As runners, many of us are guilty of running the same routes at the same pace, week in week out. But if you want to run faster or further, you need to change things up.
The good news is, by adding one or two intense workouts to your weekly schedule you’ll quickly see improvements in speed and endurance.
These seven simple workouts can all be done with no equipment and they’re perfect for giving your running a kick in the pants.
Remember to warm up for around 10 minutes before each run and cool down before after.
1. Musical fartlek for runners
Fartlek is a Swedish word for speed play. This workout adds some interest to your training, keeps your body guessing and gets you used to running at faster paces so you can build your speed.
Put on your favourite running playlist
Run easy during the verses
Run at a hard effort during the chorus
Check out NURVV's Spotify for playlists created for Relaxed, Strong or Fast Miles so you can run to the beat.
2. Progression Run
This workout is designed to increase aerobic endurance by gradually increasing pace. It’s tough, but it teaches you mental resilience and the discipline of keeping something in the tank – perfect for longer races like half and full marathons.
Run 10 minutes easy pace
Run 10 minutes medium pace
Run 10 minutes at a hard effort
You can increase the times as you improve or decrease them if you’re a beginner
3. Plyometric workout for runners
Plyometric exercises build your explosive power and strength, so you’re able to run faster and keep your pace for longer. Plyometric exercises are aerobic exercises that usually incorporate some form of jumping (be careful if you have issues with your tendons or joints), such as squat jumps, jump lunges and burpees. Try this five minute workout – it’s tough!
4. Kenyan Hills
Running hills is a speed workout in disguise. Running up hills builds your explosive power – essential for running faster – while running downhill builds strength in your quads, tendons and joints.
Find a gradual hill that you can run up for at least two minutes.
Run hard uphill
Run hard downhill
Rest for 90 secs
Start with 3-5 repeats and build up the number of repeats or increase the distance with a longer hill
5. Partner workout for runners
These workout involves bursts of speed and gets you used to running fast on tired legs. The beauty of this workout is it doesn’t matter if you don’t run at the same speed you both still get a good workout.
With a partner find a stretch of about 200 metres – paths in parks are good
Start at opposite ends of the path
Start running easy
When you pass each other pick up the speed and run at a hard effort
Next time you pass, slow down and run easy to recover
Repeat for 10-25 minutes
6. Yasso 800s
This is a classic workout developed by legendary running guru Burt Yasso that involves running 800m intervals. It helps develop speed and endurance and is thought to predict your marathon time!
It’s best done on a running track if you have one local to you. To do, this you’ll need a goal marathon pace. If your goal pace is 4hrs then you’ll aim to run your 800m intervals in a converted time of 4 minutes. If it’s 3hrs 30mins, you’ll aim for 3 minutes 30 seconds and so on.
Run 800ms in your converted time
Recover by jogging or walking for the same amount of time
To start with, do 3-5 repeats and try to keep them all at the same pace
Build up each week or so until you’re able to do 10 repeats
Each repeat will feel tougher but if you struggle to hold the pace, you might want to rethink your marathon goal
7. Pace Coach
To run faster on race day, you need to run faster in training. Tempo runs – a comfortably uncomfortable pace that you could hold for around 60 minutes – are a great way to build speed endurance. But it can be hard to stick to your target pace if you’re running on your own. That’s where Pace Coach comes in. The NURVV Run workout guides you to your target pace on any run.