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Train The Vernon Interval Way

08-Jan-2014


Picture: Blackburn Harriers



Interval training is not as complicated as you may first think, its simply alternating bursts of intense running with intervals of light jogging. The ‘Vernon intervals’ are aimed to maintain fitness and help build a consistent level of training throughout the year, by using the session as frequent as three times within a four week period. One of the key components to the workout is to keep the pace even throughout, but there is a twist, which you find out later!

Maintaining an even pace throughout a race will always give you a great chance running faster for longer. The “fly and die” method of racing rarely pays dividends, normally running your first mile 30 seconds faster than planned will result in a slow and painful end to your race. It’s very uncommon for a major event to be won in a positive split (the first half of the run being run faster than the second).

Workout Guidelines

Vernon’s Interval workout is run at between 10k pace and Half Marathon pace. One of the key aspects of the session is the recovery; keeping it short increases the intensity of the workout, the body isn’t able to fully recover before the next interval starts. According to Benita Willis the 2004 World Cross Country Champion Typically, no matter what distance you are training for, you use short rest to keep quality up in a workout and your heart rate high. In addition, short rests can be utilized to break up a workout and allow an athlete to run a fair amount of volume yet maintain intensity.”

Interval Workout

3-mile warm-up

8 x 1K on the trails with 1-minute jog recovery between the reps.

Here’s the twist – quite often Vernon will increase the pace from 2:55 per Kilometers to 2:40-2:45 on the 5th and 7th reps. There are a couple of reason for this increase in intensity but predominantly it allows you to endure a heightened level of intensity whilst running a sustained pace and also to reduce the amount of ‘last rep wonders’ which are quite common on the elite and non elite scene!

3-mile cool-down