Eight Different Running Workouts - Why and How You Need to Do These Workouts

Want to learn a lot of different running workouts?
Then this may be just the page for you.

When you are serious about your running training you need to know lots of different running workouts.

Because every type of running helps your body in a different way.

At different running speeds, different body systems get stressed in different ways.

So, when aiming to get better, it is a must that:

a) You have an understanding of why you do different workouts.
b) You do them!.... :)

Also have a look at this video, which explains why we do different types of workouts:

Please check out the info below. And click on the links for more information.

Running Workout #1: Easy Running - Building Your Base

Provided you are not a 100m or 200m sprinter, base running should be the core of your running program. It is the foundation of your running. As a building relies on a structure and solid foundations, the quality of your running also depends on your base.

Flaw in the foundations of a building? Then the building will start to show cracks. It may even come tumbling down.

Similarly, if your running can't rely on a solid base, then it is almost useless having speedy legs. Being fast is great. But in middle and long distance running, you need to be fast for a long period of time. Without a base, you will soon be out of breath and eventually, you will have to slow down or stop.

Thus, easy running is very important to make sure that you have got sufficient depth and should always come before building speed.

Click on the link to learn more:

Base Running Drills - The Foundation of Your Running.

Running Workout #2: Tempo Running

Tempo running is another great way to train your body as well as your mind for a race.

We just established that building your base is the absolute number one priority. Tempo running comes really, really closely behind!

The Kenyans have been getting a lot of success in long distance running in the last few decades. They train hard and many of their runs involve tempo running. Partly due to their success tempo running has become more and more well-known and important.

A tempo run will effectively help your body get used to moving at a constant reasonably fast rate for a period of time. Tempo running is also known as lactate treshold pace, because it will increase your lactate threshold.

Run slower than tempo pace? Then your body will not build up much lactic acid.

Go faster than tempo pace? Then lactic acid will build up rapidly in your running muscles. Too much lactic acid in your muscles and you will quickly have to stop because your legs get too heavy and you will need time to recover.

Click on the link to learn more:

Tempo Running - Reasons Why We Do It and Top Tempo Workouts Explained

running quote - runner's don't die. they just smell like it.

Running Workout #3: Interval running

Interval running is running at anaerobic pace. Interval running is taxing for the body. Interval workouts bring results however, so you should incorporate them in your running program!

The main reason behind doing interval runs is to train your muscles in taking up oxygen from the blood. At high speed, your heart is required to work harder. It pumps more blood (with in it oxygen) to your muscles. Your muscles then need to make sure they absorb that oxygen as well as possible, so they can continue functioning well.

Before you start doing intervals, my recommendation is that you should be able to run at easy pace for at least one hour.

You may feel that you want to do intervals earlier on. It's your choice. I make this recommendation in order to highlight how important the first two running workouts are. Without that foundation, intervals are less useful.

Interval sessions are taxing, hard sessions. Too many of them in a week will make it too hard to put other tough workouts (long runs, lactate treshold runs) into your running schedule. So, I'd always recommend that you do only one interval session per week.

Click on the link to learn more:

Interval Running - The Workout You Love and Hate

Running Workout #4: Fartlek

running workoutsFartlek is a good introduction to running speed workouts for beginners.

The principle of fartlek is that you just go out there, warm up, and then start running.

You run at varying speeds for varying periods of time.

You finish up with an easy paced cooling down.

There are several ways to do it.

Every fartlek session is different. An example is running 5-4-3-2-1 minute sessions with 2 minutes of floating in between (floating = keeping up to moderate speed, so no recovery jog or walking).

But it can be way more free-flowing as well, allowing you to speed up and float when you feel it is necessary.

It's a an excellent way to build up a feel for speed workouts.

Click on the link to learn more. On that page I have also included a special workout from Australian long distance runner Steve Moneghetti:

Fartlek Workouts -- Speed Play for Beginners (and the Advanced!)

Running Workout #5: Goal Pace Running

Goal pace running is a key running workout if you are seriously working towards an important race. Goal pace running is focused on race pace itself.

Doing goal pace running will prepare you for a tough race day and will give you an idea about whether your goals are attainable or not.

Click on the link to learn more:

Key to Success :: Goal Pace Running

running workouts

Running Workout #6: Billat's 4 x 5

Veronique Billat is an expert on how to improve running performance. She is a fast half marathoner herself (sub 1:20), coach of top runners in France, and a renowned exercise physiologist.

According to her article in the "Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness" the 4 x 5 workout increases max VO2 (same function as interval running). This is the amount of oxygen your body passes on to your muscles. A higher max VO2 will help you increase running speed.

It is simple. Run four times for five minutes with a 2 1/2 minute recovery jog in between. You should do this workout at a pace between tempo and interval pace. This is normally close to 5K race speed. It is a tough workout, but worth it.

Click on the link to learn more:

Special Running Workouts: Billat's Four by Five and the Thirty-Thirty

Running Workout #7: Yasso 800

The Yasso 800 is named after Bart Yasso, a Runner's World editor. This workout gained quite a bit of popularity over the last few years. During your marathon training you build up your 800 metre-repeats every week (from about four to ten). Your goal is to run these 800 metre-repeats at a constant pace.

The time you spend running these 800 metres in minutes, is a prediction of how fast you can run your marathon in hours. So, say you do your Yasso 800s at 3:30 min / 800 metres. In between you recovery jog for the same amount of time (so 3:30 min). Then your predicted marathon time is 3:30 hours. Doing your 800 metre-repeats at 2:50 min / 800 metres (recovery jog for 2:50 min)? Then your predicted marathon time is 2 hours and 50 minutes.

The Yasso 800 is a good workout although its predictiveness can be questioned.

Click on the link to learn more:

Yasso 800 :: The Marathon Pace Workout with a Twist

running workouts

Running Workout #8: Running Strides

Running strides is a relatively easy way to increase your running speed. Many runners have come to realize that adding a few strides to their easy runs is beneficial. Strides are short runs of 60 to 100 metres in which you considerably pick up the pace. They are not all-out attempts, but definitely fast.

For long distance runners who focus a lot on logging slow, easy miles, strides are essential. They more or less help to remind your legs how to be speedy :)

Strides help to improve your running economy. That's basically the amount of energy you use when running. The less energy you use, the longer you can go.

Another reason why you do strides is that typically at the end of a race you once more try to give it all you got and pick up the pace. Strides simulate that. 

Click on the link to learn more:

Why Running Strides Makes You Faster

This was just a basic overview of running workouts.

There are all kinds of variations you can do, but in the end, most of it boils down to the running workouts above.

Properly done, these running workouts will give you a great lasting effect and help you reach your top performance.

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