The Workouts of #HarlemGetsFit

Week in and week out we put in work together. Whether we are getting faster or stronger, we get fit. For those who’ve joined us on more occasion than one, this may be a refresher, but for those who will be joining us soon, we wanted to breakdown our Thursday night speed workouts.

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Hill Repeats

Our normal location for this workout is Harlem Hill at the north side of Central Park. It’s always about working in teams. We head out in groups of similar speeds, which also includes walkers and run/walkers. We start out at the bottom of the hill and run all the way to the top at about 85-90% and then either a jog or walk back down. That is one rep. After three reps we go to the opposite side and do another three reps. Some choose the alternative of doing fewer reps depending on their own personal fitness.

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Marcus Garvey Park is home to our annual #Harlem1Miler, and the location for this workout. It happens to have four sides, which will serve as our square. We head out in groups of similar speeds and run two sides of the park. Half run towards one side of the park and the half run towards the opposite side of the park. When the other side is reached, each group waits exactly two minutes. After that they head out to complete the other two sides of the park. Each group repeats that two more times for a total of three. Alternatives of few reps are always optional depending on your level of fitness.

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Groups of similar speeds go out together and run in single file. Once the group is ready, the person in the front gives the signal to start. The last person in line sprints all the way to the front of the line and returns to the moderate pace. This is repeated for 2-3 times as each group follows the one-mile, upper loop of Central Park.

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This sequence of numbers can be broken down as follows: 3 minutes on, 2 minutes off, 1 minute on, 2 minutes off. Then you repeat it all over again for roughly 30 minutes of speedwork. When you are on you are putting out 90% of effort. When you are off you are either walking or jogging.

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This is simply 3 minutes of hard effort, and 3 minutes of recovery. Recovery can be walking or jogging. Just be sure to keep it moving and don’t come to an immediate halt. The Great Hill in the northwest part of Central Park is home to this workout.

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The key to any tempo run is maintaining a consistent and specific pace. Joining groups of similar speed and pace hold everyone accountable in pushing each other. We go out at about a 90% effort circle the Harlem Meer in the northeast part of Central Park. We generally stay within 30-45 minutes of speedwork, but the goal is a specific distance.

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We are no stranger to stairs thanks our #HarlemRunStairs event, but every now and again we will utilize either Morningside Park or St. Nicholas Park. With a 20 minute time limit, the goal is to run up and down and cover as many stairs as you can. In some cases there are a lot of stairs to cover, so we offer modified versions for our walkers and run/walkers.

As with all of our workouts, HGF speed workouts welcome all ages, abilities, and performance levels. Whether you are a speed demon or are just beginning to build up your strength, these nights are for you! We hope to see you out with us on a Thursday night.

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- HR Captains & HGF Regulars

Amir FigueroaComment