Running Hard, but Running Controlled: Repeats

Tomorrow I have practice with Athletics Boulder.

One group will be doing repeats – 4 x 1,600m with 400m easy jog.  This should be a hard workout, but also a controlled workout.  So the question is, how do you know if you ran it controlled?  My simple answer would be, “Could you have run one more repeat in the same time as your last one?”  If the answer is yes, then you ran controlled.  But if the answer is no, then you ran too hard and failed to execute the workout.

Running hard a couple of times a week – assuming you’re 100% healthy – is sound training, as long as you’re doing it controlled.  When workouts go from being controlled to being race-like then you’re on your way to over-training and into a cycle of fatigue that may take you weeks to get out of.

So run hard on your workout days, but run the hard days controlled.

Note: The term “interval” and “repeat” are often used incorrectly by athletes and coaches.  Repeat should refer to the distance being run, while the interval is the time or distance between the repeats.