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Tuesday Interval Sessions at Bermondsey Spa Gardens

On Tuesday evenings we hold an interval session for distance runners at Bermondsey Spa Gardens.

These sessions are un-coached and are facilitated by Anna Bloomer, Gavin Murrison and Phil Skeffington. If you have questions about these sessions, please contact bermondsey@serpentine.org.uk

Over the winter the session will usually be at lactate threshold (LT) pace to help you improve your speed-endurance. As spring approaches we will start to introduce a little more speed to help sharpen you up for the summer racing season. Combined with a broad endurance base, this type of training will make you a faster runner at distances from 10k to marathon.

Where and when?

We meet at 7.00pm near the small Sainsbury store opposite Bermondsey Spa Gardens. The nearest tube station is Bermondsey (Jubilee Line). Please arrive warmed-up/ready to run and make sure to bring your own stopwatch. A stopwatch with a multiple lap timer would be ideal for these sessions.

Please book online if you would like to attend, as we need to limit numbers for health and safety reasons. The sessions have become very popular and we only take bookings up to 7 days before each session; no block booking is allowed.

See the Bermondsey Spa Gardens page for further location details. If you want to ensure you have somewhere to store your bags and valuables safely we recommend you arrive by 7pm for a swift warm-up followed by the main session.

Who are the sessions for?

The sessions are targeted at endurance runners and triathletes who take part in running events throughout the year on any type of surface. Ideally, you should have built up a good base of stamina and endurance before you start to introduce faster-paced work. LT work is the best form of speed training to do over the winter to supplement your aerobic conditioning work before you start to sharpen up your speed after the New Year in preparation for your spring target races. If you are in doubt whether this is an appropriate session to attend, get in touch with bermondsey@serpentine.org.uk.

What is the format of the sessions?

The sessions last about one hour and consist of a ½-mile jog warm-up, around 30-40 minutes'-worth of repetitions, and a cool-down ½ mile jog. Because of time constraints we cannot include work on technique/drills. We cover around 4-7 miles in total in these sessions (including warm-up/cool-down). Future sessions are shown below.

The purpose of the sessions in winter is to increase your lactate threshold – i.e. the pace at which you start to experience accumulation of lactate in your tissues. Push up your LT and you will find your race pace at all distances from 10k and upwards improves (when combined with improving your endurance). An additional benefit of the sessions is that they teach you good pace judgement.

How do I know what my lactate threshold pace is now?

There are 3 ways:

By perceived effort:

"A hard but sustainable effort" – about the level of effort you would expect in a race lasting about 60 mins (between 10 mile and 10k pace for most people). It should feel "comfortably hard", but you need to concentrate to keep it going.

By Heart Rate Monitor:

Most people's LT if they have a good endurance base will be in the region of 85-90% of their Maximum Heart Rate (MHR) pace. Less well-trained runners will find their LT nearer to 80% of their MHR.

From a recent race performance:

If you use a Garmin or other SDM for training, you can be more precise about the pace you need to achieve in these sessions by putting a recent race performance into a calculator: the pace you want is described as "tempo intervals."

Sessions

Date Session
4 Jul 4-5 x (2 laps at LT pace: 2 laps at 5k pace) 75 sec rest. Approx 5k-6.5k effort. ANTI-CLOCKWISE
11 Jul 5 x (90 sec at 5k pace: 90 sec jog) 2 min rest and REPEAT. 30 min effort. CLOCKWISE
18 Jul 3-4 x (3 laps at HM pace: 2 laps at 10k pace) 60 sec rest. Approx 5k-6.5k effort. ANTI-CLOCKWISE
25 Jul Extended warm-up. 1km time trial followed by 3-4 x 5 min at LT pace
1 Aug 4-5 x (2 laps at LT pace: 2 laps at 5k pace) 75 sec rest. Approx 5k-6.5k effort. ANTI-CLOCKWISE
8 Aug 5 x (90 sec at 5k pace: 90 sec jog) 2 min rest and REPEAT. 30 min effort. CLOCKWISE
15 Aug 3-4 x (3 laps at HM pace: 2 laps at 10k pace) 60 sec rest. Approx 5k-6.5k effort. ANTI-CLOCKWISE
22 Aug Extended warm-up. 1km time trial followed by 3-4 x 5 min at LT pace