Speed Workouts For Runners

Whether your a newbie on the running scene or a seasoned running pro the need for speed is never far from our minds.
Us runners thrive to succeed no matter if that’s getting a personal best at park run, smashing a half marathon course record or running a marathon to the best of our ability.
The one question all runners ask is how can I run faster?

And the only answer to that question is simple.

To run faster – you just have to run faster.

With a little planning and a little patience and of course a lot of hard work, sweat and sometimes even tears you could become a faster runner.

Here is running bug’s Speed Workout for runners made simple.

Let’s start with the simplest and easy to follow workout, The Fartlek.

Let’s start with the simplest and easy to follow workout, The Farklet
As funny as it sounds (I know some of you are giggling) fartleks are a great introduction into the world of speed work so this session is great for less experienced as you can do it at your own distance and pace.
How to do it.

A fartlek session is normally done within your normal run, so once you have had a nice running warm-up find a path with a smooth surface with minimal hazards, we don’t want anyone tripping up or rolling an ankle. As you run normally pick up your pace and run faster for a short period and then slow back down to jog to recover and repeat and do this as many times as you feel.
There is no set distance to run to, or no time limit so you may find to start with that you a 10-second blast is enough, repeated 5 times that’s perfectly fine. As the more you do these the longer you will find you can run faster for, but remember fartleks are meant to be little blasts of speeds to suit you and not to be ran as intervals.


The step up from fartlek but still very much beginner friendly.
Interval training is different from fartleks as with intervals you do set a distance marker.
Setting the distance could be done in different ways.

Some runners will run interval lamppost to lamppost – this is where you run fast to one lamppost then recover to the next, fast to the next and so forth, you don’t need to use lamp posts but anything that is similar in separate distances from each other on a nice stretch of road.
Another way of doing intervals is by running 100mts bursts and then 100mts recoveries, treadmills are brilliant for these speedwork sessions.
Another example of intervals is done by seconds or minutes, you could run bursts of 20 seconds, recover and go again.
The beauty with intervals is that there is no wrong or right, you can tailor it to your ability and needs.


Strides, when mastered can be a runner’s best friend when it comes to finishing a race fast and strong.
Have you ever wondered while watching the finish line of a race, how some runners come zooming down and taking out others, well the answer is strides.

Strides can be incorporated into your warm-up at the start of a race and any of your every day runs and you don’t even need lampposts or any other markers to aid you.
Strides are sprints of speed ran from anything from 20 – 35 seconds intervals and ran at 85 – 95% effort or at your mile race pace.

How To.
Once you have warmed up properly, either with dynamic stretches at the beginning of your session or mid-run, you can begin your strides.
Start by picking up your pace a gear then gradually speed up, you should be at your top pace within 5 seconds, keep focused and stay in control of your movement and breathing maintain for the duration then slow down to a jog to recover then go again. Repeat anywhere between 5 – 10 times.

Tempo runs are hugely beneficial to runners who want to not only run faster but who want to be able to sustain a faster pace over a longer distance.
Adding a tempo run into your schedule can significantly build your running endurance.

How T0.

Depending on what distance your training for will determine what length your tempo should be, for example, if your training for a half marathon you can add your tempo run into your long run – say you have a 10 mile run planned, you could run 2 miles easy warm up with 4 – 5 miles in the middle at your tempo pace then easy last 3 – 4 miles steady and cool down, To work out your tempo race pace, deduct 25 – 30 seconds off your current 5k race pace.
Your tempo pace shouldn’t feel like a race, you should be able to sustain this pace comfortably hard for at least an hour if you find you’re struggling to maintain the pace you’re going to fast.


Pyramid intervals take a little more concentration and can be tough but the results are worth the sweat and tears,
Pyramids can be done on road on a track but the treadmill is perfect for these sessions.

How to.
So pyramids can be done in either timed or distance intervals, an example of a timed pyramid session looks something like this.

5 minute warm up
1 minute at 5k race pace – 1-minute easy pace
2 minute at 5k race pace – 2-minute easy pace
3 minute at 5k race pace – 2-minute easy pace
4 minute at 5k race pace – 2-minute easy pace
5 minute at 5k race pace – 2-minute easy pace
4 minute at 5k race pace – 2-minute easy pace
3 minute at 5k race pace – 2-minute easy pace
2 minute at 5k race pace – 2-minute easy pace
1 minute at 5k race pace – 1-minute easy pace.
5-minute cooldown.

The same rule applies with distance and works in meters 100, 200 300, 400, 500, 400, 300, 200, 100

As with any form of exercise remember to always warm up and stretch the muscles after each session.


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