These are commonly used by
coaches, as a useful tool, since they allow a
range of distances to be run in a single session.
Here we use the term to cover any session where
there is a step up or down in distance between
runs, for example -
400, 800, 1200, 1600, 1200, 800, 400
600, 500, 400, 300, 200, 100
300, 250, 200, 300,250,200
1 mile, 2 miles, 3 miles, 4 miles
As you can see the ways in which these sessions
can be run are extensive. Two of the major benefits
of running a variety of distances in a session
Firstly, if an athlete feels they have got
into a rut with say 300s, then they may get
confidence back by achieving at another distance.
This would particularly be the case where a distance
is set which hasnít been run for a while and the
athlete can see an improvement in time.
Secondly, if the session
ends on a fairly short run, then even if the
athlete is very tired, the feeling of having
already got the worst out of the way can often
help them finish the last part of the session
strongly. Also, even if the first runs were very
hard, if the runs get shorter, it is often
possible to maintain the same pace. If the runs
get longer as the session goes on this can be
useful for instilling a sense of toughness, the
attitude that if I can do this then racing will be easy.
Experience has shown that it can be useful
to combine this with a split interval session, e.g.
400m, 1 minutes rest, 400m, 10 mins, 300m, 1 min, 300m, 10 mins, 200,