For those of us still able to run outdoors during the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a great deal of freedom and “escape” that comes from going for fartlek-style runs—and this one-hour workout taps into that. There are a number of benefits from keeping your training mostly aerobic (in order to protect your immune system) while also hitting a small amount of top-end speed.
After a 10-minute gradual warm-up, moving from a super relaxed pace to a 6/10 RPE (rate of perceived exertion), begin a 40-minute block where every fifth minute you’ll ramp up your effort for 100 yards to 9/10 RPE. Make sure the effort is a gentle acceleration versus an all-out push and be sure to pay attention to your form and breathing: neither should be too labored. If possible to build the 100-yard effort into a hill/incline, then all the better.
Aim to keep your pace consistent throughout the 40-minute block; you want to avoid going too hard to start with and then blowing up toward the end.
Wrap up the run with an eight to 10-minute cooldown, bringing your heart rate and breathing rate back down by the conclusion of the workout.
One-Hour Workout: Run Speed Surges
10 min, progressing from relaxed to 6/10 RPE
40 min steady state running with a ramp in effort to 9/10 RPE every 5th min
8-10 min relaxed running