Welcome to the latest edition of workout wednesday when each week I share a new running or strength training workout. This week we are talking about running intervals. If you are trying to improve speed and efficiency for your runs, then speed intervals are your new best friend.

Interval workouts are appropriate for runners with a solid running base (consistent three to four easy runs a week for four to six weeks). 

This workout is based on feel, so throw your GPS watch in the trash (ok, that thing is expensive, don't do that) or just turn off the settings so your pace doesn't show on the screen. This isn't about matching a certain pace, it's all about effort. 

Hard effort means you are breathing heavily and could not hold a conversation without taking gasps of breath between sentences or words if you tried to talk to your running partner. (my running partner doesn't talk back.) It should be challenging, but not so challenging that you can't hold the pace for four minutes. In other words, don't attempt an all-out sprint on your first hard effort interval. In the world of hard effort intervals four minutes can feel like an eternity. Pace yourself appropriately. It probably will take some experimenting to the find the proper pace, run as fast as you can while still maintaining the pace for up to four minutes. 

During your recovery intervals either slow to a jog or a walk to catch your breath. 

This workout can done in under 20 minutes. I suggest a dynamic warm up before any running workout and then jog for a few minutes before heading into your first interval. 

This is a great workout for a treadmill or with a timer on the street or track.


4 minutes hard effort
2 minutes recovery effort
3 minutes hard effort
2 minutes recovery effort
2 minutes hard effort
1 minute recovery effort
1 minute hard effort
1 minute recovery effort
cool down

4-3-2-1 countdown interval running workout. save to Pinterest for later.

4-3-2-1 countdown interval running workout. save to Pinterest for later.


Cool down with a jog or walk until your heart rate returns to normal. Most athletes only need to perform high intensity workouts like this once or twice a week. Always allow at least 48 hours between hard workouts and get adequate rest and recovery. Adaptation (getting faster or stronger) happens during the rest after the workout, not during the workout itself. If you don't allow your body the proper time to recover and rebuild you will never see the full benefit of your hard work. 

Try this workout and let me know how it goes in the comments or on Instagram or Twitter

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