Running Faster Is Not Always Better

  • By Jeff Gaudette
  • Published Jan. 17, 2014
  • Updated Jan. 17, 2014 at 10:29 AM UTC

Obey the speed limit for better performance.

Breaking the speed limit in a car is illegal, and if I had it my way as a coach, it would be illegal in running workouts, too. In a runner’s mind faster is always better, and any run that is longer or harder than prescribed is considered an achievement. However, if you’re following a well-written training plan, running faster or longer than prescribed might actually be detrimental to your potential at your goal race and your long-term progression.

Each workout, recovery run, and rest day in a well thought out training plan has a specific purpose. To maximize the effectiveness of each run and to make the absolute most out of every mile, it’s important that an athlete adheres to pace guidelines in a customized plan.

Over the following pages let’s take a look at a few common running workouts and why breaking the speed limit is a bad idea.

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Jeff Gaudette

Jeff Gaudette

Jeff has been running for 13 years, at all levels of the sport. He was a two time Division-I All-American in Cross Country while at Brown University and competed professionally for 4 years after college for the Hansons-Brooks Distance Project. Jeff's writing has been featured in Running Times magazine, Endurance Magazine, as well as numerous local magazine fitness columns.

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