I have done this particular session perhaps three or four times before, and every time I do it I keep thinking I should do it more often. It REALLY challenges your speed, technique and your ability to push yourself!
This type of session I usually do on the track where I find that the conditions and my performance is the most honest, but you can do this one on the treadmill or as well. Whether you are new to training on the track or not this session has something for both the fast and the not so fast runner! The most important thing is that you stay focused on yourself and on executing.
This is how you do it
Warm up with easy jogging for about 15 minutes. I like to warm up outside of the track so spare my legs of the hard track surface. Then I enter the track and run one or two rounds on moderate intensity. Perhaps I do a couple of strides of 100-200 meters to get my muscles fired up a bit.
Intensity: Progressively zone 3-5 (6)
Intervals: 400 m – 800m – 1000m – 1500m – 1500m – 1000m – 800m – 400m. Breaks between intervals are 2 minutes.
The track is 400 meters around the inner lane. You start at the start line on the 400m and 800m -interval. On the 1000m you start on the opposite side on the diagonal, run two and a half rounds and stop at the same place as you did 400/800. On the 1500m start 100 meters in front of the original start/finish line, run 3 and 3/4 rounds.
If the volume looks a bit much for your level you can change it to:
400 m – 800m – 1000m – 1000m – 800m – 400m. Breaks between intervals are 2 minutes.
Easy jogg 10-15 minutes around or outside of the track.
The point of it all
There are several aspects to this session that I’d like to highlight, so you’ll know what you are training for. The obvious one is getting your heart rate up to 85++ beats per minute in order to really stimulate your cardio respiratory fitness! Because this interval has different distances, it will also have different time domains. Running 1:20 on the 400m imposes very different aerobic and anaerobic demands on the body, than 6:30 on the 1500 m does. This means that you’ll be challenging your speed and thereby your muscle fiber recruitment, as well as various degrees of anaerobic and aerobic capacities.
In a pyramid like this you are meant to hit the same times in the second half as you did in the first half, and THIS is the mentally and physically challenging part. Because you shouldn’t be a wossy and start too slow, but you can’t afford to runn the first half too fast either. My advice is that the first 400m should feel like a fast warm-up pace, because I swear that’s what it felt like to me and on the very last 400m I ran all that I had, but just barely made the time! This is also exactly the point: pushing for speed on the second half.
Think it sounds scary or difficult? It’s not! Just try it once and time yourself, get to know your speeds/paces and pay attention to how you feel during the intervals. If you start to hard or too slow, no big deal: This is how you learn to optimize your interval training! The good old “learning by doing”, which I’m a big fan of!
I really recommend this one, and shout out if you do it!