Quick Tip: Stop Trying to Get Faster

Admit it, you want to get faster.

And that’s ok. Shoot, I want to get faster too.

But whatever your goals are, odds are that increasing your top speed isn’t going to help you achieve them.

Wait, what?



You’re Missing the Point

Do you want to set a new PR this year?

Do you want to run a BQ this year?

Do you want to get your 5k time back to where it was before you had kids?

Whatever time goals you have, I’m guessing that the key to success is to cover a certain race distance in a shorter amount of time.

So you need to get faster, right?



Seriously, Stop Trying to Get Faster

You’re fast enough.

As of today, my PR in the marathon is 4:08 and change.

You all know one of my biggest running goals is to qualify and run the Boston Marathon, which at the moment means I need to run sub-3:05.

But I don’t need to get any faster.

What I need to do is improve my endurance.

For me to be able to run sub-3:05, I need to be able to run 7 minute miles for a marathon. Right now, that’s no where near possible.

You know what is possible for me at the moment? Running a 7 minute mile. Shoot, I haven’t done a mile time trial in awhile, but I bet I could come pretty close to running a 6 minute mile right now (Mile PR is 5:54 BTW).

I have the speed to qualify for Boston. What I’m lacking is the endurance to maintain the speed that I already have over the course of a 26.2 mile race.

And I’m guessing that you probably need to work on your endurance as well.

Point of Order

Just to be clear, doing speed work is a good thing.

There are a load of physiological benefits of doing high intensity/speed training, so I’m not at all saying that you shouldn’t include those types of workouts into your training.

You absolutely should. But your focus shouldn’t be to increase your speed. Your focus needs to be on improving your endurance.

And if you do that, a funny thing might happen. You might just get faster at the same time.

Crazy, huh?

Agree? Disagree? Let Me Know Below!

4 replies
    • Denny
      Denny says:

      Exactly! Even sprinters do longer runs (relatively speaking, but if you’re event is 100m, running a half mile is a long workout!) to help them from fading as fast on the track. We have the speed we have, and even with specific training focused on top speed the level of improvement is going to be minimal. But by working on our endurance, we can much more dramatically impact our ability to hold on to our speed longer and decrease our race times!

  1. Jen @ SprinklesHikes.com
    Jen @ SprinklesHikes.com says:

    This is great timing for me as I’m training for my first marathon. I’ve not been impressed with my times since bouncing back after injury and the thought of times and splits are always looming after every run. It makes it easier for me to say “see, time isn’t the most important thing” when you see someone else saying it also. Endurance is KEY!

    • Denny
      Denny says:

      Building your endurance is THE key! Everything builds off of your base, and your endurance is your base. Building your base isn’t the “sexy” part of running, but I think it’s the most important part.

      What marathon are you training for?


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