Sprint Intervals

Sprint Intervals are great for a few reasons: they mix up your routine (change usually goes hand-in-hand with progression), they can be fun, and they challenge your pace. Whether you’re looking to get faster, gain endurance, or just change up your boring-old run routine, trying out a sprint interval is a great way to do all three.

While there are many ways to set up your sprint intervals, these are the times I consistantly use:

  • :35 of jogging (55-60% effort)
  • :15 SPRINT (90-95% effort)
  • :10 walk (10% effort)

One of the nice things about this set-up is it is sixty-seconds long. So, if you want to go out for a 3.0 mile or 30 minute run, your routine could look something like this:

  • 10 minute / 1 mile warm-up
  • 10 Sprint Intervals
  • 10 minute / 1 mile (or whatever you have left after your intervals) cool-down

Your warm-up and cool-down should consist of building up your pace and then decreasing it, and most importantly listening to your body (which feels differently about running everyday).

I use my Tabata timer for iPhone app to set up my intervals. It should look like this:


The prepare time is your jog, work is sprint, and rest is walk. In order to get the preparation time during all ten Tabatas, you must set the Cycles to “1” and the Tabatas to “10” or maybe “15” if you’re feeling frisky.


If you’re in training for a run and have a plan, stick to your plan. If you are the master of your own routine, I’d say putting sprint intervals into your routine every week or every-other week is sufficient. After a few weeks, you can up your “Tabatas”. Maybe setting out for a 4.0 mile run that includes 15 sprint intervals. Also try a “Fartlek” as another fun way to mix up your pace. Most importantly: Listen to your body.


3 thoughts on “Sprint Intervals

  1. […] fartlek, unlike my Sprint Intervals, uses two speeds: fast and slow (recovery). The 3:00 interval was supposed to be run at a […]

  2. I spent some time last summer on sprint intervals. Definitely improved my overall race pace and knocked about 15 minutes off my half marathon time. I was definitely happy with that and look forward to upping up the ante this coming spring when I get back into running outside. Ahh, the winter has made me a wimp on the treadmill. 😉

    • Thanks for checking me out! I have been very lucky this winter to live in a climate where I can still run outside. Good luck with your running– I wish I could knock 15 minutes off my time !

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