As a coach, I love using pick ups to introduce speed work to athletes. Whether I am working with a new runner to build endurance and strength or an experienced runner preparing to start a longer training cycle, pick ups are great for all runners.
When I mention speed work, most runners assume track workouts. That is hardly the case. Track work can be intimidating for newer runners, boring for experienced runners. There are a few outliers who love the track – hooray for them – and by all means can complete pick up workouts there.
Personally, I love the track for interval workouts, but find my happy place for all other workouts on roads and trails. Plus, my races do not occur on a track. I try to train on the surfaces that closely mimic race conditions (surface and elevation). Continue reading