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Running as a masters athlete episode 1: How 800m intervals can make you faster

Sneak these 800m intervals into your week and see improvements in no time

Don’t let your workout routines go stale. If your week is in need of a lift or a little restructuring, tune in to our new video series on running as a masters athlete presented by Race Guide editor and Canadian Running contributor Dan Way.

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Episode one features one workout done by the University of Toronto’s masters track club. In need of new interval workout ideas? Check this one out.

This workout is pretty simple: 800m followed by 400m off. The 800m is to be done rather fast – think 3K or 5K pace – while the 400m is to be slowed down and run closer to a 10K pace. It’s meant to be run continuous and challenges runners to keep working even during the recovery component. Runners who take on this workout also have to make sure not to go too fast during the 800m section and not go too slow during the recovery lap. 


As for sets, track-focused runners or those who opt to race shorter distances should do about four. For the runner who likes to go long, six sets is a good number to aim for. This can be completed as a first section of a workout.

RELATED: Six training hacks for masters athletes

As noted in the video, masters athletes often have a wide range of responsibilities and commitments outside of their training. Find balance while being realistic with your workout schedule by completing workouts like this quickly in the evening and spending weekends (where there’s more time) to get in longer, quality work.