What is it?
Running intervals at two separate speeds or intensities. Often a longer repetition at a slower intensity followed by a shorter repetition at a faster intensity. For example for a 25 min 5K runner:
3 sets of 400m @ 5K effort [approx 90% of vVO2max] (1 min rest)+ 200m @ 3K effort [approx 95% of vVO2 max] (3 min rest).
How and why does it work?
We typically introduce these workouts as a progression of a familiar, established workout. If we take the above example and climb down a few rungs on the ladder, a workout that preceded might be:
5 x 400m @ 5K effort.
By breaking the original workout into sets and adding a shorter faster repetition. You can intensively progress the goal of the original workout goal (stimulate 5K specific fitness) and enhance efficiency by prescribing repetitions at a slightly faster effort (3K effort).
There should be a goal in every workout. As a coach, we can use more challenging workouts to create positive adaptations. Successive eustress leads to better performance. Rather than focusing on one physiological response, we can blend two intensities to enhance the overall training stimulus.
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