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
31 BUDDY UP
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.
34 PARKRUN RACE
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.
35 LACTIC LADDERS
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.
36 FARTLEK TIME
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”
37 FOUR ONE
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.
38 RECOVERY RUN
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.
40 PACE PYRAMID
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.
41 HILL REPS
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!
42 TEMPO TIME
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.
43 FASTER & FASTER
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.
44 HILL BRICKS
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.