Push your run pace

Emma-Kate Lidbury prescribes a run workout that’ll push you hard but, ultimately, will increase your run speed

Warm-up

10min light run then 6mins, building speed every 2mins so that the final 2mins are at a fast yet sustainable pace (remember this pace – you’ll need it later!). Rest 1min.

Main session

3 x 10min intervals: 1st – every 4th minute hold your fast pace from the warm-up; 2nd – every 3rd minute hold fast pace; 3rd – every other minute hold fast pace. Steady pace at all other times. 2mins easy between intervals.

Cool-down

Easy jog until the hour.

Equipment needed

Run shoes, run kit, treadmill, water/energy drink, heart rate monitor (optional).

Performance benefits

This session combines aerobic endurance with speedwork and will help build the foundations of your run fitness while also developing leg speed. The real benefits come towards the latter stages of this workout, at the point that you’re getting tired and the speedwork is increasing. This will help notch up your run fitness.

Mental benefits

Keeping good form and remaining focused in the latter stages of this session (as it gets tougher) will require significant concentration and mental toughness, both of which will come in handy on race day. It will force your body and mind to stay strong and is great practice for dealing with race-day fatigue.

Physiological benefits

This is a great run endurance workout, which also includes a cheeky dose of speedwork. Monitor the pace you run so that your fast-yet-sustainable speed isn’t too hard; otherwise you might struggle to complete the session. The benefits of this workout are two-fold. Firstly, as much of it is at a steady pace, it’s a good aerobic session (but don’t be fooled into thinking it’s all easy). Secondly, the minute intervals at your fast pace bring a tempo/fartlek element to this. As you tire deep into the session, it’ll help boost your top-end speed.

How to fit it in

Try to schedule this workout on a day when you’ll be reasonably fresh so you’re able to give it 100%. Avoid doing any other intense workouts on the same day and, if your legs are sore the following day, limit your training to an easy swim and/or spin.

Adapt for Ironman

Make the initial 6mins build either eight or 10mins long and make the main session 4 x 12min intervals done as follows:

1st – every 5th minute fast;
2nd – every 4th minute fast;
3rd – every 3rd minute fast;
4th – every other minute fast.

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