Is this useful speedwork?

I'm a near beginner (been running on and off for just over a year) and am doing the Flora Light 5K race Sept 1st. Today I did some speedwork - after jogging easily for 10 mins I did 30s of fairly fast running followed by 90s walking breaks. I felt quite comfortable doing this, but are my walk breaks too long compared to my faster intervals? Will this help me improve my time for the 5K race in 4 weeks?




  • Amy

    Any fast running will help you improve your speed. Most experts recommend starting with a recovery at least equal to the interval. I think for your first 5k your best bet would be to stick to intervals of 1-2 minutes with 1-2 minutes recovery. If you find the recovery isn't long enough then you're running the intervals too fast - remember you don't need to be running flat out to get the benefit of speed.

    In a typical beginners session I would aim for 5-10 x 1 minute fast, 1 minute slow, aiming to complete the last interval as fast as the first.
  • DustinDustin ✭✭✭
    Agree with comments from MH, however as you say you are new to this speedwork stuff so try to modify what you have started.
    I'd suggest trying to slow jog the recoveries (rather than walk) and try to graduate to 45sec quick (not flat out but faster than you normally run for 5k) followed by 45 sec slow jog recovs.
    It's all trial and error really,but to reiterate Hursty's comment- any fast running will improve your speed.
    Also don't over do it,a hard rep session should be followed by an easy day.I only do one interval session per week.
    Good luck with the Flora light,that race is Mrs D's first , so I'll be there to cheer her (and you) on.
  • Thanks very much for your advice - I will try it out next week!
  • MinksMinks ✭✭✭
    Hi Amy,

    Unfortunately I had to bow out of the Flora Light Challenge which I'd been really keen to do. Brother's 30th the night before didn't bode well for a good race (late night and monster hangover mandatory).

    I ran Race for Life in June and have just started speedwork too. I'm finding the following useful: 5 x 1 minute fast with 1-minute slow jog recoveries between. Don't aim for anything more than 5 reps at first: it's harder than you think to maintain speed for 1 minute! I think initially I may have run the fast bits too fast - don't aim for flat out, but for "fast but controlled". Good luck with the Flora - wish I was going to be there!
  • Thanks Minkin
    I was supposed to do the Flora Light race last year, but wasn't able to for various reasons, and was very disappointed, so am determined to do it this year. Also my boyfriend is coming to watch me run it, so I am desperately trying to inject some sort of speed into my running, as he's never even seen me run before (not even for a bus!). I have to say I do like running faster - even if only for short times, and it made the last 20 mins of my run go by fast too!
  • MinksMinks ✭✭✭
    Hmmm, know what you mean about your boyfriend watching! Mine is one of those who's naturally really good at all sports (I ban him from running with me as even without any training and sitting on the couch for the past six months he can still leave me standing!) Having watched me race, he thought I'd done well, but commented that he thought I'd do it a bit quicker than I did. So much for encouragement!
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