In the second of our series on the 10 key sessions used by our Australian distance running greats, Melbourne Marathon race record holder Lisa Weightman talks about her Tuesday night session that she uses as a lead-up to her marathons.
The session: 4x1600m with a 90-second recovery
The following session is one that I do fairly regularly on Tuesday nights at Melbourne University track and is one that I find gives me a good gauge on how I’m going at 10km.
It’s fairly simple to say – 4x1600m done on a six-minute rotation, or if I want to make sure of higher quality, I’m allowed a 90-second recovery between each one.
It certainly isn’t as simple to do as to say and it’s really important not to go out too hard in the first one, because it has more benefit if all four are done at around your 5km race pace.
For me that’s about 5minute per 1600m pace and then usually I just get around 60 seconds break before going hard again.
Unless I have a track race coming up, I don’t usually do it in spikes. Instead I prefer to wear my Nike Lunar racing flats which I also use in my marathons. They are made of a no-sew overlay material with flywire cables that hug your feet like a glove, so I find that I don’t have to tape up my feet.
I usually run about 6km to and from home to the track as part of the warm-up and warm-down. I do this recovery in my Nike Vomero.
Tip for novices
If you have just started running, then I certainly wouldn’t recommend doing the full session. Start by doing 4x400m and then gradually increase the distance of your reps to 800m and 1200m as you get fitter.
Note: Lisa is currently pregnant and expecting her first child in November. She hopes to resume running in January.