Last But Not Least

If you’ve been training for weeks, you’ll want to make the last workout before your race count. Studies indicate the best way to prepare for a race is to reduce the volume of your running (mileage) while maintaining the intensity. These four track sessions do just that.

They should be your last quality session before a 5K, 10K, half-marathon or marathon. Do your workout on Monday or Tuesday during the week of a Saturday or Sunday race. Start with 10 to 15 minutes of easy running, light stretching and a few strides, then pick the session that corresponds with your weekend race.


This one is called a fast-finish mile. Run one mile with the first half at 10K race pace and the second half 16-20 seconds faster. Recover with six to eight minutes of walking or jogging. Finish the session with 2 x 200m at a close-to-all-out pace with two to three minutes of recovery between.


Run one mile using the following pace breakdown: first three laps at 10K pace, last lap five seconds quicker. Jog for five minutes, then run 1,200m with the first two laps at 10K race pace and the last lap five seconds faster.


Run one mile at 10K race pace and recover with four minutes of jogging. Then run 1,200m at 10K race pace with a three-minute recovery jog. Follow with 800m at 10K pace and another three-minute recovery jog. Finish with 2 x 400m, running each 400m about eight to 10 seconds faster than you ran all the other laps. Jog one lap to recover between.


Run 3 x 1 mile at marathon pace, with a lap of easy jogging between. Then run 2 x 400m at eight to 10 seconds faster than 10K race pace with an easy recovery lap between.