Speedwork might sound daunting, but scheduling in a spot of speedwork could slash your race times and help you train harder and faster for longer.
Whether you're making the step up from run-walk to run-sprint, or a veteran speed demon itching for a new PB, this is the ideal place for wannabe Usain Bolts everywhere.
If you're pushed for time and can only read one article now, we'd recommend this one:
60-Second Guide: Speedwork
Get off on the right foot with this introduction to speedwork, packed with everything you need to get started in record time.
Speedwork is a challenging way to train, and can cause injuries if you're not careful. When you start running, your cardiovascular fitness and muscles develop very quickly, and it's easy to feel invincible. But connective tissue can take much longer to catch up, so the challenge of speedwork, with its explosive starts and fast turns, can cause injuries.
Make sure you're ready by developing a good level of base fitness first. Three months or so of regular training helps – a 30-minute session, three times a week is a good start.
Don't worry if you don't feel 'fast' right now – just run your speedwork sessions faster than your normal pace. To work out personal time targets for a range of distances, pop a recent race time into our Training Pace Calculator.
Remember these 10 tips when you start adding the fast stuff to your running programme.
Your First Speed Sessions
Ease into harder training with these simple speed sessions.
Quick As You Like
Think speedwork isn't for a runner like you? This article will change your mind.
Ideas for improvers
If you've been running for a while and are worried that your race times are starting to plateau, speedwork could be the answer.
A speedwork session or two will pep up any tired training schedule, and getting a little sprint speed in your legs can be exhilarating for a distance runner. Take your training to the next level with our speed ideas for more experienced runners.
A Better Warm-up Routine
A thorough warm-up routine is essential for safe, injury-free speedwork. Try this simple but effective dynamic routine to get you in gear for your speedwork sessions.
Speedwork For Every Runner
Speedwork should never become routine - looking for the next challenge is half the fun! Here are 39 different sessions to spice up your schedule.
Match your efforts to your events with these straightforward sessions.
With this huge collection of serious speedwork sessions in your repertoire, you'll never be lost for training inspiration.
Does what it says on the tin – this is serious speedwork for serious runners.
The definitive serious speedwork article - packed with handy examples:
Other runners have been there before, and they've probably faced the same hurdles as you too. Check out these expert solutions to some common problems:
I only have one pace – how can I speed up?
I've been running a year and I can't speed up!
Why don't I get breathless in speed sessions?
How can I recover my speed after time off?
How can I improve my kick in races?
How hard should speedwork be?
What speedwork should I do for my first 5K?
Real Runners, Real Conversations
Enjoy the expertise and enthusiasm of nearly half a million runners of all shapes and sizes (and speeds) on our busy, friendly forum. It's buzzing with runners asking questions, offering advice or just having a chat, and there's even a dedicated training section packed with runners gearing up for a huge range of distances, target races and PBs.
Do a quick search to see if someone else has already posed your problem, and if they haven't, start a new thread - seasoned RW forumites might have the answer.