I wrote in a previous blog about my decision to run the Great Ocean Road Half Marathon, and I am pretty excited to report that I finished it just under my goal time and suffered no injuries during the process. My training was kept pretty simple, I mostly ran 2-3 mid-week runs of around 5-7km’s and then 1 progressively longer “long” run on the weekend which ended up as 17km run a few weeks before the race. 

Although I mostly enjoyed my training, coming from a background of organised sport where training consisted of a wide range of “drills” I found that just running the same tracks and distances saw me struggling with motivation and getting a bit bored with the whole process. In order to combat this, I made sure at least 1 of my mid-week runs was something different designed to challenge me and improve my endurance and speed. 

Anyone that runs semi-competitively knows the benefits of interval running, yet I see it as an untapped resource for casual runners who may not have been exposed to it previously. The basic premise is to run at a faster pace for a set time and then have a slower recovery period before repeating the pace effort and so on. There are many different types and names of this type of training including fartlek, tempo training, pyramid runs, etc. Some of the many great benefits include the positive impact on cardiovascular fitness, as well as improving the body’s ability to clear lactate (this is what makes your legs feel like concrete), it is a great way to increase your distance running speed, and is a very time efficient way to train.

Below are a few training sessions that I enjoy for you to use to shake up your mid-week run

Pyramid run: 

Warm up

100m, 200m, 300m, 400m, 400m, 300m, 200m, 100m

All efforts have a 1:1 recovery. So if it takes you 20 seconds to run 100m then you recover for 20 seconds before moving onto the next effort

Cool down

Each effort is performed up to your current potential, try aiming for around 75% of maximum sprint effort.

The session is 2km of striding and if you add in a 2km warm up and cool down it is a great 6km running session. This basic premise can be applied to longer or shorter distances to work on different aspects of running, endurance or speed.

Mona fartlek:

I came across this well know Fartlek run used by the great Steve Monaghetti. It is simply a 20 minute running session that uses a 1:1 active recovery, meaning that during your “recovery” you are still jogging. Once you have completed a warmup (usually 1-2km) The session is:


2 x 90 second 4 x 60 sec 4 x 30 sec 4 x 15 sec efforts


Run the “efforts” at a pace you can maintain throughout the time, aiming to be consistent for each repetition. You can measure out how far you run during the session and try and improve on that next session but either increasing your effort pace or increasing your recovery pace.

So add in some interval running sessions into your weekly runs and break free of the monotonous mid-week run! Click here to book an appointment with Mark online or contact our friendly team on 5255 5040 (OG) or 4202 0446 (L) to discuss how Mark can help you achieve your health goals!