One Work­out

Trail Cham­pion El­lie Green­wood’s Tempo Trial

Canadian Running - - DEPARTMENTS -

My pref­er­ence is to do this work­out on un­du­lat­ing, gen­tly rolling ter­rain and even bet­ter if it is on non-tech­ni­cal trail (rather than a paved sur­face).

For trail run­ners who are of­ten not mo­ti­vated or in­tim­i­dated by track or road run­ning, there is no rea­son why you can’t do your in­ter­val work­outs on trails. In fact, it can be re­ally ben­e­fi­cial, as the softer sur­face is eas­ier on your body and it’s race-spe­cific train­ing. It’s also a great op­por­tu­nity to run on per­ceived ef­fort, be­cause your pace will vary on up­hills, f lat stretches and the down­hills. You can’t rely on your gps watch for pac­ing and in­stead need to learn to gauge the ef­fort your­self.

Two 5k sets are re­ally quite long in­ter­vals but I take a 10-minute rest in mid­dle – some stand­ing rest is OK, but for some of the time I will walk or jog very slowly to al­low my heart rate to get down grad­u­ally. This rea­son­able length of break be­tween in­ter­vals means that you should be able to push a no­tice­ably faster pace than if you did a 10 kilo­me­tre tempo run.

I like the length of this work­out be­cause it’s in­tim­i­dat­ing, and thus a great phys­i­cal and men­tal race prep. The in­ter­vals are plenty long enough that you have time to think about your ef­fort dur­ing the work­out and have to have the con­vic­tion to hold on to an un­com­fort­able ef­fort for quite long pe­ri­ods. This is re­ally valu­able when you are pre­par­ing for a trail half-marathon, marathon or ul­tra, where in the clos­ing miles you may be faced with hills and tired legs and yet now have the ex­pe­ri­ence to push a hard ef­fort through all of that. For newer or slower run­ners, I would sug­gest try­ing 2 x 3k first, and once you have got a lit­tle faster, in­crease the dis­tance of your weekly long run and over­all weekly vol­ume, then you might want to try the full 2 x 5k work­out. El­lie Green­wood is has won the Com­rades Marathon in South Africa, and holds the course records for the Western States 100-miler and the Cana­dian Death Race. She also coaches ath­letes of all abil­i­ties.

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