Category Archives: Workouts

WORKOUTS: Ferocious fartleks!

WORKOUTS: Ferocious fartleks!

Autumn cross-country is almost upon us again and there is no better time to experiment with “Fartleks“, the Swedish concept of “speedplay”. When I look around the internet there are many examples of Fartleks but in our opinion, the format is still not being used to it’s full potential. This is a session to be…


Natural workout sample – Gate Protocol #1

This workout can be used by any runner who has been instructed in basic jumping, balancing, vaulting, lunging and sprinting techniques. I came up with it on the August Bank Holiday as a quick morning workout that takes less than 30 minutes including warm-up and cool-down. Equipment needed 1 x gate (1m high or so)…


Time trial (Technical)

Time trials are one of the most important, and one of the most misunderstood, components of your final preparations towards peak race day. They are not workouts to determine how fast you can run a given distance: their purpose is to combine and coordinate the what you have attained in previous phases of training and…


Speed training

Speed training

Speed training is a term we use for a workout consisting of a mixture of longer easier running with a session of very fast and short sprint work early in the run. Where long runs focus on the cardiovascular system and intervals runs on the metabolic system, strides improve neuromuscular coordination (the brain’s ability to…


Strong fartlek

Fartlek is a mixture of aerobic (easier) and anaerobic (harder)  running without any set structure for when you decide to put in hard efforts. Likewise you can vary the exact intensity and length of faster running any way you want. Strong fartlek is similar to normal fartlek, except that the purpose is to get a…


Circuit run (sub-threshold run)

The “Circuit run” workout is the fastest type of endurance workouts you will do during the early stages of the Quantity (traditionally called the Base or Aerobic) phase. It teaches you to run at the fastest pace you can sustain without “huffing and puffing”, that is – by burning mainly fat and oxygen for fuel and…


Max aerobic function (MAF) test

Max aerobic function (MAF) test

The “max aerobic function” (MAF) test is part of our ChampionsEverywhere program for prevention of underperformance in our athletes. This test does not focus on under-recovery and overtraining as much as it tries to detect whether your recent training has damaged your level of aerobic fitness and through this provide an early indication of problems…


Warming-up and cooling down

Most of your workouts should be accompanied by some pre-exercise and post-exercise activity or what we commonly call warm-ups and cooldowns. Think of them as a transition into your full workouts and a transition back to a more relaxed state. Watch athletes warm-up, however, and you will notice many different methods and durations. Executing your…


Race rehearsal (Up-Tempo)

The Race Rehearsal run is a sustained run over a relatively short distance (usually 800m to 2 miles) to sharpen your tempo for the upcoming race: Instruction:  Do your race warm-up Run at or just faster than race pace staying within a comfortably fast intensity Stop at any sign of tiredness Cool-down well Important points:  This…


Up and down

The “up and down” workout is a variation of the standard threshold run in our programmes: the “out and back”. Using the same high-aerobic intensity, this workout targets the specific requirements of mountain, fell and hill running and has a greater strength element. The “up and down” workout can be done every second or third week…


Time trial

Time trials are one of the most important, and one of the most misunderstood, components of your final preparations towards peak race day. They are not workouts to determine how fast you can run a given distance: their purpose is to combine and coordinate the speed and stamina you have attained in previous phases of…


Long recovery run

This article used to be “Long recovery jog” but as “jogging” really refers to a damaging hybrid movement between walking and running, we are now avoiding this term. Even for short runs, you should aim to keep proper technique. Your long recovery runs are slower and more leisurely versions of your long aerobic runs. Like…


Out and back (sub-threshold run)

The “out and back” workout is the fastest aerobic workout you will do during the aerobic phase. It teaches you to run at the fastest pace you can sustain aerobically, that is, burning mainly fat and oxygen for fuel and incurring little or no oxygen debt. This workout will allow you to run faster before…


Progress calibration run (threshold/tempo run)

During the hill (dynamic strength) and anaerobic phases onwards your fastest continuous run shifts from the “out and back” workout to “progress calibration runs”. These runs take you closer to your maximal steady state (and just beyond) and help you transition into faster test races and time trials in the later phases of training where your…


Hill circuit (hills)

Hill circuit (hills)

Note this hill circuits uses the format devised by Arthur Lydiard but not the original plyometric drills as ChampionsEverywhere take a different view on which plyometric drills develop the actual natural running pattern most effectively. Hill training generally, including the Lydiard hill circuit, helps the athlete transition from the aerobic phase into the anaerobic phase…


Strides (relaxed sprinting/stride-outs)

Strides (relaxed sprinting/stride-outs)

Strides are generally 10-25 second (50-150m for most runners) controlled sprints. Where aerobic runs focus on the cardiovascular system and anaerobic runs the metabolic system, strides improve neuromuscular coordination (the brain’s ability to fire motor units in muscles quickly and efficiently). Strides can be employed with benefits throughout all phases of your training programme. The…


Windsprints (sharpeners)

Windsprints are shorter anaerobic interval sessions introduced when it is still necessary to do some anaerobic training but advisable to drop the volume and increase the intensity. They are used for sharpening and becoming accustomed to changes in pace in racing. “If you run 20×400 metres, you will be at it a long time and…


Intervals (repetitions)

Interval training is a distance workout of faster repetitions, usually run well above your maximal steady state and your lactate threshold, with a recovery interval between each. The aim is to do enough “tiring, exacting work” (as Lydiard referred to it) to lower your systemic (full-body) pH as much as possible without the workout being…


Recovery run

This article used to refer to “Jog”. We have removed references to jogging on our site. Although this is a common term for slower running it also is synonymous with the damaging hybrid movement between walking and running that modern running shoes allow. We therefore prefer the term “Recovery run” as while you run slower,…


Fartlek (speedplay)

Fartlek is a mixture of aerobic and anaerobic running without any set structure for when you decide to put in hard efforts. Likewise you can vary the exact intensity and length of faster running any way you want. Instruction: Warm-up 10 – 15 minutes Run the whole gamut of paces over an undulating area such…


Long aerobic run

The long aerobic run is the cornerstone of all our training programmes and the most important run of the week throughout the aerobic, strength and anaerobic phases. It builds the foundation for every other training workout you undertake. Instruction:  Run comfortably easy. Deliberately start at a slow pace so that you have plenty of margin…


Aerobic run

Aerobic runs form the backbone of all our training programmes.  They are high priority runs throughout the aerobic phase, where they play a key part in building the highest possible peak for later racing. In the strength, anaerobic, coordination and taper phases, they are lower priority workouts that serve to help maintain previous aerobic development…


Race (non-peak/tune-up)

Test races are over and under-distance races that help you to gauge your form, practice race tactics and gather information about your weaknesses and strengths ahead of your peak race. Long test races should be high-end aerobic running, bordering into anaerobic, not all-out efforts. Test races are sometimes referred to as “tune-up races” because that…


Cut-downs

Cut-downs are sprint sessions where the sprint pace increases for each repeat as the athlete works on improving their speed and form. Instruction:  Warm-up by jogging easily for minimum of 15 minutes Run fast 3 times over approximately 100m, increasing the speed each time Take 2-3 minutes easy recovery jog to regain your breath and…


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