Intervals Schedule

Intervals training takes place each Tuesday evening at 18.30 meeting in Stratford Park.

Due to restrictions around group running, you will find below, a number of different interval schedules that you can have a go at until we can meet for club intervals – 5k Improvers, Speed Intervals, Fast Group or Alternative Steady.

5k Improver Intervals Schedule

Week NoDurationAim of SessionWarm Up / Cool DownActivity
1Up to 45 minsBenchmark progress over the 8-week periodWarm Up Activities: Time duration 10 minutes, consisting of easy running, active stretching and running drills.
Cool-down: Time duration 5 minutes, consisting of easy running and static stretching.
5km time trial over mixed terrain (up and down hills with flats sections)
2Up to 45 minsFirst of 3 hill intervals, to increase leg strength and endurance.Warm Up Activities: Time duration 10 minutes, consisting of easy running, active stretching and running drills.
Cool-down: Time duration 5 minutes, consisting of easy running and static stretching.
Hill Loops effort up and down hill. 6 minutes of effort with three minutes of recovery. Repeat set 4 times. Increase the length of the loops as you progress through session.
3Up to 45 minsSecond of 3 hill sessions.Warm Up Activities: Time duration 10 minutes, consisting of easy running, active stretching and running drills.
Cool-down: Time duration 5 minutes, consisting of easy running and static stretching.
Up hill efforts. Efforts 1 x 30 seconds, 1 x 60 seconds, 1 x 90 seconds and 7 x 120 seconds. Recovery on the descend.
4Up to 45 minsThird of 3 hill sessionsWarm Up Activities: Time duration 10 minutes, consisting of easy running, active stretching and running drills.
Cool-down: Time duration 5 minutes, consisting of easy running and static stretching.
Hill session Down hill effort of at least 3 minutes with return effort up back to original starting point. Recovery 50% of set. Repeat set four times.
5Up to 45 minsFirst of 3 flat sessions for speed workWarm Up Activities: Time duration 10 minutes, consisting of easy running, active stretching and running drills.
Cool-down: Time duration 5 minutes, consisting of easy running and static stretching.
Flat efforts 1 minute, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, 4 minutes, 5 minutes, 4 minutes, 3 minutes, 2 minutes and 1 minute, with recovery being 50% of just completed effort.
6Up to 45 minsSecond of 3 flat sessionsWarm Up Activities: Time duration 10 minutes, consisting of easy running, active stretching and running drills.
Cool-down: Time duration 5 minutes, consisting of easy running and static stretching.
Flat efforts 6 minutes duration time, with three minutes recovery. Repeat four sets. Try to maintain the same pace for all four sets.
7Up to 45 minsThird of 3 flat sessionsWarm Up Activities: Time duration 10 minutes, consisting of easy running, active stretching and running drills.
Cool-down: Time duration 5 minutes, consisting of easy running and static stretching.
Speed session (Flat)

8 sets of 100m efforts with 50m active recovery
4 sets of Flying 30s accelerate for 30m, sprint for 30m, decelerate for 30m. Recovery being the length of time required so you can fully sprint for 30m.
8Up to 45 minsBenchmark - 5km time trialWarm Up Activities: Time duration 10 minutes, consisting of easy running, active stretching and running drills.
Cool-down: Time duration 5 minutes, consisting of easy running and static stretching.
Repeat 5km Time Trial using same route as Week 1.

Steady Medium Group Speed Intervals Schedule

Week 1      Bleep Test & Short Tempo Run

Option 1: There are a number of free options to follow if you have a smart phone, using services such as YouTube or Amazon Music.  You set up the test by marking two points 20m from each other.  Get someone to time you. 

Warm up slow run for 7-10 minutes.

Start running on the first bleep and aim to run 20 metres before the second bleep.  As soon as the second bleep goes, run back.  You should get to the 20 metre turning point before or at the bleep – if you don’t manage to do that, you are ‘out’.  The bleeps get closer and closer together, so your speed increases.  It’s a test of speed and stamina.

After running as many 20 metre efforts with the ‘bleep’ as you can, record how many efforts you have done over what time, recover your breath and then do a 1 or 2 mile (1.5 – 3 km) tempo run – depending on the time you have available.

Warm down slow run for 7-10 minutes.

Option 2:  If you can’t set up your own ‘bleeps’, mark two points 20 metres apart, get someone to time you.

Warm up slow run for 7-10 minutes.

Run from point to point as many times as you can, starting with a slow jog and speeding up until you are running flat out.  Stop when you are really out of breath, after no more than 10 minutes (possibly less). 

Record how many 20 metre efforts you have done in the time.  Recover your breath and then do a 1 or 2 mile (1.5 – 3 km) tempo run – depending on the time you have available.

Warm down slow run for 7-10 minutes.

For both options keep the record of your time and the number of 20 metre efforts you manage to do.  In week 8 run the session again and see whether your speed and stamina have improved.

Week 2      6 Min Efforts x 4

This session can be done anywhere flat.  (The club uses Westward Road.)

Warm up slow run for 7-10 minutes. 

Then run at your 5 km pace for 6 minutes.  Rest for 2 minutes.  Run at 5 km pace for another 6 minutes.  Rest for 2 minutes.  Turn round and run back, 2 x 6 minute efforts with 2 minutes rest between. 

Warm down slow run back to the start.

Week 3      1 km hill efforts

Choose a double hill (for example Tricorn House to Sainsbury’s and Sainsbury’s to B & Q).  Your double hill should be about 1 km in length.

Warm up slow run for 7 – 10 minutes.

Start at the top of the first hill, run down using the downhill to get some speed and momentum and run up the second hill using effort.  At the top, recover for 25% of the time you took to do the run (down and uphill).  For example, if the run took you 10 minutes, rest for 2.5 minutes.

Repeat this 4 times trying to keep your time consistent throughout the repeats.

Warm down slow run for 7 – 10 minutes.

Week 4      4 Min Efforts x 4 & 1 Min Efforts x 2

Warm up slow run for 7-10 minutes.

Run for 4 minutes at 5k pace, then take 1 min rest, ideally walking.  Repeat this 4 times. (If you want to end up where you started, do 2 efforts in one direction and 2 efforts in the return direction).  Of course, you can add more efforts if you have more time and your stamina can take it.

The rest time is very short, so remember that when setting your pace.

Finish the session with 2 x 1 minute efforts with a 1 minute rest between. These efforts should be sprinting and using a lot of effort!  

(CAR uses the Dudbridge cycle path but any flat area can be used).

Warm down slow run for 7-10 minutes.

Week 5      Flying 30s

On a flat site, mark out a triangle with each side measuring 30 metres (or 30 long strides).

Warm up slow run for 7-10 minutes.

Starting at one point on your triangle, accelerate for 30 metres.

Turn onto the second leg and sprint as fast as you can for 30 metres.

Turn onto the third leg and decelerate back to the start point.

Repeat this sequence until you are really out of breath (3, 4 or 5 times depending on your stamina).

Fully recover your breath.

Repeat the sequence once or twice, depending on your stamina and on how much time you have.

Warm down slow run for 7-10 minutes.

Week 6      Hill pyramids

Warm up slow run for 7-10 minutes, finishing at the bottom of a hill (such as Folly Lane, or Bisley Road).

Run fast uphill for thirty seconds, slow jog down again (so you have recovered your breath by the time you get to the bottom.

Run fast uphill for 60 seconds, slow jog down again.

Run fast uphill for 90 seconds, slow jog down again.

Run fast uphill for 2 minutes, slow jog down again.

Run fast uphill for 90 seconds, slow jog down again.

Run fast uphill for 60 seconds, slow jog down again.

Run fast uphill for 30 seconds, slow jog down again.

Warm down slow run for 7-10 minutes.

Week 7      Form and style

Warm up slow run for 7-10 minutes. 

Thinking about your posture all the time (running tall, landing lightly, pushing your bent arms backwards) run at 60% effort for 3 minutes.

Walking lunges for 1 minute.

Thinking about your posture all the time (running tall, landing lightly, pushing your bent arms backwards) run at 60% effort for 3 minutes.

Run forwards with exaggerated high knees for 1 minute.

Thinking about your posture all the time (running tall, landing lightly, pushing your bent arms backwards) run at 60% effort for 3 minutes.

Run forwards with exaggerated backwards kicks for 1 minute.

Thinking about your posture all the time (running tall, landing lightly, pushing your bent arms backwards) run at 60% effort for 3 minutes.

Run forwards with long strides for 1 minute.

Thinking about your posture all the time (running tall, landing lightly, pushing your bent arms backwards) run at 60% effort for 3 minutes.

Warm down slow run for 10 minutes.

Week 8      Bleep Test & Short Tempo Run

This is a repeat of session 1 (see above).

Fast Group Intervals Schedule

Week NoActivity
1Hill pyramid - 30 seconds, 60 seconds, 90 seconds, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, 5 minutes, 3 minutes, 2 minutes, 90 seconds, 60 seconds, 30 seconds. Jog down recovery each time.
28-10 x 2 minute hill reps, jog down recovery each time.
310-12 x 2 minute hill reps, jog down recovery each time.
43 x 2 miles flat reps between 5 & 10k pace. 4 minute recovery between each set. (2 sets are ok if short of time.)
54 x 1 miles reps at threshold. 2 minute recovery between sets.
68 x 800m (half mile) reps. 2 minute recovery between sets.
712 x 400 m reps. 1 minute recovery between sets.
816 x 200 m reps. 30 second recovery between sets.

Alternative Steady Group Intervals Schedule

 MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFridaySaturdaySunday
Week 1Rest2M easy, then 4 x 400m, with 400m or 3-min jog recoveries, then 2M easyRestRestRest2-2.5M easy, 2M faster, jog to finish2-3M easy
Week 2Rest2M easy, then 4 x 600m or 2 mins, with 400m or 3-min jog recoveries, then 2M easyRestRestRest15 mins easy, 15 mins fast but controlled, jog to finish3-4M easy
Week 3Rest2-2.5M easy, then 4 x 800m or 3 mins, with 400m or 3-4 min jog recoveries, then 2M easyRestRestRest30-40 mins relaxed, inc hills4-6M easy
Week 4Rest2M easy, then 8 x 400m or 70-80 secs, with 400m or 3-min recoveries, then 2M easyRestRestRest5M, first half at 70%, second at 85%5-7M easy
Week 5Rest2M easy, then 8 x 500m or 90-100 secs, with 400m or 3-min recoveries, then 2M easyRestRestRest35-45 mins fartlek with varied efforts and recoveries6-7M easy
Week 6Rest2-2.5M easy, then 5 x 800m or 3 mins, with 400m or 3-min jog recoveries, then 2-2.5M easyRestRestRest6-7.5M gradual acceleration in 2.5M segments, ie 70%-80%-90%7-8M easy
Week 7Rest2-3M easy, then 10 x 400m or 70-80 secs, then 400m or 2-3-min jog recoveries, then 2-3M easyRestRestRestWarm up, then 4 x 1M or 5.5-6min, with 3-4 min recoveries, then cool down7-9M easy
Week 8Rest2-3M easy, then 5-6x 500m or 90-100 secs, with 400m or 2-3 min jog recoveries, then 2-3M easyRest4-5M easyRestRestRACE