Advice needed for (slow) speedwork

Im very embarrassed to be posting this, but i do need help
Just done a personal worst at Brighton, despite for the first time having no walk breaks
Ive obviously got into REALLY slow plod mode
Can I have some advice on treadmill speedwork please
I do run on a 2% incline, and fast for me is 11kph(stop sniggering).
I cant manage 6 intervals of 400m at 11kph, even with a 2 minute walk break, so Ive been doing 200m at 11 kph, the 200m walk
Pathetic, yes, but Im not very fit
I do want to get faster though, so any advice greatly appreciated


  • Benz,
    Don't be embarrased my first 10k took me 1hr 18mins (joint last as well) that was beginning of Oct and I too am trying hard to speed up a bit, same as you I am using a treadmill, 2% incline, I find this is the only way I can discipline myself to run faster. 11kph is fast for me also. I start slow and after every minute up the pace by .1kph, it helps relieve a bit of boredom and I figure I won't notice the difference. I would also appreciate some good advice. Is your mental attitude good ? My problem is if I run outdoors with faster people they don't drag me along I just get disheartened, I think I need PMA lessons.
  • Hi benz, I usually only get to 10.3 on the treadmill but run this pace after running around 10 kph for 10 minutes. Maybe you could try mixing your speed sessions by doing 400 at a slightly slower pace than 11 kph, rest, then do 200 at your 11 kph pace.

    Speed work in disguise is hill-work try slower speed with steeper incline for variety. Good luck. Have you thought about track work.

    I also had a PW today for a half marathon, but I did go the wrong way for 300 yards or so.
  • DustinDustin ✭✭✭
    Don't be embarassed by your speed.Its quicker than most of the population can manage.

    Anyway regarding speedwork,you don't need to run flat out to get the benefits - most of us do speed intervals at paces little faster than 10k pace so for a 1 hour 10k runner thats obviously 10kmph.

    Start off with 4 reps of 400m at your respective 10k pace (or therabouts) and do 200m recovs (walk if necessary).
    Once this is fine then add more reps up to say 8, and maybe very slow jog the recoveries.
    You can adjust the reps so maybe do 800m at guesstimated halfM pace (so back to our 1 hour 10k runner this would be about a 2h30 halfM or about 8.5 kmph) again with 200m recovs.

    Remember ANY speedwork will improve your time, and the results should begin to show withing a month or so.
    Also for beginners only do 1 session a week (you can always do a 30 min fartlek session if your feeling energetic) and never do two hard days on the bounce.

    It really is a trial and error process, but have a look on the daily training threads to see what everyone else is doing and pick up some tips.

    Ermintrude - I guess if you run outdoors with others and they leave you behind then you're with the wrong club.(Not a club member myself but I reckon most clubs have runs where you you stick together).

    Good luck!
  • Thankyou all
    Looks like Im going too fast !!!
    The mental attitude is a really big thing, on the positive side, I finished a marathon, but i cant speed up to finish races, my brain makes me slow down
    Should an interval be 400m for best effect?
  • Btw, at 8 kph i can go forever
  • DustinDustin ✭✭✭
    For starters 400m or 800m are better.
    As you get used to them then its probably worth mixing them up.
    For example , when training for 10ks I do mainly 12*400 / 8*800 but some longer reps: say 3*1mile at 10k pace.

    For halfMs and longer I do less of the 400s and more of the longer reps (including 4*2ks at 10k pace)

    As I said earlier its very much trial and error, and when the other posters get going you'll get a whole load of different advice!
  • ok, I need to slow down the "speed " bits then
    I'll try 10.5 k
    Thanks a lot
  • Hi Benz,

    I'm no expert at treadmills, but would encourage you to be careful with treadmill speed work. I joined a gym in May and jumped enthusiastically into treadmill speed work in the form of the pre-programmed runs: fartleks, intervals, hill work etc. I enjoyed it and noticed immediate benefits in my speed, but overnight, and without even noticing it at the time, I injured my right achilles tendon. 6 months later I'm still limping around in the morning, although orthotics have helped. I'm pretty sure that this happened because I did too much too fast on the treadmill - even marathon training from Jan-May hadn't caused a single twinge in my ATs. So, please be careful and increase your treadmill work gradually :-)

    The only other thing I'd point out is that I've found that my speed has increased considerably in the last 12 months just through running more often, without actively trying to get faster. You may not have the time to do more, but if you do then I'm quite sure you'll find yourself running faster for the same amount of effort.

    Finally, congrat's on running a 10k today. There's no need to be embarrassed at a slow run - most people couldn't dream of running 6 miles!
  • whats embarssing is i did a better 10k the week after my marathon, and believe me i was limping
    Still, I WILL be careful, but Ill be ok cos Im not really a speed merchant
    probably half of the problem
  • Benz( thinks)

  • can we be realistic please
    You do 5k in 21 minutes!!!!
  • Hi Benz - 11kph sounds pretty fast to me! The other thing you might try on the treadmill is to pursue the 'hills are speedwork in disguise' theme. Instead of doing straight intervals, set the mill to Random or Hills and speed about 10-10.5kph, experiment to see what's best for you, and do a 10-15 min session. I've been doing this for a while now as part of my weekly gym session and, without any other form of speedwork, am seeing the benefit.
  • thankyou, might try thst
    everyone else in my gym seems to run at 12, 13 or 15 kph eeek
  • Train outside treadmills ate injury factories.
  • OOPs I meant to say are injury factories but am obviously rampantly dyslexic or a crap typist, actually I am both
  • Benz,

    don't worry what everybody else in your gym does, they aren't you. Try everyone's suggestions, with an open mind, and stick with what seems to work for you.

    But don't try more than one speedwork session per week, you need to do long, slow work to condition your body to be able to cope with speedwork. Endurance can be built reasonably quickly, speed can take years.
  • Benz

    Did you start off your running by doing a "run/walk" schedule?
    If so you might like to try going back over it, but this time make it "slightly faster run/slightly slower run".
    By the end of it your "slightly faster run" pace will have become your "I can keep this up for 30 minutes pace."
    Good luck with whatever you try.
  • If you ran a 10 k faster after your marathon maybe the endurance training might be the key factor
    think about Paula - shes started winning things after she started running marathons

    also dont push too hard too soon - you have had a lot on your plate with work so not much time for quality rest and recovery - why not aim for improvement in the long run (sic)

    and you did say that you ran the whole way - so that is that a first?
  • and if you want to know about getting injured from overtraining and doing too much too soon........
  • Benz

    if you've got access to a treadmill which has a preprogrammed "fartlek" or "Cross country" setting I'd start with those rather than trying to be too scientific about speed/inclne/intervals. those programmes give you good variation in speed/hills, you just need to find your level.

    when I started these I found that I got through about 15 ins and then needed to slow down for about 5 mins before raising the speed again for the last 10 mins. So then the challenge becomes to short the recovery gap, and then you need to stop holding onto the bar on the steep bits...and then finally think about increasing the setting.

    And then you'll find everyone's amazed by the lithe and lovely benz. Oh and BTW I don't think treadmills are injury factories and they usually have a nice holder for the G&T (I wish).
  • I thought that was a WAter holder
    Ooh, ill enjoy my neext gym visit, thanks mate:)
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