5 Workouts To Help Increase Speed

by tinareale on November 6, 2013

You may remember that about a month ago I participated in the Women’s Running Series Nashville race through FitFluential. As part of that partnership, each month I have shared a running related post. This post is the final post or that partnership and is sponsored by Women’s Running Series.
Let’s #beamazing and run stronger!


Whether running short distances for fun or training for longer distance races, I have always enjoyed one style of run the most – speed work! Call me a glutton for punishment, but any form of speed training has always topped my list of favorite runs. I would much rather go crush some intervals, than cruise at a steady pace for the entire workout. I don’t know if it’s the distraction from tracking all those intervals or the increased speed or what, but the running workouts to help increase speed always flew by for me and felt like so much fun.

Not only are speed training workouts a fun way to mix up your run, but they do SO much for your actual training and to improve your fitness! Incorporating speed workouts will make all those other steady workouts feel even easier as you increase your body’s efficiency at processing fuel and storing oxygen. You will also increase muscular strength and power as you develop the fast twitch muscle fibers used in these types of workouts. Finally, practicing running faster will help you actually be able to run faster as your body creates muscle memory on how to increase leg turnover. Obviously, there are benefits to speed training, but what about the workouts?

5 Speed Training Workouts

Below, find five different types of speed workouts to help you take your training runs to the next level!


30 min HIIT


400 800 Repeats


Tempo Run


Mile Repeats


Hill Repeats

For more info, tips, inspiration, and discounts for other races from Women’s Running Series, be sure to follow WRS on Twitter or follow WRS on Facebook! And if you’re looking for a fall race, you still have time to sign up for the Women’s Running Series St. Petersburg race!

Now you tell me, what is your favorite form of speed training?


1 Megan (The Lyons' Share) November 6, 2013 at 10:10 am

Thanks for the workouts! I pinned a few and will definitely be using them. For some reason, I enjoy interval speed workouts, but I really dread tempo runs! I think tempo runs are much HARDER for me (but also really help me maintain speed in a race!). It’s so much easier when you’re thinking “I only have to push this hard for 2 minutes/ 400m/ etc.”!

2 tinareale November 7, 2013 at 8:32 am

Agreed! The shorter ones were always easier for me mentally too.

3 Bari November 6, 2013 at 10:24 am

Thanks for the great list! I’ll be doing that tempo run this afternoon and my planned 9:16 miles have my freaked out. I love the hill one, too. Need to add some hill training into my half plan and that could work.

4 tinareale November 7, 2013 at 8:33 am

How did the run go? I hope great!

5 Bari November 7, 2013 at 10:55 am

The run went pretty well. Very hard & my hip and foot are mad today. 10 on Saturday are gonna hurt.

6 Angie @ A Mother's Pace November 6, 2013 at 11:31 am

Speed workouts are my favorite too! I look forward to them and they really do work. I’ve noticed a big change in my speed since including regular speed work in my training. I just did a 400 repeat workout this morning. I like your idea of mixing the 400′s and the 800′s together. I’m going to try that one soon.

7 Heather @ Better With Veggies November 6, 2013 at 1:48 pm

My favorite are the short intervals, because I can push really hard & know that it will be over soon. I did some as short as 45 second bursts earlier in training and really show progress in my speed. My least favorite are the long (and even more effective for endurance) intervals. They just hurt & you have to know it will hurt for a while. :)

8 Stephanie @ My Freckled Life November 6, 2013 at 2:41 pm

Love these!! I incorporated speed work into my training for the first time this summer, and I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it! But I love these different kinds of speed work – I always stuck to the sprint & rest intervals. I’m going to have to start including these into my own workouts!

9 [email protected] November 6, 2013 at 2:52 pm

Love doing intervals! My go to is 30 seconds at 14kph with 30 seconds at 11kph, non stop for 20 minutes. Going to try your hill one though!

10 tinareale November 7, 2013 at 8:33 am

Sounds intense!! I love 30/30 on/off intervals too.

11 Ashley November 6, 2013 at 3:44 pm

Thanks for the great track workouts!

12 Jenn L @ Peas and Crayons November 6, 2013 at 4:44 pm

I speed read the title and thought this was a post on making your workouts faster. You know how newborns are with their mini-naps… help meeee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! <3 I have a month to get in a bitty dress!

13 Presley @ Run Pretty November 6, 2013 at 9:57 pm

I need this SO MUCH right now. haha In my head I am so fast, and then I look down and I’ve only cranked out about a quarter of a mile in what seems like an hour.

14 Becky November 6, 2013 at 10:14 pm

I love all of these workouts! I wish I loved speed training like you, but unfortunately, these are my least favorite exercises. I know they are so good for me, but I never look forward to speed training days. I would much rather go on a long run. But I have been working on incorporating more speed training in my workout, so I’m glad you shared this!

15 tinareale November 7, 2013 at 8:35 am

Everybody is different! I did always enjoy the “zone out and enjoy” parts of long runs, though.

16 Danica @ It's Progression November 7, 2013 at 2:23 pm

such a great post, Tina! Thanks for so many great workouts!

17 [email protected] November 7, 2013 at 4:36 pm

I can not wait to do these!! A few more weeks :)

18 Taylor @ Singletrackedmind November 15, 2013 at 2:14 pm

I love this post! Varying speeds is what helps you get faster, and all the different kinds of speedwork really makes things interesting!

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