Once the summer heat fades into crisp autumn weather, it's hard not to run a little bit faster, even on easy runs. If you've been running regularly for at least two to three months, you're ready to pick up the pace on purpose.
Running faster than normal once or twice a week is a great way to boost your fitness and break up your routine. The following workouts are all entertaining ways to play with speed-on your own or with your running buddies. In your faster segments, you should hit a pace that makes talking difficult but not one that causes you to hyperventilate.Push The Pace Without Hitting A Wall
ACCELERATE AND GLIDE
Jog slowly for 10 minutes to warm up. Then pick up the pace over 10 steps and hold that speed for 10 to 20 more steps. Slow down and walk for one minute. Repeat the sequence two or three times. Every week, add additional accelerations or steps to your "glide" as you feel comfortable.
CAT AND MOUSE
Do this speed play with a friend (or two). Jog easy for five minutes to warm up, then get in single file. The leader changes up the pace as she wishes, while the follower attempts to stay as close as possible. After three to five minutes, take a one-to two-minute walk break and switch positions. Repeat as many times as desired.6 Secrets of Highly Successful Runners
Follow the same format as "cat and mouse," except the follower can take the leader by surprise with a sudden quick burst. The follower runs fast (but not all-out) to pass and holds the pace for about 20 seconds. The leader attempts to stay close. Take a one-minute walk break. The initial leader is now the follower. Repeat as time allows.
TAKE THE LEAD
Run in single file with a group of three or more runners. Run easy for one minute. The last runner runs past the group to take the lead for a minute. The current leader sets the pace, then initiates a walk break. Resume running-after 20 seconds or so, the last runner moves to the front. Everyone leads at least once.
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