Interval training

Run fast for a short distance, then recover and get your breath back and go again.  This is the route to continuous improvement and this is Interval Training.

‘Interval training is going to increase your level of fitness faster than pretty much any other type of running,’ says running coach Jeff Gaudette. Giving yourself a breather between segments of fast running allows you to handle more of it, delivering a greater stimulus to your heart, lungs and muscles.

Running may improve at quicker paces, says Gaudette. Provided that you begin with a fitness base and allow ample time between hard workouts for recovery, ‘short, hard bursts can teach your body a more efficient way to run, which ideally transitions into the rest of your training’, says Gaudette.

Some examples of interval training follow:

Fartlek running “Speed play” – Go for a steady run, and along the run inject bursts of speed of between 30 seconds and 2 minutes, then drop the pace back down to easy running for around the same duration that you just ran hard for.  Continue this pattern for between 10 and 20 minutes.

Repetition running – Run bursts of hard running followed by a static or walk recovery.  Many ways to do this which include running around a circuit, running around poles, the run could be converting the same distance on the efforts or the distance may change. The fun way to do this is in a team with others.

Hill running – Running up hills (can be short or long, steep or steady) helps to develop running speed, running technique, strength and of course conditioning for hill running.  Typically run hard up the hills and easy down the hills to recover.  However it is also beneficial to practice running down hills at speed.

Remember, the recovery is just as important as the effort otherwise you will not be able to run the effort with the form, technique and speed that you desire.

Some example session follow

Intervals – only of you feel amazing and able to follow the guidelines issued by the government. Solo running only and you should run from your home.
Warm up / warm down – Run a mile easy, stop for a minute and catch your breath.

Perhaps you might have run to the town fields or cantley park or woodlands park or the TPT trail or a pit top or a nice quiet road or an empty car park. Couple of ideas for your main session, concentrate on strong arm drive and the power will come:


Short Reps – Run hard for 60 seconds, Jog for 2 minutes and repeat 8 Times.


Shorter Reps – Run hard for 30 seconds, Jog for 1 minute and repeat 12 times.


Pyramid Session – Run hard for 2 minutes, 4 minutes, 6 minutes, 4 minutes, 2 minutes. After each effort jog for half the time of the effort (longer if necessary).


How hard you run is up to you, for the Pyramid session I would go at 5k pace. For the shorter reps I would go harder. If its windy try to run the efforts with the wind behind you.

What to Expect when you Graduate!

Laura Lewis – Graduate of Beginners May 2019 and newly qualified Leader In Running Fitness

Well, you are no longer ‘Beginners’!! Well done on even getting out of your comfort zone and getting to the first session, never mind now being able to run 30 minutes, NON STOP! It’s been wet and windy, but you’ve won the mental battle of getting your trainers on when what you really wanted to do was snuggle up in the warm, and that’s just as big an achievement as the run itself. You’ve committed and done what you set out to do.

In the initial Induction Session, Susan always tells beginners “You won’t believe you can go from 8 minutes to 20 minutes, but you can”. And Susan is always right! You can, and more!

So what’s next?

Well we don’t just say goodbye now, off you go, see you later. We are all still here to support you on the next stage, if you would like to join us. This is affectionately called ‘Graduates’, but this basically means the LiRFs (Leaders in Running Fitness) will now start to extend your runs by 5 minutes each time, at your pace, until you can run for an hour. YES, AN HOUR. It feels great, especially now we have lighter nights and we can take some of the more scenic routes!

Graduate runs will start after your last Beginners session on a Tuesday and Thursday at 6pm. This will be at the pace of the group (we won’t leave anyone) and the first week will be 35 minutes, steady. We’ll then increase by 5 minutes every week over the next 8 weeks.  Don’t worry, if anyone needs to stop, we stop! Some non-graduates might join this run also so you will meet more people and also people that might normally be in your ‘Group’ for the usual club runs. Once you have managed to extend your stamina up to an hour running, you might then join the usual club runs, which are at 6.30pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Intervals on Tuesday will help improve your fitness, so don’t be daunted by them. They have a range of abilities and I usually end up laughing so much I can’t run!

You do have the option from now of joining our regular interval training group on Tuesdays which are is 6:30. Just look for Angie.

There are also sometimes other social or training runs on a weekend so keep an eye on the Pacers Facebook Group for any upcoming planned runs. They usually incorporate ‘loops’ so you can just do part of the run with no pressure, and coffee afterwards.

So, which ‘Group’ should I be in?

The groups for the usual club runs are based on your pace, how you are feeling and what you want to get out of your running but to start with you can try Groups 3, 4 or 5 and then adjust as you feel. The Pace bands are below and included on the newsletter every week. The main point is, we will not leave anyone behind! And you will have done some ‘re-Grouping’ in beginners, we do this in group runs too, so no one gets left behind.

I keep hearing about Socials, can anyone come?

YES! There are regular socials and charity nights. Watch the newsletter and face book page. This can be daunting if you don’t know many people, so don’t feel you will be left out if you aren’t there! They aren’t obligatory, but they are fun.

My advice to a graduate……

Get stuck in. You get out of the club what you put in. If you can Marshal at an event, do it. You’ll meet people you would not have met before and that’s how you will get to know people. Join the socials even if it’s just ‘for one’. You might then find you want to stay for another, but the pressure is off. Bring a friend? We always want new people to learn to love running with us! Most of all, enjoy it….

Pace Bands for Thursday club Runs

We have 5 groups, and within each group we have leaders running at the at different paces to help runners who might want to progress to step up through the groups (or step down if desired). These pace bands may need to be tweaked, and they may work better in different groups than others, we look forward to your feedback.

Group 1 – Sub 23:15 parkrun

quicker than 7:30

Group 2 – 23:15 to 30:20 parkrun

G2.1 – 7:30 to 7:45              

G2.2 – 8:00 to 8:30            

G2.3 – 8:45 to 9:15             

G2.4 – 9:30 to 9:45             

Group 3 – 31:00 to 35 minute parkrun

G3.1 – 10:00 to 10:30

G3.2 – 10:45 to 11:15

Group 4 – 35:45 to 39:00 minute parkrun

G4.1 – 11:30 to 12:00

G4.2 – 12:15 to 12:30

Group 5 39:00+ minute parkrun

G5 – Slower than 12:30