Triathlon Track Running Speed Workout 04

The (not boring) Track Workout for Triathlon Running Speed

It’s one of those types of relationships. Yes, the love/hate kind when it comes to track workouts for running speed. But the truth of the matter is that the only way to get faster is to run faster. If all you do is long, slow runs then, well, you’ll be a long, slow runner.

This workout will magically make you faster! Ok, there’s no abra-cadabra involved, but you will drop your pace before you know it by using these shorts bursts of intervals. But the best part is that it gives you something to look forward to nearly every lap!

The track is a perfect place to work on short bursts of speed that will help increase your overall pace. And I really think this style of running workout for triathlon training on the track keeps away much of the boredom and monotony of “here we go loop de loop” on the track. 

What you’ll be doing is a basic interval style running workout, where you pick up the pace for a certain distance. Then you’ll find a recovery pace to regain composure before bookin’ it again. The thing is this here, however: it’s a pyramiding interval workout, meaning each interval gets longer each time. 

Pyramid Interval Track Running Triathlon Workout

No wait, it’s a double pyramid interval workout! What does this mean? Umm, all that means is you’ll go up and then back down again. 

Let me break it down now…

1. Start by running a hard quarter lap (like the picture of my Garmin), then recover for a quarter lap. 

Triathlon Track running workout for speed |

Oh wait. That’s after you warmup for a mile or so, of course. Doesn’t that go without saying by now? This track is about 1.6 miles from our house, so it’s a perfect, get-good-and-warmed-up-before-we-really-get-going-here distance. 

2. Run a hard half-lap. Recover for a half lap. 

Triathlon Track running workout for speed |

3. Run a fast 3/4 lap. Recover for 3/4 lap.

Triathlon Track running workout for speed |

4. Run a quick full lap. Recover for a full lap. 

Triathlon Track Running Speed Workout |

(I took this workout all the way up to a full mile, but once got past full laps, I did 1 full lap, 2 full laps, 3 full laps, etc. By the way, I didn’t recover for the full and equal distance every time either.) 

Two Ways to Pace Your Track Workout

How to pick your pacing? 

Ok, that’s a good question you are probably wondering. It’s going to go by two different variables. The first one is a target or goal pace. Or a tempo pace, if you like to sound pro and use the cool jargon. Say you want to get your pace down from a 9-minute mile to an 8 flat. 

Your pacing will look something like this example: 

Quarter lap: 7:00 (whoa that’s fast!)

Half lap: 7:15

Three-quarters lap: 7:20

Full lap, holy crap!: 7:30

Extrapolate that out to a full mile at 8:00. 

The other way to gauge your pacing is to use the ol’ RPE (rate of perceived exertion), or basically “get Zen” with how you are feeling. Ask yourself, “does it seem like I could maintain this pace for the full (insert how far your current interval is here)?” And then use your best judgement to make adjustments accordingly. But remember that you are constantly trying to push yourself into the “faster pace zone.” 

Obviously, a running on a track would be very boring if you were to only go round and round at the same speed. But this workout gives you something to look forward to nearly every lap! This triathlon running workout will also get your pace faster and faster by using these short bursts of threshold pace running. 

Get to the track, and get your wheels going!


Posted by Trainer +Davey Anderson 

About Author

Trainer DaveyTrainer Davey is an Orange County personal trainer at heart, but has since moved to Nashville and taken on the new challenge of triathlon training. Of course, he misses his home of Surf City...but Music City ain't so bad either!View all posts by Trainer Davey →

  1. Janelle

    Thank you! This workout rocks! (although I did find naming it a double pyramid odd -typically if I’m just going up its a ladder, if I go up and down it’s a pyramid, but anyway..) I am always intimidated by track workouts, and I managed to do this one today without getting in my own head and giving up! I went up to 800m before going back down, which was exactly the workout I needed to squeeze in before it got too dark to bike home. Thanks so much!

    • Trainer Davey
      Trainer Davey08-12-2014

      Up to 800 meters…and a bike home! Wow, nice job on that one! I’m so glad you got a good workout in and found this helpful.

      Oh yeah, the double pyramid thing was a supposed to be a dumb joke on the double rainbow thing… I know. Lame.