Thursday, Sep 29

Interval Runs to build your base

Interval Runs to build your base

I am a big proponent of utilizing preseason running to build your athletes aerobic base of conditioning.  The key is finding the right balance and not overdoing “too much of a good thing”.  When I was in high school I remember the first month or so of practice we would run for 20-30 minutes EVERY day.  While this helped us get in shape, the monotonous (and all too common) nature of this plan has some negative unintended consequences – shin splints, taking time and energy away from strength training or mat time, and it accomplishes little in the area of anaerobic or power development.

So what is the answer?

As we head into October, I have my athletes doing a minimum of two runs per week.  One is a long “easy” 30-40 minute run done solo on Saturdays (the type we used to mistakenly do every day before practice) to build capacity.

The other run for the week is an interval run done during the week after an upper body lift.

True sprint work will come later and we are also using sleds and other strong man type workouts, but adding in one of these each week will do wonders to help your athletes endurance and ability to recover between hard bursts and scrambles on the mat.

Here are 5 of my favorite interval runs (pace examples listed after the runs):

1. Quarter mile turn up

  • 3 mile run
  • 3/4 jog
  • 1/4 Hard Pace
  • X 3

2. Timed intervals

  • 3 mile run
  • Alternate between 2 minutes Easy pace/:30 Accelerate

3. Long Goes

  • 40 minute run
  • 7 minutes Easy
  • 1 minute Hard

4. 1/2 mile finishers

  • 3 mile run
  • 700m jog or easy
  • 100m Max
  • X 6

5. 4 miles in 30 minutes 

  • 6 minutes Stride
  • 30 seconds Hard
  • 30 seconds Easy (recovery)
  • Repeat for 4 miles (goal is 30 minutes)

How I determine pace for interval runs:

Basing the pace off an athlete who’s mile PR is 6 minutes.  Adjust accordingly based on ability.

Easy = 8:30-9 minute mile pace

Jog = 8-8:30 minute mile pace

Stride = 7:15-7:30 mile pace

Hard = 6 minute mile pace

Accelerate = gradually build to full speed over the course of the interval

Need guidance this season?

Let me help you.

I will show you exactly what to do every week and how and when to turn it up form maximum results.  You get access to all weekly workouts that my elite athletes use, plus over 20 full programs, live webinars and more!


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