What is your experience of the Speed podcast, and did it feel like cheating only running for 17 minutes?

I tried the stepping stones podcast for the first time last week and was really frustrated with it (I both walked and ran faster than the pace Laura set, and couldn't figure how to slow down / lengthen my stride). I am keen to try speed, but it feels a bit like I'll be "wasting" a run day by only running for 17 minutes. What is everyone else's experience?


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24 Replies

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  • It's not cheating as it's a tough workout, but just continue running at your usual pace - or a slow jog pace - after the last interval. I still use Speed podcast as part of a 40 minute session, as I like the discipline of the intervals.

  • Thanks swanscot; sounds like you have it sussed! Going to give it a go tomorrow and see how I get on :)

  • That's basically what I do too. The first time I did I ended up quite far away from home so would have taken ages to get home so I ran instead. I was speaking to someone at Parkrun too who said to increase speed you need to train for shorter times anyway, but going faster which is what the speed podcast is. It's handy as well for those days when you don't have much free time but still want a workout.

  • Thanks for the info redsheep :)

  • After my first go at Speed I was completely shattered... could hardly wobble home again :D

    I've done it four times now and the last time I was able to continue jogging to the end of my 5K. You notice a difference every time. I do it alternating with Stamina and 'own music runs'.

    If you haven't tried Stamina yet give it a go too, it's quite bit faster than Stepping Stones, which I ditched too after one try - I was falling over my feet trying to keep to the timing.

    Happy running whatever you're doing :-)

  • This is exactly what I wanted to hear Mitts; thanks for sharing. I'm glad I wasn't the only one who struggled with the speed of stepping stones, and even more pleased to hear speed and stamina are faster. I'll definitely give both a go.

  • Not cheating its brilliant and if you put your all into it you will improve your strength, stamina and speed all in a short workout. I do however carry on running for an extra 10-15 minutes at a steady pace. HIIT (high intense interval training) is used by top atheletes/footballers and many more sportsmen/women to improve their stamina and indurance. Give it a try once a week you'll be surprised how much improvement you will gain from it, remember though that the one minute fast has to be done very fast to benefit. Good luck.

  • Sounds like the perfect combination Oldgirl, with the extra run at the end. From what you're saying, the podcast doesn't restrain you to running at a certain BPM which is what I was afraid of. I'd rather just go as fast as I can rather than stick to the BPM that laura suggests. I'll give it a go and see how I get on, thanks for replying. :)

  • Blimey Oldgirl, you really ARE doing it aren't you. When you say one minute very fast - how exactly fast d'you mean????

  • Cheating???? Speed is *hard*. I'd been doing Pyramid 180 from Audiofuel and Speed is a step up from that because you keep running to the beat all the way through, rather than, as with Pyramid 180 or the C25K, walking.

    I am really chuffed that I managed to complete the podcast as per programme. It's been rather a feat to get it onto my phone and staying there, and then last week I went out and got half way through before I had to walk between 'sprints' - which gave me something to aim for next time as they say. And yesterday I managed the lot. I have to do some pretty tiny steps sometimes (and not solely because some of it was rough and muddy uphill track)

    The interesting thing is that since I started doing more intervals my weight has started to move downwards again having not really shifted since the first 2/3rds of C25K in the Spring.

    Given that you struggled to do Stepping Stones as described, doesn't that mean it has set you a challenge?

  • Haha, sounds great Googleme, I think I just need to get out there and try it to see how I go. It seems as if everyone finds Speed really beneficial to get their times down. Congratulations with completing the podcast, and with the weight loss :)

    I struggled with stepping stones because I found it far too slow, even at the top 160 bpm. I at first tried to slow down to the correct bpm but it felt really silly to be running much slower than I usually do, so I scapped it and just ran at my normal pace, which must've been somewhere over 160bpm. I was worried that the speed podcast would be like this too, so I'm glad to hear that you actually do sprint.

    Can't wait to get out there and try it now!

  • Erm, I think the sprints on Speed are about 160/165... You might prefer Pyramid 180 where the top sprint is 180 BPM. I guess they are catering for people who can still remember the couch!

  • Speed is great, intervals are exhausting and have been shown to increase the return on investment in terms of time, at 3x that of straight regular running.

  • I did this today and found it really good, though was happy to finish after 17 minutes! There definitely wasn't much left in the can! I found it challenging but doable. I think it will be a good one for me that I will be able to see improvement with. I don't know how fast I was as I forgot to turn on mapmyrun (gutted), but am going to try and do it again next week and see how it goes.

  • I've done it twice outside on consecutive days, did it the first day (though knackered), had to walk to recover for the first half of the 4th, 5th and 6th 'slow' run on the second day.

    Since then I've done it on the treadmill twice, I just did medium, (fast, slow) x6 the first time. The second time I actually listened to the podcast and ran to the beat, but the treadmill was set to the same speeds as the first time. I did it both times.

    Yes I did feel 'cheated' that it's a short run but I did it on days that I didn't have too much time. I think this week I will do it again but just run faster without the beat to get a better workout.

  • Couldn't get on with any of the C25K+ podcasts, too slow for my stride; I've been using the Audiofuel fast pyramid 200 bpm interval podcasts. They are really challenging but doable for my legs which are short and I don't have a huge stride length.


  • This is what I have found too CaroleC; I have done Stepping Stones and Stamina now and they just don't work for me. I'm going to give Speed a go tomorrow night and then progress to Audiofuel if I'm having the same problem as with the other 2. Thanks for posting!

  • I really like Speed tho I did find it hard first time. I've also been playing around with going back to week 2 or so and instead of jogging, running as fast as I can on the run bits. Exhausting but exhilarating! You could also just ignore the bpm bit and just run faster or slower according to preference. I think you can download a version without all the talking! :-)

  • That's a brill idea pingle. I might try earlier podcasts in that way. So many ideas from everyone; it is great!

  • I like Speed, I've done it 3 times now. Twice I've done extra jogging at the end. I actually think it's a great podcast to do if you're short on time, it's a good workout and I'm sure Laura and co have assessed it as equivalent to the longer podcasts. I find the 165 bpm my most comfortable pace, the 150 bpm just means I do a strange hop, skip and a jump to get back onto the beat every so often. But I do find it quite demanding and know I've done it! I also like the input from Laura on the C25K+ podcasts, it really keeps you going and makes you aware of technique. Good luck!

  • Thanks Soozz, I guess the only thing for it is for me to give it a try and see how I get on!

  • I've been finding the beats in 'Speed' really odd - and I have to shorten my stride to run with the beat. Don't get me wrong though it's still a good work out! I much prefer the 'Stamina' podcast however.

  • Hmm, I struggled with Stamina too but I'm still keen to give Speed a try before I admit defeat! Thanks for the info :)

  • Stamina really wiped me out, lol. But I finished it!

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