Are you training for a late summer or fall 5k, 10k or half marathon? Speed workouts are so important for runners of all abilities, whether you are aiming for a PR or running your first race. Speed work helps muscles learn to tolerate the build-up of lactic acid, recover quicker from hard workouts and improve endurance capabilities. If you are new to speed work be sure to follow the warm-up and cool down guidelines below, go at your own pace, rest for the entire recovery period and shorten the intervals to your needs. Speed workouts can be incorporated 1-2 times per week, however if you are dealing with any injury or pain it’s best to avoid speed work until you’re completely healed.

people doing marathon

There are several different types of speed workouts: tempo runs, intervals and fartleks. Today’s workout is an interval run with a mix of short and long intervals. I prefer to do this on a track but a treadmill works great here as well. I like to start with a dynamic warmup, incorporating some leg swings, lunges and toe taps, I’ve linked a great one below, and an easy walk slowly increasing to an easy jog. On the longer intervals, 1000 meters, start a bit slow and fall into a pace you can maintain for the entire interval. On the shorter intervals, 400 meters, give your best effort right from the start and aim to really push the pace finishing strong.

Dynamic Warm Up (Optional)

Warm Up: 10-15 minutes easy jog

2 x 1000 meters with 2 minutes walking or complete rest

2 x 800 meters with 2 minutes walking or complete rest

2 x 600 meters with 2 minutes walking

2 x 400 meters with 2 minutes walking

Cool Down: 10 minutes easy jog or walk

Do you incorporate speed work into your run training? I’ll admit that speed work is not my favorite run to do, but the benefits gained are so worth the pain. I’m currently training for the San Francisco Giant Race on September 9th, 2018. I’d love to have you join me for the 5k, 10k or half marathon. Sign up and use my code: BRIANA2018 to save a few bucks off your registration.


In health,