• Jon Reid

'The McKee' Interval Session

High intensity conditioning is a great way to burn fat, improve endurance and make you better at sporty things. Number one choice is hill sprints, but, if your park is flatter than my jokes tend to fall, then here is a sprint-interval type structure that is fast and effective…

There and Back x 10…. aka ‘The McKee’

You will need:

  • Stopwatch

  • Water-bottle

  • 20 minutes

You will do:

  • 10 sprints

You will give:

  • All you got

You will burn:

  • Fat

You will build:

  • Anaerobic capacity

  • Aerobic capacity

  • Muscle

You will be:

  • Breathing hard

  • Glad when it’s over

  • Fitter because of it

Here’s what to do:

  1. Pick a park bench, tree, water bottle or dog in the distance that will take roughly 15-20 seconds to get to and back (running fast).

  2. Hit start on the stopwatch.

  3. Run there and back as fast as you can.

  4. Hit stop and take a mental note of your time. This time is now your target for each sprint.

  5. Rest for exactly one minute (use the stopwatch) and go again. Do this ten times.

Try to stay as close to your target time as possible but allow yourself a drop off of 5 seconds over the 10 sprints.

Why is it called 'The McKee'? I spent years observing my friend play soccer*. For privacy's sake we’ll call him E. McKee, actually that’s too obvious, let’s call him Euan. M (credit: The Simpsons)

*For more on how to improve your strength for soccer check out soccer strength and conditioning.

Anyway, the unidentified individual would regularly be running in one direction (with the ball) only to be stopped abruptly (tackled) and then have to hightail it back after his opponent. This provided the structure of the session.

I observed ten sprints in one match and, on average, the opposing team spent one minute celebrating yet another goal before the process repeated itself from kick off. Thus, 'The McKee' was born.

The session incorporates acceleration, deceleration, changing direction and acceleration again. You have to run fast, slow down, change direction and run fast again. This is tough stuff and is required in many sports. It's also a very quick and effective session structure.


  1. Sprint there and back.

  2. Rest for one minute.

  3. Repeat 10 times.

  4. Share the article



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