I have been running for around 2 years and am ashamed to admit that i haven't done any speed work. I have just been concentrating on endurance and distance. Done half mara and going to do a full marathon next year.

I want to improve my times so i need to include some speedwork - this may be a silly question but here goes - i do all my runs early in the morning. would it be better to do speedwork later in the day or doesnt it make a difference? I am a 'expresso and out of the door without eating' early morning runner except on a LSR when i force one weetabix down.

Ta very much.


  • You'll have to find out what works best for you.

    I'd start with trying it early in the day if that's what suits you for your other runs.

    If you find it too hard, or that it's really tiring, then try having a go at it later in the day and see if it makes any difference.

  • What does your weekly schedule look like? What are some of your PBs?
  • I am not sure the relevance of the PBs?

    If i am not training for a race and therefore on a plan - i tend to do 5miles  three or four times a week with a 10-12 mile LSR at the weekend. hence the need for speedwork!

    As Wilkie suggests i think i will just give the mornings a go and see how i feel image

  • have a look at some schedules on RW website (the garmin ready ones are pretty decent), and get some idea of the sessions you'll need to be doing for half and full maras.  i'm straight out of bed, cereal and coffee gobbled down, then on my bike to work before putting in my running training.  it really works for me and keeps me alert and fresh.  i'm sure once you get into a routine it will be fine. the only thing i'd say is warm up properly, your muscles need warming up from a good nights rest. 
  • Just as a reinforcement of the above comment:

    If you look at data over when world records are set, most of them are set in the late afternoon, early evening. A significant contributory factor in this is that the body has had all day for the muscles to wake up, loosen up and prepare to race.

    If you currently run in the morning, then it makes sense for you to carry out your speedwork then. However, make sure that you have warmed up well and gradually ease your way into the session - take the first couple of repetitions slightly easier to get most benefit and prevent injury.

  • Yes that was my concern - i think i read that statistically you run slightly slower in the morning (that's my excuse!) 

    i will give it a go in the morning and see how i get on - but have a feeling i will be better off doing speedwork in the evening when i am properly fueled up.

    Thanks everyone for your advice.

  • PhilPubPhilPub ✭✭✭

    As with any change in training you'd do well to adapt gradually from what you're doing at the moment, e.g. ease yourself into 'speed' training by beginning to incorporate tempo runs, rather than going straight into 400m or 800m intervals.  For one of your mid-week 5m runs aim to run the middle 2.5 - 3m or so at a harder but maintainable pace (breathing heavy, no longer comfortable to hold a conversation, but not eyeballs-out).  If all you're doing at the moment is easy pace running you could improve quite a bit with just tempo runs.  When you're used to these you can think about doing some quicker stuff.

  • PhilPub -'eye balls out'  - that really made me laugh.

    I go a bit faster than an easy pace i would say for all of my runs but i think thats good advice - will try the tempo running first i think.


  • PhilPubPhilPub ✭✭✭
    Yeah, it really is worth differentiating between "a bit faster than an easy pace"  and a pace which is a challenge to maintain over an extended period, but short of all-out effort.  If I've made a good effort of the tempo section of a run, I find that the cool-down section is always run a bit slower than the warm-up, simply because I've stretched myself, so that my 'comfortable' speed is now slower.  So start off really easy then when the tempo section starts, click into a different gear - but concentrate on running relaxed with good form.  Good luck.
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