Circuit Training For Speed Improvement


By Rick Morris


Running speed is a product of stride length, stride rate and power. To improve your speed you need to improve each of those components of your running. You need to maximize your stride length, or more precisely, your "air time" without over striding; increase or maintain a high stride rate of around 90 to 95 full strides per minute and improve your running power. To make those physical improvements you need to perform a combination of running specific strength training, plyometrics, high intensity interval training and sprint training.




























You could do all of those various workouts on individual training days. That is the accepted and proven way to improve your speed. But how about doing them all in one highly efficient workout? Here is a speed circuit workout that combines running strength training and plyometrics with high intensity interval and sprint training.

Do the following runs and strength exercises in order with no recovery between the various components. Before beginning this speed circuit warm up with 1 mile at an easy pace followed by some dynamic drills.


Run 4 x 400 meter repeats at 5K pace with 2 minutes of recovery between the repeats.

Do 20 bench step up on each leg

Run 800 meters at 5K pace

Do 20 one leg squats on each leg

Run 8 x 200 meter repeats at 3K or vVO2 max pace with 1 minute of recovery between the repeats.

Do 20 Stride Step Ups on each leg

Run 8 x 100 meter acceleration strides. Recover between each repeat with 15 seconds of recovery

Perform 25 meters of double leg forward hops

Run 1200 meters. Run the first 200 meters at nearly all out pace, the next 800 meters at 5K pace and the final 200 meters as fast as you can. Take no recovery between the components of this run.

Perform 25 meters of single leg forward hops

Run for 6 minutes alternating between 30 seconds at nearly all out pace and 30 seconds at an easy pace

Perform one basic core strength routine

Run 4 x 400 meter repeats at 5K pace with 2 minutes of recovery between the repeats.


At the end of this workout you will have run between 5 and 6 miles at paces ranging from 5K pace to sprint pace. You will have trained your running specific strength, power, foot speed, speed endurance and running economy.



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