Structured training sessions in a group keep you honest. If you try running intervals by yourself, it is sometimes easy to slacken off towards the end of the session. Your breaks between intervals become longer as you start getting tired. This is cheating! It can be avoided if we design our training sessions slightly differently. The idea is to design sessions around times and not just around distances.
Examples of sessions designed around distances:
- 12 x 200m with 200m recovery
- 10 x 300m with 100m jog recovery
- 5 x 1k with 600m recovery
Examples of sessions designed around time:
- 12 x 60 seconds fast, 60 seconds slow
- 20 x 120m hill, starting at the base each 90 seconds, jogging back down
- 12 x 400m on 2 minutes (i.e. starting every 2 minutes)
An even better way to keep training honest is with the continuous relay. Two or three person teams work well, especially when designed so that runners still have some distance to cover in between efforts, to get to where they will take over again. Example of continuous relays which can be run on the track:
- Teams of two: 300m hard, 100m recovery
- Teams of three: 400m hard, 400m recovery
- Teams of four: 200m hard, 200m (+) recovery
In the training sessions I organise, people come out of them saying “I would never have run that by myself”. That’s the whole idea. So come along, Mondays or Thursdays, and join in, we have plenty of fun, our sessions are inclusive and cater for everyone, and we work hard too. And we will always run relays whenever there are enough people there to make up a few teams.