Tuesday, July 21, 2015

10 X 1' on 1' workout

 I learned this run workout back in 1998 while living in Seattle. I initially learned it as 20 X 1 and then extended that to 40 X 1. Canova has similar workouts that employ longer interval lengths which I've run in the past. Like 8 X 1 mile on 400m.
 On paper the workout doesn't look like much but the devil is in the details, or in this case, the pace. When I ran the 8 X 1 mile on 400, each mile ended up being in 5:20-5:30 and each 400 was in about 1:30 (6:00 pace). The idea is to run the hard interval at or slightly above threshold and the "easy" interval just below threshold.
 The key to the effectiveness, and difficulty, lies completely in the pace of the "easy" interval. When you only ease up slightly when you're hurting it's like moving your hand just an inch further from the candle. It doesn't help much. So there is also a solid mental component to this.
 This is a great workout for teaching not only where your edge is but also the skill of making just subtle pace changes to salvage the over-all pace. Just like in a race. You'll never nail this run by using a GPS or strict paces. This has to be done more by feel, running just hard enough and then recovering just enough.  If you try it then measure the first attempt. Get your 20:00 distance. Then in the future try to run farther for the 20:00.

 Variations that I love for this structure are doing it on a constant incline and also doing it on the bike. I have a 2.5 mile climb near my house that starts at 8400 ft and ends at 9200 ft altitude. Trying to run easy and recover on a 6% grade at altitude is an oxymoron so this ends up being basically 20:00 hard. And really that's the best way to think of this session!
  Another variation would be to extend the workout. If you do 20 X 1 on 1 then you want to dial back the paces slightly. And for a really long one like 40 X 1 on 1 you'd run the hard minutes at threshold and then ease back to Z3 (tempo or marathon pace). So you could think of it as 1:00 at 10k pace on 1:00 at marathon pace.


Stay Vertical said...


Forgive my ignorance, but I want to understand this fully. My Canovese is lacking.

So, by 10 x 1' x 1', you mean 10- reps of 1 minute above TH, then 1 minute of just below TH?

Then, you speak of extending the 1 minute to a mile, and the "rest" to 400m? So you can play with the length of the above and below TH segments. Is there anything to keeping with the equal rest theme of the 1' by 1'?

Also, extending the 10 minutes to 20 and 40? Can this be done at 1' x 1', or should the reps be extended in a longer workout like this?

Finally, when in a training block should this workout be performed?


Lucho said...

Correct- 10 reps of 1:00 at just above threshold followed by 1:00 at just below. So if your threshold pace were 6:00 then you'd do 1:0 at maybe 5:45 followed by 1:00 at 6:15. There's a fairly wide range of variability in those paces that still make it correct, and as I mentioned I think running by effort, or learning to run this by effort, is best.

If you extend the run to 1 mile on 400m then you need to dial back the effort of those miles. You can do them (using the 6:00 pace again) at just slightly slower, so 6:05-6:15 pace followed by a 400 at ~6:45. And for sure you can do equal parts on/ off! A bad-ass run would be something like 1 mile at 6:05-6:15 followed by 1 mile at 6:45-7:00 pace. You do a long run in that fashion. Again though, and particularly with a run f that length, you're much better off running by feel. However in certain cases where an athletes knows fairly definitively what their marathon fitness is, and done in the last 8 weeks, they could use more strict pacing and get an excellent marathon specific run out of it.

I used to run this as 40 X 1' on 1' and it was freaking awesome. But no problem at all extending the length of the intervals. Remember though that to specifically target V02 max you want to keep the duration between 3'-4' and also not exceed about 15-20' for the total. So 5 X 3:00 on 3:00 would be OK. Technically for a true V02 max session you also need more and easier recovery but I've found you can flub that somewhat. If I were going to extend it I'd maybe dial it back to more of a threshold focus and extend the over-all... so 10 X 3:00 (at 6:05-6:15 pace) on 3:00 at 6:45.

I also tell ahthletes to not compromise the harder interval for the sake of the recovery. Meaning that if you did 10 X 3:00 and started falling off the goal pace or effort for the 3:00 then to take the recoveries a little easier in order to preserve quality. That also speaks to my saying to measure the distance covered so you can see improvement.
Tons of ways to use this concept.

Stay Vertical said...

Thanks Lucho. I'm testing this one out this week. I have always done a 20/40 workout with similar intensities on the track. 20 secs hard, 40 cruise. I also have used it mile hard, mile cruise on a long dirt bike trail near home on run over 20 miles. Good one.