Week 5 Training Changing it Up With Intervals

Last Saturday, several of us showed up at the Sheldon High School track for our first interval training. This workout corresponded with day 4 of week 5. The previous week, we ran 6 miles together for week 3. Week 4 of the training schedule was a step back week, allowing us to rest more. Since the long run was 4 miles, each of us did that on our own.

So we jumped ahead just a little to week 5 to incorporate some of the speed work. Anybody following along should read the schedule and include enough rest time. It is always important to rest between longer runs, and it is usually a good idea to include a step back week after increasing distance for several weeks in a row.


The schedule recommends Fartlek training regularly, starting in week 5. The workout was 6 sprint intervals of 15 seconds each, running more slowly for recovery in between. The goal is to raise the heart rate above the moderate exercise level and create a higher demand for oxygen in the muscle cells. Doing this frequently, over several weeks will increase VO2 max, the amount of oxygen the body can convert to energy.

There are other benefits to pushing the pace. One is that running faster sometimes shakes out bad habits in a person’s stride and forces them to use core muscles they might not have been using effectively while running slowly.


Our Saturday training was simple and effective. We warmed up, stretched, paired off with runners/walkers of similar ability, and went for it. For some, it was their first time doing any kind of speed work. For others, it was a reminder of when they were training to run their first 6 minute mile. It was difficult but refreshing at the same time.

Next Workout: Jan 23, 7:00am

Our next workout together will correspond with the long run on week 5. We hope to see you this Saturday at Sheldon High School track again. We will do 7 miles together, partly on streets, and partly on the track. There will be some refreshment along the way to reward your efforts.


The following week, January 30, will be at a new location. From January 30th through March 5th (6 weeks) we will meet at Alton Baker Park, near Pre’s Trail.