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Louise Damen
Running Training

How can I improve my speed?

There are several ways that you can work on your speed and contrary to popular belief you don’t necessarily need to smash yourself with speed work. ‘Strides’ are a great way to work on your speed as they train your neuromuscular system to allow you to maintain a faster leg cadence. Once or twice a week after an easy run, complete 6 x 75-150m with a walk back recovery.

You should be running at close to your maximum speed without actually sprinting. Short hill sprints are another great way to improve your speed. Once a week after an easy run try 5-6 x 10 second hill sprints with 2-3 minutes recovery. Running up a gradient will train your body to recruit more muscle fibres but actually lessens the impact on your muscles, bones and joints compared to running on a flat surface.

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I ran when I was younger did 2:44 marathon, had a break for 8 years and started again rather fat 7 years ago. 2012 after losing weight I did 3:08 and have steadily been dropping to 2:41 this year. I’m 50 next year and currently training on the 85mi + Pfitzingers Advanced plan. Do you think sub 2:40 is possible or will age get the better of me and how can I adapt the plan for the better?
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