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Looking for a challenge? Try 800m breakdowns

This workout is not for the faint of heart

Joseph Balko

If you’re looking for a challenging track workout to test your fitness and build some strength and speed, look no further than 800m breakdowns. This is a great workout to include at the beginning of your training cycle to get an idea of your fitness, and then again later in the season to assess your progress. This is a long, challenging workout meant for more experienced runners.

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The workout

The idea is simple: start with an 800, then break it down into 400s, followed by 200s. The rest is long, to allow you to run each interval at your max, and the goal is to run the second set just as fast as the first, if not faster.

Warmup: 15-20 minute easy jog, followed by form drills and strides

Workout: 800m/4 min rest; 2x400m/2 min rest; 4x200m/1 min rest // 6 minutes rest // repeat

Cooldown: 10-15 minute easy jog followed by light stretching

This workout totals almost five kilometres of hard running, which, as we said, is likely too much for a beginner. To make this workout easier, you could do only one set, or you could shorten the rest and ease up on the pace a bit, running the intervals at 5K or even 10K pace.

RELATED: Try variable-intensity intervals to increase your VO2 max