7 Different Types of Running Workouts

What type of run do you do when you say, “you’re going for a run?” Most people tend to stick to their usual route, pace, and distance and ultimately feel like they are not getting anywhere. Try to mix up your runs with the examples below to give you some great benefits. 

1. Base Run / Easy Run (Recovery Run)

In a base/easy run, you run at your natural/comfy pace to build up aerobic capacity. These should make up the brunt of your running training and they shouldn’t be too challenging. You should be able to hold a normal conversation whilst running. Also, can be used as a recovery run post hard training/race, to help those tired legs recover quicker. 

2. Progression Run

Start your run at your comfy natural pace but finish it at a faster rate. You gradually build up your pace as you go through your run. 

A moderately-challenging workout that can help to improve your running stamina. It’s great if you’re looking for something slightly harder than the base run but not as intense as other types. 

3. Tempo Run

Tempo run refers to a “comfortably hard” pace that you can maintain for a long period of time. It is not a full-on flat-out pace or easy/base pace but rather in between the two. You should find it hard to hold a normal conversation but still be able to talk. 

When you run, your muscles build up lactic acid that causes them to fatigue. A tempo run can increase your threshold so that your muscles don’t fatigue as fast so you can run for longer. 

Especially beneficial if you are training for half and/or full marathons. 

4. Interval Training

Bursts of fast runs where you put in more effort, followed by periods of jogging and less intense running. Interval training means that you will alternate between the two. Really useful at improving your anaerobic capacity. You could choose to have intervals of distance e.g 400m effort 200m recovery or time e.g. 3 minutes effort, 2 minutes recovery or even a combination of both. 

5. Fartlek

Running doesn’t need to be all about serious hard work—it should be fun as well! Fartlek is a fun running exercise, similar to interval training but in a less-structured way and not as intense.

You push yourself to keep running until you hit that street sign, or maybe that tree up ahead. Then, slow down to recover before speeding up until you reach the red car parked at the end of the street! Fartlek is Swedish for ‘speed play’, so play around with your running and have some fun with it.

6. Sprints

Sprinting is beneficial for everyone, distance runner or sprinter. Sprinting helps to build muscular strength, and power so that you can actually run faster. And if you think that as a long-distance runner sprinting won’t help you, think again. Sprints actually help you condition your body to be able to run for more distance without fatiguing as quickly.

7. Hill Repeats

Hill repeats help to improve endurance, speed and power. 

Start from the bottom, choose a destination point at the top of the hill and sprint up to get there as fast as you can. Jog back to your starting point, and repeat! 

Whilst it is important to mix up your training it is also important to not over train or overload too quickly. Building up your strength and fitness within these different types of runs are important. For more specific help with this do let me know. 

Alex Cann

AC Running and Fitness