Elite 8: Workouts Of The World’s Top Runners

Check out these lung-busting workouts, then head out the door and give them a try!

You don’t get to be an elite runner, an Olympian or a world medalist by slacking off. But what that means depends on the athlete.

Some runners have routes they know exactly how long it takes them to complete: a certain time means they’re ready to go. Others tick off track sets every week to watch their numbers drop.

Nearly every elite runner, however, has staples of their routine, workouts that they return to again and again.

Manteo Mitchell, whose favorite workout below is the most intricate, said he likes to compare training notes with other athletes at races. When he does, he finds that they’re doing intervals with much more rest or with different targets, “but we’re running the same times in races.” That’s because there is no secret sauce. “It varies athlete to athlete,” he said.

Keep that in mind as you mix these elites’ favorite workouts into your schedule. Your times probably will not be their times. And, there’s a reason their favorite workouts vary so much, because as long as you’re working hard some of the details are just a matter of preference.

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