I am following a training program for a 10 k race with a goal of 40 minutes. It consists on 4 training days during 5 weeks. Weeks are more or less like this:

  1. One day for short series (5 x 200 m at 3'20" - 3'30" / km, two times, with 30" rest between them and 4' rest between blocks)
  2. One day for tempo run (10 km at 4'30" - 4'40" / km)
  3. One day for longer series (5 x 1000 m at 3'50" / km, 2' rest between them)
  4. One day for long steady run (12-14 km at 5' / km)

When I am on the 'series day' I try hard to get to the goal on every single one. However, I don't really know what I should be doing between series. While I know this does not need to be a fartlek, I feel that stopping completely relaxes my body too much, so every new start feels as I have been waiting too much and my heart is back on regular heartbeats.

So: what are you supposed to do between series? Are you supposed to walk a bit, just stretch or keep running so heartbeat does not go down too much?

  • I know this is not your question, but I find your day 1 highly questionable. Weekly sprint intervals have no specificity at all for a 10k. Nov 14, 2019 at 10:10
  • @UnbescholtenerBuerger why so? Since the aim is to run at 4'/km, running short series at 3'20" seems to be useful to get some speed. Just wondering, I am not an expert at all :)
    – fedorqui
    Nov 14, 2019 at 15:38
  • Sprinting speed won't help you much in a 10K, well it can maybe net a few seconds during finish sprint. But far more effective - and less taxing for CNS and regeneration - would be to train your base endurance and your body's ability to clear lactate. The pace you are targeting is already ambitious for most folks, so reading up on concepts like training zones and what makes a good training plan might be worthwhile. Nov 15, 2019 at 9:23
  • It seems to be consensus among experts that 60-90% (depending on target distance) of endurance training should take place in the aerobic zone, the bulk of the rest at threshold pace. The latter you got covered very well with your day 2 and 3, so my suggestion would be to swap out day 1 for something like another hour-long run at 5:00 or slower. Nov 15, 2019 at 9:24
  • @UnbescholtenerBuerger oh, that's useful information. Since it is not about my question, but interesting information nevertheless, what do you think if I post another question on the lines of what you are commenting here, so you can post there? Many thanks again!
    – fedorqui
    Nov 18, 2019 at 9:41

1 Answer 1


To answer your question, you must define what is the objective of the workout you are performing. Depending on the objective, you can define yourself what you should be doing between series.

Active recovery between series helps your body to learn to clear by-products while fatigued. Active recovery means a running pace that allows you to recover to such a point that you can perform all your series at the intended intensity. This supposedly teaches your body to clear by-products more efficiently.

You could also do something that increases the by-products (or at least decreases their rate of clearance) between your series e.g. jump-ropes or putting your body in such a way that it cannot clear by-products so easily e.g. instead of letting your body be "tall" put yourself into a squat position. This will teach your body to handle doing work while under heavy doses of by-products. Those are the worst kind of workout and are typically used for 400-800m.

You could eventually do ... "nothing" between your series for an extended time. The objective would be to allow yourself to perform maximum intensity on each series or repeat. This is typically what sprinters do. Because they don't care about the recovery mechanisms during such workouts. They only care about the intensity they put in each series/repeat. To do that, you need to fully recover.

  • Interesting! In my case, as indicated in the question, I am preparinh for a 10 k race.
    – fedorqui
    Nov 18, 2019 at 19:47

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