What Is A Threshold Session?

@ewilko has her running shoes on.

Running shoes? Check.

Tonight I experienced my first threshold session at my running club. I know about these sessions because the fast lot always go out and do them and I always avoid them. However, this evening, we had a small group in attendance so we all merged into one and decided to follow the lead of the threshold lot. Threshold sessions are one of those runs that you should probably try and do now and again. Everyone at the club was reminding me how great they are for runners as they can help you to run faster and become more efficient in races. The session we ran took the following format:

6 x 5 minute runs

2 minute rest between each set

This meant that you pushed it for those 5 minutes but not to the point of trying for a PB. You shouldn’t really be able to hold a conversation at this pace, more the odd word to spurt out. When it got to the two minute break, we walked to recover. Those two minutes do not last that long! In total we were out for around 50 minutes.

Data from Endomondo: https://www.endomondo.com/workouts/378776473/2690392

Data from Endomondo: https://www.endomondo.com/workouts/378776473/2690392

I used my Garmin to capture the sets in order to get a better idea of how fast I was managing to run them in and my times split as follows.

  • Warm up – 8:15 (ran too fast)
  • Set 1 = 8:52 (started too quickly)
  • Set 2 = 8:25 (suffered as I started too quickly)
  • Set 3 = 8:47 (felt warmed up at this stage)
  • Set 4=8:28 (this felt like a good 5 minutes)
  • Set 5=8:54 (this was incredibly hard and my legs started to feel it)
  • Set 6 = 8:24 (decided to ignore all odd feelings and go for it as it was the final one)

Given that recently I have felt slow and I have been struggling to do better than a 9:30 min mile, I’m pretty happy with that session. It is pretty amazing what you can achieve when you have a group of great runners around you that support you and push you. The lovely thing about these sessions is that it really doesn’t matter if you are the one at the back. It is about self improvement, not trying to beat the crowd. To find out more about Threshold Sessions there is a post over on Runners World that goes into more detail.

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