A Great Interval Workout To Improve Your Running Speed

“The faster you run, the faster you’re done”

There’s a type of speed intervals I’ve been doing a couple years now. I didn’t find it on any running websites or blog; it’s something I came up with on my own when I became addicted to PRs and placing in races. Right now, I refer to it as “Lindsay Intervals” since I’ve never heard of it anywhere else or, if it exists, I don’t know the proper name – but if this sort of strategy already exists, someone let me know so I can give proper credit instead of giving it to myself!

Lindsay Intervals have helped me bring home hardware

Lindsay Intervals have helped me bring home hardware

This interval program is designed with a two-fold benefit.
1) At the core, it’s an interval workout. The bursts of speed are a great way to improve your cardio fitness and improve speed.
2) The sequence gradually pushes your “comfort” or average pace by using a twist on the Theory of Relativity. In essence, it tricks the body and mind into thinking they’re resting when both are working harder. By the end of the sequence, your “rest” pace is actually the pace of your first interval, yet you feel like it’s a break.

The true beauty is you just did a large portion of your run at a pace faster than your comfort pace. And because of the intervals, it’s really doable and doesn’t seem so daunting. Plus, who doesn’t love a way to beat the boredom that is the treadmill?

This workout can be customized to every speed ability and fitness level. It works for veteran runners and newbs. Whether your goal is total time or total distance, you can make it work for both. Basically, if your goal is to get faster, this will get you there. Just be ready to work hard and push past your comfort zone because this is a very challenging speed workout.

For the purpose of being able to illustrate this as clearly as possible, I’m going to use my base or “comfort” pace of 7.6 MPH. I’m also including basic time/mileage goals to help give an idea of how to customize for your pace.

Warm-Up and Pre-Interval Portion
After loosening up with a short walk (1-5 mins) begin running at your comfort pace
Run at least 5 minutes at this pace (or more, depending on your total goal mileage/time)

Interval Portion
*18 mins/approx. 2+ miles for this example

1 min at 8.0 MPH pace
2 mins back to 7.5 MPH pace
1 min at 8.1 MPH pace
2 mins at 7.6 MPH pace
1 min at 8.2 MPH pace
2 mins at 7.7 MPH pace
1 min at 8.3 MPH pace
2 mins at 7.8 MPH pace
1 min at 8.4 MPH pace
2 mins at 7.9 MPH pace
1 min at 8.5 MPH pace
2 mins at 8.0 MPH pace

Post-Interval and Cool-Down Portion
At least 1 min at 7.6 MPH pace (or more, depending on your total goal/mileage time)
Gradual reducing of speed to a walk

Give this interval run a try and let me know how it goes! Comment or tweet me @runlikeagirl311. Or, work it into your overall fitness/running routine – and, again, let me know how it goes!

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6 Responses to A Great Interval Workout To Improve Your Running Speed

  1. great blog, thanks for sharing!

  2. charissarunning says:

    I seriously want to try this out! (When I’m up for interval running again.) I’ve actually done similar workouts on my treadmill, but nothing exactly like this. (Mine are more of a progression in speed and each recovery period after my gain in speed is faster. Same idea; different execution.) I’ve also never seen this type of interval done before so as far as I know you can keep calling it the “Lindsay intervals” 😀

  3. Pingback: A Few of My Favorite Things – Interval Running Workouts | Run Like A Girl

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