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Different Types of Runs

Wanting to spice up your runs rather than running the same route, at the same pace and finishing at the same time? Mixing up your runs not only stimulates your mind but also adds a great deal of benefits to your training and stamina. Below I have listed 7 runs that can help with your running along with the benefits of doing each one.

Recovery/Easy Run - this run is usually performed at less than 60% effort. Easy runs are best served after a interval or progression run day to help the muscles recover and to practice running on tired legs from the day before.

Tempo Run - I read a source that suggested this run was a bit like an Oreo. The biscuits either side of the filling is your warm up and warm down. You then have the filling which is your tempo run. Tempo runs are performed at 70%-80% effort which should be enough to notice you breathing more but not so much that you're struggling for air. Running at tempo pace should last at least 20 minutes.

Benefits: running at tempo pace increases your threshold, improves your mental strength and your focus.

Intervals - you may have a rough idea of what intervals consist of from the name of this run. Intervals involve running 2 minutes at tempo pace with a 2-3 minute recovery jog - repeating this 4-8 times. You would usually do a warm up and warm down either side of your intervals to make sure your body is ready and to reduce stress on the muscles. I sometimes use distance as a measurement for intervals instead of time e.g. 1k at tempo and 1k at recovery. Choose whichever method works better for you.

Benefits: intervals help improve your running form, your mind-body coordination and motivation

Progression Run - as the name suggests, you start off at a natural running pace and gradually increase your pace finishing at tempo speed. I usually increase my pace on this run per km but if time works better for you then do this instead. Make sure you warm down once you've finished your tempo run to ensure your muscles can recover quicker.

Benefits: running gradually quicker increases your mental strength, you can practice running quicker and it increases your stamina

Long Run - this run puts all your training into practice and tests your endurance. I usually like to head out on a Sunday morning to complete my longer runs. You should be going at around 60% effort however you can use your longer runs to incorporate some intervals or progression if you would like.

Top Tip: don't increase your running length by more than 10% of your furthest distance to prevent injury and over endurance.

Fartlek - this run makes running intervals more fun. You can be creative with this run and pin point different locations or objects on your run to run to quicker or slower.

Benefits: helps to increase mind-body awareness and builds your mental strength

Hills - dependant on location but ideally you should be running uphill fast and then going back down with a steady jog. Based on my experience, I like to do 6-10 reps of running uphill for 30 seconds to a minute.

Benefits: doing this run will help build endurance, increase strength and boost speed

There we have it. 7 runs that you may or may not be already doing. I hope knowing these terms and what they consist of help and you can find time in your runs or training plan to incorporate these.

Let me know in the comments what run is your favourite to complete


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