Speed Workouts For Runners
When I got into running seriously, a mere two years ago, I remember running as fast as I could and realizing that I will never win a race. I am okay with this but with everything in life there is room for improvement.
I really haven’t worked on my speed much this year even though I know I need the work in order to simply get better at running. My competitive side simply does not activate when it comes to running, since it’s more therapeutic than a sport for me. However, it would be nice to get a bit faster and spend less time on my feet when I train.
Lately as I brave the summer heat indoors on the treadmill for marathon training, I have been getting more comfortable with pushing the speed up for short intervals of time. I put on one of my favorite workout songs and go for it! Check out my workout below which can be done outside or on a treadmill:
Check out these tips for being a faster runner:
Improving your running speed requires a combination of strength training, technique refinement, varied workouts, and ample recovery. Here are some tips for moderate runners looking to safely and effectively boost their pace:
1. Incorporate Interval Training:
- Tempo Runs: These are sustained efforts at a challenging, yet maintainable pace, usually 80-90% of your maximum effort, for a specific duration or distance.
- Fartleks: Swedish for “speed play,” this involves mixing periods of faster running with periods of easier running.
- Hill Repeats: Running up a hill at a fast pace and then jogging or walking back down for recovery.
2. Strength Train:
- Core Workouts: A strong core can improve your running posture and efficiency.
- Leg Strength: Incorporate exercises like squats, lunges, and deadlifts.
- Plyometrics: Jumping exercises can help develop power and speed. Think box jumps or burpees.
3. Focus on Running Form:
- Stride: Avoid over-striding, which is when your foot lands too far in front of your body. Instead, aim for a stride that allows your foot to land under your body.
- Cadence: Aim for a cadence (steps per minute) of around 170-180. Faster cadence can decrease the load on your joints and make your runs more efficient.
- Arm Swing: Your arms should swing forward and back (not side to side) and be in sync with your legs.
4. Do Speed Workouts: Track workouts, such as 400m, 800m, or mile repeats, can be beneficial. Remember to warm up properly before launching into speed work and cool down afterward.
5. Prioritize Recovery:
- Rest Days: These are crucial for allowing muscles to repair and strengthen.
- Stretch and Foam Roll: This can help alleviate muscle tightness and increase flexibility.
- Sleep: A good night’s sleep is when the magic of muscle repair and recovery happens.
6. Cross-Train: Incorporate other forms of aerobic exercise like swimming, cycling, or rowing. This can help improve cardiovascular fitness without the constant impact of running.
7. Join a Running Group or Hire a Coach: Training with others can be motivational and can push you to run faster. A coach can provide personalized guidance and structured plans.
8. Progress Gradually: Avoid the temptation to increase your speed or mileage too quickly. A general rule is not to increase your weekly mileage by more than 10% from the previous week.
9. Invest in Proper Footwear: Ensure you’re running in shoes that are appropriate for your gait and foot type. A specialty running store can often assess your running style and recommend suitable shoes.
10. Listen to Your Body: Pushing through pain can lead to severe injuries. It’s essential to differentiate between the discomfort associated with training and pain that could indicate an injury.
11. Stay Hydrated and Eat Well: Hydration affects performance. Drink water throughout the day, and consider sports drinks for longer runs. A balanced diet, rich in protein, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats, can support your training.
12. Set Clear Goals: Whether it’s achieving a new 5k personal best or simply shaving a minute off your usual route, setting goals can be a motivating factor in pushing your speed.
Increasing your running speed safely takes time and dedication. By integrating these tips into your routine, focusing on consistency, and listening to your body, you’ll be well on your way to faster, more efficient runs.
Here are more Speed Workouts For Runners from my favorite runner bloggers!
Carly @ Fine Fit Day
Allie @ VitaTrain4Life
Laura @ This Runner’s Recipes
If you like these Speed Workouts For Runners be sure to try these
Have you been working on your speed lately? What do you do to pick up your pace?
Hi! I’m Nellie. I am a busy mama of three, wife to my high school sweetheart who loves to cook, workout and stay organized! I love to share helpful printables, the best recipes and fitness tips for the modern mom. I strongly believe that every mom can feed their family well, take proper care of themselves and have fun along the way! Read my story.
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