Middle-distance events will test your will and courage as an athlete since they require endurance, speed, and mental toughness.
Therefore, incorporating track workouts that cover these elements will ensure you are fit and ready for any rigorous middle-distance event.
Track workouts ensure you practice at a steady pace and allow you to keep an eye on your progress. They improve the efficiency of your cardiovascular system by increasing the amount of oxygen you consume.
Workouts also help break the monotony of your training while simultaneously boosting your form.
There are so many track workouts you can do as a middle-distance runner. So, understandably, you may find it hard to make a choice. But not to worry, we have your back.
Below, we review 12 of the best track workouts for middle-distance runners. You can incorporate any of them into your routine regardless of where you are in your training plan.
12 Best Track Workouts for Middle-Distance Runners
Striders are the perfect track workouts for the beginning of your training. You can start doing striders in the first 1-3 weeks of middle-distance training.
Striders are 50m-100m sprints. You start slowly and gradually increase speed until you reach 95% capacity at the end of the distance you choose to sprint. Repeat this exercise 10-20 times.
Striders are ideal for adding some speed and for finishing off your run. Some runners also use striders to warm up, so you can try to do some before running.
Another interesting track workout you can add to your training program is 400m intervals.
If you are not in proper shape, wait for at least four weeks before incorporating it into your training.
Depending on your fitness level, you can start with four to eight 400m intervals at a 5K pace. You can go a little faster if you want to.
Complete each interval with a light 200m-400m jog for recovery. But remember that your recovery time must be similar to the time you spent running. It is not about the distance but the time.
So if you run 400 meters in 2 minutes, your recovery jog must be 2 minutes.
If you want to add a little variety to your training, you can try this workout.
To do a speedwork sandwich, start with a ½ mile warmup at 80% capacity. After warming up, recover with a slow 400m jog.
Next, run eight 200m sprints with a slow 100m in between sprints. After each set, recover with a 400m jog.
Run another ½ mile and try to beat the time of your first ½ mile.
If you could do the 200m intervals without overexerting yourself, you may have been quicker in the second ½ mile. If you were faster, it means your legs had the chance to warm up properly.
Straights and Curves
Straights and curves is a track workout that involves walking the curves and running the straight sections.
You can perform this workout for as many laps as you like. But you must aim to complete at least four laps.
Straights and curves is one workout that does not need too much planning and thinking. It is also an ideal way to get comfortable running on a track.
300s is a straightforward track workout.
It involves running 300m, walking the remaining 100m to return to your start point in the track, and repeating the process. If you feel 300m is too long, you may have to pace yourself so you can run the entire 300m.
Depending on your fitness level, you can keep repeating this workout for as many laps as you like.
To do a four-minute mile workout, try running these distances on the track: 400m, 300m, 300m, 200m, 200m, 100m, and 100m. After completing each run, rest for 1 minute to 2 minutes.
Ensure you time your runs with a watch and don’t reset it after each interval. Keep timing each run, and once you finish the workout, you will have completed 1,600m — approximately one mile.
Your goal is to complete these distances in 4 minutes or less. If 4 minutes seems unrealistic, you can make adjustments. But ensure you pick a time that requires you to push yourself.
Roll the Dice
To perform this workout, you start by rolling a die. The number that pops up is the number of intervals you will do.
Roll the die again. This time the number that shows represents the distance of your runs.
For instance, if you roll a six and four, you will run six 400m repeats, with a short rest period between each set. You can keep rolling the die to repeat the workout until you achieve the goal in your running plan.
The fitness combo is perfect for adding variety to your track workout to keep you from getting bored.
If you are tired of running in circles, you can stop after each lap, move to the inside of the field and do strength exercises like crunches, planks, and pushups.
To do a time challenge, start with a proper warmup: Run one lap around the track and note your time.
Take a brief rest, run another lap at the same pace and avoid looking at your watch as you run.
This workout will gauge whether you run the first lap at a fast pace or a slower pace. Trying to maintain a specific pace will also be challenging. So this track workout is sure to keep you engaged and help you adjust your pacing.
Inside-outside is the ideal workout to help you improve your speed and push yourself. However, it is best to perform this workout when the track is empty.
To perform this workout, start in lane one. Run around the track once in that lane and take note of your time.
Move to the next lane and complete a lap in that lane. Try to finish that lap in the time you took to complete the first lap.
Keep switching lanes and complete a lap in each of them. As you run, try to maintain the time from the first lane.
In most 400m tracks, the outside lane is longer than the inside lane by 40m-50m. So once you reach lane nine, you will be running 440m to 450m.
Due to the extra distance and the exhaustion from running several laps, it becomes difficult to keep the same time. Inside-outside is an excellent track workout since it pushes you to run faster.
Another track workout you cannot go wrong with is the pyramid interval. This workout will ensure you build and push yourself at each interval.
To do pyramid intervals, start with 200m and increase each interval by 200m. At the end of each interval, do a 200m recovery jog.
Your pyramid interval workout will look like this: 200m, 400m, 800m, 600m, 400m, and 200m. Depending on how fast you run, your workout should last about 30 minutes to 45 minutes.
800m intervals are similar to 400m intervals. However, when you do 800m intervals, you run two laps instead of one.
Your pace for 800m intervals must be between a 5K pace and a 10K pace. Your recovery time will be longer, usually around 3-4 minutes.
If you are doing 800m intervals for the first time, start with 2 or 3 intervals. As you become more comfortable with the workout, you can increase the number of intervals.
These 800m intervals are the perfect workout for developing the endurance, speed, and mental toughness to run middle-distance events.