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Your Weekly Running Workout: Hard-Steady-Hard Run

Running a workout at a variety of paces makes any run fly by—especially a 30 minute workout. Rather than running interval after interval, this workout gives you a combination of a long intervals at a moderately hard effort and very short intervals at a hard effort to keep your body working hard the whole time.

This workout is a great option for marathon or half marathon runners who need a quick yet effective workout. The steady state effort mimics marathon race effort or how half marathon effort feels early in the race, but the faster intervals stimulate tired legs and how you will feel trying to run harder to maintain your pace at the end of the race.

This workout can be done on flat or hilly terrain and on the roads, trails, or tracks—it is yours to adapt to your preferences and race goals!

The Workout

  • Warm up with 5 minutes of easy running
  • Run 5 repeats of 30 seconds hard, 30 seconds easy
  • Run 10 minutes at a steady state effort
  • Run 5 repeats of 30 seconds hard, 30 seconds easy
  • Cool down with 5 minutes of easy running

This is a workout best done by feel, so follow the workout here on Runkeeper to guide you in when to speed up or slow down and focus on your corresponding perceived effort. Remember, easy running should be a light, conversational effort, or approximately 60-90 seconds slower than your goal marathon pace. The hard intervals should feel hard enough that you are gasping for breath by the end of the 30 seconds, or approximately the pace you could hold for one mile to a 5K race (about 90 seconds per mile faster than goal marathon pace). The steady state effort should feel moderately hard in terms of effort—your breathing should be labored so that you can only speak in phrases, not a full conversation—and be approximately between your half marathon and marathon paces.

Erica Belanger

About the author:
Erica Belanger

Erica is a member of the marketing team at Runkeeper. She is a former collegiate athlete who has developed a life-long love for running.

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