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Workouts I Recommend

1 Note: Date pace is your current race pace for a specific distance, whereas goal pace is the pace required for your goal time (see, some things really are straight forward). Keep this distinction in mind as you peruse the following workouts.

2 Strides are highly recommended after every workout for every runner. "The most important part of the workout." Generally, 4x100m strides is sufficient, easing into them at first and building speed through the set. Concentrate on relaxation and speed. You can also run them accelerating the first half, holding speed through 80m or so, then decelerating -- a little easier on the body. Jog back 100m before starting the next one. Many distance runners prefer to run them consecutively down and back, but this works your endurance more than your speed (who can hold top speed for 400m?).

 12x400m at 1500m date pace or slightly faster, with a 200m jog recovery between each interval and a 600m jog between sets of four (three sets).
 1200m time trial. Sounds crazy, but it is an excellent indicator of what you can run the 1500m in, and it really doesn't take all that much out of you.
 4x800m at 1500m date pace or slightly slower, with a 400m jog recovery after each.

 4x400m at 800m goal pace, with a 400m jog between each. If you can hold the pace, do more than four.
 600m time trial. Again, a very good indicator of where you are at. Add about 34-35 seconds (varies somewhat with your speed, obviously) to this time and it will probably be very close to your 800m time.
 4x400m pace change, probably slower than the regular 4x400m. The idea is to change pace every 100m, going easy-hard-easy-hard. The hard section should be 800m goal pace or faster, the easy section about 1500m date pace. Make sure to finish on hard to develop the mentality of finishing faster.
 15x300m at date pace, 100m jog recovery with a 400m jog between sets. Begin with three sets of three 300's, progressing to three sets of four, and finally to three sets of five.

 4x200m, as fast as you can hold them consistent, preferably near 400m goal pace. 200m jog recovery between each.
 250m hard, walk/jog 50m, finish with 100m all-out (400m total). Surprisingly difficult; do as many as you can.
 10x15 seconds all-out sprint on a fairly steep hill. Jog back a little farther than the distance you ran, to allow time to recover. This was about half of my speed work before the first hamstring injury.
 "Flying" 150's. Run the first 50m at a fast but comfortable pace, them hammer the last 100m. You can do a fair number of these without much strain on the body due to the speed transition.

2011 Note: More information on the above workouts plus many more, and my fully developed training philosophy, can be found in my book, VOQ Training for Cross Country & Track.

*Please note: All exercise, training, health, and nutritional information on this page and throughout Run-Down should be treated as educational in nature. Unless explicitly stated as otherwise, all advice contained within Run-Down's pages is non-medical opinion. Please consult a doctor before embarking on any exercise or training regimen. Run-Down and Dan Kaplan do not assume responsibility for any physical harm that may be caused as a result of advice given on these pages.

Training Pages:  Workouts   My Running  Speed vs. Pace  Toe-Running and Metabolism  Creatine and Injuries  Workouts