Threshold boosting run session: how to race faster for longer

Learn how to push past your run limits with this 60min threshold-boosting session

Credit: James Mitchell

By this time in the season, you should have developed a reasonable aerobic base so your body can withstand some slightly harder running.


As such, the aims of this session are to increase your ability to work at a challenging intensity, as well as to increase the pace you can manage at this intensity. So that in your next race, not only will you be better at holding that tough threshold, burning-legs pace, but you’ll also be able to run faster for your effort.

Threshold-pace intervals should be run at the upper end of your capacity, in that uncomfortable area that you can just hold for an hour. Certainly a ‘vigorous’ effort, but not quite a ‘max effort’ sprint off the line. Try to pace each repetition the same to make sure you’re targeting the correct zones for the whole set.

Pacing will be easier if the session is completed on flat ground, however a very slight upward gradient (not rolling hills) will also allow you to build some extra leg strength.

The session


10mins easy


Build from easy to moderate



Build from moderate to vigorous

1min easy


Build from vigorous to max effort

2mins easy

4 x

[4:30mins vigorous; 2mins easy]



Reduce from moderate to easy

Adapt for beginners

To prevent you from overworking, complete 2-3reps instead of 4 in the main set.

Adapt for Ironman

Threshold boosting is still important for long-distance athletes so complete the session as it is, but do 5-7reps of the
main set.

Coach’s three tips to optimise your session

Prepare to hurt

When you hit your lactate threshold the effort level is going to feel really tough. Push through it and stay in the
correct zone to get the full benefits of this session.

Make recovery a priority

This is a pretty challenging session so don’t overwork the recovery. Make sure the easy jogging between each and every repetition is truly easy.

Fuel smart

Make sure you fuel adequately so that tomorrow’s sessions aren’t compromised. Get some protein and carbohydrates in as soon as you can and don’t forget to rehydrate.