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One-Hour Workout: Tempo Ramp Run Intervals

Build your effort and intensity throughout these run intervals for a real feel-good workout.

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This is a steady and smooth build workout that sees you progress the effort, pace, and intensity as you get deeper into the session. Depending on time (and fitness), you can add to or scale back the intervals, but the “go-to” version of this workout is: 30 minutes easy and relaxed running at RPE (rate of perceived exertion) 5-6/10; 20 minutes moderate effort at RPE 6-7/10; 15 minutes stronger effort at RPE 8/10; 10 minutes very strong effort at RPE 9/10. This should all be continuous, no rest between intervals, as you should be governing your effort throughout each section.

In full (as above), this is a 75-minute workout, so it can be easily scaled back following the same pattern of effort level as above but with shorter intervals, so 20 minutes easy; 15 minutes moderate; 10 minutes stronger; 5 minutes very strong. This workout is great at helping to teach you how to govern effort and learn pacing: if you start out too hard, you’ll struggle to raise the pace and intensity as you get further into the set, so—even if you’re feeling great—be sure to start with a patient and prudent approach. In short, make sure easy is easy and hard is hard! This is polarized training at its best and once you’ve mastered this you’ll really reap the benefits.

If you’re feeling tired or have already run hard in the days leading up to this workout, then it’s also very easy to scale it back and ramp the effort more conservatively, building to no more than 7-8/10 RPE. Either way, be sure to cool down well with five to 10 minutes of relaxed, easy running to help bring your heart rate and breathing rate back down.

One-Hour Workout: Tempo Ramp Run Intervals

Warm-up:

The warm-up is technically the first “interval,” so 30 min. easy @ RPE 5-6/10

Main Set:

20 min. moderate effort @ RPE 6-7/10

15 min. stronger effort @ RPE 8/10

10 min. very strong effort @ RPE 9/10

Cooldown:

5-10 min. easy, relaxed running