Speed Training for Distance Runners

Speed Training for Distance Runners

The newsletter this week is all about speed. Specifically, speed training for distance runners.

I admit that I’ve been playing around with speed more in my own training lately, so this has been top of mind. The more I read, and experience, the more I feel like the vast majority of us distance runners are leaving potential on the table by not learning how to move quickly over short distances.

This potential I speak of is not the potential to be a great sprinter. It is the potential to run more efficiently over long distances. That means faster times at 5K, marathons, and even 100-mile ultras. It all comes down to movement skill and mechanical efficiency. Running slow and long does us no good, but running fast and short does. It works even better when you add the right strength training, some drills, and a bit of plyometrics.

That’s why I wrote an article on speed training that I intend to revise and improve as I learn more. Check it out and let me know what you think:


Live with Chuck Kruelle

You can complement the article on speed training with this interview with Chuck Kruelle, a speedy master’s runner who races everything from 400 meters up through 5K. Chuck joined me in the Runner’s Workshop for a live broadcast. He talks about how he is training to break 5 minutes in the mile, why he loves running the 4x400m relay at two big running meets, and how he once ran 6 events at a single track meet (and never will again).

The best way to stay notified of new shows is to subscribe to the channel on YouTube:


Plyometric Adaptation Circuit Workout

To run fast you need to be able to transfer as much force as possible to the ground, as quickly as possible. Most of us have plenty of strength but we aren’t able to utilize it during running due to limitations with stability and neuromuscular coordination. That’s why so many of the workouts at The Runner’s Toolkit focus on stability, foot-to-core sequencing, and whole-body movement patterns.

Once you’ve started to establish good stability and movement patterns, you can begin to work on strength and power exercises that will train your body to coordinate movements that increase running speeds. A great place to start is with a quick workout that I call a “Plyometric Adaptation Circuit.” I like this name because it is intended to be a workout that prepares you for more intense strength and plyometric exercises. It is easily incorporated into a training program 2x per week, and it is easy to progress from 2 circuits to 5 circuits over 3-5 weeks.

Check out the video and recommended progressions here at The Runner’s Toolkit. Let me know if you have any questions!


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