Honing your top-end run speed involves hitting some short, sharp intervals that might sting at the time, but you’ll be grateful for in the long run.
Open up this workout with a 15-minute steady warm-up, gradually building the effort in the final five minutes. You’ll want to start with a RPE (rate of perceived exertion) around 5/10 and nudge that up to 7/10 by the end of the warm-up. Include some strides in this final five-minute block of the warm-up too if you wish—5 x 20 seconds accelerations are perfect, and try to do them on grass or a softer surface if possible.
The main set is a fun one: it’s three sets of three 60-second higher intensity efforts (think 8-9/10 RPE) followed by 60 seconds rest, straight into two minutes at similar pace/intensity, followed by four minutes rest. That’s one set—do that three times through.
Be sure to make the 60-second efforts fast but controlled and the two-minute efforts close to that same pace/intensity. Do not go out too hard—you’ll suffer for it! This is as much about honing top-end speed as it is about learning how to pace.
Wrap it up with a 10-minute cool-down and recover well.
One-Hour Workout: Anaerobic Run Intervals
15 min. @ 5/10 RPE, progressing to 7/10 RPE, include 5 x 20 sec. strides/accelerations toward end of warm-up
3 rounds of:
60 sec. @ 8-9/10 RPE
60 sec. rest
2 min. @ 9/10 RPE
4 min. rest
10 min. easy relaxed running