From fartleks to hill reps and re­cov­ery runs, there’s a huge amount of vari­a­tion you can squeeze into a 30min win­dow. Here are 15 win­ning ses­sions to fire up your run­ning

220 Triathlon Magazine - - EXPERT TIPS -


Run­ning can be a soli­tary sport, so try to team up with a friend or train­ing group that are of a sim­i­lar abil­ity and help each other im­prove. Agree on a set route or dis­tance and share the work on the front. Just be care­ful that ev­ery ses­sion doesn’t be­come too com­pet­i­tive…

32 5K TEST

Use this ses­sion as a way to mon­i­tor progress and to help you set tar­get paces for other ses­sions. 5km for a triath­lete is usu­ally the short­est race dis­tance you’ll race over, so it’s great to know how to race it. Make this a route that you can re­peat ev­ery 4-6wks.


If you fancy a reg­u­lar test against the clock in a more com­pet­i­tive en­vi­ron­ment, then a Satur­day morn­ing 5km parkrun event keeps you hon­est. There should be a parkrun close to home but, de­pend­ing on your long-term triathlon goals, this shouldn’t be a weekly oc­cur­rence due to the strain it puts on the body and chances of in­jury.


Try to find a long set of steps that you can in­clude in an out­door run; some­thing that’ll ide­ally take you longer than 1min to climb is per­fect. Re­ally push hard as you scale the

steps and feel the lac­tic acid build as you get to the top. Com­plet­ing a num­ber of step reps will build great run­ning strength.


A fartlek run can ben­e­fit triath­letes of ev­ery race dis­tance and at all times of the year, as it in­cor­po­rates high and low in­ten­si­ties into the same set. Fartleks have no set struc­ture but they in­clude changes in pace for vary­ing dis­tances and over dif­fer­ing in­clines. If you’re run­ning out­doors you can use land­marks such as a tree or lamp post to sprint for. If you’re on a tread­mill, per­haps use changes in the mu­sic you’re lis­ten­ing to. Any­thing goes here.

“A fartlek run is ben­e­fi­cial for all lev­els of triath­lete and at all times of the year”


This re­ally tough 30min ses­sion can have great im­pact on your speed en­durance. Com­plete 4mins @ 5km test pace then walk for 1min. Keep re­peat­ing the 5min block un­til you have your 30mins. The aim is to not slow down on your hard 4min ef­forts.


As with the swim and bike it’s very sen­si­ble to in­clude oc­ca­sional re­cov­ery runs into your plan. Make a deal with your­self that you won’t run faster than a set pace, or you won’t ex­ceed a spe­cific heart rate, and stick to it. En­joy these eas­ier workouts.

39 800 SHUT­TLES

Don’t panic… these are best done out­doors on a flat route or a track. Run an 800m ef­fort, stop and re­cover for 30secs, then run back aim­ing to main­tain a de­sired pace. Keep re­peat­ing un­til you can no longer hold the de­sired pace. Com­plete for 30mins.


Pyra­mids can be set on time or dis­tance, and this great 40min ses­sion is on time. Set a de­sired pace you want to hold through­out the ses­sion then com­plete 2mins; 4mins; 6mins; 8mins; 6mins; 4mins; 2mins, tak­ing 1min com­plete rest be­tween in­ter­vals. Harder than it sounds.


This is eas­ily done on a tread­mill or by find­ing a suit­able hill out­doors. Get warmed up then in­clude a fast-paced climb of 2-3mins, tak­ing 2mins re­cov­ery to come back down. Com­plete for 35mins. At­tack the climb and think about hold­ing good run form, hips for­ward and don’t look down!


Use this ses­sion to help your body feel what it’s like to run at dif­fer­ent paces. The changes in pace don’t need to be vast but enough to make a dif­fer­ence. Do 3 x [6mins at marathon pace/3mins at 10km pace/1min at 1km pace]. There’s no rest pe­riod in be­tween.


You must be well warmed up and ready for this, and have an idea of how fast you can run for a 1min pe­riod. Start with a steady pace and build the speed each minute un­til, by the sixth minute, you’re go­ing full gas. Then jog for 1min and walk for 1min. Re­peat this 8min block a fur­ther three times for a su­per tough 32min du­ra­tion.


This is best done in­doors on a tread­mill and in­door bike so you can move be­tween run and bike quickly. Start the 30min ses­sion with a 3min steady bike then onto a 7min hill run with an ap­prox­i­mately 2-3% in­cline. Re­peat a fur­ther two times. The run should aim to hold a con­sis­tent hard pace and use the fol­low­ing bike leg as an ac­tive re­cov­ery ride.

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