Week 2: Improving your running speed
Our six-week training guide is designed to help you unlock your best running self. Last week we looked at running form, this week it’s all about speed!
At NURVV we often talk about the speed equation:
Speed = Cadence x Step Length
This means that if either your cadence (the amount of times your feet hit the ground each minute as your run) or step length (the distance you cover with each step) or both, increase as you run, then you’ll speed up. If either or both decrease, you’ll slow down.
This week, you’re going to complete two different runs. The runs are designed to tell you which aspect of your running form – cadence or step length – most affects your speed.
You’ll then follow one of our targeted exercise plans to work on strengthening any weaknesses and boost your pace.
Ready? Let’s go.
Week 2 training
This week you’ll be completing two runs as part of your usual weekly training. These runs both require hard efforts. It’s best not to perform hard efforts back-to-back, so make sure you leave at least a day between them for recovery. Warm up fully before each run.
Run 1: Interval run
- Run 1km at an easy, conversational pace
- Run your next km at a harder pace – around 10km pace or an effort where you can only speak two or three words at a time.
- alternate between your easy and intense paces between 2 and 4 times.. End with an easy split.
Run 2: Progression run
The aim of your progression run is to get faster throughout. Start running at a pace slightly slower than your conversational pace and then gradually increase the speed every km. aim to cover several km/miles in this run
What to look out for:
After your runs, check out your run summary on the NURVV Run app. Hit ‘Splits’ and you’ll be able to see graphs of how your cadence and step length varied over the course of your run as your speed changed.
You'll find even more info on your cadence and step length by tapping on these metrics in the run summary.
This will help you pinpoint any areas to work on.
What you’re looking for:
- Did your cadence increase or decrease alongside your pace on both runs?
- Did your step length increase or decrease with your pace on both runs?
- Did your cadence or step length seem to have the most effect on your running pace?
During faster intervals or in later stages of a progression run you would expect both cadence and step length values to have increased. If one of these metrics is not really shifting then it suggests there is capacity to work on this aspect of your form.
Targeted exercise plans to improve your speed
Once you know whether you need to work on your cadence or step length, adding targeted drills, strength and mobility exercises to your training can help improve your form and boost your pace.
Our exercise plans take just 20 mins and can be completed anywhere you have a bit of space, such as a park or your garden. Try and perform each session 2 times a week to see improvements. Good times to fit these sessions in is before activation/drills/movements/plyometrics and after stretching, an easy run or one of your cross-training or active recovery days.
Exercise plans to improve your cadence
Exercise plans to improve your step length
Next week: we’ll be looking at footstrike and pronation. Look out for week 3 in your inbox soon.