Speed Reserve Test

The speed reserve test is a useful tool. It indicates how well you can maintain a pace that is significantly faster than your 10k race pace.

The key is to run without straining. A typical test is to run 10 x 400 metres on a running track with 30 seconds recovery between each. The aim in the 400's is to run at a perceived effort of 8 on a scale of 1 to 10.

Let us consider a few 10k race goal times:

10k race time  Pace/400m (secs)  Speed reserve test aim
32 minutes  
 76 70
40 minutes 96
50 minutes 

The above examples give a speed reserve of 6 to 8 seconds which is good. If the above times in the test had been respectively 74, 94 and 118 seconds there would be a problem because your speed reserve is too close to your actual race pace.

So the aim is to learn to run faster (while relaxed) in the interval workouts. Speed reserve should become a high training priority as you prepare for a target 10k race.