Are you match fit?
Many conditioning protocols and/or coaches over the years have focussed on endurance conditioning - either short runs with short rest repeated several times or long runs "as fast as possible". However, how often have you felt completely drained, or even not sufficiently "fit" enough for your impending season? I dare say regularly....
But alas! There is an answer... True conditioning should work in a structured "ascending" type fashion, and should look a little something like this;
Continuous --> fartlek --> long intervals --> medium intervals --> short intervals --> speed work
Continuous = steady state running for a period of time (e.g. 5km run)
Fartlek = intermittent periods of walking, jogging and sprinting
Long intervals = longer duration intervals runs (e.g. 2 min on : 1 min off)
Medium intervals = medium duration intervals (e.g. 1 min on : 2 min off)
Short intervals = short duration intervals (e.g. 30 sec on : 3 min off)
Speed work = bursts of high intensity work (e.g. 15 sec all out : 4 min off)
Now here is why;
Speed is generally built upon a sound base of "general fitness", which is what MUST be built in the initial stages of the conditioning program. This gives you the tools to become fast --> I would liken this to when we are babies...
"You must learn to walk before you can run"
Why? Because it's a lot easier to run when you know how to walk! The same principle applies to conditioning --> running fast is easier when you can actually run!
So do yourself a favour... start at the bottom!