The 1500 meter workout to find your goal time.

Run the 1500 find your goal time workout. It is a great test to see what you are capable of. At UW-Oshkosh, Coach Zupanc would have 1500 meter runners do this workout a week before a big race to help them judge what they should shoot for. My brother loved the workout because it gave him the confidence to go after a sub 4 minute 1500 meters.

You will run a total of four 400 meter intervals. The rest between each interval gets progressively shorter, making the workout very tough towards the end. The idea behind less rest is to simulate the fatigue you will feel in the last half of the race. Below is the breakdown of each interval and the rest between each one.

1. 400 meters followed by 3 minutes rest.
2. 400 meters followed by 2 minutes rest.
3. 400 meters followed by 1 minute rest.
4. 400 meters followed by a cool down jog.

Before you start, you should have your goal 1500 meter time as a gauge of how fast you want to run each 400 meter interval. Let’s say you want to run a five minute 1500 meter. You take your time and divide it by four. This means you should run each 400 at 1:15 pace. The workout is strange because 400 x 4 equals 1600. This is 100 meters longer than the 1500 meter race. For some reason, it just works out that what you can do in this workout equates to what you can run a 1500 meter race in.

Before any tough workout make sure you get in a good warm-up. Jog for at least five to ten minutes. When you are done with the warm-up run, stretch out. Now you should be pretty loose. Then do three to five stride outs. This is where you start slow and quickly build up to about 95% of your top speed, then you slow back down gradually. Each stride out should be less than 100 meters. Now you should be ready for the workout.

After the workout is done, make sure to get in a good cool down jog. This should be between 10 to 20 minutes of running. When you are done with this jog, stretch out again. The stretching after you have finished running is extremely important if you want your legs to recover from this workout quickly.

When my brother ran this each 400 meter interval was right at 59 seconds. The final one he couldn’t hold pace and ran around 62 seconds. This worked out to be a total time of 3:59. At the conference meet the next week, he ran the 1500 in 3:59. You might not have the same results as my brother, but the workout is a great way to determine what your current fitness level is. Set your goals according to this workout. It can be a huge motivator. Good luck!

If completing a marathon is your goal, follow the 100 Day Marathon Plan. Created by an Olympic Distance runner, this plan can guide you from day one of training all the way to the finish line on your race day.

- Written by David Tiefenthaler

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