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Speedwork for marathoners: 4x4x400m

Try this high-volume workout to build fatigue resistance and prepare for race day

The crisp autumn days are just around the corner and with that comes fall racing season. If you have a marathon on the calendar in the next couple of months, you’re likely deep into training already, and may be getting stuck in a bit of a training rut. Break out of the monotony with this fun, challenging workout that will have you ready to snag a new PB on race day.

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The workout

This workout allows you to test your speed a bit while also adding some volume into your week, but if you pace it correctly, it won’t completely wipe you out for the rest of the week’s training. You should aim to run each 400 at 5K pace, which isn’t overly fast for such a short interval, but will begin to feel challenging as the workout progresses. Alternatively, you could start out more conservatively and try to increase your pace with each set.

This is a high-volume workout, so most coaches do not recommend doing it in the early stages of marathon training. If you’re new to speed work, you can cut each interval in half and run 200m followed by a 200m jog. If you don’t have a track to complete this workout, you can do the 400s as timed two-minute intervals.

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Warmup: 10-15 minute easy jog, followed by form drills and strides

Workout: 4 sets of 4x400m with 1:00 of rest between each interval and 3:00 rest between sets

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