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The 30-Minute Effort/Pace Workout


Updated March 29, 2014

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For many competitive runners, the 30-minute effort/pace workout is one of the most critical quality workouts of their training plan. This pace is comparable to what some training programs refer to as a lactate threshold workout because it brings the runner up to the effort level at which the body produces lactic acid more rapidly than it can be metabolized.

Runs at 30-minute EP are performed at a pace that the runner can maintain for an all-out 30-minute effort. This workout is considered hard to very hard and this level of intensity should only comprise 10-12% of the competitive runner’s total training volume.

Here is a 30-minute EP workout from Bobby McGee, an Olympic-level running and triathlon coach and author of Run Workouts for Runners and Triathletes.

Workout Instructions


  • 5 minute fast-paced walking
  • 7-12 minute easy run
  • 5 minute gradual pick-up run, spend the fifth minute running as fast as you can maintain for the full minute with good running form
  • Run 4-6 strides for 15 seconds or 100 meters each
Main set:
  • Run for 2km at a pace you think you could sustain for 30 minutes. Walk for 4 minutes, spending the last minute performing a quick dynamic warm-up.
  • Repeat this three more times.
  • 3 minute fast walk
  • 5-10 minute easy run
  • 3 minute walk
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