Here’s where you put the hard work in. These runs are designed to help you get faster. There are several different types of speed workouts. Some of the most common ones are intervals, tempos and hill repeats.
- Intervals - These are short, intense repeats at race pace or faster, with rest periods in between that are equal to or slightly longer than the speed portion. These can be run/walk intervals or running with easy jogging in between, depending on your goals and fitness level.
- Tempos - These runs consist of a warm-up and cool-down with the middle of the run at a pace just outside of your comfort zone. It’s an extended run without rest until you get to the cool down. The pace and distance depend on you and your training goals. Generally, if you can have a conversation, you’re not running hard enough. If you can’t get a word out, you’re running too fast. Tempos are excellent practice for a race because they get your body used to running fast without rest.
- Hill repeats - Hill repeats are just what they sound like. Run fast up a hill, jog down easy, repeat. These are excellent ways to build strength and speed with less wear and tear on the body.
Always warm up and cool down with your speed workouts. This helps your body adjust, prevents injury and helps you have a better workout. Many runners will only complete one speed workout per week, especially if they are new to running. If you are an experienced runner, you might do two speed workouts of different types, or add some tempo miles into the long run.