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Should you Train Distance or Speed?

should you train for distance or speed?

The question whether to train for distance or speed is a very common one and when you first start out running it can be difficult to know what would be best. You want to run longer distances cause you want to run a certain race, but you also want to keep up with the crowd, so you want to speed it up.

In order to train properly and to avoid injury it is best to start building up your distance first before starting up your speed training. By slowly building up your distance you are building up your endurance and muscle strength. It will become easier to run a longer distance and by training your distance you will also train your speed at the same time. When it becomes easier to run a certain distance you'll be able to run it at a faster speed.

running a fartlek run

Once you're comfortable running longer distances and have build up more muscle strength you can start building on your speed better prepared. The best way for this is to start with some interval runs or Fartlek training. That way you train your speed at shorter distances that you can build up. When you do this for a while you will notice that your speed on your longer runs will also increase.

finish line faster running

The distance training is a great base to get you stronger and get your endurance up so you can get to that finish line, working on your speed is the extra part that partially comes 'free' with the distance training and partially you'll have to work for it. In some cases you'll have to work hard for, cause gaining speed is overall harder than gaining distance.

For both counts that you build it up slowly. Distance and Speed both puts more strain on your body, so rushing this will open you up to injuries. Taking it slow might test your patience, but it will make you a stronger runner.


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