4. Focus your speed training on, well, speed. At first it may feel awkward to turn your arms and legs over at a higher rate. It will feel this way for a few weeks before the body adapts to the faster pace and higher intensity. I begin each season with some speedwork in the winter and, even as a former short-course athlete, it feels terrible for about three weeks. After that, the increase in VO₂max allows me to perform longer efforts at a much faster pace.