GVH Rep Sessions during Lockdown:


Summer Reps (downloadable Word version)


GVH Summer Reps Ideas

  • Here are some of the interval sessions we would typically do on a Tuesday during the summer. They are perfect for developing speed and speed endurance and very much suited to 5k, handicap and 10k training.
  • They can all be done in any park or other open space.
  • For the sessions with set distances, you’ll need to remind yourself how to set up your Garmin….but we might just do another video showing how to do it!
  • It’s always worth doing a warm-up before doing your reps, so check out the exercise and drills videos on YouTube and the website!
  • We are not going to create a detailed schedule for doing reps as we don’t want to risk a load of GVH runners turning up at the same place at the same time! You can basically mix these up as much you like and make your own plan for how you want to incorporate them into your training and in what ways you want to chart progress.
  • As ever, we are there to chat through anything at anytime if you need.


1) Classic Intervals

Simple but effective, running repeats of a set distance at a hard effort (8-9/10) is perfect for speed and endurance. Below are some examples. Numbers in square brackets are just a guide to recovery times –you should aim for 50-90% of time it takes you to run the rep. Recovery can be jog, walks or even static (although always make sure you stay loose!):

  • 10-20 x 400m [1’ – 1’30”]
  • 8-12 x 600m [1’30” – 2]
  • 6-10 x 800m [2’ – 3’]
  • 4-8 x 1000m [2’30” – 3’30”]
  • 4-6 x 1 mile [3’-4’]

In any of these rep sessions you should always aim for consistency of times within your effort level rather than any particular goal time – this means that can do your reps in any location (flat, undulating, grass, concrete) and still make it a super effective workout.

2) Pyramid Sessions

This is where you mix up distances and durations. So looking at the reps above you might do 3 x 400m, 2 x 800m, 1 x 1 mile, 2 x 800m, 3 x 400m (with appropriate recoveries) or any other combination you like – just make sure you make your total distance is not too much (or too little!!).

One of the sessions we do at GVH is the 4,3,2,1 pyramid, which is time based rather than distance. It looks like this:

2 x (4’ [2’], 3’ [90”], 2’ [1], 1’) [4’] + 4 x 30” [90”]

That translates as two sets of 4min effort, 2min recovery, 3min effort, 1’30” recovery, 2min effort, 1min recovery, 1min effort with 4min recovery between each set. The session ends with 4 x 30” sprints for those of you looking to get even more speed in their legs! Be careful not to push these too hard and get inured though!

Pyramid sessions are great for mixing it up and constantly giving your body new challenges which can be prep great for races where any course will have harder and easier bits.

3) Out and Backs

This is a popular session and perfect for practicing pacing and developing speed endurance.

On a set loop (or linear course) run in one direction for 2mins, rest (static) for 1min, then run in the same direction for a further 1min, rest for 30 seconds (again static) before turning round and running back the opposite way for 3mins. Your aim is to get back to your starting point (nb, if you get past your start point, keep going for the full 3mins!). Then recover for 3-4 minutes and go again – if you are doing a loop, go in the opposite direction for your out section. Do 3 or 4 sets. You can even do these on an undulating loop too if you’re looking for more of a challenge!

4) Hills

No series of reps is complete without some hills built in! They are simply some of the bets training you can do. There are a number of ways you can do a hill session:

  • Uphill reps – these can be short sharp efforts like 30” or longer reps up to 2’
  • Hill Loops – incorporate both uphill and downhill in a continuous loop
  • Hill Fartlek – On a route with good number of hills run all of the hills hard.

5) Fartlek

Fartlek is the perfect way to incorporate interval training without just running around a park! The are several variants you could try:

  • Route with pre-determined effort sections – like we do at the club, design a route and incorporate effort sections. Vary the length and hilliness of these so you get an all-round workout.
  • Time based efforts – After a warm-up do a series of timed efforts and recoveries. One we do at the club sometimes is 12 x 1’ on/off + 8 x 30” on/off, but there are loads of other options…those who listen to Marathon Talk podcast with know of Martin Yelling’s favourite 6 x 3’ session! Aim for 15’-25’ worth of effort.
  • Freestyle – for those days where you want to go with the flow! On any route decide as you are running when you’ll push harder – use landmarks (trees, lampposts) or hills….or whatever you want, just be sure to vary the length and gradient as before to get the best benefit.