Those preparing for an upcoming fall race such as a half or marathon will likely be in the midst of serious training.
In addition to consistent mileage and weekly long runs, workouts that build race specific speed and strength become an important component of proper race preparation. One of the best workouts for this period is longer intervals, sometimes called endurance or “cruise” intervals that generally last between 1K and 3K and are run at or slightly faster than race pace.
In addition to strength and speed endurance these efforts help develop a greater sense of confidence and comfort running at race pace for prolonged periods.
Here are a selection of sample workouts well-suited for those in the final stages–three to six weeks out–of half- and marathon training. Do these workouts when relatively well rested and be sure to take extra time to recover in the days following the workout.
10 minute WU + SRDs – 1K-2K-1K-2K-1K@GRP/3 minutes rest in between – 10 minute CD
10 minute WU + SRDs – 1K-2K-3K-2K-1K@GRP/4 minutes rest in between – 10 minute CD
10 minute WU + SRDs – 2K-2K-2K-2K-2K@GRP/5 minutes rest in between – 10 minute CD
15 minute WU + SRDs – 1K-2K-3K-2K-1K@GRP/3 minutes rest in between – 15 minute CD
15 minute WU + SRDs – 1K-2K-3K-1K-2K-3K@GRP/4 minutes rest in between – 15 minute CD
15 minute WU + SRDs – 4K-3K-2K-1K@GRP/5 minutes rest in between – 15 minute CD
WU: Warm-up consisting of very easy running; SRDs: Strides (4-5 x 10-20 second accelerations) and running drills (such as walking lunges, high knees, butt kicks and fast feet); GRP: Goal race pace; CD: Cool-down
Note: True cruise intervals often refer to intervals between three and 10 minutes with very short rest and run at threshold pace.