6 Types of Training Runs and Why You Should Be Doing All of Them

Once you have signed up for a marathon or half marathon, you have committed yourself (or should have committed yourself) to at least eight weeks of training. With training come a variety of training runs. So which are right for you? And why is it beneficial to use all of them in your training?

1. Recovery Run
A recovery run is done at a comfortable pace and should be a short to moderate distance. Recovery runs are an easy way to add extra mileage without putting the same stress on your body that most runs will cause. These runs should be performed after a long run or intense speed day, which is why recovery runs are also called “shake-out” runs. Run at whatever pace feels relaxed and comfortable for the day.

2. Base Run
Base runs will make up the majority of your training. They will be short to medium in length and should not be super challenging, and are designed to increase your aerobic capacity and running economy.

3. Long Run
Part of running a marathon is making sure you are able and comfortable running those late miles. The long runs are often the most miserable and leave us extremely fatigued, but there is no better way to increase our raw endurance as a runner. As a general rule, your longest run should be long enough to give you confidence in the late miles (i.e., 11 for half-marathon, 20 or 22 for full)

4. Intervals (Speed Day)
Intervals will consist of shorter distances run at a high intensity, followed by rest or slow recovery. Generally, these workouts are performed on a track with distances anywhere from 200m to 1600m (1 mile). These runs are a great way to develop efficiency as a runner and become more fatigue resisted while running at a faster pace.

5. Fartlek Runs
A fartlek workout consists of intervals of varying distance or duration. These runs are a great way to develop efficiency as a runner and become more fatigue resistance while running at a faster speed. These runs are a great alternative to your traditional speed workouts on a track. An excellent example of a fartlek run would be a 6-mile run performed with one 400m run per mile being run at your 5k pace.

6. Hill Repeats
Fortunately, living in Pittsburgh, we naturally get to run hills on almost every run. Hill sprints increase your strength as a runner, your aerobic power, and most importantly your mental toughness. Even if you regularly run hills, hill repeats are the best way to increase intensity and confidence in those late miles. Also the more you train hills, the more comfortable Pittsburgh’s course will seem!

Still have questions about where to start? Click here to schedule a time to meet with Vincent to discuss your training plan. We also still have five spots available for our run group beginning March 12th. Email [email protected] to reserve your spot!