Track Workout: Up the ladder, down the ladder

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By Takia McClendon

We're back with a new track (or treadmill) workout to help you increase speed, power and/or switch up your regular treadmill routine. A few months ago, we introduced you to the ladder workout. This week, we're mixing it up with an "Up the ladder, down the ladder" workout. It will help you increase speed, build mental toughness and help you dig deep when it's time to finish your next race strong. 

New to the track? This workout may be a little intense. I recommend you start with the following links:


The Workout: Up the Ladder. Down the Ladder.

The Warm-Up: Start by jogging at a very easy conversation pace for 8-minutes. This will help wake up your body and get your heart-rate going for the workout. 

The Drill: This short workout will help build power and strengthen your core. 

  • 20 Lunges (alternating sides)
  • 10 Hip Raises
  • 20-second Plank
  • 15 Crunches
  • 20 Push-Ups

The Workout: 200, 400, 800, 1200, 1200, 800, 400, 200. This challenging interval workout will push you at 10k pace during the first half and progress to a 5K pace and finish strong with a sprint. Each interval should be followed-up with a rest period. Please feel free to take a few additional seconds of rest if you need it. View the workout below: 

200m @ 10K pace with 1-minute rest
400m @ 10K pace with 1:30 minute rest
800m @ 10k pace with 1:45 minute rest
1200m @ 10k pace with 2-minute rest

After completing the first half (up the ladder) at 10k pace, we’ll pick things up at 5K pace to move down the ladder. 

1200m @ 5K pace with 2-minute rest
800m @ 5K pace with 1:45 minute rest
400m @5K pace with 1:30 minute rest
200m sprint with 2-minute rest followed cool down. 

The Cool Down: Cool down with a 10-minute jog at an easy, conversation pace. This is a cool down so remember to hydrate and take it easy. 

Post-Workout Stretch: Ladies, this workout was tough so be sure to stretch for 5-10 minutes to avoid injury. 


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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