2-Week Long-Distance Track Workout Training Plan


If you're a long-distance runner transitioning from the fall cross-country season to the spring track season, chances are you need to work on your speed. Track distances are shorter than cross country, so you need the right workout to increase your quickness and turnover. Your routine should incorporate intervals, both continuous and non-continuous, to simulate the transition from a long, steady pace to sudden increases in speed.

This two-week split routine employs a combination of short and long intervals to increase your speed while maintaining your endurance. Start each long-distance track workout with a 1-mile warm-up jog, followed by the dynamic exercises listed below.

RELATED: Nutrition Guidelines for Endurance Training

Long-Distance Track Workout

Dynamic Warm-Up

  1. Knee to Chest
  2. Straight Leg Kicks
  3. Lunge With Twist
  4. Side Lunges
  5. A-Skips
  6. B-Skips
  7. High Knees
  8. Butt Kickers
  9. Carioca
  10. Plyometric Power Skips

Week 1

Monday: 200, 400, 600, 800, 1000, 1600, 1600, 1000, 800, 600, 400, 200

  • Take a 30-second break after 200 meters.
  • Take a 45-second break after 400 meters.
  • Take a 60-second break after 600 meters.
  • Take a 75-second break after 800 meters.
  • Take a 90-second break after 1000 meters.
  • Take a two-minute break after 1600 meters.

This pyramid format challenges your body by requiring your muscle fibers to adjust from fast-twitch (sprints) to slow-twitch (long distance).

Tuesday: 16x100

  • Sprint 100 meters, then jog 100 meters for recovery.
  • Repeat 16 times, moving continuously.
  • One set of bleacher runs

Sprinting 100 meters will increase your speed and turnover by recruiting your fast-twitch muscles. By continuously jogging during your recovery time, you will retain your endurance and simulate the increase in speed, followed by a regression to a steady pace, similar to passing someone in a race. Bleacher runs build stamina and power in your legs by mimicking running up a hill.

RELATED: Train Harder With Hill Sprints

Wednesday: 6x800

  • Take a 90-second break between sets.

Running 800-meter repeats helps you focus on consistency and improving your time with each set. This is a middle distance, requiring the right mixture of speed and endurance with the goal of running negative splits (running the second lap faster than the first).

Thursday: 16x200

  • Sprint 200 meters, finishing on the straightaway, then jog 200 meters.
  • Repeat 16 times, moving continuously.

This workout is similar to 100-meter sprints, but it increases your speed and turnover better than 100-meter sprints, because it is longer and requires you to run on the curve. Running continuously (even when you are tired) will also increase your endurance.

Friday: 12x400

  • Take a 60-second break between sets.

If you ask any track athlete, the 400-meter run is basically a long sprint. This workout recruits your fast-twitch muscles, and toward the very end, it starts to transition to slow-twitch muscles. Repeating this length 12 times will build endurance, helping to train your muscles to work hard for an extended period of time.

Week 2

Monday: 1600, 1000, 800, 600, 400, 200, 200, 400, 600, 800, 1000, 1600

  • Take a two-minute break after 1600 meters.
  • Take a 90-second break after 1000 meters.
  • Take a 75-second break after 800 meters.
  • Take a 60-second break after 600 meters.
  • Take a 45-second break after 400 meters.
  • Take a 30-second break after 200 meters.

Reversing the pyramid challenges your muscles a little differently. Running the longer distances first, followed by the shorter distances, forces your body to recruit your slow-twitch muscles and then transition to your fast-twitch, creating better turnover. Descending the pyramid will seem easier because the distance decreases, but just as your body starts to adjust, it will be shocked as you start to ascend the pyramid.

Tuesday: 16x100

  • Sprint 100 meters on the straightaway, then jog 100 meters on the curve for recovery.
  • Repeat 16 times, moving continuously.
  • Run one set of Bleacher Hops. Hop on one foot up one flight of stairs, run down, repeat on other foot, run down, repeat on both feet, run down.

Bleacher Hops will increase your leg power, and jumping on one leg will create balanced strength in each leg by eliminating the tendency to use your strong leg to compensate. When you run, you have all your weight on one leg at a time, and hopping on one leg simulates that motion.

Wednesday: 5x1000

  • Take a 90-second break between sets.

Running an extra 200 meters is a challenge that will cause your muscles to adjust and work extra hard to power you through.

Thursday: 10x300 with 100-meter jog

  • Run 300 meters, followed by a 100-meter recovery jog.
  • Repeat 10 times, moving continuously.
  • Perform three sets of 50-yard Broad Jumps.

Track athletes get so used to the usual 200-, 400- and 800-meter runs that their muscle memory adapts. By changing the mold and running an odd length, your muscles have to adapt and recruit more fibers. Running the first 300 meters and jogging the last 100 meters allows you to run all out before your body starts to fatigue, like it would in the last 100 meters of a 400-meter race. Performing Broad Jumps at the end of your run when you are tired trains your legs to work when you are fatigued. It also builds explosive power needed for running track events.

Friday: 3-5x1600

  • Rest two minutes between sets.

This routine focuses on endurance but still incorporates some speed, since the mile is considered a mid-distance event. Just like with the 800-meter repeats, the goal is to consistently run the same time or better each set.

End each track workout with a 1-mile cool-down jog, followed by the static stretches listed below.

Static Stretches

  1. Standing Hamstring Stretch
  2. Side Lunge Stretch
  3. Standing Quadriceps Stretch
  4. Standing Bench Hamstring Stretch
  5. Seated Knee-Up Torso Rotation Stretch
  6. Butterflies
  7. Sitting Hamstring Stretch
  8. Figure 4 Piriformis Stretch
  9. Cobra Stretch
  10. Prone Calf Stretch


Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock

Topics: STRETCHING | WORKOUTS | TRACK & FIELD | RUNNING | ASICS CROSS COUNTRY | POWER | TRAIN | RECOVERY | SPRINT | ENDURANCE | TRACK | HAMSTRING STRETCH