Coach’s Corner: Important Workouts For Runners
by Connor Hesselbirg, PT, DPT
Every runner knows you have to put in the miles in order to see success on race day. But doing the same kind of runs at the same pace over and over again can also make training boring. In order to get even faster, fitter, and keep it interesting, here are a few different workouts everyone should include in their training plans.
Tempo runs: fast, hard pace runs at “lactate threshold,” or speed where fatigue begins to settle into your legs. Working at these faster paces allows you to work at different heart rate zones and allows you to acclimate to sustaining this hard pace for longer periods of time, therefore pushing fatigue off to later in your runs.
Try it: 2 miles @ easy pace, 6 miles @ lactate threshold, 2 miles @ cool down pace
Intervals: even faster repetitions of a shorter distance than what you intend to race (400’s, 800’s, mile repeats etc). The primary intention is to get used to how race pace feels in a repetitive and continuous manner with various rest periods in between each rep. You can build on each workout to see progress and increase the speed of each interval as the training season progresses. These workouts will also increase fatigue resistance and speed for a stronger finish on race day.
Try it: 1.5 mile warm up, 16×400 @ half marathon pace w/ 1:30 rest, 1.5 mile cool down
Long run: otherwise known as the most continuous miles you’ll run at once during the week. Most first time runners use this run as an indicator of their endurance leading up to a marathon. Perform this run at your easy pace, and also use it to practice fueling and hydrating to prepare you for a race. Slowly build this run up after each week, capping it between 16-20 miles, for a marathon.
Keep in mind too that these workouts should NOT all be back-to-back in your training plan. They should be spaced out with plenty of recovery days and easy runs in between, in order to get the maximum benefit of the workouts. But if you want to get faster and across longer distances, implement these types of workouts into your training program. Come to us if you have any questions about the specific kinds of workouts you should be doing!