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Stuck in a Rut? Use a Cut-Down Approach to Your Next Workout

As our distance runners move into April, they will have about 8-10 weeks left in the regular season. By now, some of the workouts and/or paces they have been training at may no longer be as effective. This could be because the athletes are fitter than their initial rust-buster suggested, or it might be time to progress their workouts in some way.

Consider a scenario where you've worked up to a session like 4-6x1000 meters at threshold pace. In our Coaching Distance training plans, the threshold pace is defined as the athlete's 1600-meter time plus 60 seconds.

Let's take one of my runners, Isaiah, who ran a 5:00 minute 1600m in his opening race.

Up to this point in the season, we've employed straightforward workouts aimed at building capacity in specific areas, without resorting to cut-downs, progressions, or similar strategies.

If Isaiah's last threshold workout consisted of 6x1k at 3:45 (which equates to a 6:00 minute/mile pace), I aim to introduce some progression into this week's workout.

Rather than increasing the pace of the entire workout, I plan to incrementally speed up each repetition until we hit the next training intensity, roughly equivalent to a 5k race pace.

Here's how the 6x1k cut-down workout would be implemented:

1st 1k: 3:45 (LT pace)

2nd 1k: 3:43

3rd 1k: 3:41

4th 1k: 3:39

5th 1k: 3:37

6th 1k: 3:35 (5k pace)

  • utilize a 100m walk/100m jog recovery

This approach allows for a gradual increase in intensity, helping the athlete transition smoothly to a higher level of training and ultimately performance.

Add 3-4x 150m @ 1600/800m rhythm after the workout and you have a well-structured training session.

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Mathew Scott
Mathew Scott
(04. 4.)

i did almost this exact session with most of my womens team on tuesday followed by some cutdown 200s. Then with my men i did 1200's with cut down 200s after with a little more total volume factoring in for my 10km runners, and lower total volume and slightly higher intensity for my middle distance group.

To se mi líbí

Thanks. This is a simple way to make a workout more challenging, more interesting and hopefully more productive. I like the 100 walk, 100 jog recovery as a nice way to organize the workout.

To se mi líbí
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