4 Running Workouts to Increase Speed

Pick up the pace with these 4 running workouts to increase speed. | happyfitmama.com

You want to be a faster runner.

You’ve increased your time running. You’ve increased the distance you are running.

That’s one of the easiest ways to get faster as you build strength and endurance.

But running the same speed for every single run is not doing anything in getting your fix for the need for speed.

If you want to run faster, you’ve got to run faster.

We all can agree on that, right?

Jazz up your runs with adding in 1-2 speed workouts per week. Speed work taxes your body A LOT.  Your body needs time to properly recover from hard workouts. Growth occurs during rest and even easy runs in between hard sessions. Remember those days are vital for improvement.

Here are 4 different running workouts to increase your speed.


Besides being a really funny Swedish word that makes every giggle, Fartleks are incredibly effective in building speed. And they are one of my favorite workouts. Just ask my coaching client, Dawn, who scored a major PR (and BQ) at Chicago – I gave her oodles of Fartleks in her marathon training plan. Why do I love them? They are easy to do anywhere. They aren’t as intimidating as run x:xx pace for xx amount of time.

Pick up the pace with this simple Fartlek Workout to increase your running speed. happyfitmama.com


While training for Mount Washington last spring, I grew to love hills. Ok, not LOVE them. But I grew to appreciate that they do in fact make you a stronger, faster runner in the long run. The old saying, hills are speed work in disguise, is absolutely true.

Build strength, stamina and speed with this dynamic Hill Pyramid Workout for Runners. happyfitmama.com


Doing short, intense bursts of speed builds up your stamina and endurance. To reduce the chance of injury, if you are a new runner or new to speed training, start with hills and Fartlek training before trying interval work.

Try this interval workout on the track treadmill or road to increase your running speed. | happyfitmama-comTempo

Tempo runs scare the running tights off me more than any other workout. You want me to run that fast for that long?!?! With other speed intervals, it’s always a shorter period of running at a faster speed. But with tempos, it’s faster that easy pace, but not so fast that you are out of breath. More of like a comfortably hard pace. If you can talk easily, it’s too slow. If you can’t talk at all, it’s way too fast. It’s meant to help you run faster and harder for longer periods of time by increasing your anaerobic threshold. Consistently doing Tempo runs usually give me the biggest reward in gaining speed.

Try this simple tempo workout to increase your running speed. | happyfitmama.com

Even if you aren’t training for a specific race or goal time, adding any of these speed workouts to your weekly rotation can help you become a more efficient and stronger runner. Plus, it just makes it fun!

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Linking up with Wild Workout Wednesday and the Coaches’ Corner.

What’s your favorite speed workout?

Which one scares the running tights off you?




15 comments on “4 Running Workouts to Increase Speed

  1. Before this year when I run, I just run to run…but now I am truly looking to get faster (only competing against myself) and this was just what I needed to read…I already do intervals with HIIT workouts on the treadmill, but I need to try the hills especially!

  2. Do you think I can run fast and far enough away that I forgot what the hell just happened last night? How long would it take us to run to Canada?? Please post endurance/ultra training plans next week… 🙂
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  3. I need to incorporate more speed work into my daily workouts. Right now I do all runs at the same pace. I think it is hard to judge what my 5k pace is opposed to my half marathon pace is. I just run based on how I feel.

  4. I hate hill work. And I think I hate it so much because I run on hills every time I run, so I feel like it’s redundant. I need a change of scenery so I’d rather hit the track. Having said that — I prescribe hills to my clients that live in a predominantly flat area because hills are speed work in disguise!

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