One-Hour Workout: Vasco Vilaca’s Super League Run Speed Session

Build your top-end strength and speed with this workout from an up-and-coming short-course star.

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This week’s One-Hour Workout is a high-intensity run session from Portugese short-course athlete Vasco Vilaca, who finished fourth at last weekend’s Super League Triathlon in London and is now preparing for the second round in Munich this Sunday. The third round of racing takes place in Jersey, U.K., on Sept. 18 before the finale in Malibu, California, on Sept. 25.

RELATED: What is Super League Triathlon, Anyway?

This workout involves a mix of hard hill repeats followed by 400m efforts on the flat at race pace. Vilaca said: “This workout helps me hone my strength and speed, which is key for Super League racing. A workout like this one can really make you faster and sharper, but do remember that intensity like this should only be added at specific times in your program.”

With this in mind, approach this workout when you’re relatively fresh and haven’t done any hard bike or run workouts a day or two beforehand. You should also be ready to work hard and focus your mind and body!

After a good 15 to 20-minute warm-up, which should be smooth and easy at rate of perceived exertion (RPE) 4-5 out of 10, do a few 20-25 second strides to “open the engine” and get you ready for the main set ahead. The main set involves eight rounds of 45 seconds hard uphill (RPE 9/10), focusing on power and drive, before jogging downhill to restart. Once you’ve completed all eight repeats, it’s then time for eight rounds of 400m on the flats at your race pace effort (RPE 8/10). Intersperse each one with 200m easy jog.

This is a tough workout, so be sure to cool down well with a five to 10-minute relaxed, easy jog.

One-Hour Workout: Vasco Vilaca’s Super League Run Speed Session


15-20 min. easy, RPE 4-5/10, with a few 20-25-sec. strides

Main set

8 x 45 sec. hard uphill, RPE 9/10, jog down to recover in between

8 x 400m flat at race pace, RPE 8/10, with 200m easy jog between


5-10 min. easy jog


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