From our blog
Be a better runner: how to get fast with speed work
The only way to run faster? Run faster. Here’s how to start.
Dominion Arboretum, Ottawa, ON, Canada
Driving time from Ottawa
Just 10 minutes
Sunup to sundown
Kinds of plants in the park
Beginner: Easy 3km run
The Arboretum is a beautiful place for casual runners. Lace up and head over to the north end of the park to start on the path from Prince of Wales Drive. From here you can follow this 3km route that mixes sweet waterfront views of Dows Lake with some more heavily forested bits and a jaunt past the wildlife garden.
Intermediate: Distance intervals
Distance intervals are great if you’ve built up a bit of a running foundation and want to get in a quick sweat session. For this workout, you’ll pick a distance (500m works well) and run it as fast as you can. Once you’ve reached your destination, give yourself a resting period (such as one minute) before you start all over again. From the Arboretum, head over to the Rideau Canal Western Pathway by Dows Lake Peninsula and run until you get to the bridge. For a solid workout, you can try four to seven rounds of this and use the walk back to your starting point as a cool down.
More options: Time intervals
For time intervals, a running watch or an app that lets you set up intervals comes in handy. Pick anywhere you want as a starting point and cover as much distance as you can in a given time. Try 30 seconds on a straight stretch by the water to help you keep cool and on track. Once you’ve run for 30 seconds, give yourself a short break and retrace your steps, attempting to cover the same distance in the same time.
Advanced: Tabata intervals
Are you a fit, experienced runner that wants to try something new? Tabata intervals involve running as fast as you can for 20 seconds and resting for 10 seconds. To complete one Tabata round, you then repeat this cycle eight times. If you’re new to this, start easier with one or two rounds of Tabata along any path. Make sure you’re properly warmed up and stretched out before you start, and give yourself a proper cool down once you’re done.