Training Tip Tuesday – Run Fast

Now, is that really a tip? By golly, it is!

There are many runners out there who do the same thing day in and day out. They run the same route, they go to the same gym, they do the same routine over and over again. I can tell you right now, you won’t get any faster if you don’t practice running fast.

“But I can’t run fast!”, you might be yelling to me right now.

That isn’t true. You CAN run fast. You may not be able to run fast for long, but you can run fast.

You can read all the articles and the opinions, and follow all the training programs that you want, but you have to start somewhere. Many of us can’t run fast for a quarter mile! That is insane!

So try this. Run as fast as you can for as long as you can. Is it really that simple? Personally, I’m a fan of visual farleks.


OK, let me back up a moment.

Fartlek, which means “speed play” in Swedish, is a training method that blends continuous training with interval training. The variable intensity and continuous nature of the exercise places stress on both the aerobic and anaerobic systems. It differs from traditional interval training in that it is unstructured; intensity and/or speed varies, as the athlete wishes. Most fartlek sessions last a minimum of 45 minutes and can vary from aerobic walking to anaerobic sprinting. Fartlek training is generally associated with running, but can include almost any kind of exercise.

-From Wikipedia

What is a visual fartlek? Simply, look ahead of you. See that mailbox? See that stop sign? Do you think you can run to it really fast? OK. Then do it. You don’t have to map out your route. You don’t need to be a math wizard. You don’t need a GPS watch to tell you how far you have gone. Just pick a point and run to it. When you get there, jog or walk it off for as long as it takes to get that heart rate back to where you feel comfortable enough to pick your next visual fartlek…and repeat.

Do this about 3 or 4 times for starters. Then cool down before heading home. It is really that easy.

You’ll find each time you go out there to do this workout (I recommend once every 7-10 days) not only will it get easier to run fast, but you’ll be able to do it for longer distances and you’ll be able to add on another fartlek every few weeks. And then guess what. Aha! You are running faster!

Keep Calm and Run Faster

What methods have you tried to quicken your pace. Is there one that you swear by?

Disclaimer: These training tips are based on my opinion and what has worked for me. I am not a doctor, or a trainer, or a professional athlete. This blog purely represents observations I have made in my 4 years as a runner. Always consult a medical professional before beginning a running or workout program. I am not liable, either expressly or in an implied manner, nor claim any responsibility for any emotional or physical problems that may occur directly or indirectly from reading this blog.

8 Responses to Training Tip Tuesday – Run Fast

  1. 278toBoston says:

    Good tip! Thanks. I run tempo and interval runs, but I hate them. This seems to be a more manageable way to increase speed.

  2. bke161 says:

    Very good idea! I need to incorporate this into my training routine.

  3. In addition to one speedwork session a week, I like to finish a run by sprinting or doing a pick up the last .1 or .2 of a run so I stay acclimated to finishing strong when I race.

  4. Shaun says:

    I love visual fartleks and that is my go to training to change things up. I really think that it is important to always be changing things, your route, your speed, your distance. this helps to keep excitement in my runs.

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