Step it up Spend every run plodding at the same pace? Then it might be time to try something new. Speedwork helps you run faster, ups your lean body mass, increases joint mobility and boosts caloric burn. Here are the what’s, whys and how’s of speeding up. The need for speed Fire up fat burn Doubling your pace doubles your calorie burn. Plus, speed work ramps up your metabolism long after exercise – researches at Appalachian State University found that a vigorous 45-minute cycle boosted metabolism for up to 14 hours, torching 37 percent extra calories. Ramp up race potential Short efforts equal to or faster than goal race pace teach your body to use lactate as fuel more efficiently. The ultimate aim: running faster for longer periods on the same perceived efforts. Lay the foundations New runners Don’t feel ready? You still inject some speed into your regular workouts – try six 30-secound gradual pickups (periods of faster running) spread across an easy run. This starts getting runners used to a slightly faster pace without putting too much strain on the legs. Experienced racers If you’ve been running at least three times a week for two months, you’re ready for speedwork now. Those returning from injury may tack on an additional month to this aerobic base-building period Fast focus New runners You can begin with short efforts just to get little variety, Such as 10 x 30 seconds hard with a two-minute jog recovery or 10 x 60 second with the same rest Sessions for racers To develop stamina and speed for a 5k or 10k, try workouts that combine race-specific intervals to hone race pace and nearly all-out intervals to practice your finishing kick. Half and full marathoners might do four-mile run at half marathon pace followed by six fast 200s. If runners solely train at half marathon effort or slower, they can get lazy with their form.