Even when training for a marathon, speed work is not to be underestimated.
There is a general misconception that the need for speed is reserved for shorter distance races such as 5K and 10K, but never for a half- or full marathon. Speed work is often overlooked or neglected altogether because endurance and aerobic strength take precedent when laying out the critical elements necessary to execute a solid half- or full marathon. An extended marathon buildup, longer long runs and higher weekly mileage totals are almost always the first training elements considered when approaching longer distances. Overall aerobic strength is certainly critical, but speed is still required and has many positive benefits as it relates to preparation for these races. Whether you’re making your first attempt at longer race distances or you have been running half- and full marathons for decades, speed is not to be underestimated. Getting fast first is an effective way to ensure a comprehensive approach.