Session 6: Becoming a Faster Athlete

Overcoming the Fears of Speed Work

Hello everyone!

Speed work. From all that I’ve been hearing and reading on my blog post this week, quite a few runners are scared of adding speed work into their training plan.

I’m going to do some pondering and responding as to what they could possibly be afraid of and what they can do to overcome those fears.

It’s one of those “I know I should do it, but…” situations, very similar to strength training or stretching. We know we should do it because it’s good for us, but yet, we still don’t. I want to help alleviate some of those fears for everyone out there reading.

Problem 1: I get injured doing speed work.

Solution 1: While speed work has added risks associated with it, the issue is most likely stemming from doing too much or too fast. I’d suggest using a pacing calculator to determine accurate pacing strategies and when in doubt, start with shorter reps and less volume.

If you’re only running 10-15 miles a week, a 5 mile tempo run is probably a good recipe for injury.

Problem 2: I don’t know what to do.

Solution 2: While this is a very valid problem, there are so many places where we can find sample workouts. Of course, there are plenty of variables that go into workouts like:

  1. Roads vs track

  2. Tempo run versus 400 repeats

  3. How many repeats?

  4. How fast should I run them at?

So, I get it. There’s a lot that goes into speed work. My solution to you, the reader, is trial and error. Try and find what you like. Start with short intervals, stretch the time you spend at the pace and keep varying what you do week after week.

Problem 3: I’m not training for anything.

Solution 3: Even if you’re not training for anything, it’s really a good idea to keep a slight bit of speed in your legs. Remember the old saying, “if you don’t use it, you’ll lose it”? Yeah, me too. Well it definitely applies to speed work. Try adding striders to the end of 2-3 of your weekly easy runs.

What are your thoughts on speed work? Reply to the article or tell me on social!

Big Events this Weekend:

NCAA Track and Field on TV

Friday, June 7
8:30-11 p.m., ESPN

Saturday, June 8
6:30-9 p.m., ESPN2

Speed Sessions —>

Vineland: June 12th, Vineland HS

Cherry Hill/Marlton: 6 sessions working on various aspects of speed

Track Academy: 2 weeks of small group instruction for 3rd through 8th grade track and field athletes in the Cinnaminson area.

What’s Got My Attention:

‘Gram: The Social Media Sisters - Patty and Michelle gave me some great tips on their podcast to grow my coaching/camp businesses

Video: Analyzing Pro Runners’ Form

Article: The 100 Books all Runners Should Read

Quote of the Day:

“Decide that you want it more than you are afraid of it.”

Connect with me:

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Here’s my blog

Thanks for following along in the journey! Have something you’d like to add? Have suggestions or comments? Email me:

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