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Types of Training Runs
When designing your training plan, you might use several different types of runs at various points in your training cycle. You’ll need an understanding of what each type of run will give you in order to decide if you’ll want to incorporate it into your plan.
Before starting any type of speed work, such as track repeats, you should have a strong running base of at least 20-miles per week for at least six weeks under your belt. Track repeats are best done as part of a group, but it’s not necessary. All track workouts should be started with at least a one mile warm up and one mile cool down.
The word fartlek is a Swedish word meaning speed play, and it’s a great way to get faster without an organized plan. Fartleks can be done alone, or when running with friends. As with other forms of speed work, you should be well warmed up before picking up your pace for your first fartlek.
A tempo run is made up of an easy and comfortable warm-up, a middle tempo portion that’s run at a sustained faster pace, and an easy slow cool-down. The warm-up, tempo miles, and cool-down distances vary depending on what distance race you’re training for.
Long runs can be considered the foundation of marathon training. Without the long run, our bodies will not be prepared to meet the grueling demands of marathon day. Long runs should be done at an easy conversation pace and are designed to increase our endurance base. Long runs train our bodies to utilize oxygen more efficiently, prepare us to emotionally handle the boredom and mind games that can go along with marathoning, and boost our confidence for race day.
Conversation Pace Run
A conversation pace run is any run done while being able to easily hold a conversation with another runner – it’s as simple as that. These easier miles are great for recovery the day after a long run or speed session, and help add miles to the week with minimal stress to the body.
Hill repeats can be grueling, but make a huge difference in your ability to run well at both road races and on trails. To run hill repeats, simply run uphill at a challenging and sustained pace, turn at the top, and run back down at a comfortable recovery pace; repeat. Shorter hills build speed, while longer hills build strength.