Wednesday Workout: Miles Havlick’s Threshold Run

Audrey ManganMay 15, 20131
Trail running in the Sawtooth Mountains north of Sun Valley, Idaho. Photo: Miles Havlick.
Trail running in the Sawtooth Mountains north of Sun Valley, Idaho. Photo: Miles Havlick.

Welcome to Wednesday Workout, the newest workout series on FasterSkier. During the offseason, we’ll feature components of summer training programs from top individuals and teams throughout the U.S. and Canada at the junior, college and elite club levels. If you ever have a workout suggestion or training question, send them in to info[at]


We saw him outsprint a stacked men’s field in the 20 k freestyle at NCAA Championships this March to win his second national title two years running. Now, Miles Havlick is getting ready to continue his post-University of Utah ski career with the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation.

May training season is in full swing, and he’s logging the hours on foot, on his bike and on rollerskis.

“I’ve been rollerskiing a little bit; my hands are still getting used to that so I ride my bike a fair amount this time of year,” Havlick said. “Mountain and road [biking] is a great way to get in the hours and is a bit more tolerable when it’s really hot like it is.

“I like to change up my workouts a lot to keep it interesting; I don’t want to get in a routeine of doing the same stuff all the time.”

Havlick celebrates his mass-start victory, his second-straight at NCAA Championships. (Photo:
Miles Havlick winning the 20 k freestyle at NCAA Championships in March. (Photo:

In addition to long hours on wheels, one of the staples in his summer training program is on foot: a point-to-point L3 trail run near his house in Salt Lake City. Though simple, the workout requires focused execution.


The Workout:

30 min warm-up

50-60 min L3

30 min warm-down


The session is doubly productive: like any L3 threshold workout it improves VO2 max, but it can also serve as an informal periodic test if repeated throughout the summer. Havlick does this workout from the same starting point about every two weeks on a trail that has varied terrain: with rolling hills, flats and gradual down hills.

“You can mark where you finish, or make a mental note of it, and see where you improve along the way,” Havlick says. “It’s almost like a time trial but less formal, and usually it’s a good measure of how your fitness is improving throughout the summer.”

He emphasized the importance keeping the heart rate in L3, easing back on the climbs and picking up speed on descents as necessary — which also makes the session a good pacing workout.

“There are different goals for every workout session,” Havlick explains. “Some days you go easy and just do it to get the blood moving, to recover or for a long OD. L3 workout days, L4 workouts and time trials — stuff like that — if you go hard all the time you’ll start to decline in performance. You want to improve certain aspects. L3 work does a lot with improving your VO2 max and your overall fitness, so that’s the goal of this workout.”

To change things up, Havlick will sometimes adjust the way he attacks the hills and flats to see how it affects where he finishes, all the while staying close to L3.

“I run the flats a little harder some days and push the hills harder other days, and see how it affects the finishing position,” he said. “It’s kind of interesting; it kind of makes it like a ski race, too.”

Though the workout looks simple on paper, know that an hour at L3 is not to be undertaken lightly.

“It’s a pretty hard workout, so I’m pretty cooked after that,” Havlick says.

Audrey Mangan

Audrey Mangan (@audreymangan) is an Associate Editor at FasterSkier and lives in Colorado. She learned to love skiing at home in Western New York.

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One comment

  • crashtestxc

    May 15, 2013 at 5:17 pm

    Time to go crush another SWEET workout!!

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