Should I focus on distance or speed?

Share this post via

Running is a great way to stay active, but it can be challenging to know what to focus on when it comes to improving your running performance.

Two key factors that runners often consider are distance and speed. In this blog post, we will discuss the advantages, benefits, and precautions for novice, intermediate, and advanced runners, to help you determine whether you should focus on distance or speed.

Table of Contents

Novice Runners

f you are new to running, focusing on building your endurance and stamina is important.


This means gradually increasing your distance over time, rather than worrying too much about speed.


This approach will help you to develop a solid foundation and avoid injuries.


Advantages of Focusing on Distance:

  • Building endurance and stamina
  • Improving cardiovascular health
  • Reducing the risk of injury

Benefits of Focusing on Distance:

  • Gradual progression
  • Increased confidence
  • Sense of accomplishment

Precautions for Focusing on Distance:

  • Gradually increase the distance to avoid injury
  • Listen to your body and rest when necessary
  • Incorporate strength training to prevent injuries

Intermediate Runners

If you have been running for a while and are comfortable with the distance, it may be time to start focusing on speed.


This means incorporating interval training and tempo runs into your routine.


Advantages of Focusing on Speed:

  • Improved running efficiency
  • Increased calorie burn
  • Increased cardiovascular benefits

Benefits of Focusing on Speed:

  • Challenging and engaging
  • Increased motivation
  • Enhanced mental toughness

Precautions for Focusing on Speed:

  • Incorporate speed work gradually to avoid injury
  • Warm up properly before speed work
  • Stretch after speed work to prevent injury

Advanced Runners

Advanced runners are those who have been running for several years and have already built a solid foundation of endurance and speed.


For these runners, it may be time to focus on both distance and speed and incorporate other types of training such as hill repeats and long runs.


Advantages of Focusing on Both Distance and Speed:

  • Improved overall fitness
  • Increased running efficiency
  • Enhanced mental toughness

Benefits of Focusing on Both Distance and Speed:

  • Challenging and engaging
  • Improved performance in races
  • Increased motivation

Precautions for Focusing on Both Distance and Speed:

  • Incorporate different types of training to avoid burnout
  • Listen to your body and rest when necessary
  • Incorporate strength and flexibility training to prevent injury


In conclusion, whether you should focus on distance or speed depends on your experience level and running goals.


Novice runners should focus on building endurance and stamina, while intermediate runners can start incorporating speed work. Advanced runners should focus on both distance and speed, as well as incorporate other types of training to improve overall fitness and prevent injury.


Remember to always listen to your body and rest when necessary, and you will be on your way to becoming a better, healthier runner.

Coach Shamus

At the heart of MultiSportCoaching is Coach Shamus, a seasoned athlete and experienced coach with a passion for helping others achieve their goals. With over 25 years of experience in coaching athletes of all levels, Coach Shamus has the knowledge and expertise to help you reach your full potential.
Blog Categories

Social Media Links

We like to share training tips, videos and motivational posts via our social media platforms.

Follow us here:

Recent Posts

Recommended Reading