This Speed Session Will Help You Run Fast And Relaxed

During the season it’s often difficult to set up your training plan with speed sessions specifically designed to tax only one part of your energy system. It’s just not a practical approach for athletes who may run only two or three times a week. We’re not solely runners who are able to do six to 10 run sessions each week with a lot of scope to build variety into our training sessions and devote entire workouts to focus on a single aspect.

The beauty of this session is that it will hit all of your various energy systems and still leave you fresh enough for your other sessions during the week. You don’t want to miss workouts in your training plan because of excessive fatigue.

This session hits the aerobic energy pathway, the bottom of the lactate threshold zone, the anaerobic system, and the neuromuscular pathways needed to run fast and relaxed. It doesn’t hit any of these intensities with a sledgehammer but works each enough to at least maintain and most likely expedite development of them all.

RELATED: Speed Workouts You Can Do Anywhere

The Workout

Time/Distance  Description
20 min. Build to aerobic threshold over 5 min. and hold effort RPE 2

Tip: Go easy! It’s a bad idea to rush or cut short a run warm-up

5 x 2 min. Moderately hard RPE 3
1 min. jogging recovery after each repTip: Remember this effort ranges from just under your LT to just above it.
5 x 20 sec. Fast strides RPE 5
4 sec. walking recovery after each rep
5 min. Cool down as time allows RPE 1

Rate Of Perceived Exertion Scale

Scale Effort Race Pace
RPE 1 Easy Slower than normal training pace
RPE 2 Moderate Normal training pace
RPE 3 Moderately Hard Marathon pace
RPE 4 Hard 10K race pace
RPE 5 Very Hard  5K race pace and faster

Get Your Cadence Right

  • Keep track of your cadence during the warm-up. It should be close to your fast-run cadence (90+ per minute). If it’s much lower, then take smaller, quicker steps.
  • Check your cadence again during the 2-minute reps. It should definitely be in the 90+ per minute area for those. Fast feet!
  • Try to get your cadence even higher during the strides—but no straining! Relax and think about fast feet landing directly underneath you.
  • If you can get video of your running at all three intensities, it will be of huge value. Get footage from the front, behind and side.


RELATED: 3 Ways To Increase Running Cadence For Speed

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