One-Hour Workouts: 7 Track Sessions To Try

“The 24” Track Session

This workout comes from John Heuisler (@racebetter), co-owner of Between the Lines Coaching in Baltimore. “I like this workout because it has both a speed and an endurance component while also training the athlete to run fast on tired legs,” Heuisler says. “It can also be easily tailored to the type of racing an athlete is competing in—short course or long—and where he or she is in their build cycle.”

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Photo: Shutterstock

Track Workout From A Top Age Grouper

This track workout comes from age grouper Kirsten Sass, who won five national titles in 2015, including the Olympic-distance title at the ITU World Triathlon Grand Final in Chicago. Sass works with coach Suzanne Atkinson and, in 2014, USA Triathlon named her Amateur Athlete of the Year.

Get her favorite track workout here

Photo: Bruce Kluckhohn/USA Triathlon

Speed Burst Track Session

This one-hour run workout is from MP Multisport owner and coach Jon “Mace” Mason, who spends most Tuesday nights coaching age group and elite athletes at the Colorado State University track. He says this one-hour workout is one of his favorites to assess heart rate and how it responds to running a paced effort after a burst of speed with no recovery. “An important fitness indicator is if we can control our heart rate by bringing it down to a lower zone after a high-intensity session—while still maintain a higher performance,” he says.

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2-4-6-8 Track Session

This workout decreases in interval length while increasing the amount of reps. It’s a solid workout if you struggle with proper pacing—first, you need to go out at an easier effort for the longer distances so that you have room to grow when it gets to the 100s. (And with your hardest effort being last, pacing is key to not falter at the end.) Because you have multiple repeats of each distance, take note of how consistent you are each time. Ideally, you’re crossing the line within a couple seconds from your first to your last, negative splitting by a little bit each round if possible.

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“The Michigan” Track Session

This track workout comes from running coach Mario Fraioli, who adapted this workout from a former teammate. Note: The standard version of this entire session as detailed below would amount to more than an hour, but you can alter it based on your current training level and how much time you have.

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Long-Speedy Track Session

This run workout comes from exercise physiologist, clinical/registered dietitian and USAT Level I coach Marni Sumbal of Trimarni Coaching and Nutrition, who recently moved to Greenville, S.C.

Sumbal says she designed this “long” speed track workout for triathletes who often feel invincible straight out of T2 but tend to fatigue as the race continues. “Teaching your body how to pace itself by perceived effort—instead of letting your GPS-device control your effort—is very similar to how you should be ‘racing’ the first few miles of your triathlon, specifically in endurance events,” she says. With several rounds of mixed intensities, you’ll hit both your aerobic and anaerobic systems to learn how to save yourself for the later part of the workout (and, consequently, the race). Plus, she notes, you’ll teach your body how to settle into a comfortable cadence to maintain good form as the effort increases.

“Because this workout encourages perceived exertion instead of pace, triathletes of all levels (without injuries) can benefit. If you are new to track workouts, aim to complete two rounds and with your GPS-device, hitting lap before/after each interval, compare the two rounds to determine how well you paced yourself,” Sumbal says. “For experienced track runners, try to descend each round so that the last round is your strongest.”

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Photo: Shutterstock

4×1000 Track Session

This run workout comes from Bloomington, Ind.-based triathlon coach and Kinesiology/Sports Psychology Ph.D. Craig Paiement, who has been coaching since 1997. Paiement specializes in developing juniors, U-23 ITU hopefuls and high-performance athletes through his coaching service EXO1.

“This workout has been a staple for my athletes for years,” Paiement says. “It helps athletes to build strength and speed and get comfortable with cadence control and pace changes. This workout works best as an every other week workout through the season for those working on speed or racing Olympic distance and shorter.”

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Every Tuesday we feature a different coach’s workout you can complete in 60 mins (or less!), and this week we’re compiling seven of our favorite track sessions. See the complete collection of one-hour workouts—there are 175 total—here.