It is one thing to simply go out there and clock mileage when you are training for a race. But that will only get you so far.
To take you to the next level as a runner, you should vary your running workouts so that you will get a variety of benefits and a good mix of sessions. At the same time, these will also help to make your runs less boring, if you are lacking the motivation to get out there to run.
Here are the various types of running workouts that you should include in your running training plan – to help you become a better and stronger runner as a whole.
1) Base Runs
These are runs that are done on a regular basis and at a pace that is comfortable for you. Their main purpose is to build up your aerobic capacity and endurance. They form a large part of your running mileage every week.
2) Fartlek Runs
These are typically base runs that incorporate intervals of different intensities and durations and a great way for runners to develop their efficiency and resistance to fatigue regardless of whether you are a beginner runner or an experienced one.
For example, for a fartlek run, you could complete 10km at your easy pace, and at the same time, incorporating 10 sets of one-minute intervals at a hard pace into the run.
3) Hill Reps
As the name suggests, these are runs that are done at a high-intensity pace, up hills of preferably about a four to six per cent gradient. Typically done after you have sufficiently built up your base, these are a good way to add higher-intensity sessions into your regular running programme. At the same time, they will also help to build strength, fatigue resistance and pain tolerance.
4) Interval Runs
Typically short segments of fast running followed by breaks in between for recovery, these are a very intense type of workout that is bound to get you feeling exhausted in a very short space of time. However they are great to do, if you want to develop your fatigue resistance and running efficiency over time.
For example, a typical interval running workout could comprise 10 sets of 100m at a heart rate of 180 beats per minute, with 30-second breaks in between each interval set.
5) Long Runs
If you are training for an endurance race such as a marathon, these should be an important part of your programme as they are supposed to help you to improve your raw endurance and ultimately your confidence in the months leading up to your race. They are done at an easy pace, but for a duration that’s supposed to be long enough to make you feel exhausted by the end of the session.
6) Progression Runs
These are relatively challenging runs that begin at an easy and comfortable pace, but as the session progresses, you should increase the pace of your running to somewhere from your 10km pace to your marathon pace or longer runs, depending on how long you are running for, during the session.
7) Recovery Runs
These are short runs done at a slow enough pace where you are able to easily conduct a conversation. They usually take place the day after a hard run or a race, and their main purpose is to help your body recover after the difficult session.
8) Tempo Runs
Completed at your lactate threshold pace – these are runs done at a pace that you should be able to maintain. These could be for about one hour for experienced runners and approximately 20 minutes for beginners. These will help to increase the speed that you will be able to sustain for an extended time period.