This is one of my favourite personal sessions – both back when I was a serious performance athlete and even now when I want to challenge myself. Now YOU have arrived at a place where you can handle it! I call it “Bread-and-Butter” because it’s a basic benchmark feel-good session that truly has all the elements of a perfect 5K/10K “middle-distance” prep-session.
The “decreasing ladder” format is mentally pleasant because as the time element of the intervals decreases, it allows you to adjust your pacing as you feel. It doesn’t mean you need to run faster, but mentally you may find you do just because the time of the interval is less. As you become fitter and stronger you WILL run these intervals with greater confidence in your pacing. Some of you will run faster as you descend the ladder.
NOTICE your recovery time is a little less now too - only 1 minute between brisk runs and 3 minutes between sets. Woo hoooooo you are ready!
Your Goal for this session: Maintain a nice even, brisk pace as the timed effort becomes shorter. Be confident, strong and relaxed. You should really enjoy this session because your fitness level has improved so much since we began and you are able to understand what it means to now tap into your own personal brisk pace rhythm.
Your comfort level with running longer stretches is growing. I encourage you to continue to enjoy the freedom to run steady OR to utilize combinations of running and walking as you feel. Once again, running is personal. You are ready to run steady if you like, but you can also use any combinations you like. The choice is yours – remember this is always your OWN session as you feel.
Pace is personal! Stay within what feels good. As always… “no strain”. Ask yourself, “Could I do more?” If the answer is no, then please slow down and definitely choose the shorter suggested volumes.
You are now beginning to know yourself better as a runner. In session 2 and 3 you are given the option to vary your volume slightly, depending on how you are feeling. Enjoy the freedom, but please stay within the suggested time parameters. The longer volumes will allow you to progress safely and easily to the 10K distance if you are feeling ready for that option.
As always, remember to include a dynamic warm-up and static stretches in your cool-down. You will prevent injury and feel better. Even 5 minutes on either end will make a difference.