Building Speed

Today is Wednesday, which (according to my new training schedule) is speed day! This means that, instead of doing my usual non-stop run along the seafront, I have to do a series of shorter runs (400 metres) with some walking and/or jogging in between.

The trouble with speed training, and indeed any kind of training, is knowing how fast you should go. Most of the training programs that I have looked at tend to give vague instructions about how fast or slow a workout should be. Terms like ‘easy’, ‘hard’, ‘moderate’ on even ‘5K pace’ or ’10K pace’ come up again and again, which, for an inexperienced runner like myself can be difficult to judge.

However, I recently came across a useful website at McMillan Running, which helps to clarify some of this. Basically, you put in your current time for a particular distance, followed by a goal time and distance, and it gives you a general pace or time to focus on for different types of runs.

2013-12-04_SplitsSo, for tonight’s run, rather than running as fast as I could for 400 metres, I tried to pace myself so that I could complete each section without gasping for breath by the end.

This worked quite well as I managed to stay fairly close to my McMillan Running range (for the most part) and was even able to jog for some of the recovery intervals.

I still need to do a lot of work on my pacing in general, but I am gradually starting to get a feel for how fast I am running and how long I can keep going for. I know I am a long way from being able to maintain a Sub 30 5K pace, but it does feel good to be able to run a bit faster for a bit longer.

Here is a pace graph of tonight’s run:



7 thoughts on “Building Speed”

    1. Hey Leah. Nice to see you back on the blog again. 🙂
      I’ve been looking out for some 10K races in my area too but haven’t come across next year’s Race for Life yet. Which one are you doing?

      1. That’s great that you’ll get to run with your Mum and sister.
        I’m pretty sure there is one in Brighton (or close by) as I know some people who have done them in the past – might be 5K rather than 10K though. Of course I’d happily do either. 🙂
        (Who’d have thought I’d be saying that this time last year!) 😀

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