This is my preferred way of training - being a natural 400/800 guy and just wanting to get in 5k type road race shape in middle age, this style of training keeps me engaged for longer training blocks, legs feel WAY better than "traditional" programs on a daily basis, and makes my running more consistent (ie i very rarely miss a day of running)s. Due to working/commuting/kids etc etc etc, my training schedule looks like this:
M-F: 12x200m (via 40 sec "ons", 1:20 "offs" road fartlek). Intensity, warmup, and cool down depend on the day. I'm probably running the ons at about mile pace or slightly faster (supposed to be mile pace at the fastest per the program), and pace varies a little bit on each run, but whatever intensity I'm doing in no way it feels like i'm stressing my anaerobic system.
+ throw in races whenever I can.
I do try to do the weekend workouts at the track -- It feels a little silly running such slow paces for intervals. Like I'm out there running 1000s at a slower pace (PLUS large rests!) than "slower" runners in town are running for their 10-15 mile weekend runs, but it has been a really effective way for me to enjoy getting in a lot of time at aerobic paces without beating up my body or screwing the pacing up. I find medium to long runs at easy steady paces extremely boring and if I even mentally get through it, my body feels like crap after. I'll let my races show my capability and won't worry about what they are thinking when they see me at the track.
Thanks for your detailed information. Interesting.
I have a question to you: How fast/slow do you run your 1000s? (Because you wrote slower than the other runners in town, which is not really a speed hint :) )
Tomorrow i have also my long run:
Before i did it always 19km at aerobic threshold pace which is around 80% HFmax for me. However, tomorrow i plan the following:
Warm up at easy pace, then 5x2000m at medium pace (around 90% of HF Lactate Threshold) with 1000 easy in between, and cool down which is almost exactly 19km.
Lets see ...
My 1k repeats on the weekends are usually just a tad under 7 min/mile pace, or about 4:15-4:20 for the 1k. The 10x400m workout will be closer to 6 min/mile pace for the intervals. In both "workouts" I'm taking equal distance easy jog rest. As more of a fast twitch person, I'm capable of running 10x400m about 20 seconds faster per rep with equal time rest rather than equal distance rest, but the workout would be highly anaerobic. So these runs feel very controlled. I run the 6x1k more often, sometimes twice on the weekend, as it gets me out on my feet for well more than an hour including the warmups and cooldowns, a total running time I wouldn't keep up or recover well from if I was just doing easy runs or steady state runs for that distance regularly. The 12x200m runs during the week (or 40sec on, 1:20 off) end up being close to 7min average pace overall for the run (interval portion - not including warmup and cooldown, which more often than not are fairly short due to time limitations), also a pace that would burn me out really really fast if I ran for 25 minutes daily, but invigorates me when running in this style, and I feel 100% fresh the next day. 8-10 minute pace steady would also burn me out if run steadily regularly (i've TRIED!). I HATE just going out for 40+ minute easy runs, but love being in good enough shape to join friends on runs or jump into a road race here and there.
I'm a middle aged 40s hobby jogger in about 18:15-18:30 5k shape on 30-35 miles/wk. (16:05 5k PR in my youth - and 1:51 for the 800m) I can still run in the 25s in the 200m in trainers given a few weeks of specific training. For me, 40 seconds at close to mile pace feels fairly aerobic given the slow jog rest, unless when I happen to be hitting an incline on the road. I may not be maximizing my potential, but on other more traditional training plans I lose focus on running, take tons of unscheduled days off, and never really ultimately get in my potential best shape either - so might as well just have fun with the training and run in a way that I can stay mentally engaged.