“What people don’t always understand,” explains Steve Cram, after watching me sprint as though my life depended upon it, “is that speed filters up as well as down.”
I am not a sprinter. In fact, I regard 5km races as a little on the short side. Yet Cram stresses that short and flat-out efforts can benefit even longer distance runners like me. Of course most of us know that interval training (sessions with reps at faster paces interspersed with easy efforts) are a vital part of getting faster when you run. But as Cram points out, many endurance athletes often neglect really hard efforts of 100m and 200m as they tend to focus on volume over pace – and that can be a mistake.