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I quite enjoy a good tempo run now, but that wasn’t always the case. I think I used to run tempos at a more flat out kind of pace which is why I hated them so much, now I’m much better at moderating that pace so it’s more sustainable and feels less like dying. But there are times when a continued sustained effort just seems like a whole lot of work and I like to change it up a bit. Here are some runs that you can do (with built in rest periods) which will do the same job that a tempo run does – increasing your speed and getting you nice and comfortable sitting on your anaerobic threshold.

Pyramid

This run is set up with periods of fast running, with 1 minute of recovery running in between.

(3,4,6,8,4,3) 

These are the fast run intervals and in between each you would run 1 minute at a recovery pace.

Progression

400m Progression intervals have fast become my favourite.

400m Sprint, 400m Steady, 400m Fast, 400m Recovery x 5.

I love how this is set up because you get a recovery period between each hard effort

30:20:10

This is also a progression run and it looks like this:

5 x (jog 30 seconds, steady 20 seconds, sprint, 10 seconds), jog for 2 minutes, Repeat x 3

So each of the 30:20:10 makes up a minute, so you do that for five minutes, then you got for 2 minutes as a recovery and then you repeat three more times. It’s shown great results in improving a 5k time.

HIIT

This is a really easy and effective one.

12 x (2:00 Walking, 30 second sprint)

Often when you start longer intervals can be hard to wrap your head around, so this is great to get you started.

5:2

The key to this one is that the 2 minute section is run at a steady pace, not at a recovery pace. So it looks like:

6 x (5:00 Fast, 2:00 Steady)

Great for endurance, because you aren’t getting a real recovery period in it. And making that transition from steady to fast can be quite challenging.

So there you have it! I’m a big fan of finding a type of run that you enjoy for the outcome you need rather than trying to stick out on a workout that you really don’t enjoy. Are you a tempo fan?

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Zoey Dowling

Written by: operationmove

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  1. I'm really into pyramid runs at the moment. There are so many different types of speedwork sessions/intervals you can do too.