by Cody Beals
Ed. Note—last month, we introduced Cody Beals as the most recent addition to the professional roster at Wattie Ink., and he gave us a great session for when you're trapped indoors on your dreadmill. Today, ostensibly, the weather is slightly better in Canada and the snow is melting. Cody is outdoors and passes along this gem of a session.
I spend most of the winter focused on very high intensity hill repeats and later VO2 intervals on the treadmill. As the snow melts and I can run outside more consistently, I use workouts like this to gradually reintroduce some more race-specific intensity. Over/under sets can take many formats, but I find that one kilometer intervals (about 0.6 miles for my American friends) are a suitable distance. I'll typically do a workout like this once per week in the spring while maintaining a second higher intensity session on the track or treadmill. I'll start with 3 rounds (6 km main set) and progress to as many as 8 rounds (16 km main set). The key to executing this workout well is pace discipline. The temptation is to slow down a lot at the start of the "float" segments, especially if you overcook the faster segments.
15-20' Warm Up
3-8 times through the following:
[1 km at or a little above threshold pace (~7-8/10 perceived exertion)
1 km "float" recovery at low end tempo pace (~5-6/10 perceived exertion)]
5-10' Cool Down
My typical paces: 1 km above threshold = 3:05-3:20/km, 1 km low tempo = 3:35-3:50/km
I like this workout because it simulates the dynamic nature of 70.3 racing. Running as steadily as possible in a race may be optimal, but variables like hills, wind and other competitors can force us to accelerate or increase exertion. The highly variable pacing of this workout conditions you to surge as the situation dictates while recovering near race pace. I think of it as a worst case scenario race simulation! I also find that the undulating intervals lull me into a pleasant state of flow. Well, almost pleasant!