Sessions for speed
Whether you want to smash a track session or build your speed endurance for pacey runs like 5K and 10K, here are 14 speed sessions to get your heart pounding. Mix pure speed sessions with speed endurance sessions to unlock your running potential across all distances.
7 sessions for ultimate speed
If you want to boost your speed for track races or just for the love of sprinting, concentrate on shorter reps.
- Pyramid: Start at 100m and add 20m to each rep until you reach 200m, and then come back down to 100m. Aim for a 400m pace, with a walk-back recovery between each rep.
- Run easy for 5 miles then 6 x 100m sprint, with a walk recovery between each rep.
- 8 x 100m, running 30+m hard, easing off for 30+m, then accelerating for the final 30+m, with a walk recovery between each rep.
- Run 6-10 laps of a running track, alternating fast and slow 200ms, with a 90 second recovery between each lap.
- Run 6-10 x 200m (half a running track), starting at 800m pace and gradually pushing your pace until you run the last rep flat out. 2 minute recoveries between each rep.
- 6-10 x 500m, running the first 400m at your 3K pace, then the last 100m flat out, with 200m slow recovery jogs.
- 4 x 400m, accelerating over each 100m. Run the first 100m at your 10K pace, the second at 5K pace, the third at 1500m pace, and the fourth at 800m pace, with a slow 400m jog to recover between each rep. Follow with 6 x 200m at 800m pace, with 20-second recoveries.
7 sessions for speed endurance
Longer intervals are the perfect grounding for running longer distances faster and getting your body primed to make adaptations (and get used to discomfort of speedwork) so you can go faster for longer.
- Mark out a circuit of roughly 800-1000m. Run a circuit at your 5K pace, then run each subsequent circuit 3-5 seconds faster than the last for 5 circuits.
- 15 x 300m faster than 3-4K pace with 90 seconds rest in between reps.
- Pyramid: 1 x 400m, 1 x 600m, 1 x 800m, 1 x 1000m, jog 200m, then go back down the pyramid: 800m, 600m, 400m. Or try a longer distance pyramid of 1000m, 2000m, 3000m at your half-marathon race pace, with a 3-to 4-minute recovery jog between each effort.
- 2-3 mile tempo run followed by 4-6 x 1min hard run with 90 seconds rest in between bursts.
- 5-9 x 800m at a pace 10 seconds faster than your usual 5K pace. Recover between intervals for the same amount of time it takes you to run them.
- 4 x 1 mile faster than your 10K pace, with a 3-minute recovery jog between each rep. Finish with a 2- to 3-mile jog.
- 3 x 1 mile: Run the first mile about 10 seconds slower than your 10K pace, run the second miles at 10K pace, then run the final mile about 10 seconds faster than 10K pace. Jog for two minutes between each rep.