• Different Kinds of Running Workouts

    July 25, 2013

    Did you know there are eight basic kinds of runs? I didn’t. I probably could have reeled off five, maybe six, but I definitely didn’t know there were eight.

    Are you wondering what they are? According to Competitor Running, here are the eight basic types of runs:

    8_basic_types_of_runs

    Interesting, right?

    I’ve run all sorts of races, including two marathons and a bunch of half marathons, but I still have a lot to learn about running. Lord knows I’ve made all sorts of running mistakes over the years! Even though I’ve been running since college, I feel like I am just now getting my feet wet with what running is really all about.

    Ok, where did all of this different-kinds-of-runs-stuff come from? Well, I did my first ever progression run on Monday, and I wanted to learn more about it, so I Googled some stuff, which led me to The 8 Basic Types of Runs.

    No idea what a progression run is? Hey, me either! Here’s a quick description from Competitor Running:

    A progression run is a run that begins at a runner’s natural pace and ends with a faster segment at anywhere from marathon down to 10K pace. These runs are generally intended to be moderately challenging—harder than base runs but easier than most threshold and interval runs. Because they’re a medium-effort workout, the recovery time is less than more intense sessions.

    I really liked my first progression run. It reminded me a lot of a CrossFit WOD—minus the distance, of course. Anything over 800 meters is far in CrossFit. Anyway, my 5-mile progression run looked like this:

    • Warm-up: 9:00+
    • Mile 2: 9:00
    • Mile 3: 8:45
    • Mile 4: 8:30
    • Mile 5: 8:15

    Basically, you want your pace to progress faster and faster each mile. Here are my splits:

    • Warm-up: 8:13
    • Mile 2: 8:45
    • Mile 3: 8:27
    • Mile 4: 8:30
    • Mile 5: 8:28

    As you can see, I struggled with keeping the target pace for almost every mile. I also started out too fast and then couldn’t hit the 8:15 mile at the end of the workout. Even still, I definitely got a great workout, and I really liked the mental aspect of it. My legs were tired and, of course, I wanted to stop, but I continued to push myself, trying to hit each of the pace times. It was definitely a challenging workout, and my calves are still sore because they’re not used to that kind of running!

    summer_running_thumb1

    Yesterday, I did an interval workout. It looked like this:

    1 mile warm-up, 6 x 200m sprint (45-50 sec), 200m active recovery (jogging) between sets, 1 mile @ 8:20

    What I actually ended up doing was pretty close:

    1 mile warm-up, 6 x 200m sprint (45-60 sec), 200m active recovery (jogging + walking) between sets, 1 mile @ 8:28

    The 200 meters were rough, especially with just an active recovery between sets and not a full recovery. I couldn’t keep my 200 meter time between 45-50 seconds, so I ended up walking on a few of the active recovery intervals in order to catch my breath and get my legs ready—and I was still struggling to keep my pace at target. Ok, it was 91 degrees, hot and humid, but still… it was a tough workout.

    Even though I had a tough time with the interval workout, it was still pretty fun. (It doesn’t have to be fun to be fun!) I loved mixing it up with my running—not just heading out for X miles—but actually giving my workout some variety and then mentally getting myself into the game. Thinking about my pacing, splits, and all that jazz kept me engaged, which helped make the workout fly by. Clearly, I am digging my new training plan.

    speed-workout_thumb

    Health News & Views

    I’ve struggled through a number of my runs this summer. The weather in the Northeast, where I live, has been incredibly hot and humid, which, of course, makes outdoor running more of a challenge.

    Recently, we’ve seen a steady wave of temperatures in the 90s, but I don’t want to skip my workouts altogether just because of the heat. Instead, I get smart about my summer running (safety first!) and keep a few things in mind in order to make my runs a little cooler.

    6 Tips for a Cooler Summer Run

    reach-the-beach-finish

    Questions of the Day

    What’s your favorite kind of running workout?

    How do you stay cool during your summer workouts?

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    { 64 comments… read them below or add one }

    Ashley @ Eat Run Live Happy July 26, 2013 at 1:17 pm

    I love learning about running! So far my favorite runs are tempos. I love pushing myself past what I think I can do!

    Reply

    Amie July 26, 2013 at 3:46 pm

    I had no idea there were that many types of runs. I’m thinking I might try a progression run tomorrow morning. It might be a little challenging but it’ll nice to keep my mind on my pace and not about how far I’ve run.

    Reply

    Ryan Archdeacon July 26, 2013 at 5:32 pm

    Wow I never knew there were so much different types! Thank you for your great blog. Keep doing great!

    Reply

    sadie July 29, 2013 at 9:51 pm

    This month has been my first time running competitively and I am enjoying the challenge and excitement of it all. The runs have been around 6 in the evening but it is still in the mid 90^s around that time of day. This first run I wore a tank top and shorts but was overheated and found it hard to control my breathing… every step felt ‘sloggy’ (if you know what I mean) and I was unimpressed with my time. BUT the next race I wore just a normal tee-shirt and shorts but *soaked my tee shirt in water before the race*. It was the same temperature out but I felt a hundred times better and improved my time by 40 seconds. Some of that improvment may have been familiarity, but the cool breeze I created just by running and air hitting my shirt made me feel a bit like i was flying!

    Reply

    Peach July 30, 2013 at 8:02 am

    Now I really want to try a progression run! And ugh, I hear you on the swampy weather. #sweatybeast

    Reply

    Allison @ SkinnyElly August 2, 2013 at 10:44 pm

    I really don’t have different running workouts…. I just run. I actually ran a progression run on accident this week- a 3 mile run with each mile being about 15 seconds faster than the last (9:01, 8:45, 8:24) which was exciting. But I didn’t plan for that. Just went out for a run. But I should probably plan for different types of run to improve on my pace.

    As far as staying cool… I just try and get up as early as possible to get the run out of the way before the sun and heat is out full force…. and if I don’t beat it, I just pour water over my head and pray for rain! ha ;)

    Reply

    dilma September 2, 2013 at 10:27 pm

    I love to run. My favorites are fartleks and progression runs. They help me remember if how I used to run when I was a kid. Just fun and challenging.

    Reply

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