Speed Training

Hello, I'm a RW virgin if you like, and I have been running on and off for 3 years and have entered into the London Marathon for my sins.

Could anyone give me tips on speed work, I have to train inside in the winter as it is too dark and not safe to train outside during the week and I have to save my long runs for the weekend anyway.

Any help would be gratefully received.

Amanda xx


  • Amanda,

    I assume that you will be doing your indoor training on a treadmill. First of all, you should ease into speedwork gently - trying to run too hard before your body is ready for it risks injury.

    A beginner's speedwork session on a treadmill might look like:

    - 10 to 15 minutes easy pace to warm-up;
    - accelerate the 'mill to a pace which is 'comfortably' hard (you shouldn't be gasping for breath but, equally, the pace should be fast enough so that you can't easily speak in full sentences);
    - sustain that pace for 2 - 3 minutes;
    - slow down the treadmill to an easy pace and recover for 2 minutes;
    - repeat 4 more times;
    - finish off with 5 - 10 minutes easy cool-down;
    - stretch afterwards.

    You could also incorporate a bit of speedwork - such as few strides - during your long runs.

    Good luck!
  • Thank you. I will give it a go later and see how I get on. x
  • I've just started speed training too, and it's knackering! Is that just me, or is it supposed to be hard work? I can only do intervals of 20 seconds before I'm puffed out...that's not good is it?

    Shall plod on though...
  • Yes, it's normal to feel tired after speed work - if you don't you didn't work hard enough! But you're not supposed to run all out, aim to finish feeling you could have done one more. Mix up your intervals by doing some Fartlek, or speedplay, in which you literally run however you feel, for instance jog a couple of minutes, sprint from one point to another, run easy for 10, do some more sprints, then jog again, etc.
  • Aha -someone finally explained the difference between intervals and fartlek. Hurrah - I did both. Am twice as smug now.

    Have also had a really productive pm at work - does running at lunchtime increase productivity??
  • I tought fartlek meant 'workout from hell' in Swedish :-)))

    Oh, I've heard some ruder suggestions as well ;-)
  • I just thought it referred to what seems to be an inevitable effect of running
  • Now now Nick - don't confuse the newbies. You know perfectly well it means 'speed play'.

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