The 15:32 Special

Here's a tough workout that's not for the faint-of-heart. I call it "The 15:32 Special." The objective of the workout is to run a cumulative 5K in 15:32, i.e. five-minutes-per-mile pace.

It goes like this:

  • Warmup: 7 minutes at a relaxed pace
  • Three sets of:
    • 4 x 75 seconds at 5 min/mi pace
    • Take 60 seconds to recover between each 75-second repetition
  • Take 3 minutes to recover between each set of 4 reps
  • Cool down by running home/back to your starting point
You can also do this workout at the track; simply run 4 x 400m repeats instead of 4 x 75 seconds. I prefer the 75-second version, however, because then it's an open question as to whether you'll truly run five kilometers in 15:32.

Make sure you write down how you did, or track your performance in a running app, so that you can chart your progress over time and ensure that you're improving.

I did this workout today and found it to be difficult, but extremely rewarding.


This workout adheres to the following principles:

  • A1 (fun)
  • A2 (no out-and-backs)
  • C1 (serves a purpose)
  • C2 (based on speed, not heart rate)
  • C3 (improves a known weakness)
  • C4 (wrote it down here and tracked on Strava)
  • C5 (hard days should be hard)
  • D1 (came prepared)
  • D4 (consistent with Precautionary Principle)

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