Workout of the Week: New Pyramid Workouts/Goal-Pace Run Challenge

Capt. Bush, participant of "The Murph Challenge 2016" is performing pull ups. (Photo Credit: Jin Sang Woo)

Developing new workouts around the PT Pyramid method is one of my favorite ways to get creative. The purpose of the PT Pyramid: it can actually be defined as the perfect workout, because it has the first few sets as an easy dynamic warm-up, a challenging middle of the workout as a maximum-effort section, and the final few sets as a cool-down. The warm-up, max-out, cool-down is all built into the pyramid training method and works for countless methods; see some of my favorites.

My latest version of adds goal-pace running to the pyramid training method:

Start the workout with a 400m warm-up jog/stretch.

This workout starts with a typical PT pyramid: 1 pullup, 2 pushups, and then you do something else: run 400m. This workout works best on a track with a pull-up bar near the field, or you can do it indoors on a treadmill, or you can do in a park with an outdoor pull-up bar. Mark off 400m for each run as you will be doing a lot of 400m runs with a goal of doing it at a new goal pace.

Goal-Pace Run Explained

If you run a 7-minute mile pace for a timed run, or 1.5, 2, or 3-mile run, but you want a new faster goal pace of between 6 and 6:30, run each quarter at 1:30-1:35. This will get you closer to your goal of completing the 1.5-mile in 9:00-9:30, 2 miles in 12-13 minutes, and 3 miles in 18-19:30.

Set 1: 1 pullup, 2 pushups, run 400m at goal pace for a timed run you have to take in the future.

Set 2: 2 pullups, 4 pushups, run 400m at goal pace for a timed run you have to take in the future.

Keep going up to 10 pullups and 20 pushups, and complete your 10th set of 400m runs. This will be 2.5 miles of goal-paced running at this point. If you are fairly new to running, then this is a good stopping point, but keep working with this program to build up to the following completion of the pyramid: 1-10-1 (19 sets).

If you are able and are in this type of running shape (running 5 miles), repeat in reverse order for NINE more sets. This will total 19 400m run sets at your goal pace. Work hard to maintain that pace: no faster, no slower. With the warm-up run, you will have completed a total of 5 miles of running. Make sure you have progressed up to 5 miles of running before attempting this run workout out of the blue with little to no running foundation.

As you advance with this workout, add more distance per set; perhaps 800m runs, even mile repeats. So you do not have to do 19 sets of those, perhaps rotate an 800m or mile run set every 3-5 sets, focusing on your goal pace each time.

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