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How to get through your speed workouts

Aug 21, 2015 | Uncategorized | 7 comments

How to get through your speed workouts

I have a love/hate relationship with speed workouts during marathon training. Partly I love them as they’re over relatively quickly, you don’t have to run that far, and I also hate them as they make me feel a little sick (I did actually vom during Yasso 800s last summer- and carried on!) Here are all the tricks I use to get through my marathon training speed workouts, some of them may work for you too!

· Rope friends in to join you. A track session is suitable for all abilities and speeds. You can either do a similar workout, adjusting speed and distance, or do completely different workouts on the same track.

· Trick yourself that you only have to do one more rep. Then one more. Then one more…until you’re done.

· Listen to music OR sing to yourself. I’m not supposed to listen to music whilst doing my speed work (because my ‘coach’ is a meanie) so I usually sing Taylor Swift or Blink 182 over and over in my head.

· Find a track and feel like a badass runner (until the more professional runners turn up!)

· Treat yourself after your workout, whether it’s a yummy coffee, a delicious lunch or afternoon snack, or your favourite dinner, food is always a great incentive to run.

· Think of a mantra to keep you going. My favourite is ‘One day you won’t be able to do this. Today is not that day.’

· Focus on your form and breathing, it might help take your mind off how much your lungs and legs are burning!

Running form

· Bring a piece of paper and write out each rep you need to do- cross them off and add your time as you do them. You’ll love this if you love a to-do list!

· Do it on your treadmill if you need although you may need to adjust your speeds for this.

· Know how good it will feel when you’re done with it for another week!

· Remember, the more you sweat in training, the less you bleed in war. Think about how much these workouts will help when you are feeling crappy at the end of your marathon or half marathon.

If you’re looking for some marathon training speed workouts check out this post. 

And if you don’t live near a track, have a look at my post on how to do speed work without a track – no excuses!

How to get through your speed work


  1. Georgina

    “Remember, the more you sweat in training, the less you bleed in war” <<— Love this!! Great post – I hate speedwork… but oddly love running fast (tempo is my favourite!). Your photos are fab too x

  2. girlonthemoveblog

    Absolutely love this quotes “Remember, the more you sweat in training, the less you bleed in war”…I need that reminder some mornings when I don’t want to get out of bed and workout!

  3. Kristin

    · Know how good it will feel when you’re done with it for another week!

    That one is always my motivation to get through the workouts! I LOVE speed workouts but at the same time I love it more when they are done!

  4. kristenk

    Oooh I love the list idea! I’m a big list maker and that would work really well for me!

  5. Jess

    I’ll do pretty much anything to avoid speedwork (hence my lack of improvement in my marathon PB!!) but when I do, I also pretend there is ‘just one more’ and it does totally make it easier. Keep up the good training 🙂

  6. misswheezy

    I’ve only ever done speedwork on a treadmill as I struggle to keep consistent pace outside- I’ll def check out your other post on how to do speedwork without a track though! Any tips for running consistently fast or is it just practise/getting to know what you’re capable of?

  7. Mary

    I don’t mind speed sessions as long as they’re not over a really small distance. One mile repeats are perfect! I like having the focus of completing it in a certain time and pushing hard for that little while, knowing I will get a recovery period not long after. Over shorter distances I feel the pressure and it stresses me out, leading to a poorer performance overall.
    I do like the list idea though. I’m obsessed with to-do-lists!


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