This is a great run workout because it breaks up the monotony of a run, teaches pacing skills, and allows for a wide range of intensity levels.

Many triathletes struggle with learning their pacing, but this build progressions run workout—the same one done by Olympian Ben Kanute—helps cast into a sharp light if you’re going out too hard. When done correctly, you should feel very good near the end and be able to increase your pace as the rounds progress.

The Build Progressions Run Workout

Warm Up

Easy jog for 10 to 15 minutes. Complete any dynamic stretching/activation routine before beginning. 

Main Set

This is a run/walk combination workout—perfect for early season when you’re just getting going again. Start with 4 minutes of running, making each minute slightly faster than the last; rest 1 minute easy walking. Go through 8 rounds of (4 minutes build, 1 minute walk) making the peak of each round slightly faster than the last. 

Novice runners can even treat this as a recovery run, where you begin so easy that even at maximum, you’re only going recovery pace. 

Advanced runners can make this a very hard workout by doing up to 9 minutes build with a 1-minute walk—getting as high as race pace at the peak.

Cool down

Easy jog 5-10 minutes

How to integrate this build progressions run workout into a training plan

This is a great workout for the early season or days when you don’t think you’ll be able to hit a tough workout. The workout is structured so that if you start to feel better as you go (which is often the case), you can still make it into something challenging and beneficial.

Meet Your Coach

Jim Vance is a San Diego-based coach and author of Triathlon 2.0 and Run with Power. He’s the head coach for Formula Endurance, a USA Triathlon High Performance Team that focuses on junior development. He’s also the personal coach 2016 U.S. Olympian Ben Kanute, guiding him to wins at Escape from Alcatraz and Island House Triathlon in 2017 and a second-place finish at the 70.3 World Championships. Find more at