Sub-1hr session: race pace running

Boost aerobic endurance and teach your body how to run at race pace in less than 60mins

Sub-1hr session: race-pace running

With this year’s triathlon season nearly upon us, you’ll be wanting to remind your body what it feels like to run at race pace. This sub-1hr session from Emma-Kate Lidbury shows your body how it’s done…

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Equipment needed: run shoes and socks, shorts/tights, base layer/t-shirt, watch (ideally with GPS and/or heart rate functions).

How to fit it in: this should be a key session in your training week, so avoid doing any other intense workouts on the same day and avoid long/hard runs the day before. Schedule a swim or steady ride the following day; if tired, listen to your body and do an easier session the next day. Your body needs time to adapt and recover before you stress it again!

Race-pace running 


10min steady run, gently building the pace.

Main session

6 x 5mins with 90secs recovery between each interval. On the first three intervals, build the pace each time to just below race pace. On the final three intervals, run at race pace.


10min easy jog.

Main benefits

Performance benefits

This session is ideal for getting your body used to working at race pace, which is essential for achieving peak performance. If done consistently (and paced correctly), you’ll see the benefits translate to your aerobic and anaerobic run fitness, with improved ability to run for extended periods at race pace.

Mental benefits

This session teaches not only your body but also your mind about consistently working at race pace. When it starts to become uncomfortable, ensure you remain focused on efficient run technique. Also put into practice any mental coping strategies you want to implement on race day, and say a checklist of reminders on how to run with good form or positive phrases to keep you in ‘the zone’.

Physiological benefits

This session is a great way to build aerobic endurance and get your body used to working at race pace. The cumulative effect of the intervals means it can be a harder session than it looks, especially if you hit the earlier repetitions too hard. Aim to build the pace through the first three, opening the throttle up a little more on the final three to see race-specific benefits. You’ll reap excellent run-speed rewards by learning to work at race pace on limited recovery time.

Adapt for Ironman

Perform a longer 20min warm-up and make each interval 7mins instead of 5mins with a 2min recovery between each. Run at your target Ironman race pace and keep the effort consistent throughout.

(Main image: Jonny Gawler)

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For lots more running workouts head to our Triathlon training section