08.12.10 — A Great Run Workout (My Favorite)

Intervals are a great way to improve both your cardiovascular efficiency and your speed and the great thing about them is you can do them in the pool, on your bike, or running. No special equipment is needed for them — all you need is what you normally would use for that particular activity.

In running, they are a great way to teach your legs to turn over more quickly, to help you push through that first blockade of pain, and show you that you CAN run faster. With that in mind, Jake and I set out for one of my favorite interval workouts on foot. Man how I love this workout.

From my house to a local middle school track is 2.0 miles. We ran this as a warm-up, staying between a 8:30-8:45 mile. This portion of your run should really be easy — all you want to do is get your muscles warmed up and your blood pumping. We got to the track in 17:10 and immediately started our workout. Our 5K goal pace is right around 6:30, so we targeted this pace as part of the track workout. We ran 4×400 repeats with an easy lap in between each set and after the last one as well. The easy laps were closer to a 10:30 pace, which was about right to get our heart rate calmed back down.

The intervals really got tougher and tougher. The first was at a 6:20 pace, the second at a 6:30 pace, the third at a 6:38 pace, and the last we decided we needed to speed it up. I would love to report that we pounded a 6:00 pace, but we only were able to get to a 6:20 pace. After the one lap jog, we started on the 2.0 miles home. It was a great workout and a good day.

Of course, we had a good stretching session at the end so as to hopefully improve flexibility. So if you are training for a triathlon, you have to get some intervals worked into your schedule. They hurt, and they stress your body like nothing else, but they will help you improve your speed.

About the Author

I have been participating in running and triathlons for 10 years and love the feeling that training provides. You may not agree with me, but you know you just can't look away...