Try These Speed Workouts to Up Your Running Game ASAP

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Not every runner has a goal of running miles on end. Practicing speed work is just as fun and challenging as distance running. Whether you're struggling to cut your pace down or are simply looking for a speed workout to try to kickstart your training, look no further.

Corinne Fitzgerald — head coach at Mile High Run Club in New York City,RRCA and USATF Level 1 Certified running coach, NSCA-certified personal Trainer, and TRX-certified coach — has shared her best speed workout and tips.

So grab your favorite sweat-ready bra (I'm looking at you, HeatGear Armour® High Heathered Support Sports Bra ($55)) and head out to the track to work on those drills.

Workout #1: 400m repeats (one lap around a track)

  • Warm up with a five-minute jog and a few dynamic stretches.
  • Run hard for one lap, and then walk/jog one lap to recover.
  • Repeat this four to eight times.
  • Cool down for a five-to-10-minute easy pace.

Note: If you don't have access to a track, Fitzgerald said you can run hard for two minutes, and then walk/jog for 90 seconds to two minutes to recover.

Workout #2: One on, one off

  • Warm up with a five-minute jog and a few dynamic stretches.
  • Run at a challenging pace for a minute, then walk/jog to recover for a minute.
  • Repeat this 10 times.
  • Cool down for a five-to-10-minute easy pace.

Beginners should steer clear of doing two or more speed workouts on back-to-back days, as the body needs rest and recovery to gain the strength from the actual workout, said Fitzgerald. "When you run, you break down," she said. "When you rest, you rebuild even stronger — so if you're new to running, you always want to take a rest or recovery day post-workout."

Although the above workouts are great for training, consistency from week to week and month to month will help you get better in the long run, she added. "Having one great speed workout is great, but consistency is the number one factor that will help you gain speed over time and decrease your overall pace," Fitzgerald said. "Running one speed workout a week will help you maintain your fitness. Running two speed workouts a week will help you get faster."