Add these bread-and-butter interval workouts to your running repertoire to boost speed and endurance.
British Olympic gold medalist Sebastian Coe once said, “I’ve always felt that long, slow distance produces long, slow runners.” To improve your run performance, you need a balance of easy days and hard, faster intervals.
The purpose of these interval track sessions is largely related to the principle of “progressive overload,” which states that performance only improves with added training stress. Not only does this underscore the importance of adding interval training on top of aerobic miles, it also points to the fact that once you start these workouts, you must continue to up the ante from one session to the next. “The beautiful thing is that your body is able to evolve and adapt with added stress—otherwise your fitness plateaus,” says Beth Baker, head coach at Running Evolution in Seattle.
For track sessions to make sense within your training, interval mileage shouldn’t exceed 7–15 percent of your total weekly mileage. As your mileage increases, so will the length of your interval sessions; however, they should still constitute the same percentage of your total training. Check out the following workouts and tweak the pace and number of intervals depending on your goal race and fitness level.