By Dr. Jack Daniels
Step Count Workout
Start with about 10 minutes of easy running, a few strides and some stretching, and then proceed as follows:
Counting each right foot landing as one step, run hard (H) for 10 steps (about as hard as you would run in a race lasting about 10-12 minutes). Then jog (J) easy for 10 right foot falls of recovery. Then, again at H intensity, run 20 steps followed by 20 J steps. Then — 30H/30J, 40H/40J, 50H/50J, 60H/60J, 70H/70J, 80H/80J and 90H/90J. This will be about a 20-minute Interval (I) or Fartlek (F) session, which will do a good job of improving aerobic power (VO2max).
Going from 10 to 90 and back down to 10 steps in this workout would be good for just about any runners, but those who are running more than about 25 miles per week can go up and down to the following number of right-foot steps (avoid trying to do more than the following):
- 30 miles per week: 10 to 100 and back down to 10
- 40 miles per week: 10 to 110 and back down to 10
- 50 miles per week: 10 to 120 and back down to 10
- 60 miles per week: 10 to 130 and back down to 10
- 70 miles per week: 10 to 140 and back down to 10
- 80 or more miles per week: 10 to 150 and back down to 10
Cool down as desired.
Current Mile Ability Workout
Another favorite workout of mine, which is great for estimating current mile race ability, is as follows:
Get a good warm-up and then run 8 or 10 x 400-meter runs as hard as can be averaged with only 1-minute rest following each hard 400m. Make sure the first couple 400s are not any faster than you are sure you can race for a mile or 1500m. After those first couple make them all as hard as possible and what you average should be a good indicator of your current mile (or 1500m) race pace. Make sure to keep the rest after each hard 400m to just 1-minute in duration.