3. Finally, there is interval work. This is all about learning to run at
or around race pace.
It is very hard to generalise about what sessions people should do, but
typical sessions would include reps of 800m or 1000m with a minute or two between
each rep. The number of reps would depend on the experience and fitness of
the individual, but might be around 8 reps for a good club athlete.
Most of these reps would be at about race pace for a 5k or 10k, making
allowances for the weather conditions etc.
Other types of sessions would include pyramids, split/paired intervals
or sets of runs.
A pyramid might have runs getting longer and then shorter (eg 800-1000-1200-1600-1200-1000-800)
or just go one way (eg 1000-900-800-700-600), the aim might be to run all the reps
at the same pace, or alternatively to increase the speed on the shorter reps.
Split/Paired Intervals would normally be reps where there is a shorter rest
between each of the reps and more between the pairs - for example 6 x 2 x 400m with 30secs between
each rep and then 3 minutes between the sets. The distances might vary (eg the first
one could be 800 and the second 400 in each pair)
Finally, sets are like pairs, but with more reps in each set. This allows
a better recovery (and subsequently a faster pace) after the long rests. An
example might be 3 x 5 x 600m with 1 minutes between each rep and 4 minutes
between the sets.