If you are training for a 10K or half-marathon, progression workouts can be an easy addition to your training plan to help you develop your top-end speed and endurance. A progression run involves slowly increasing your pace on each rep or throughout the run, so you finish at a faster pace than you started. The purpose of a progression workout is to boost your aerobic system while still running at a high-intensity effort. This workout is particularly useful for runners looking to develop a finishing kick late in a race.
10 mins, 8 mins, 6 mins, 4 mins, 2 mins (all off 90 seconds’ walk or jog rest between reps)
The idea behind this workout is to start the first 10-minute rep around your tempo run pace (fast but comfortable). After the 10 minutes and the rest, increase the pace by 10 seconds. For example, if you averaged 5:00/km for the 10-minute rep, shoot for 4:50/km average on the eight-minute rep. If you hit that, increase to 4:40/km for the six-minute interval, and so on.
By the time you reach the fourth and fifth rep, your legs should feel fatigued. This will cause the faster paces of 30-45 seconds per kilometre to feel more difficult than usual. On the last two interval reps, focus on holding your composure and practising good form. Both the fourth and fifth rep should feel as you are taking a step outside of your comfort zone. Practise running comfortably fast, while uncomfortable.
You have the option to make this workout moderate or hard, depending on how you treat the rest. If you choose to walk during your 90-second rest, the workout won’t be as difficult as it would if you jog the 90 seconds.
This workout is perfect for runners looking to strengthen their endurance in the final few kilometres of a 10K or half marathon. If you are training for a half, you could expand this workout up to 12 minutes at the start to get more mileage in.