Speed Endurance

The purpose of speed endurance running is to prolong the amount of time at which a near optimal speed can be maintained.

The textbook definition of speed endurance (running at near maximal speed for a prolonged period of time) is particularly useful for sprinters, but will be of benefit to those running longer distances as well. The term is often used for longer distance runners more generically to mean training at a high speed, quicker than race pace, but not necesssarily at sprint speeds.

Technique is again important with speed endurance training, with relaxation being of prime importance as once the athlete starts to "tighten up" the degradation of speed is accelerated.

In this video we look at the role of knee lift on technique - we have many more videos and pages of information throughout the site to help with your technique and make speed endurance training a little easier.

Video Maximising Speed Through Decreasing Ground Contact Time.

It is often useful for you to think about running as "tall and relaxed" as possible, with the height being attained by maintaining the level of the hips as high as possible, without them rising and falling on each stride.

The text book description of speed endurance is usually be runs of between 6 and 30 seconds where there is nearly complete recovery between each of the runs (particularly if they are near the upper limit of this time). A general rule of thumb is that athletes are given 1 minutes recovery for each 10m they have just run - hence clearly these are very complete recoveries and are typically sessions used by sprinters.

However, in the "real" training world, longer distance runners often call their sessions speed endurance when they are running reps of up to about 3 minutes, provided there is good recovery between the runs (which might be 5-10 minutes (or sometimes shorter) between reps - and nowhere near, for example, 60 minute rest for 600m reps as in the example above. A marathon runner, for example, would view 1000m repetitions at their 5000m race pace as speed endurance.

Regardless of the type of runner, all athletes should be doing sessions that could be considered speed endurance in the definition above (although strictly we'd give these sessions a different name for the distance runners as described above). Generally a session would consist of between 3 and 5 of these repetitions, all with recoveries that athletes would consider pretty long relative to other sessions they undertake.

At Momentum Sports we consider this a very key element of training across all our training groups and online athletes and have found it can be transformative to an athletes performances. If you might like some assistance with your training, please have a look at everything we have to offer athletes as a coaching set up.

Video Wicket Runs for Technique and Speed Development

The use of wickets (mini hurdles) in developing speed and technique is a great way to improve. Make sure you analyse what you are doing, as getting it right is the key.

Learn more - Training types »