Increase Your Speed: 25-Minute Interval Workout for Runners

Add excitement to your running by incorporating speed workouts into your training routine

Whether you work out on a treadmill or outside, you may find (and this is especially true for the treadmill) that running can become a bit boring at times.

Sure, your body is at work—legs moving, heart pumping— but otherwise, you’re sort of just out there on your own wondering what to do with your thoughts and how to keep yourself engaged long enough to stick with your workout for more than five minutes.

Listening to music while you run or running with a buddy are two simple solutions to this problem, but another boredom-busting strategy that many runners don’t often take advantage of is incorporating speed workouts in their training routines.

Not only will these types of workouts help to improve your strength and speed as a runner and athlete, and also help to prevent overuse injuries that commonly occur as a result of repeatedly running at the same pace for every workout, but the fluctuating nature will hold your attention and help prevent boredom from setting in while you run.

There are many different types of speed workouts and a variety of different ways that you can incorporate them into your training, but the point is that they should be intense and challenging. The purpose of a speed workout is to improve both your muscular strength and aerobic capabilities by training at a level that is near the maximum rate at which your body can consume oxygen, or your VO2 max.

Below is an interval workout that you can include in your training program on one or two non-consecutive days each week. Always make sure to allow for adequate recovery time (at least 48 hours) between intense workouts.

-Interval Speed Workout for Runners-

Begin with 5 to 10 minutes of warm-up with a walk or light jogging pace.

Part 1 (Repeat 5 Times)

30 seconds sprint pace

1 minute recovery pace

Part 2 (Repeat 7 Times)

30 seconds sprint pace

1 minute recovery pace

Begin the first 30-second sprint moderately and increase your sprint pace with each new interval so that your final sprint is an all-out effort. Recovery pace remains the same throughout. (On a treadmill increase the speed by .2 for each new 30-second interval.)

Cool-down with a walk or very light jogging pace for two minutes or more.

How to Increase Your VO2 Max
Workout Recovery: How Soon Should You Eat After Intense Exercise?
Rest Days: How Much Recovery Do You Really Need Between Workouts?