The Norwegians have taken over the run-training news waves and for good reason; they have been achieving some amazing results in the running and triathlon world. A key player in their success has been coach Marius Bakken, who combines high-volume/low-intensity training with a higher-than-usual volume of “threshold” training.
As you’ll note, “threshold” is in quotes because the workout pace in Bakken’s training program is dictated by keeping blood lactate values below threshold despite the training paces being higher.
How is this possible? By incorporating lots of rest within the session and moderating paces, lactate never has a chance to rise very high—and this leads to the athletes being able to handle a larger than normal volume of high-intensity interval training.
Learning about this method, I immediately made connections to the micro-intervals that are popular with cyclists. Call them Tabatas, call them 30/30s, call them whatever you wish, the concept is the same: breaking longer blocks of high-intensity work up with frequent, short rest breaks.
It’s best to do this workout on the track where you can have known distances and no interruptions. Avoid dilly-dallying—be ready to go when your rest timer hits 20 seconds. Making this easier or harder is as simple as increasing or decreasing the number of repetitions. A great progression is removing the set rest and doing all 20 intervals in a row.
Workout of the Week: Running Micro-Intervals
15 min. base-pace running
10 × 200m at 5K race pace
20 sec. rest between efforts
5 min. set rest
10 min. easy jogging