It doesn’t matter what you’re training for, there’s a place for these in your training. Six-hundred-meter breakdowns are a great speed workout for all distance runners. Whether you’re a first-year runner or a veteran competitor, whether you race 5K’s or marathons, there’s a place for 600-meter breakdowns in your training.
Matt Fitzgerald believes these are important, and designs workout plans to include workouts like this. You’re probably familiar with Fitzgerald’s work: he writes for Triathlete, Active.com, Bicycling, Men’s Fitness, Outside, and many other publications. He’s published numerous books on triathlons and endurance training. Fitzgerald is a certified sports nutritionist who has coached for Carmichael Training Systems, and now designs training plans sold through TrainingPeaks.com.
The workout consists of fast intervals of 600, 400, 300, and 200 meters run in descending order. These intervals are short enough to be run very quickly and thus develop the speed and sharpness you need to achieve your race goals, but those they are long enough to also test and develop your body’s fatigue resistance at faster speeds.
Start the workout with a thorough warm-up. Do some light jogging, and then perform some dynamic flexibility exercises, such as giant walking lunges and standing forward-backward and side-to-side leg swings. (Note one of my previous articles about finding the RIGHT TIME to stretch.) Finally, run a few strides at 90% of your sprinting speed.
Once your properly warmed-up, you’re ready for the workout. You should run the intervals almost “all out,” but not quite – run them hard, but stay relaxed.
Here are two versions of the 600 meter breakdowns workout:
– Beginner Version –
Warm-up: Run 10 minutes easy, dynamic flexibility, strides
Main set: Run 600m, 400m, 300m, and 200m fast with slow, 300m recovery jog between fast intervals
Cool-down: Run 10 minutes easy
– Advanced Version –
Warm-up: Run 20 minutes easy, dynamic flexibility, strides
Main set: Run 2-3 x (600m, 400m, 300m, 200m fast with 300m jog recoveries)
Cool-down: Run 20 minutes easy
Because 600m breakdowns are not highly race-specific for distance runners, they are not intended to be among the toughest workouts you do. You should finish a session of 600m breakdowns feeling as much exhilarated by the speed you attained as you do tired from the effort.
Fitzgerald believes you should keep these intervals out of your training until you’re within 10 weeks of a race. Once you first try this workout, you’ll want to do this (or a similar workout) once every seven to ten days to develop speed and high-intensity fatigue resistance and then maintain these capacities until you race.
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