Virtual Interval Training

Watford Joggers Coaches: Colin Taylor, Angela Edwards, Marcus Edwards, as well as other club members have provided these focused sessions for your enjoyment!

Please follow the evolving Government Rules on social distancing whilst doing you training!

These sessions are to be attempted at your own risk, while official coached sessions are not permitted!

From Colin 24/03/2020: ​

These are different times. We are not allowed to meet up, but we are encouraged to keep fit. There are unlikely to be many races in May. All marathons are now postponed to the Autumn. This is an ideal opportunity to try different things. We all experience an endorphin hit when running. This makes us feel good. Putting some extra effort increases this. Make at least one run a week a training run.

Week 9: Monday 18th May

Mona Fartlek Interval Training Session, provided by Angela Edwards.

I first came across this session when it was recommended by Tim Cook a fellow WJ. It is named after legendary Australian distance runner, Steve Moneghetti, and devised by his coach Chris Wardlaw, a dual Olympian and Education guru.

The session consists of:

Warm-up - at least 10 minutes gentle running and active stretches such as deer leaps, walking lunges, jumping jacks and opposite toe touches.

Mona Fartlek:
2 × (90 seconds fast, 90 seconds slow jog recovery),
4 × (60 seconds fast, 60 seconds slow jog recovery),
4 × (30 seconds fast, 30 seconds slow jog recovery),
4 × (15 seconds fast, 15 seconds slow jog recovery),

Cool down - a slow recovery jog, followed by resetting stretches.

The complete time taken for the actual Mona Fartlek session is 20 minutes. The ‘fast’ running element only takes 10 minutes.

The recovery between fast efforts can followed by a slower run, a slow jog recovery or a walk depending on your level of fitness.

As the efforts become shorter in time, the intensity increases. However, this is no hard and fast rule – whatever suits your needs.

I hope you enjoy this session as much as I do!


Week 8: Monday 11th May

Progression Session, provided by Charles Henderson.

One of my favourite sessions is a progression run. As well as building stamina, it also keeps you focused during your run and is an excellent way to train you to do a ‘negative split’ when race day comes around. It also looks very nice on Strava if you execute it properly!
A progression run is simply running each mile quicker than the previous mile. The longer the run, the greater the challenge. (5-8 miles would be a standard length, but can be shorter or longer). Clearly the first mile or two are really important - the first one needs to be done at your ‘really easy’ pace, and then slice off 10 - 30 seconds off the next mile, and then 10 – 30 seconds off the next, and so on. (Take off smaller slices for a longer run). It’s a good idea to plan a route where you are on the flat/ downhill for the final couple of miles. Ideally, you’ll be doing your final mile at your parkrun pace, before warming down for 10mins.
Good luck! Looking forward to seeing some elegant Strava photos!


Note: Starting slow enough, your early miles will be your warm up. You could still jog half a mile, do strides and skips before starting session. But, equally important, don’t forget your warm down!


Week 7: Monday 4th May

Formalised Fartlek session, provided by Marcus Edwards.
This is 30 minutes of continuous running, with just a few fast bits thrown in!

As always please warm-up to start with. If you don't have your own warm-up routine or want to try something new there is a link attached to a warm-up for runners session. Plus a cool-down session for afterwards.

Yoga For Runners: 7 MIN PRE-RUN | Yoga With Adriene
Start - 1 minute of relaxed jogging

Rep 1 - 4 mins hard (your best parkrun pace) followed by 3 mins comfortable jogging
Rep 2 - 4 mins hard (your best parkrun pace) followed by 3 mins comfortable jogging
Rep 3 - 2 mins very hard followed by 2 mins comfortable jogging
Rep 4 - 2 mins very hard followed by 2 mins comfortable jogging
Rep 5 - 1 min as fast as you can followed by 1 min comfortable jogging
Rep 6 - 1 min as fast as you can followed by 1 min comfortable jogging
Rep 7 - 30 seconds even faster followed by 1 min comfortable jogging
Rep 8 - 30 seconds even faster followed by 1 min comfortable jogging
Oh, and make sure you smile and enjoy it !

Yoga For Runners: 7 MIN POST-RUN | Yoga With Adriene


Week 6: Monday 27th April

Head Coach: Colin Taylor.

A brief, and in simple terms, explanation to the benefits of interval training. There are 3 main energy systems that we use for running. ATP-PC, Anaerobic/Lactate and Aerobic.

ATP-PC is for sprinting, good for 8-10 seconds.

Anaerobic/Lactate is good for getting up hills and a strong finish, lasts 1-2 mins.

Aerobic is virtually everything else.

Okay, we don't race totally within our Aerobic capacity. We operate on the edge of our Aerobic/Anaerobic threshold. Interval training builds up our capability to maintain pace, without generating too much lactate. As long as the lactate being produced is removed straight away, we continue. As the lactate builds up, we become out of breath and tire. Too much lactate in our muscles after a hard run or session causes muscle stiffness, hence the benefit of warming down.

The session this week involves to 2 min intervals with 60 sec recovery. With a 60 second recovery you won’t be fully recovered so you will be hitting your lactate threshold every effort after the first one. You should aim for 5K pace on your intervals.


The session:

Warm up, 10 mins with some drills and 3 x 50m strides.


3 x (2 mins, 60 sec recovery), 3 mins full recovery, 3 x (2 mins, 60 sec recovery).


4 x (2 mins, 60 sec recovery), 3 mins full recovery, 4 x (2 mins, 60 sec recovery).


5 x (2 mins, 60 sec recovery), 3 mins full recovery, 5 x (2 mins, 60 sec recovery).

Warm down, 10 mins gentle jog.


There are many ways of developing this: adding more efforts, reducing recoveries, reducing recovery between sets etc.

For the time being I want you to experience a variety of sessions; the aim is that when races start again, we will look to introduce specific orientated sessions.


Week 5: Monday 20th April

Lockdown stress-buster, provided by Katerina Fellas.

Stay local and find your nearest rugby pitch. My nearest pitch is an ideal 10 minute jog away – perfect for a warm up! A football pitch is fine too but a rugby pitch is bigger!

Warm up: 10 minutes easy jog

Session: Adjust your ‘fast’ to ensure that you can complete all the reps!

  • 8 x pitch widths fast, jog back for recovery

  • 5 minutes jogging recovery around your field

  • 6 x pitch lengths fast, jog back for recovery

Warm down: 10 minutes gentle jog back home, followed by some post-run yoga stretches.


Week 4: Monday 13th April

Hill Work, provided by Marcus Edwards.

This week how about doing something less structured? Go find a hill!!

It can be a short, steep one or a longer, gradual hill. It does not matter too much, it’s all about the effort you put into getting up it. Once you’ve found your hill please ensure that you have warmed up and done a few mobilisation exercises. Do NOT try to charge up a hill on cold muscles, you will pull something that you don’t want to pull!

This is primarily a strength building exercise rather than stamina so go for full effort getting up your hill and take as long as you need to slowly jog back down your hill and recover. Don't forget to drive those arms and push off on your toes. Use your whole body to run, not just your legs. Have fun!!


Beginner: 6 reps
Intermediary: 8 reps
Experienced: 10 reps


Although you may feel exhausted after the session, do ensure that you warm down with a 10 mins gentle jog!


Week 3: Monday 6th April

Interval session provided by Angela Edwards.
There are four elements to interval training:

1. Warm up (around 10 minutes though could take longer, everyone is different)
2. ‘Speed’ section
3. Warm down (to get heart rate down to normal)
4. Resetting stretches, different to full stretches as you must take care to not over-stretch 'stressed' muscles.

Why don’t you try these warm up/down routines for a bit of variety?


Warm Up Routine: Distance Running Drills to Run Faster


Cool Down Routine: Stretches after Exercise


Here is the ‘speed’ section - when you run at 'fast pace', please bear in mind how many reps you will be doing so you have enough energy to complete them all!

Beginner: 6 x (2 minutes fast pace, 1 minute recovery).

Intermediary: 8 x (2 minutes fast pace, 1 minute recovery).

Experienced: 10 x (2 minutes fast pace, 1 minute recovery).


Week 2: Monday 30th March

Fun (!) Intervals, provided by Colin Taylor.

Continuing the theme of experimentation, this is a session I developed from a tough regime set many years ago by Harvey Jaquest. I have also seen something similar done by Mark Nicholls.

Warm up:

  • 10 mins, include some skipping and some strides if you can.


  • 2 x 30 secs

  • 2 x 60 secs

  • 2 x 120 secs

  • 2 x 60 secs

  • 2 x 30 secs

All with 60 sec recovery 


  • 30 and 60 secs 5K pace or quicker.

  • 120 secs quicker than 10K pace. 

  • These are running efforts, not sprints. Don't be tempted to blast the last two efforts.

Warm down:

  • 10 mins jogging.


Remember, keep good body shape, heads up, work your arms. Psychologically this is a great session as you only have to run fast for 2 x 30 secs. This can be done wherever you are, roads or trails. Stretch your legs, fill your lungs, enjoy!


Week 1: Monday 23rd March

​Informal Fartlek, provided by Colin Taylor.

Experiment and expand your running experience by trying some Fartlek, a Swedish word for speed play.

For example, run up a hill faster than usual, run hard to the 5th tree or to the next major path junction. As long as you run fast on your efforts, then recovery you will benefit. 

Try 8 efforts to start with, ensuring a 10 min warm up and allowing for a 10 min warm down.

One tip, don't make the efforts too short and recoveries too long. Why? Because you will be fully recovered and then run too fast which is a recipe for injury…
Have fun, run fast, run slow, enjoy the fresh air!

© Watford Joggers