The Workout: This is a 5 mile run (or 45 minutes max, if running based on time). Begin at a comfortable pace for the first mile. Progressively speed up each mile about 15-30 seconds faster than the previous mile. Finish with a one mile cool down.
The Details: Start out with an easy run pace and work it down from there. Choose a pace about 2 to 2:30 slower than your current tempo pace. It’s important to maintain a controlled progression over those first couple miles without picking up the pace too much too soon. If you do it right, your second to last mile will be about 2 minutes faster than your first. The final mile should leave everything on the trail. The last two should be very challenging.
If you choose to add more miles, just reduce how much you speed up per mile. This will help your average pace and still achieve your goal of running your last mile or two well above race pace (for a short race).
Benefits: This type of training plan is well utilized by elite runners all over the world, with the Kenyan running teams really bringing this practice to the forefront. This is nothing new, just a fantastic way to build strength, reduce injury, and test your aerobic threshold. It is one of the most fun workouts I do, and I often utilize this practice in many workouts. There’s something about always finishing strong that builds confidence.
Coach Peter Fain offers custom coaching services and guided trail running. Find out more at RunOnDirtTruckee.com.