The third hard workout also raises your lactate threshold. It involves simulating a race by walking a number of shorter-than-race-distance intervals, with a rest in between each one. Many people think they need to walk these intervals at race pace; however, as mentioned, during the Interval Phase the body is unprepared to walk at the goal race pace for the entire race distance. Therefore, we walk our first mini-cycle at slower-than-race pace, and each progressive mini-cycle at an increased pace. This schedule contains only two mini-cycles, but others on the DVD have more.
After a good warm up using the same regimen employed for the tempo workout, you should be ready to begin. Race walk each interval at the pace listed in the schedule. The first few intervals usually feel fairly easy, but as you progress through the intervals, holding the same pace becomes considerably harder. After each interval, rest enough to catch your wind, thus allowing your heart rate to lower. However, do not totally recover. During the rest period, walk slowly or stretch; do not sit down to wait while time ticks away and your muscles tighten. When the rest period ends, immediately begin the next interval. Try to use a watch that stores the splits for each interval. Remember, consistency is key. Record the splits in your training log when you return home from the track.
Take caution when walking interval workouts. You might find it easy to blast the first interval, thus increasing the difficulty of the remaining repeats. Much like the distance workout, you gain more by completing the first few intervals a little slower and the next few on pace. Then, if you have some energy left, push a little faster on the last few repeats.