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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Loopy Tuesday: 3,2,1 workout

Another quick session this week as a goal race approaches on Saturday morning. I wanted to get in some quick road running at goal pace and faster, but not a large volume of such. So, it was off to the rolling rural roads of Bethel Community for this week's Loopy Tuesday!

The Workout
One of my favorite workouts is the 3,2,1. It is simple but forces the runner to know paces, gears if you will. If not you reach oxygen debt early and learn a valuable lesson! Here is how it works.
  • Run 3 minutes at 10k pace, jog 1 minute
  • Run 2 minutes at 5k pace, jog 1 minute
  • Run 1 minute hard, 3k pace
  • Recover between sets for 2 minutes and complete 2-4 sets
  • if you can complete more than 4 sets- you are running too slow
  • if can't do 2 sets- you are running too fast (more typical)

You should ask yourself the following question during each repeat, "Could I run this pace for the entire correllating race distance?" Be honest and run the prescribed pace ONLY.

I completed 3 sets, for only 18 minutes of hard running and a quick 45 minute session on an ever cooling streak of autumn-like evenings. I know we are headed toward cold winter running eventually. You need to appreciate the perfect weather while you have it.

Transition is part of life, of running. Better embrace it before it embraces you!

So, next time you want to run fast, not hard and work a range of paces, and you don't have a track around- or just are just a little burnt out from running those ovally loops... try the 3,2,1- it's as easy as 1,2,3!


  1. Great post as always. I love that workout. I have seen it with different times, but your recommendation would be fantastic. I am going to put a run together in the next couple of weeks using it.


  2. Love the recommendation. Sounds like a great change from the "norm".

  3. Awesome! I wish we were closer, I am going to hire a running coach and I would love for it to be you :( Have you thought about doing that?

  4. I have seen them with a 400 pace interval and an all out sprint at the end to practice finishes. I have also seen differences in times.

    What is the difference between your workout and a ladder?

  5. This was one of my favorite road intervals workout when my tendons still allowed me to do it. Nowadays, I just do this on the stationary bike.


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