If you want to be a better runner, you can’t just go out and run for as long as you can or as fast as you can. Well, you may be able to improve to a certain extent, but if you want to bring your running performance to the next level, you should incorporate these 5 basic type of runs into your training. Yes, as simple as it sounds, this is the secret to becoming faster!
#1 The Recovery Run
Recovery here actually means recovery! Just to give you a rough idea of what the recovery run means – the Kenyans know how to train hard, but also know how to recover well. They start off their recovery runs at a 6min/km pace and end at a 5min/km pace. Bear in mind this is given their 3.30min/km tempo run pace. This probably gives you a gauge on how slow a recovery run should be. Recovery runs may seem painstakingly slow, but that is the point of the run – to recover, not to make yourself more tired.
#2 The Tempo Run
This is often described as comfortably hard. This means running at a sustained effort at what is known as the lactate threshold intensity. In short, lactate threshold is a point where lactate starts to increase exponentially in our muscles. When lactate starts accumulating in our muscles, there will come a point whereby our muscles start to fatigue and can no longer sustain a particular speed. The tempo run serves to tackle this and increase your lactate threshold. To find your tempo pace, add roughly 15 seconds to your recent 10km race pace! Remember this just gives you a gauge. There is no right magic number. Run at this pace for a time of 20 minutes, and voila you’ve got a tempo run in.
#3 Speed Intervals
This is often described as running above your red line. You will come out gasping for air. I guess you could call this uncomfortably hard. You run for a short intense period, then have a short recovery time before going out full force again. You will have to learn how to deal with the pain. This workout trains your speed, fatigue resistance and pain tolerance. An example of this would be doing 400m x 12 sets at every 3 minutes.
#4 The Long Run
The long run has been the staple of every long distance runner’s training plan. It is advocated as the method to train your aerobic capacity, also known as raw endurance. It’s not difficult to grasp this concept, just run a long distance 15 – 20km at a rather comfortable pace. You should be able to hold a conversation at this pace. The long run aims to train your body to draw energy from other sources other than blood sugar which is especially important in the marathon event. It also gives you a confidence boost to complete a long distance race.
#5 Hill Repeats
This is the secret to being a fast runner. This is what will make a difference between a great runner and a regular one. Hill repeats allow you to build power, physical strength and mental strength. It is going to hurt, but that pain tolerance is what’s going to make you a better runner. Pick a short segment of a hill, and tackle it as hard as you can.
Now you know what to do. Grab your running shoes, mix it up a little and hit your personal bests!
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