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Variations on this workout were (maybe still are?) done by high school kids in New Zealand. We did 5 laps as 15 year olds and it was not too tough of a workout.

The version I did a few times (had a Lydiard influenced coach) was jog the bends, sprint the straights, so our coach sometimes called it 100s/100s, rather than 50s/50s

By the time you've got up to top speed on the straight and then ease down you really are only doing 50 at a high speed and 50 easy, whi. There's an intermediate period where you're moving rapidly from sprinting down through other paces to the float.

While you're not meant to shuffle the floats you're also not meant to run them too hard. If you don't let yourself recover enough on the floats you will raise the blood ph and have a hard time recovering from the workout. It's meant to be a workout you can do Tuesday before a Saturday race to sharpen up.

Also, some of the sharpening process comes precisely in the variable speed, keeping the speed of those floats down because then you have to accelerate more as if you were reacting to a move in a race. IIRC this was something Lydiard advanced as a benefit of the session.

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