Keep Your Edge With Mixed-Interval Workouts

Sprint Triathlon

    Beginner/Intermediate

  • 1 x 1-mile at 10K pace. Two minutes active rest.
  • 2 x 1K at 5K pace. Three minutes active rest.
  • 1 x 800m at 3000m pace. Two minutes active rest.
  • 1 x 400m at 1-mile pace (last 100m all-out)
    Intermediate/Advanced

  • 2 x 1-mile at 10K pace. Two minutes active rest.
  • 3 x 1K at 5K pace. Three minutes active rest.
  • 2 x 800m at 3000m pace. Two minutes active rest.
  • 1 x 400m at 1-mile pace (last 100m all-out)

Olympic-distance Triathlon

    Beginner/Intermediate

  • 1 x 2K at half-marathon pace. Two minutes active rest.
  • 2 x 1-mile at 10K pace. Two minutes active rest.
  • 1 x 1K at 5K pace. Three minutes active rest.
  • 1 x 800m at 3000m pace (last 100m all-out)
    Intermediate/Advanced

  • 2 x 2K at half-marathon pace. Two minutes active rest.
  • 2 x 1-mile at 10K pace. Two minutes active rest.
  • 2 x 1K at 5K pace. Three minutes active rest.
  • 1 x 800m at 3000m pace (last 100m all-out)

Half-Ironman Triathlon

    Beginner/Intermediate

  • 2 x 2K at half-marathon pace. Two minutes active rest.
  • 1 x 1-mile at 10K pace. Two minutes active rest.
  • 1 x 1K at 5K pace. Three minutes active rest.
  • 1 x 800m at 3000m pace (last 100m all-out). Two minutes active rest.
    Intermediate/Advanced

  • 3 x 2K at half-marathon pace. Two minutes active rest.
  • 2 x 1-mile at 10K pace. Two minutes active rest.
  • 2 x 1K at 5K pace. Three minutes active rest.
  • 1 x 800m at 3000m pace (last 100m all-out). Two minutes active rest.

Ironman Triathlon

    Beginner/Intermediate

  • 1 x 5K at marathon pace. One minute active rest.
  • 1 x 2K at half-marathon pace. Two minutes active rest.
  • 1 x 1-mile at 10K pace. Two minutes active rest.
  • 1 x 1K at 5K pace (last 100m all-out)
    Intermediate/Advanced

  • 1 x 8K at marathon pace. One minute active rest.
  • 2 x 2K at half-marathon pace. Two minutes active rest.
  • 1 x 1-mile at 10K pace. Two minutes active rest.
  • 1 x 1K at 5K pace (last 100m all-out)

Maximize Mixed Intervals

Schedule mixed intervals for the peak phase of training to help sustain fitness adaptations earned earlier in the training cycle.

Triathletes who phase out very high-intensity training altogether in the peak phase tend to lose their highest gears and become two-speed athletes who quickly fall apart whenever they exceed their average goal race pace.

I recommend a descending format for mixed-interval workouts, with the slowest intervals first and the fastest intervals last.


Matt Fitzgerald is a certified sports nutritionist and the author of several books on triathlon and running, including Runner's World Performance Nutrition for Runners (Rodale, 2005).


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