Workout of the Week: 041 – Intro to Intervals

This week is all about doing some quality speed work and also laying the foundations for next week with an intro to interval training.

WHAT

Intro to Intervals
5x30s strides (90s jog)
5x1k @ Your 10k Race Pace (1min recovery)

Terrain: Flat, measurable pathway or running track.

Feels: Laying foundations.

Like last week, we’re not emptying the tank with this workout. The 1k reps are at your 10k pace in order to lay the foundation for a more taxing session next week and to not undo the great work of the 5×30 seconds fast at the start of this workout. Use these strides to focus on great technique. Lock it in!

WHY

A workout is never the end in itself. It’s always a means or a stepping to something greater further down the track (this why it’s so important to not confuse training with racing). And this workout especially is simply a matter of laying the foundations for a good solid mile repeat session next week!

HOW

In order to keep this workout as a foundation for next week, be sure to keep a lid on the pace in the 1k reps. They should feel pretty comfy.

During the 5x strides focus on technique by thinking about where your foot is landing under you centre of mass. Are you reaching out and putting the brakes on every time your foot hits the ground? Or does your foot hit the ground intentionally, pushing the ground back behind you immediately when striking the ground?

Don’t plod, push!

THOUGHT-FOR-THE-WEEK: HOW TO CHOOSE YOUR RACES

With races starting again in various parts of the world, it can be tempting to just sign up to any and all races after so many months of solo running. But to avoid burn out and injury from over-racing, here are some tips for choosing your race schedule based on your A-goal race distance.

Half or Full Marathon (& Ultras): If this is your main goal distance, you probably only have one good race in you for every six months. So, I would make all other races B-races and also try to limit the number of other longer races to one half marathon in that six-month period. But do include a handful of shorter distance races (5-10k) races throughout your build up in order to sharpen your fitness and get a gauge on how you’re tracking.

5K or 10K: The shorter your target race is, the more you can race it—because they take less time to taper for and recover from. You could run three hard 5k races in a month but barely 2-3 hard marathons in a year! So, in the next six months, choose 2-3 A-races and back these up with a handful of B-races, clumping them together in mini-seasons (e.g. a mini season might look like this: Week 1: 10k B-race; Week 2: No race; Week 3: 5k B-race; Week 4: 10k A race).  

800m to 3K: During your racing season, as a middle-distance runner, you can comfortably race every weekend. So, you might have 4-5 A-races, with 1-2 A+ races. Also include a handful of B-races at other distances. Again, approach your six-month plan by having two mini racing seasons of 4-5 weeks long each.

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