Ignore speedwork at your peril

Ignore speedwork at your peril.By mixing up your run pace, your overall run performance will come on in leaps and bounds…


For some triathletes, the word ‘speed’ invokes a similar reaction as to when you hear your granny swear – it’s something that makes you wince, so you do your best to block it out. As a result, training consists of simply lacing up your shoes and heading out of the door for yet another one-paced effort. Of course, that certainly has a role to play in any training programme – it’s refreshing, good for general aerobic fitness and, for a while, it can even result in improvement. For instance, if you’ve been off for a while or have just started, easy miles in the bank will be just what the doctor ordered. But keeping everything at the same speed will quickly see any improvement plateau, before declining to a dead-end.

Alternating patterns The key is not to think that speed involves emulating Usain Bolt, but rather running at a different pace to your usual run. In actual fact, a good proportion of a speed session will actually mean running slower than normal – as long as you include the faster bits as well. So what we’re talking about here is alternating fast and slow efforts.


Here are a few speed sets you can try below:

6-9 x 30 seconds (or 6-9 x 200m) run easy for number 1 & 2 and hard for number 3, and repeat this pattern. your efforts should be 80%, 80% and 95% of max. 2 minute recovery between each effort. (this can be a steady jog recovery or walk)


6 x 150m (or 25 seconds) with 3 minute recovery, running at 90% of max effort.


Increasing Distance Sprints: 80m, 90m, 100m, 110m, 120m, 130m, 140m, 150m, 160m, 170m, 180m, 190m, 200m (or 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 22, 24, 26, 28 & 30 seconds). Walk back to start line for recovery. Aim to run relaxed for each run at around 85% of your max pace, “Think Good Form”






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