This workout is a great one to do a week or two before a marathon as it has that beautiful balance of both pace practice and intensity to get you sharpened and ready to tackle the big race.
5x 1 Mile (1st and 5th @ marathon pace, other three @ 10k race pace)
2min recovery jogs
Terrain: Flat, measurable pathway.
This classic intensity sandwich workout gives you some marathon practice to start and finish while getting a good helping of mile rep intensity in the middle.
Keep the recovery jogs slow enough to express good pace and endurance in the mile reps.
First of all, the marathon-paced mile reps will really test your ability to find your marathon pace—firstly because you’ll be fresh in the first mile rep and finally because you be fatigued and having to slow up with the fifth mile rep.
Second, the injection of intensity for the middle three reps will help boost that upper end aerobic ability. So if you have a race coming up you should have that little bit of headroom (both mentally and physiologically) when running at marathon and half marathon pace.
Finally, if you have a marathon or half marathon coming up, you’d ideally do this workout 10-14 days before the race. Any further away and you’d be better off doing more volume in the session (like we have been doing). Any closer and it’d be better to make the workout shorter.
Remember that a mile is 1609m. So, if you’re used to doing KM reps and don’t have access to a track you could just do 1.6k or 1.61k.
When running at marathon pace, be very aware of the movements (their scale and frequency) of your body and your internal feel (things like heart rate, perceived exertion) so you can use these tools for pacing on race day.
THOUGHTS FOR THE WEEK:
AM I BECOMING A SPRINTER?
By Hayden Shearman
I turned 40 earlier this year and with a new decade comes a new collection of athletic goals. Looking back, my 20s were about discovering running and finding a love for the 1500. My 30s were about going longer, until I ruptured my achilles in 2014. So what does this new decade hold and can I keep my achilles happy in the process?
The great thing about turning 40 is that all your personal best times reset and you also are introduced to a whole new world of age group competitions and masters athletics. I would love to hunt out some of these competitions and set some good 40+ PBs. But what these results might turn out to be depend on me laying a good foundation first.
That foundation right now is speed—the raw ability to move my body fast and efficiently through space for short periods of time.
Since rupturing my achilles, I’ve lost a lot of speed through an inability to practice it. But this summer I’ve set about getting it back.
That journey started by just doing short workouts like 3×10 seconds at 5k pace and now, several months into my speed project, I’m doing sessions like 6x30secs at 800m and 400m race pace. So things are feeling a lot better.
To support this speed project I’ve also:
- Reduced my overall mileage (to 40-50k per week) so I’m not too fatigued for running fast
- Done more cross training like surfing, cycling and swimming (to keep cardio fit despite lower mileage)
- Done more gym and strengthening work (including plyometrics)
- Improved my mobility (very gradually)
- Done plenty of drills and other athletic movements to stay agile and well-coordinated
It’s a fun journey working out what elements I need to have in place before I can think about setting some new goals and then working out the puzzle of how to get those elements back in place. And I’d encourage you all to think about your own goals (long term and short term) and understand what pieces of the puzzle you can put in place this year to set you up for the next decade or more of running.