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Winter Run Focus: Speedplay

By Martha Grinnell | Jan. 29, 2009, 12 a.m. (ET)

This is the time to focus on gently building your aerobic base while making sure to stay connected with the neurological pathway that that teaches and tells your legs to go fast. 

Consider adding a weekly speedplay workout to your run workouts. These are fun workouts that won't "break you down." The goal is to keep you sharp as you build your base.

My favorite run speedplay workout is:
Warm-up for 5 minutes, finishing that last 3 minutes at a steady, slightly breathless talking effort

Main Set = 4 x the following:
45 seconds at 10k effort; rest = 1:15
35 seconds at 5k effort; rest = 1:15
25 seconds at 5k+ effort; rest = 1:15
15 seconds STRONG; rest = 2:00

Cooldown for 5 minutes

Martha Grinnell holds an MS in Exercise and Sport Studies from Smith College, is a USAT Level I Certified Coach and is ACSM Certified. Visit her website at