Speed work

I've just started following RW's 4 day traing schedule and have done a few speed work sessions. What I would like to know is the object of a speed work sessions. I can go faster in my fast bits but have to go slower in the recovery intervals. as a consequence the distance I cover in the time remains around the same. So what do I aim at Faster in speed intervals or overall faster in recovery and not so fast in speed,

Help or pointers to relavant articles appreciated


  • General rule of thumb is to do your fast reps at a pace that will allow you to complete all of them in the same time (give or take a couple of secs)
    i.e. don't "blast" the first couple of reps then "die on your arse".
    The purpose of reps is to get your muscles & CV system used to functioning under greater load / at a greater intensity.
    Gradually lenghten the reps so that you are running longer distances at a greater speed and your running will get faster.
    Good luck.
  • It doesnt matter if you take longer because the slow recoveries slow you down. it's important to try and run at a steady pace, and the correct pace/distance for your goals; e.g for 5k training you'd do, say, 8 200m reps fairly fast whereas for 10k and above the length of reps would be longer.

    you're aiming to improve your anerobic threshold by speedwork, which will make you faster over all distances, hard to believe, but after several months of speedwork you'll knock minutes off your race times!
  • Several MONTHS
    I hate speedwork, cos I like my comfort zone
    It also makes me feel inadequate
  • Your recovery runs shouldn't really matter - it's the speed parts themselves that you have to worry about. If anything, go for slower recoveries if it means you can then maintain faster speeds during the fast bits. As a general rule, you should maintain about the same pace on all the fast bits, but the last fast rep of the session should be leaving you with enough energy to do your cool-down run, while still knackered enough not to want to do another in a hurry!
  • Psi, come to the dark side
  • Ooer, what an invitation!!
  • Thanks every one for the advice. I think I can see my way forward now.

    Look out for the report on the Brighton 10k to see if it works. I'm doing a 60min 10k at the minute.
  • Hi JJ, my main training involves speed sessions, 800m reps at my hoped for 10km pace for 2004, in between the reps I walk for 200m, yes walk! Dont worry about how long the recovery points are as over time you will reduce the length of these recoveries or increase the length of your reps, like I will from 800m to 1km.

    See you in Brighton
  • Thanks NN

    I think the speed training is paying off as today I ran 10 miles at a smidgin under 10 min miles, much better than my 11min miles over that distance. Thanks for the 10k pace advice, 55min here I come :-)
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