Jan Frodeno’s sub-1hr session: 1km run reps

Increase your speed, pace awareness and technique with this key track session for intermediate athletes from Germany's Jan Frodeno


Want to work on your run speed? 2016 Ironman World Champion Jan Frodeno, who also won gold at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, sent us this track session…

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Despite the fact I no longer race at Olympic distance, I still head to the track on a regular basis to do a ‘staple’ 5 x 1km session.

I’ve been doing this session for years, as have many of the athletes I’ve raced with during that time. For this session you’ll need: trainers, run kit, a run monitor or GPS, and a 400m track or an equivalent circuit.

1km run reps session


10-15mins easy running with run drills focusing on technique.

Main session

5 x 1km at your best 10km pace with 30-60secs recovery between reps.


Jog 10mins and stretch.

Pace perception

I run the 1km reps in around 3mins with 30-60sec recoveries in between. This is slightly slower than the time I used to aim for when I was racing on the ITU circuit, back then I’d be trying to hit 2:40mins for each kilometre rep.

Injury reduction

I do these slightly slower than in the past because it enables me to repeat the session more regularly than would be possible if I turned myself inside out each time.

As well as reducing the injury risk, the slightly slower pace lessens the knock-on effect that such all-out efforts would have on my subsequent training sessions. 

Speed awareness

Speedwork is a relative term. Maximal speed is simply not a prerequisite for success in middle- or long-distance races, where ‘fast’ means running kilometres in 3:30mins for the pros.

By repeating the efforts of this speedwork session at above LD pace, you’re just creating the ‘headroom’ in pace that allows you to run well within yourself for the half or full marathon, and then still finish strongly if you need to. 

Practise good form

I maintain the discipline of doing a set of run drills with an eye on technique prior to the main set. Not only do the drills form a key element of my warm-up, they also remind me to maintain good running form throughout the session.

(Images: Delly Carr / Janos Schmidt)

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Check out Jan Frodeno’s top ten tips for stepping up to Iron-distance triathlons here