Split Interval Sessions

Split Interval sessions are ones used to allow an athlete to run near to race pace

Or maybe even a little quicker, and to maintain that pace over a distance that they might otherwise find hard to achieve in training, even with a regular interval session. If the interval session, say for an 800m runner, were to be:

  • 3 x 600m with 10 minutes between each set

and we were to hope that they could replicate a race pace in each one, then this might be a bit too hard. The athlete may achieve it on the first run, but then find that the others were well off the pace.

However, by splitting the intervals and setting:

  • 3 x 2 x 300m with 1 minute between each repetition and 10minutes between the sets

then this should allow race pace to be achieved and maintained for the whole session. Also, the culmination of each set (the end of the second run) would generally feel as hard as if the whole set had been done in one run.

This approach can be used by athletes hoping to compete over the whole range of distances, for example a split interval for a 400m Runner could be:

  • 3 x 2 x 200m (1,10mins)

while a 1500m Runner could do:

  • 4 x (600m, 1min, 400m) (8mins between sets)

or even a Marathon Runner or other long distance athlete wanting to practice 5k pace could decide on:

  • 5 x 3 x 1000m (30secs, 5mins)

All these sessions would allow the individual to run at about the race pace we are looking at.

However, as always, it is probably best not to dive straight into one of these sessions as they are pretty intense. We'd advise you build a graduated program to build up to running these session, probably 1-2 months prior to your competitive season. For help with this we can help with our Online Coaching to make sure you build up in a structured way.

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