A week ago a friend of mine reached out to ask me for advice on how to start building up speed in her running. She had surgery earlier this year and has been easing back into her workout routine. I gave her some general tips and then looked at my blog calendar. I wrote her back excitedly to tell her to wait a week and she’d have 6 blog posts of speed workouts to check out. That’s right, it’s time for my very favorite post of the month, the monthly workout round up for runners! This week we are all about the speed workout.
Want to check out our previous workouts for runners?
Here are all the workouts we’ve put together for you!
Speed…it’s something most runners want to achieve, whether to chase a PR, or just to see what they are capable of. It’s also one of those workouts new runners tend to shy away from – what should you do to start? When should you start incorporating speed workouts? How often should you do them?
For the beginners, or those easing back into a running routine, here’s what I suggested to my friend who is just getting back to running – try a fartlek run once a week, just adding in short speed bursts, listening to your body for when to start and stop. Once that feels pretty comfortable, you can start doing a more structured speed work session once a week. I really like quarter mile repeats, about 6 or 7, as a good basic speed session. You can also do timed 1:1 repeat to recovery, if you want to continue doing something where you’re listening to your body on the day (i.e. sometimes 1 minute sprints feel right, while some days you can push it to 5 minute repeats). Also, don’t forget hills can really help with speed – if you have a hill near you, you can run the repeat up and walk or slowly run down. Start with 4 or 5 and work your way up to 8.
As for me, I’ve been incorporating my speed work with one of my strength training sessions once a week. It’s no secret that the treadmill and I are not besties. But, one thing it’s great for is speed intervals. Lately I’ve been hopping on and doing the workout below as a kind of intense, extended warm up before lifting weights. For my purposes, I shorten the warm up and cool down a little, to save on time since it is not the only thing I’m doing in the gym. For this month’s workout round up, I’ve kept the warm up and cool down conservatively long to make it a stand-alone workout, which you can do on the treadmill, or outside.
For the recovery, I return to my easy warm up pace (this is especially easy on a treadmill, where you can quickly toggle between two speeds). You can also do the recovery as a walk – just stick to the 1:1 work to rest ratio so you’re keeping it an intense workout.
Now, I know you want more workouts! Check out our other contributors’ speed workouts for runners below.
What’s your favorite speed workout?