Four Speed Sessions to Help You Run Faster

28 Dec Four Speed Sessions to Help You Run Faster

It’s on the tip of many runners tongues  – How much faster could I be?


“If I changed X about my training… How much faster would I be?”


It’s something I ponder all the time, personally and with my coaching hat on too.


If we switched person x from running 3 times per week to 4, would they notice the difference, or would they fall foul to injury?


There’s a constant balance between hitting the right mileage and ensuring to keep the quality there or doing too much and risking injury/fatigue.


Sacrificing the quality a little to strive for those bigger weekly mileage numbers can seem like the right move to make, but its dependant on a number of factors.


The two biggest ones as far as I am concerned with my runners is firstly can their bodies manage it.


Secondly, will their family/work/life handle it too.


I’m currently building my plan up ready for an April marathon.


I’d be easy to say “I’m going to run 6 days per week”.


My body would handle the opening 4 weeks, but after that I’m sure tiredness would creep in. My work quality would drop and chances are I’d start to dread upcoming sessions on my plan.


This is why I am a big advocate of not focusing on big miles, but focusing on the quality within.


So instead of committing to a huge number of weekly runs, maybe committing to better quality runs is something we could be targeting for faster running in the new year.


Short and sharp over long and steady?


Just my thoughts.


And to answer the question of how much faster…


Personally I think this is the wrong question to be asking.


Instead of focusing on the speed, focus on what needs to happen to progress closer to that goal.


E.g. to run faster, you need to focus on the content of your training, minimising junk miles and adding in quality miles, this as one example is a sure fire way of moving you closer to your running faster goal.


To help you with a bit of structure, I’ve popped a brief example below along with 4 of my favourite speed sessions as inspiration.


Because more is not always better, for many runners I work with, running less but focusing on quality has been a positive change for them, physically and mentally too.



Coach Ant

This example is based around 4 runs per week each mid week run of approx 30-60 minutes – which may or may not suit your current level of training – if you need any advice on this, please ask 🙂

It has been written with no specific race distance in mind, but purely as an example to give you some ideas/inspiration. If you require further advice on structuring your training plan – we can write up a bespoke plan specific to your needs, just check out THIS PAGE for details.

Week One:

Monday – Rest Day

Tuesday – Speed Run: Warm Up well, then complete 4x 3:00 at hard pace* with 2:00 easy jog between. Cool Down well.

Wednesday – Rest Day

Thursday – Tempo Run: Warm Up well, then complete 3x 9:00 at Moderate Pace** with 1:30 easy jog between. Cool Down Well.

Friday – 30-45:00 Moderate Run

Saturday – Rest Day

Sunday – Long Run 60+ Minutes easy pace.


Week Two:

Monday – Rest Day

Tuesday – Hill Run: Warm Up well, then complete 8x 1:00 at a hard pace* with 1:30 easy jog downhill. Cool Down well.

Wednesday – Rest Day

Thursday – Tempo Run 2: Warm Up well, then complete 2x 12:00 at Moderate Pace** with 1:30 easy jog between. Cool Down Well.

Friday – 40-50:00 Moderate Run

Saturday – Rest Day

Sunday – Long Run 70+ Minutes easy pace.


*Hard pace – these efforts are ran hard, around the intensity you’d run a 5k event at.

**Moderate Pace – these are ran at a hard but not flat out pace, ideally a pace that you can sustain for around 1 hour of running in a event.






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