Running Threshold Intervals Workout

Running Threshold Intervals Workout – A Complete Guide For Runners

Welcome to our in-depth exploration of threshold runs and their various forms, including the highly effective threshold interval workouts. Whether you’re an experienced runner or just starting out on your running journey, understanding and incorporating threshold runs into your training can have a significant impact on your performance and endurance. In this article, we’ll break down the concept of threshold running, discuss its different applications, and highlight how threshold interval workouts, with their adaptable nature, can benefit runners across a wide spectrum of distances, from milers to ultra runners. So, lace up your running shoes and join us as we delve into the world of threshold runs!

Why Incorporate Threshold Intervals into Your Training?

There’s a compelling reason why elite athletes like Jakob Ingebrigtsen, the 1500m world record holder, and Molly Seidel, the marathon bronze medalist, incorporate threshold intervals into their training regimens. These intervals deliver a substantial aerobic boost while minimizing the risk of fatigue and injury. With the ability to complete more repetitions compared to high-intensity intervals, athletes can safely infuse more intensity into their training. By enhancing the body’s efficiency in clearing lactate, athletes can prolong their ability to sustain moderate to high-intensity efforts without succumbing to fatigue.


Structuring Your Threshold Intervals

Threshold intervals align precisely with their name, as they involve intervals executed at a threshold pace. Given that the intensity level is lower than that of more traditional VO2max intervals, the rest periods are shorter.


Understanding the Intensity of Threshold Intervals

Threshold pace typically corresponds to your one-hour race pace. However, it’s important to view lactate accumulation as a spectrum, as it varies. In a 2019 case study featured in the International Journal of Sports Science and Coaching, the Ingebrigtsen brothers maintained the same heart rate and lactate levels across all interval durations. Their pace for threshold intervals spanning 2000m (1.25 miles) to 3000m (1.83 miles) approximated their one-hour race pace. Conversely, they ran slightly faster, at 5K to 10K pace, for shorter intervals lasting 400m to 1000m.

READ   Run Before or After Workout - What Should You do? UPDATED

In intervals lasting four minutes or less, it’s acceptable to pick up the pace slightly beyond your one-hour race pace, approaching something more akin to a 45-minute race pace (which is equivalent to 8K-10K pace for most recreational runners). During this time, you’ll still accumulate roughly the same amount of lactate, around 4 mmol. However, it’s crucial to maintain the primary objective of the workout and refrain from pushing your speed beyond the threshold.

Exceeding the threshold pace by venturing into a 30-minute race effort (critical speed) territory can lead to a greater reliance on anaerobic energy sources and the recruitment of fast-twitch glycolytic muscle fibers. If you gauge your effort level through perceived exertion (RPE), you’ll find that the intensity should feel fairly consistent.

In case of uncertainty, it’s advisable to commence the workout at your threshold pace and, if needed, make gradual adjustments to increase the speed. It’s generally more beneficial to err on the side of caution and maintain a slightly slower pace than to risk pushing the intensity to excessive levels, which may compromise the intended purpose of the workout.


Examples of Threshold Intervals

Given that threshold workouts operate at a reasonably moderate intensity, there’s room for creativity when designing your interval sessions. You can experiment with different formats, including extended intervals, shorter bursts, cutdown-style routines, ladder sequences, or even incorporate some fartlek-style variations.

For any of these workout types, it’s essential to include a 10-20 minute warm-up and a cool-down phase.

Here are a few examples to get you started:

Fartlek Variation: Try a fartlek session where you repeat 2 minutes at your threshold effort level, followed by 4-6 minutes of easy-paced running. For an extra challenge, consider tackling rolling terrain to add some variety to your training.

READ   Top 16 Books For Runners Of All Levels

Track Twist: Put a unique spin on traditional track workouts by doing 6-8 repetitions of 800 meters at your threshold pace or slightly faster. Give yourself 90 seconds of recovery jogging between each interval.

Threshold Cutdowns: Engage in threshold cutdown workouts, suitable for intermediate and advanced runners. For instance, you can start with a 2-mile interval, followed by a 2K interval, then a 1-mile interval, and finally a 1K interval. Aim to finish each interval slightly faster than your threshold pace, and take 1-2 minutes of recovery jogging between them.

As with any interval-based training, remember to prioritize sufficient recovery after your threshold runs, particularly if you’re incorporating them into high-mileage training plans, such as marathon training.

When executed correctly, threshold intervals prove to be a versatile and highly beneficial addition to your running regimen. With proper scaling, they can be integrated into various training phases and cater to runners of differing fitness levels.


Final Words – Running Threshold Intervals Workouts

In conclusion, this comprehensive guide has taken you on a journey through the world of threshold interval workouts, offering valuable insights into their significance and execution. Whether you’re a seasoned runner or just embarking on your running adventure, embracing threshold runs can be a game-changer for your performance and endurance.

We’ve explored the rationale behind incorporating threshold intervals into your training, highlighting their ability to provide a substantial aerobic stimulus while minimizing the risk of fatigue and injury. By allowing you to complete more repetitions safely, these intervals enable you to infuse intensity into your workouts effectively. Moreover, by enhancing your body’s lactate-clearing efficiency, threshold intervals extend your capacity to endure moderate to high-intensity efforts.

READ   How Much Protein Do Runners Need? A complete Guide

The article has also delved into the structure and intensity of threshold intervals, emphasizing the importance of maintaining the workout’s primary purpose and not pushing beyond your threshold pace. Proper execution, whether based on pace or perceived exertion, ensures that you reap the full benefits of these intervals.

Additionally, we’ve provided you with examples of threshold interval workouts, from fartleks to track twists and threshold cutdowns, along with the essential warm-up and cool-down phases. These examples showcase the flexibility and adaptability of threshold intervals, making them suitable for runners of various fitness levels and training goals.

As with any interval-based training, recovery remains paramount, especially if you’re integrating threshold intervals into high-mileage training plans like marathon preparation. So remember to prioritize adequate recovery between sessions to maximize the benefits.

In summary, when implemented correctly, threshold intervals stand as a versatile and highly advantageous component of your running routine. Whether you’re preparing for a mile or an ultra-marathon, with the right scaling and dedication, threshold intervals can elevate your performance and endurance to new heights. So, lace up those running shoes and embark on your journey to improved running prowess through the power of threshold intervals!

Are You Interested In Coaching?

Show your interest below and we will contact you within 12hrs

Leave this field blank