Fact: Introduce a little interval training into your week and you’ll be fitter, faster and stronger in no time.
You’ve heard us talk about speed sessions out on the track and Mona Fartwho? But what does it all mean and more importantly how do you introduce some of these little sessions of gold into your own routine.
As Steve Moneghetti (founder of the Mona Fartlek) once said – The most important ingredient in training is basic running to build up your endurance; but once you have established a consistent routine of running the next stage is to include sessions which will help you enjoy it more. My favourite one is fartlek, which technically speaking is a Swedish word meaning speed play.
On any standard training week – that is one we’re not either tapering, injured or feeling poorly – we incorporate two different speed sessions with at least one day in between.
Check out some of favourites below but remember to always do a warm up and cool down either side of the workout.
2 x 90secs with 90secs recovery (float, jog or walk depending on your fitness level)
4 x 60secs with 60secs recovery (float, jog or walk depending on your fitness level)
4 x 30secs with 30secs recovery (float, jog or walk depending on your fitness level)
4 x 15secs with 30secs recovery (float, jog or walk depending on your fitness level)
Find a variety of hills to have in your training bag and cycle these regularly.
Long hills – gradual climbs of around 500m in distance. Aim for 2 or 3 hard efforts with recovery jog back down.
Short hard hills – 150-350m length at a gradient of around 6-7% will get the heart pumping and the glutes burning. Push this for 10 reps or as many as you can do in 20 minutes.
The aim is to run 1k sprints around your 10k race pace with 60 sec rest in between.
Anywhere between 6-8 reps is great with the goal being 10 x 1k sprints all under race pace.
The aim is to run 3 – 4 x 2k sprints at a pace just under your 10k race pace with 2min rest in between.
Keep moving during the rests, a gentle slow walk around until the 2 mins is up.
400m sprints with 200m float between.
Alternatively run your 400s on a cycle of 2 minutes – run a 400 and rest all in 2 minutes
400 speed should be as close to ‘flat out’ as you can.
Repeat 6-8 times.
A workout with varying distances or times either increasing, decreasing or both! It really tests and increases your endurance while having the benefit of a lack of repetition for those who may get a little bored with their speedwork.
Try one of the following (or your own variation):
Distance (m): 1600, 1200, 800, 400, 200 with 200 recovery jog between.
Time (min): 4, 3, 2, 1, 2, 3, 4 all with 1 minute recovery jogging between – essentially, you climb up the pyramid and back down again.
Longer reps are usually run at around 10K pace, with shorter being 5k pace and the really short at ‘all out, grimacing face’ pace!