6 Speed Workouts for Runners

6 Speed Workouts for Runners

Whether you are running 6:00/miles or 12:00/miles, most of us runners desire to run faster. Maybe this common goal emerges from the competitive nature of running, maybe because it’s an objective metric and easy to track progress, or maybe it’s some deeply rooted human desire for constantly striving for improvement.

No matter why you want to run faster, today 5 other bloggers and I are bringing you 6 speed workouts for runners!

6 Speed Workouts for Runners

As with any speed work, include a proper warm up and cool down (which are written into many of the workouts already), run at the appropriate effort and pace, and stop if you experience pain. Speed work stresses the muscles and joints, so you want to have been running consistently for at least 6 months before introducing speed work. 

My speed workout is a long and short fartlek run. I don’t have access to a track (that I’m aware of…but admittedly I haven’t looked very hard), so instead I do my speed workouts on flat, uninterrupted paved trails. My speed work trail has mile markers, but nothing in between – so I prefer using time rather than distance for my speed workouts. 

Multi-pace workouts such as this one teach your body how to push at a harder effort on tired legs. I remember a multi-pace workout I did during half marathon training this past spring: 3K at half marathon pace, 2K at 10K pace, and 1K at 5K pace. The final 5K intervals was brutal, but then on race day I had no problem increasing my effort and holding onto my pace, rather than slowing down, during the last 5K of my half marathon. 

This workout will do the same for you – no matter what distance you are training for. After warming up, you will run 3 repeats of 8 minutes at your 10K effort or slightly faster (a hard effort, about 7 out of 10 RPE) with 3 minutes of very easy running in between repetitions. Then, after a longer recovery jog, you run 3 x 1 minute at 3K-5K effort, or about an 8 RPE (very hard but not all out). Then, you cool down – and enjoy the mental and physical reward of a hard speed workout well done. 

6 Speed Workouts for Runners: This Runner's Recipes Long and Short Fartlek

Nellie at Brooklyn Active Mama mixes up the pace with this 5-4-3-2-1 speed workout for runners. 

Speed Workout For Runners - BrooklynActiveMama.com

Allie at Vita Train 4 Life keeps you cool on a speed workout during a hot summer day.

6 Speed Workouts for Runners: Vita Train 4 Life Stay Cool Run Fast

Carly at Fine Fit Day keeps your workout short, sweet, and fast with repeats at mile pace. 

6 Speed Workouts for Runners: Fine Fit Day

Sarah at Run Far Girl teaches you how to run negative splits with this ladder track workout. 

Hone your 5K pacing skills and finish strong with this speed workout from RunFarGirl

Angela at Happy Fit Mama gives you this simple and speedy fartlek workout.

Pick up the pace with this simple Fartlek Workout to increase your running speed. happyfitmama.com

Be sure to catch up on the past monthly workout roundups:
6 Hill Running Workouts for Runners
6 Injury Prevention Workouts for Runners
6 Upper Body Workouts for Runners
6 Two-a-Day Workouts for Runners
6 Stuck Inside Workouts for Runners

[Tweet “Run faster now with 6 speed #workoutsforrunners @runfargirl @happyfitmama @vitatrain4life @CarlyPizzani @BklynActiveMama @thisrunrecipes “]

Linking up with Wild Workout Wednesday!

What’s your favorite speed workout?
Do you prefer track or fartlek workouts?


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21 Responses

  1. I love this time of the month! And I particularly like this month because I’m just getting back into speed workouts after my ankle roll. I like to mix up the track and the road for speed. I’m never running a race on a track so doing speed on the road helps me hone my pacing.

  2. Like most runners, I love to hate speed work 🙂 I still get nervous when I step onto the track but I usually leave feeling like a rock star! Love this link up today!

    1. Love-hate is the perfect description for speed work! 🙂 The confidence afterwards is unbeatable though – almost like the confidence after a race but weekly!

  3. The only speed workouts I used to ever do were the Yasso 800s and although I dreaded them I really did enjoy them once I finished! And then of course Hansons got me into all those intervals which were really really difficult yet extremely empowering. I feel like they did a number on my body though, and not in a good way. So I haven’t done speed work much at all since the marathon. I still don’t plan on doing it for quite a while, either.

    1. Hansons speed workouts are rough! Their 2-mile repeats are still a favorite of mine – Hudson uses those a lot also. Time off from speed work is good – especially those long hard intervals just can’t be a regular thing. Seasonal, just like marathons.

  4. I’ve got a lot of work ahead of me with these speed workouts, but if it improves my pace even a little then it’s totally worth it!

  5. I’ve always done my speed workouts on the road (well, not the literal road, but a flat, paved surface). Mainly because like you I didn’t have access to a track for a long time, but I also think it’s great practice for road racing. I love our round ups so much!

  6. I love shorter, fast speedwork. And I usually do my speedwork on the road, but use my Garmin to track distance – I know it’s not perfectly accurate, but I figure it’s close enough.

    1. Most Garmins are fairly accurate – and even if it’s a slight percentage off, it’s still a good hard workout! The roads are my preference also – more scenery than a track 🙂

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