Workout of the Week: Surging Mile Repeats


Let me know if this situation sounds familiar: You’re in no-man’s land midway through a half-marathon or marathon. Or maybe you’ve been towing a group for several miles and none of the other runners in it want to help out with the pace. There’s a good-sized pack about 10 seconds down the road but they’re not really pulling away anymore. What do you do? If you want to ride that wave’s momentum and take advantage of the collective energy in front of you, you need to make a move and surge ahead. The Surging Mile Repeats workout is a session designed to help give you the fitness and confidence to do just that. Here are the details:

What: 4-6 x 1 mile at half-marathon effort/pace with 1-2 minutes jogging recovery between reps. Here’s the catch: You run the first 1/2 mile of each repetition at half-marathon effort/pace then “surge” to 10K effort/pace (i.e., pick up the pace ~15-20″/mi) for 1/4 mile before returning to half-marathon effort/pace the final 1/4 mile.

Warmup/Cooldown: Warm up before the workout with 15-20 minutes of easy running followed by a set of drills and 4-6 x 20-second strides (i.e., accelerate for 5 seconds, spend the next 10 seconds at near-top speed, and then gradually decelerate to a jog over the final 5 seconds. Catch your breath for 40-60 seconds and then repeat 3-5 more times). Cool down after the workout with 5-15 minutes of easy running.

Why: This is a great workout for marathoners and half-marathoners to utilize as they’re dialing in their specific fitness and preparing for the competitive and psychological demands of race day.

Where: This workout is best done on the track, roads, or treadmill.

When: It’s best to utilize this session after a foundation of solid fitness has already been established. Performing it 2-3 times in the final 4-6 weeks before race is ideal.

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