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Test your speed during this short interval cutdown workout

Embrace faster paces in this progression interval workout

Bowerman Track Club

The key to improving your speed over middle and long distances is to find a balance between building your anaerobic strength and your endurance. Many athletes will use interval training as a tool to improve their speed over a short period. Intervals are essential in getting your body comfortable with being uncomfortable, which can help you adjust to a quicker pace on race day.

An interval workout can be exhausting, depending on the set pace during the reps and the rest between intervals; the goal of this interval workout is to develop your speed by getting your body to feel relaxed at a faster-than-usual pace.


Before the workout, do a light, 10-15 minute warm-up jog to get your blood flowing.

90-90-90-60-60-60-30-30-30 — all with two minutes walk/jog rest between

The paces on 90-second reps should be around your 5K goal pace. The 60s should be around 90 per cent of your all-out, or one-mile pace, and the 30-second reps should be done at near all-out, or 800m pace. 

This progression interval workout is designed for any middle-distance runner up to 10K. This session can be done on the road, treadmill or track. 

Example for a 25-minute 5K runner:

The 90s @ 4:50-5:00/km, 60s @ 4:10-4:15/km, and 30s @ 4:00/km or faster.

The short two minutes of rest off high-intensity interval training improves your lactate threshold and pain tolerance.

Be sure to push yourself, and maintain proper form when running hard. The workout won’t be a breeze, but it will give you an idea of your middle-distance potential from the mile to the 5K. 

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