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When was the last time you did a workout you had never done before? If you’re like a lot of runners, it’s been a while, especially when you are stuck inside on a treadmill. Time to try something new.
“Cut-down” describes a workout in which each interval is run slightly faster than the one before. Half-mile cut-downs are a good place to start, because they offer benefits for runners training for any race distance. They give 5K runners practice running at race pace or a bit faster, and they give marathoners a boost in aerobic capacity, which makes marathon pace feel easier.
Challenge Level: Moderate to High
- Start with a 5- to 10-minute warm-up at a perceived effort level of 3 on a 1–10 scale.
- Accelerate to your 5K race pace and run for 0.5 mile.
- Recover for 0.25 mile at your warm-up pace.
- Perform another 0.5-mile interval, but go slightly (0.1–0.2 mph) faster than you did for the first one. (For example, if you ran your first 5K-pace interval at 8.3 mph, run the second interval at 8.4 or 8.5 mph.)
- After another 0.25-mile recovery, complete a third half-mile interval, again going 0.1–0.2 mph faster than you did in the last one. Continue until you have completed four to six intervals, depending on your fitness level.
- Cool down for 5 to 10 minutes at an effort level of 3.