The 3 Best Running Workouts to Increase Speed

The 3 best running workouts to get faster all in one place! Try any or all of these awesome running workouts outdoors or on the treadmill. See your pace increase each week as you get faster with spending just 30 minutes a week completing one of these running workouts. Whether you are a beginner or advanced runner, this article is a game changer.

Running often feels so addictive. When we first start out, we find ourselves filled with pride as we power through the first 10 minutes of running with no break. Suddenly we run our first mile, then our first PR, and it begins to feel like the progress will never end. The continuous opportunities for improvement keep us coming back for more – always finding ways to challenge ourselves to become better runners.

Related: How to Quickly Increase Your Running Endurance

One of the most common ways to improve our running is to increase our speed. Running a mile just a few seconds faster than the previous week proves to be a satisfying achievement. In the beginning, improvements seem to be happening left and right. We run farther than we’ve ever run before, run up the hill without a walk break and improve our speed with each run.

The 3 best running workouts to get faster all in one place! Try any or all of these awesome running workouts outdoors or on the treadmill. See your pace increase each week as you get faster with spending just 30 minutes a week completing one of these running workouts. Whether you are a beginner or advanced runner, this article is a game changer.

But what happens once we’ve been running for a while? Suddenly we find ourselves settling in to a regular running pace, getting used to the miles and the feelings that come along with them. We see our progress plateau and feel frustrated with the fact that it feels impossible to run faster.

Related: How to Break Through a Running Plateau

Many experienced runners find themselves facing a plateau at some point in their running careers. They wonder if they’ve passed their peak – if they can no longer improve. Luckily, even if you’ve been running for a long, long time, it is still possible to increase your speed.

Finding the right running workout is key.

If you’ve ever found yourself wondering “how can I increase my running speed?”, look no further. Below you will find 3 of the best running workouts to boost speed and endurance – and the best part? They can all be completed (and effective) in just 30 minutes! These running workouts will help you get faster, no matter how long you’ve been stuck on a plateau.

The 3 Best Running Workouts to Increase Speed

Workout #1: 1 Minute Running Intervals

Warm Up: 10 minutes easy running

  • Interval 1: 1 minute hard running (5k, sprint effort)
  • Interval 2: 2 minute recovery run or walk
  • Repeat Intervals 1 & 2 (anywhere from 4 – 10 times)

Cool Down: 10 minute easy running

Interval training is an excellent way to increase your speed. If you are new to speed workouts, starting out simple can be a great way to ease in while still seeing results. These 1 minute running intervals are a great way to get a feel for your current ability level. After a warm up, alternate between 1 minute of hard running and 2 minutes of recovery.

During these hard running intervals, run the first few at a 5k pace and then gradually increase your speed with each interval until you are sprinting. These sprints should feel fast enough that you cannot maintain your pace for much more than a minute. Repeat the intervals as many times as you’d like!

The 3 best running workouts to get faster all in one place! Try any or all of these awesome running workouts outdoors or on the treadmill. See your pace increase each week as you get faster with spending just 30 minutes a week completing one of these running workouts. Whether you are a beginner or advanced runner, this article is a game changer.

Workout #2: 3 Mile Interval Training Run

Warm up: 800 meters (0.5 mile) at easy run pace

  • Interval #1: 400 meters (0.25 mile) at 5k pace
  • Recovery: 400m @ easy run pace
  • Interval #2: 400m @ 5k pace – 10 seconds
  • Recovery: 400m @ easy run pace
  • Interval #3: 400m @ 5k pace – 20 seconds
  • Recovery: 400m @ easy run pace
  • Interval #4: 400m @ 5k pace – 30 seconds
  • Recovery: 400m @ easy run pace
  • Interval #5: 400m @ 5k pace – 40 seconds
  • Recovery: 400m @ easy run pace
  • Interval #6: 400m @ 5k pace – 50 seconds

Cool Down: 800m (0.5 mile) recovery at easy run pace

This interval run is one of my favorite running workouts to improve speed. Interval training is challenging but so effective in helping you get faster. These 400 meter intervals are a time to really see what you’re made of – how hard you are willing to push yourself.

Aim for negative splits when completing these intervals by trying to run each one just a few seconds faster than the previous (but don’t get down on yourself if it doesn’t happen). You’ll know you are running the correct pace if you feel like you cannot maintain it for more than the quarter mile interval.

This interval running workout can be completed outside or indoors on the treadmill. Start out with the first interval at your 5k pace, and try to increase your pace by 10 seconds each interval until you reach the point where you cannot go any faster. If you are running on the treadmill, start off at your 5k speed and increase the speed by 0.1 with each consecutive interval.

The 3 best running workouts to get faster all in one place! Try any or all of these awesome running workouts outdoors or on the treadmill. See your pace increase each week as you get faster with spending just 30 minutes a week completing one of these running workouts. Whether you are a beginner or advanced runner, this article is a game changer.

Workout #3: Tempo Workout to Boost Speed AND Endurance

Warm Up: 10 minutes easy pace

  • Tempo: 20 minutes tempo pace (increase time period by 5 minutes each week)

Cool Down: 10 minutes easy pace

This workout seems simple enough, but there is one question that needs to be answered in order to execute it properly: how do we determine our tempo pace? Determining tempo pace, luckily, is quite simple. You can do it one of two ways – based on your regular pace, or based on your heart rate.

If you wish to calculate your tempo pace based on your regular running pace, the math is simple. You’ll want to run your tempo miles at a speed that is 60 – 90 seconds faster than your regular, easy run pace. If you are unsure where exactly this you fall within this range, start out by aiming to run the tempo portion of this workout about 1 minute per mile faster than your regular running pace.

>>For example, if you usually run 11 minute miles, try running the tempo portion at a 10 minute mile pace. If this is too easy, next time increase your speed by a few seconds per mile. If it’s too challenging, slow down. Just remember that a tempo pace is meant to push you just about to your limits so it will feel challenging if you are doing it correctly.

If you wish to calculate your tempo pace based on heart rate, the math is also relatively simple. To determine the heart rate you’ll want to aim for during your tempo miles, you’ll need to know your maximum heart rate. You can get a general idea of what your maximum heart rate looks like by subtracting your age from 220. 220 – age = maximum heart rate.

This will give you a rough estimate of your maximum heart rate. Your heart rate during a tempo run should be about 80-90% of your maximum heart rate. If you try a tempo run and find that your heart rate is only about 65% of your maximum HR, push yourself a little harder. If your heart rate is at its max during your tempo run, slow down!

(You can read more about determining tempo run pace here!)

All three of these running workouts will help you to get faster and boost endurance. Dedicating just 30 minutes a week to a speed workout of some sort will keep you from hitting that plateau. Running is a sport that provides us constant new opportunities for improvement, which is what makes it so rewarding. Challenging yourself with these running workouts just once a week will most likely have a bigger impact than you expect.

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