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Adding variety to your long run

Keep the legs turning over in your long run with these progression tempo sets by Lauren Brandon

— by Lauren Brandon

There are a lot of different types of run workouts out there. Some of my favourites are hill reps and over/under sets, such as a run where you alternate 1k fast/1k easy. Some of the toughest run sets can be progression or a long steady runs. One way to help break up your longer run is to add in some intervals. The longer your run, the longer your intervals will be. This session can progress throughout the season, so as you get in better shape, you can make it longer and/or faster.

Lauren Brandon leading the way at Ironman Mont-Tremblant

Total time: 55 minutes- 85 minutes (depending on how long your run is)

10 minutes easy

5 minutes (30 fast/30 easy) – the fast part can be a progression, so ease into these

5 minutes easy

3x (5 minutes – descending pace with 5 minutes easy in between). The 5 minutes at pace will get faster each round. The first one will be Ironman pace, the second one will be 70.3 pace, and the last one will be Olympic distance pace. If you don’t know what your specific race paces are, then just go by feel. You can think of the Ironman pace being comfortable (something that you can hold for a very long time). The 70.3 pace should steady, again something that you can hold for a long time. Finally, the last interval should be fast.

Cooldown another 5 minutes

As you progress throughout the season and you want to make this workout longer, you will add time to the intervals and keep the 5 minutes easy after each one. The progression would be as follows:

3x (10 with 5 easy)- total workout 70 minutes

3x (15 with 5 easy) – total workout 85 minutes