Different Kinds of Running Workouts

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Hi, I'm Tina!

I’m the owner of Carrots ‘N’ Cake as well as a Certified Nutrition Coach and Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner (FDN-P). I use macros and functional nutrition to help women find balance within their diets while achieving their body composition goals.

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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:


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!


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.


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


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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