Sub-1hr run drill: Good comeback

Improve your pacing, run form and recovery with this 6km session for intermediate athletes


This mixed-intensity 6km outing will teach you plenty about pacing, run form and recovery. Just don’t start too quickly…


This isn’t an easy session, so you’ll need to be rested and give yourself a few days’ recovery afterwards. I’d suggest doing it after an easy/aerobic day.

>>> Two run drills to improve your tolerance to lactate build-up

I’m not a big fan of doing harder run sessions after a complete day of rest, as sometimes the body reacts negatively, which is why I’d never suggest a complete day-off before a race.

Equipment needed: Track or flat terrain, and run trainers and run clothing.

Good comeback


10mins at perceived exertion (PE) 1-3. Find legs, pace not important. 5mins at PE 3-5

Main session

Gather yourself before commencing.

2 x [3km at around 10km pacing; 30sec shuffle, slower than jog; rest; 400m at under 5km pacing; 3-4mins recovery jog, pace not important]


2-3 x 30secs at PE 7, with 60secs jog between

Perceived exertion chart

0 – Nothing
0.5 – Very, very light
1 – Very light
2 – Light
3 – Light to easy
4 – Easy to moderate
5 – Moderate
6 – Moderate to moderately uncomfortable
7 – Moderately uncomfortable to moderately hard
8 – Hard
9 – Very hard effort
10 – At or close to max effort

Performance benefits

This teaches the body to run at a higher intensity for longer periods of time, additionally forcing you to turn over the legs even more rapidly with the inclusion of the 400m at under 5km pace.

The key to carrying out this run successfully is to not start the 3km too quickly, and to really use the recovery wisely. The second round should be as fast (if not a little faster) as the first.

Mental benefits

Most athletes can hold an uncomfortable pace for shorter periods of time, but when they start to extend that duration they begin to suffer and their form starts to break down.

Running for extended periods of time at pace (such as above) will increase your endurance from running longer intervals and help gain the speed (and adaptability) that you believe you’re capable of holding over a 10km. Be sure to concentrate, and focus your efforts on both form and pacing.

Adapt for Ironman

If you’re looking to take on a longer-distance race this year, you may adapt the session by extending the 3km to 6km at a little faster than half-marathon pace, and by including a 1.5km effort at 10km pace in place of the 400m.

(Images: Ben Winston / Jonny Gawler)


For lots more run sessions head to our Training section