Rest periods during interval workouts

by James
(Nebraska)

I have a question about rest periods in interval workouts. Let's say you are running a workout with 4 sets of 4 X 400 with rest periods of 400M between each interval. Would it be better to run 1:15 400's and jog the rest periods in, let's say 2:15, or would it be better to run 1:05 intervals and walk the rest periods. I guess I am asking if walking and therefore being able to run faster intervals is better, or if jogging the rest and running slower intervals is better. Thanks.


Hello James,

This is a great question, but the answer really depends upon what race you are training for. If you are looking to increase speed and some base endurance for an 800 or the mile, I think the walking between 400 meters would be better.

When I was training in college for the 400 and the 800, my coach stressed speed and fresh legs late in the season. We really cut back on the mileage, but we made sure our interval workouts were fast and intense.

Now, if you are training for the two mile or anything longer, I would recommend the jogging between intervals. This will build that aerobic strength even more, instead of giving yourself a full recovery between 400's.

You can look at this in another case too. Early in the season, I like the jogging between 400's. You never can have enough aerobic strength. Late in the season when you are sharpening your speed, I'd go with walking between 400's. I hope this helps.

Happy Trails - Coach Tief

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