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What's your favorite interval / speed workout (Read 1937 times)


I've got a fever...

    I'm always looking for good speed workout, even if I'm not currently running any these days. I'll share my favorite -- I'm anxious to hear yours Big grin My favorite is one I got from my old cross-country coach called a 5-3-1 workout. It's a time-based interval workout, which is nice b/c you don't need to be on a track. It goes like this: After warming up with a mile or two of easy jogging 1) 5 minutes hard @ current 5k pace 2) 5 minutes easy 3) 3 minutes hard @ ~ current mile pace (or thereabouts) 4) 3 minutes easy 5) 1 minute hard @ flat out fast (just short of sprinting) 6) 1 minute easy THEN 7) Repeat the whole thing! The toughest part of the workout is the turn going into the second set. You've just gotten done flying for one minute, you've only gotten a minute of rest, then BAM! Back into the 5 minute interval. The first time we tried, we did it 1-3-5, but my coach and I decided to invert it to 5-3-1 b/c we liked the idea of picking up speed as the workout went along. Block yourself out plenty of time for this one -- the work/rest intervals alone take 2(2(5+3+1))=36 minutes, so you're looking at a good hour run with warm-up and cool-down. If you're short on time, you can only do one set, or do 2x(3-2-1) instead. I program the intervals into my Timex Ironman watch and GO: just slow-down and speed up whenever it beeps. This is preferable to constantly looking at your watch and/or doing math while you try to keep your lunch down. Dead Have fun! Jeff

    On your deathbed, you won't wish that you'd spent more time at the office.  But you will wish that you'd spent more time running.  Because if you had, you wouldn't be on your deathbed.

      Can't say I really have a favorite...it depends what kind of mood I'm in and what I'm training for. But a great any-time-of-the-year workout is the one I did on Sunday; 6 x 1000m at a bit slower than 10k pace with 2 minute jogs, then 5 minutes easy, then 4 x 30 seconds at about 3k pace with 1 minute jogs. With warmup and cooldown it was about 13 miles.

      Runners run.


      Wasatch Speedgoat

        2 mile tempo/tt or a 5K race!
        Life is short, play hard!
          Ladders on a 400m track... 400 m hard 200 m easy 800 m hard 400 m easy 400 m hard 200 m easy Recover, then repeat.


          Needs more cowbell!

            Jeff, I LOVE this workout you did with your CC team. I think I have avoided traditional intervals in favor of fartleks, since I don't really care to arrange my workouts around when the students need to use the nearest tracks. I think I might need a better watch for this, though. Mine is a really basic stopwatch. I don't know that I can do a lot of pre-programmed workouts with it...and if I could, I have NO clue where the manual is almost a year after buying it. I think I will start a thread for watch recommendations... k

            Kirsten - aka "Auntie Kirsten"

            '14 Goals:

            • 2 olympic distance duathlons -- 6 days apart -- PR at least 1

            • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)

              k, I've done hundreds of "time only" workouts like that one with just a $30 timex iron man without programming it, just using the lap timer. There's not need to buy a special watch to start doing workouts like that. If you're going to buy something, buy the Garmin... Big grin The 6 x 1000m with 2 minute jogs workout that I mentioned above was done on the roads, no schedule arrangement necessary.

              Runners run.


              Needs more cowbell!

                If you're going to buy something, buy the Garmin... Big grin
                *fingers in ears* Lalalalalalala...I will resist! So are you just pressing the lap button as soon as you hit the end of each time segment? k

                Kirsten - aka "Auntie Kirsten"

                '14 Goals:

                • 2 olympic distance duathlons -- 6 days apart -- PR at least 1

                • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)

                  So are you just pressing the lap button as soon as you hit the end of each time segment? k
                  Yup. With practice you get get good at knowing just about exactly when time is up too, so you're not constantly looking at your watch.

                  Runners run.

                    I feel so inept when it comes to this side of training. Dead Seriously. I go all Rainman with running...All I want to do is get out there, turn on my garmin and run. I don't like change, LOL. I don't like stopping...I like to keep my pace as steady as possible or at the very least, do a steady increase in speed. I know it's probably not the best idea. This is where I think if I could run with a group, in a more organized way, I'd be forced to train this way.
                    Jennifer mm#1231


                    I've got a fever...

                      Yup. With practice you get get good at knowing just about exactly when time is up too, so you're not constantly looking at your watch.
                      That's definitely true, you do develop a feel for it. Though I've found for me that a watched pot doesn't boil -- the more times I look at my watch during an interval, the longer it seems to take. If I can have enough discipline to not look at the watch, the interval seems to go by quicker.

                      On your deathbed, you won't wish that you'd spent more time at the office.  But you will wish that you'd spent more time running.  Because if you had, you wouldn't be on your deathbed.


                      I've got a fever...

                        I have NO clue where the manual is almost a year after buying
                        http://assets.timex.com/instructions/w3Instr.pdf Looks like has a single countdown timer, which is good for tempo runs, but not so much for intervals. Cheers, Jeff

                        On your deathbed, you won't wish that you'd spent more time at the office.  But you will wish that you'd spent more time running.  Because if you had, you wouldn't be on your deathbed.

                        RunningHammer


                          Favourite? You mean there are people who actually enjoy speed workouts?!! Shocked


                          Needs more cowbell!

                            http://assets.timex.com/instructions/w3Instr.pdf Looks like has a single countdown timer, which is good for tempo runs, but not so much for intervals. Cheers, Jeff
                            Ahhh...that's kind of what I thought. I played around with it last night and it's pretty straightforward. I've seen a nice, smaller Ironman model on Amazon that I'm contemplating grabbing. Lime green and funky, but has a 50 lap function. Not too $$, either. k

                            Kirsten - aka "Auntie Kirsten"

                            '14 Goals:

                            • 2 olympic distance duathlons -- 6 days apart -- PR at least 1

                            • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)


                            Needs more cowbell!

                              Favourite? You mean there are people who actually enjoy speed workouts?!! Shocked
                              I think we converted sprinters probably like them more than the pure distance folks. It's the one time I feel in my element--at least for some short durations. Big grin k

                              Kirsten - aka "Auntie Kirsten"

                              '14 Goals:

                              • 2 olympic distance duathlons -- 6 days apart -- PR at least 1

                              • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)

                              Scout7


                              CPT Curmudgeon

                                Hills. Living in PA, we are blessed (or cursed, depending on one's point of view) with an abundance of different terrain, none of it flat. I don't do hill repeats, I just run very hilly courses. Short and steep, long and gradual, long and steep.....Builds strength, power, helps with form.
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