Workout of the Week: 021 – Mile & KM Reps

This month is all about getting those wheels rollin’! And to help fuel your workouts, we’ve partnered with New Balance to give away a $150 EVERY WEEK in February.

To enter, all you need to do is tag @runtempofit AND @newbalancenz in your Instagram or Facebook workout posts each week.

And this week, we’re doing a combo of mile reps and KM reps—a classic “in the zone” style workout.

WHAT

3x1mile @ Your 10k Race Pace (2min jog recoveries)

3x1km @ Your 5k race pace (2min jogs)

Terrain: Running track or flat measurable path (or, if you’re stuck inside, you could use a treadmill).

Feels: In the zone.

This workout gets you through 8k at a good solid pace—the recoveries allow you to absorb more load. So it’s a great muscular endurance and skill development exercise learning to master both 5k and 10k pace.

WHY

In terms of energy zones, this workout touches on both lactate threshold (your 1-hour race pace) and VO2max (your 10-minute race pace) but the ultimate goal is to prepare and condition the body to run super efficiently at 5k and 10k race pace.

HOW

So, if we look at this workout in terms of skill development, pace judgement needs to at the top of your mind.

What happens if I start too fast?

The temptation when you go out too hard in an interval is to either maintain that fast pace or overcompensate by slowing up massively in order to hit the correct time at the end of the interval. Both of these won’t achieve our goal of learning race pace.

Instead, if you find yourself 5-10 seconds too fast at halfway in an interval, just ease up a little and change your goal time for that interval for 5-10 seconds faster. The next interval, aim to lock into the pace you just practiced right at the start and so hit a nice even, on-pace split.

To calculate the exact paces, enter a recent or estimated race time to our TempoFit.org calculator.

HOW OFTEN SHOULD I RUN FASTER?

Get ready for another unsatisfactory answer … it totally depends! And these are the questions that it depends on …

What sort of runner are you? Some runners will do 4-5 faster sessions per week, but these runners are typically elite middle distance runners with years of speed training to lean on.

Some runners won’t do any faster running because they’re coming back from injury and will instead do intervals cross training (e.g. cycling, aqua running or with weights).

What did I do last week? The middle ground between these two extremes is doing 1-3 workouts per week. And the best way to decide whether to do 1, 2 or 3 workouts is to simply look at what you did last week.

Our bodies dislike change, so if you’ve been doing 1 workout per week for the last month and want to change up to 2, then just ease into it. Do a strides session or mild fartlek for that extra session and gradually increase the length and intensity of that session over weeks and months.

What are my goals?And what phase am I in? If your goal is an ultra marathon in a month’s time, then your key sessions are probably long runs or big weekends and maybe just one tempo/interval/hill reps session per week.

If your goal is a half marathon in six months, then you might make the most of the time you have now to focus on getting faster and do more sessions with less weekly mileage.

Got a training question? Email me!

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