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Friday 24 May 2013

How Long Does Speed Training Take to Work?

Goal: 8 miles at 7:30 min/miles (8 miles in 1 hour)

I read somewhere recently that it takes between 10 days and 2 weeks for speed training (intervals and such) to have an effect on your overall speed. I can’t remember where I heard this but I can remember being surprised that it happened so quickly. I always assumed that building up your speed took months of slogging and practising paces and running round the track in fast loops like a hamster on a wheel. I wasn’t quite sure how you knew when you’d reached the right speed. Maybe they’d bring people with pompoms out or something.

However, I now think the interval training takes effect long before that. I think it starts immediately after a successful session – if not during. That moment when you think, “Bloody hell! I just managed to run a 6 minute mile pace!” And because you’ve done it once, you know you can do it again. So you do.

It was a bit like this for my run this evening. It was down on my training plan as 8 miles at 7:30 min/miles. This sounded fast. However this week I didn’t overthink it. I’d done 7 miles at this pace last week – I knew it was possible. And because I knew it was possible, it was a much easier run.

Last week I’d felt as though I was fighting the whole way to keep the pace at 7:30 and pushing every step of the way. This week, it felt more flowing, more comfortable, more possible.

I even hit the heady heights of a sub-7 minute mile briefly, but that was because I was listening to Running With The Kenyans again and got a bit carried away with one of the race reports. Maybe I should listen to race reports during my own races as they always make me run a bit quicker. Maybe I’ll never run with the Kenyans in real life, but in my head I’m matching them step for step.

Distance: 8 miles

Time: 58:39

Average Pace: 7:19 min/mile


  1. Meep Meep!! Oh no ... that's Roadrunner isn't it! :)

  2. Replies
    1. Ha ha!! Maybe I should get a sombrero like that mouse!

  3. EIGHT MILES IN AN HOUR?????????? [jumps of the roof...]

    1. Ha ha Jen! Absolutely under no circumstances are you to jump off any roofs! Especially not now you're back running again!! :)