35 mins speedwork: 10, 10 x 1:1, 5

Today I’m going to help a work colleague at lunchtime.
She wants to get faster, so I’ve shared my ‘Run Stronger Get Faster’ Training plan with her.

For the next 6 weeks (or more if she likes it) she’ll aim to do one ‘effective’ run a week.
Today we’ll do her first ‘effective’ run, and she’ll record how far she travelled in 35 minutes.
She’s downloaded and saved the plan as her own, updated the date and her time for a 10k.
Now all she needs to do is update the green cells with how far she runs on each effective run.

Here’s what our run will look like:

10 min slow warm up run.
1 min running fast, 1 min recovery (walking or jogging)
1 min running fast, 1 min recovery (walking or jogging)
1 min running fast, 1 min recovery (walking or jogging)
1 min running fast, 1 min recovery (walking or jogging)
1 min running fast, 1 min recovery (walking or jogging)
1 min running fast, 1 min recovery (walking or jogging)
1 min running fast, 1 min recovery (walking or jogging)
1 min running fast, 1 min recovery (walking or jogging)
1 min running fast, 1 min recovery (walking or jogging)
1 min running fast, 1 min recovery (walking or jogging)
5 mins recovery run / jog.

Notice the last 1 minute recovery comes before 5 mins of recovery, do it’s really 6 minutes recovery or until you’ve run for 35 minutes. 🙂

The route of the run isn’t too important, but you should try to avoid road crossings or places where you might have to stop during your fast efforts. Loops (if you don’t mind them) are good, or parks are good too. Or you could just follow a pavement and turn forgers instead if crossing roads (if that makes sense?).

The main thing is to be able to keep going fast for all 10 intervals. So don’t go out too fast, but fast enough that you’re pushing it, but not too fast so that you collapse into a heap after 5 intervals! Your recoveries will be important so take advantage of them, walk or jog.

Now I’m letting you know that this will be hard and it will hurt. But it’ll be over before you know it and it’ll give you a target to beat for the other 35 minute effective runs you do. Hang on in there for the 10 intervals. If you have a garmin and a heart rate monitor you’ll generate a cool graph (that’s the thing that keeps me going when I get to interval 6 and I’m feeling it!).

The idea of the effective runs are that they get your body (and mind) able to run fast or work hard over shirt distances. Week by week you’ll get more and more used to running hard, and as a result you should find it easier to run at a faster pace.

Ideally if you can aim to at least jog in the recoveries, that’s where you want to get to, but it might take a few attempts to do that, do feel free to walk in your recoveries if you need it. (It’ll mean a greater improvement / distance covered when you are able to continually run/jog instead of run/walk.

The good thing about intervals is that you run so fast in the fast efforts that when you are jogging what you think is slowly on the recoveries, it’s actually quite fast because relativities come in. Your body (and mind) knows it’s slower than you were running, but it doesn’t realise it’s maybe your normal pace you’re recovering at.

I’ll be setting up the intervals on my garmin: 10 warm up, 10 x 1:1, 5 mins recovery. And it will tell us (with a beep and a vibrate) when to start and stop our intervals. Heart rate doesn’t matter until then end (to show how hard you’ve worked).

See here for how to set your garmin up to do speed work / intervals:

What this training plan will give you is a weekly benchmark without bring too time based (ie always trying to get PBs over distances). All you’re turning to do in the intervals/ speed work runs is cover more distance in a given time (35 mins in the first 6 weeks, leading to 45 mins the next, then ultimately 60 minutes of speed work.)

The hills and tempo runs will act as another way to push yourself hard and the 5k and 10k time trials will help focus your goal and get you time based PBs. Gap fingers crossed!

Good luck if you’re doing the plan, and please let me know how you get on with it. 🙂 I’ll let you know how we get on later.

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