Track Workout: Ladder Intervals
By Takia McClendon
Pace is personal. For some, making it through a run without stopping is an accomplishment to celebrate. For others, the celebration doesn't start until they've qualified for Boston. No matter what your intentions are, track workouts can help you become a stronger, faster runner to meet your running and fitness goals.
This week's workout, Ladder Intervals, will help you maintain a tough pace and learn to dig deep during your next race.
If you're new to track workouts, you may want to check out Speed Work 101: How to read and do track workouts before reading on.
The Warm-Up: 10-minute jog
Start by jogging around the track for 10 minutes. This should be done at a very easy pace so you can conserve energy for the actual workout. Your warm-up is literally preparing your body for what's to come.
The Drill: 2 x 100m Strides.
Strides are quick accelerations that can help your body transition into tough workouts. After your 10-minute jog, we'll use strides to prepare our bodies to move fast. Start at the beginning of the straightaway (or the 100m start line) and begin to accelerate until you reach about 95% of your max effort. Once you reach the midway point, begin to decelerate before coming to a complete stop after 100 meters. Repeat once.
Check out the chart below or watch this short video to learn how to perform strides.
The Workout: Ladder Intervals
After you complete your warm-up jog and 2 x 100m strides, you'll go right into ladder intervals. No matter how intimidating a track workout looks, you CAN get through it.
- 1600m @ 10k pace followed by a 3-minute resting recovery.
- 1200m @ 5k pace followed by a 2-minute resting recovery
- 2 x 800m @ 5k pace followed by a 1-minute resting recovery
- 400m sprint - This should be your hardest pace of the workout.
If you're not sure of your running pace, check out our post: How do I know my running pace?
The Cool Down: 10 to 15-minute easy jog
After your workout, cool down with another easy pace jog for 10-15 minutes around the track. Follow up with stretching.
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Takia McClendon is the co-founder of City Fit Girls. She's a shoe expert and manager at a running store in Philadelphia and a Certified Level 1 USATF Coach. Follow her online at @takiamcclendon.
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