, July 12, 2010

Speed Strength Training AKA Mean Dean's

A fellow blogger asked about the speed strenght workout and what it is.  A speed strenght workout consists of 400's (one lap around the track) followed by exercises, with no break in-between.  During the summer, just before hills, Coach Dean has the group do these workouts.  At the beginning we'll do about 6 laps and add a lap or two each week.  These are not easy and Dean's high school group calls them Mean Deans, and for good cause too. 

In between each lap I'll do 10 sit-ups/crunches, 10 push-ups, squats, 10 single leg bridge.  Sometimes I'll add in 5 lunge matrix (lunge forward, to the side, angled back), bicycle or planks.

After running a lap and going straight into exercises makes a tough workout. At the end of the workout it is tough to pounce into the exercises or do them in good form.  It is a true mental workout in the heat or at any time.

Dean says Mean Deans while these won't necessarily develop speed, they do
  • Build core strength.
  • Build running specific strength.
  • Gets you accustomed to running with great physical fatigue.
  • Improves lactate threshold.
  • Improves efficiency running at 5K pace.
  • Mentally makes you a BEAST!
  • Great variety to mundane repeats on a track.
  • Perfect change up for runners plateauing, stale or bored.
  • Great off-season and pre-season conditioning program to build a base WITHOUT mega miles.
I really like Mean Dean's because I know first hand what happens when the hips/glutes get weak.  When I start having more aches and pains in my lower legs I know its time to increase (or do) my exercises.  Mean Dean's gives me an opportunity to run a little and get in the exercises. Even if I'm coming back from an injury, I can participate in Mean Dean's and just run the laps slower and increase the number of exercises.

You can read more about Mean Dean's on Coach Deans blog.

 Happy Running!


The Green Girl said...

Wow, that's quite the workout! I got tired just reading about it.

Johann said...

That's a tough workout. As you know by now I don't do speed workouts. I know I should, but then again, I'm training for distance now. I'll be adding some serious hill climbs on trails for strength soon. That's for the mountain run I'm doing in September. I suppose it's all about what you're training for. You are very disciplined with your speed workouts...respect!

lindsay said...

i'm glad you gave an explanation! these definitely sound like something i should do... i feel like i've been in a rut lately and maybe this will spice things up. now to figure out what sort of pace to do the 400's at - just a solid effort?

Giorgio said...

Great running post Christina! thamks for your explanation.
Have nice running drills!

Natalia said...

Hey Christina, hope your knee gets sorted out, sounds a bit painful. These drills are terrific, you are the little voice I need to give me a push towards speed workouts. Although they are an effort, they are great when you are doing them.....I just can't seem to want to do them. You give me a gentle nudge with your posts!

Adam said...

Wow, those just sound mean. Just.mean.

Honestly though, it sounds a little like circuit training which I have heard is a really good workout.

Black Knight said...

Thanks for the post, the speed workouts are very important to improve. I made a copy.

shellyrm aka jogging stroller mama said...

Great workout! I need to do this too. I need to be stronger to be a better runner.

Candice @ I Have Run said...

I might have to try this! I am bad about doing strength after my runs, so this might be the solution I need!