What’s Your Goal for Speed?
Every walker and runner has their own pace. A smartwatch helps to keep us on pace because with one glance at the wrist, we can check and make sure we’re walking or jogging at our planned speed. But what about increasing and improving your pace? Do you have a goal to get faster and better at pacing yourself?
The Importance of Pace
What is pace? Simply put, pace is the speed at which you travel on foot. For walkers, an average pace ranges between 14-minutes per mile and 21-minutes per mile. Some race walkers can get their speed down under 10-minutes per mile with consistent training, typically with a race-walking coach.
Many world class elite runners have a pace under 5-minutes per mile, but the average runner typically runs between 7-minutes per mile and 13-minutes per mile. For runners who are trying to get faster, and especially for those runners who want to achieve a personal best at a race, pace is key. During a race, keeping track of your pace is extremely important to prevent burnout before you reach the finish line.
Speed Work Versus Sprinting
Photo by Jonathan Chng on Unsplash
When you think of speed work, what comes to mind? Do you picture an image like the photo above with competitive athletes sprinting around a track at top speed? For many, speed work is an intimidating phrase because they believe it equals sprinting as fast as possible until exhaustion. However, speed work does not equal sprinting.
Speed work is a type of training that involves keeping a consistent pace for shorter distances (such as a quarter of a mile or a half a mile). The desired pace is a little bit faster than a specific runner’s average pace at longer distances.
In other words, speed work is about gradually increasing pace and building up pace endurance by running shorter distances at a slightly faster speed. It’s not about sprinting all out.
Speed Work For Running Distance
You might be thinking: but I’m not fast so I can’t do speed work. That is a myth! Speed work is for EVERYONE. The best way to approach speed work is to either hire a coach or to join a Training Program (such as St. Pete Running Company’s Track Program). That way you’ll have an expert helping to guide you in selecting your speed work pace for specific distances without causing burnout, all while giving you the chance to get faster and faster.
How Can Speed Work Improve Your Times?
Many runners want to know how to get faster. Well, here’s a tried and true method that will get you there! But how? The answer is actually quite simple.
When you consistently (about once a week) practice specific speeds for shorter distances at moderate effort (not at a sprint), you train your body to hold that pace. The result? Faster times for your distance running.
St. Pete Running Company Track Program
What: Our popular Weekly Speedwork lead by expert running coaches on the Track
Where/When to meet: We will offer sessions each Wednesday
- 5:30 AM or 6:30 PM. Meet at Northside Christian School (Address: 7777 62nd Ave N, St. Petersburg, FL 33709).
Our track training program will help to make you a stronger, faster and more capable endurance runner. Expect to be able to run faster for longer by the end of this program.
Cost: Drop in rate is $15, and weekly programs include a discount when you sign up for multiple weeks.
Ready to sign up? Call us at 727-800-5043
If you still have questions about speed work for running distance, we can help! Call or come into the store where our shoe experts are ready to provide the high-quality customer service you expect from a Top 50 Running Store in America.