Speedwork - Track or Treadmill?

Hello all

Ive been running now for about 18 months religously - ive improved (obviously) from a 14 minute miler - but I have a tendency to do most of my runs at similar pace because I dont have much of a speed range. My fastest 10k race was 63:54 and my fastest 5k was 32.31.

Im not a quick runner by any means and my range is from 11 min/miling to 10.00min/miles throughout an average run (on road). My mileage is anything from between 3 miles to 8 miles ,3-4 times per week.

I'd now like to move up a level and have read alot about introducing speedwork, I understand the concepts and am even more impressed by the results i read and hear about when runners do speedwork.

My question is - should I do this speedwork/intervals on a track or on a treadmill or doesn't it really matter, meaning you'll end up with the same improved results anyway regardless of the surface, I have access to both track & treddie. Obviosuly I'll continue my usual weekly road runs but Id like to start by adding one specific session of speedwork/intervals per week.

Your advice on where you think is best to do it would be appreciated.

Many thanks


  • I would start on the treadmill. Better to have the pace dictated to start with. When you are happy with your pacing on the treadmill move outside to the track and see how you get one.

    With access to a track you have the best of both worlds.

  • I'd say that, as at first you are likely to be doing intervals by time rather than distance, start on grass, or road if you must.  If you start speedwork with a set pace in mind rather than running by perceived effort I think there's more chance you'll injure yourself.  Move onto the track to start getting an idea of the speed you're running at at once you're used to pushing the pace a bit.

    Or you could always join a running club and take part in their speedwork sessions.  At this time of year it's likely to be longer, steadier intervals in preparation for cross country, which would be ideal for a beginner.

    I'm not a qualified coach, so that's only what worked for me.

    I guess it shows you there are plenty of ways to skin this particular cat!

    Good luck.

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