An intervals session typically includes hill work, speed work, general fitness or fartleks (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fartlek). Sessions are designed so that runners of all abilities can participate.
Example intervals 1 – Roundhay Park Hills
This session involved four short hills near the cricket pitch in Roundhay Park. The aim is to run up and down the four hills as many times as possible. This is a great work out for all runners because everyone can set their own target.
Example intervals 2 – Birchwood Hill repeats in chain gangs
In groups of four to six, members run in single file in a small, traffic-free route (ie not crossing any roads). When climbing up Birchwood Hill the runner at the back of group overtakes and leads the group and sets the pace. As soon as the new leader arrives at the front, the new back marker then overtakes and replaces the runner at the front. This is repeated on the climb only and the rest of the loop is taken as recovery.
Example intervals 3 – Fartleks
Running in pairs around a traffic-free loop, one runner sets off clockwise and the other anti-clockwise meeting each other every half lap. Every time the runners meet they change their pace, either speeding up or slowing down.It is a great way to teach yourself to run at different speeds. After 15 minutes the runners meet back at the start for a short rest before starting again in the opposite direction.
The week after an intervals session will be a steady run. Click here for more information about steady runs.