Hackney Half fitness tips with personal trainer Matt Smith: Remember to run at different speeds

PUBLISHED: 06:50 29 March 2018 | UPDATED: 18:05 26 April 2018

Personal trainer Matty Smith shows Patrick Dunne (sales manager) and Ramzy Alwakeel (Editor) some stretches. Picture: Polly Hancock

Personal trainer Matty Smith shows Patrick Dunne (sales manager) and Ramzy Alwakeel (Editor) some stretches. Picture: Polly Hancock


Matt Smith is training the Gazette running team for the Hackney Half. He will be giving readers regular fitness tips to help in their own preparation or just inspire them to get off the sofa. This week it’s all about mixing things up.

Variety is the spice of life.

Running outside isn’t like running on a treadmill. Things change: speed, gait, direction.

So use this in your running prep. Sticking to a steady state and grinding out the distance works but it’s hard to create improvement and it can be rather dull. So try something a little different.

After a quick warm-up, perform the following: two minutes’ walking at a fast pace, two minutes’ jogging, and one minute of fast running.

Repeat for a set distance or time.

Make sure you can see a noticeable change in heart and breathing rate. Studies have found this sort of routine helps in running ability and speed and also has shown to help body composition and weight and fat loss.

You can do this on a treadmill, too, especially while we deal with the spring showers – just use appropriate settings.

• Dalston man Matt trains clients at Fitness First in Liverpool Street station. E-mail him on or visit

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