Running Workouts for Distance Runners
The running workouts described below are for an experienced runner. You shouldn’t be doing these workouts if you are new to running, or you haven’t been running in a long time.
Below are the quick links to the workouts. Keep on reading for a brief description of each workout. The workouts described here are for people who can handle a distance run easily. For beginners, I suggest the Start Walking, Get Running, Lose Weight Plan. This is a free program from Tips4Running.com for those starting walking or running to get into shape.
1. Long Run
2. Tempo Run
3. Fartlek or “Speed Play.”
4. Hill Run
5. Hill Extension
6. Progressive Run
* 1 Mile Repeats
* 4x400m with less rest
* 300m hard, 100m easy
* Mixed Distance Intervals
* Walk and Run Middle Distance Workout
If you want to watch some video examples of different workouts, look no further than right below. This is a playlist of different workouts on the Tips4Running YouTube channel.
Remember that if you are going to run one of these workouts, always run a warm up and stretch before. Also, do a cool down after you finished. Also, remember to always focus on improving your running form as you workout.
1. The Long Run should be a part of any distance runner’s weekly training program. Make sure you follow a few simple steps to ensure your long runs will help you instead of hurt you.
2. The Tempo Run is a classic workout that many great runners incorporate into their weekly routine. It’s a run that is fast, but controlled.
3. The Fartlek or “Speed Play” workout mixes a distance run with an interval workout. You run continuously but you mix up the pace. At different times during your run, you pick it up and hold a faster pace for an extended period of time. You slow down back to regular pace, and then pick it up again.
4. The Hill Run is a staple of many distance runners. You can build endurance and speed at the same time. This workout can be done by running up and down the same hill, or you can find a hilly course to traverse.
5. The Hill Extension is like a traditional hill run except for you pick up the pace after you crest the hill. You need to find a hill that flattens out at the top for 100 to 200 meters to perform this workout.
6. The Progressive Run is an incredibly tough workout. You go for a distance run that starts slow, but gets faster every mile. The last mile of the run should be just below your race pace. It’s very brutal, but could give you the confidence and tenacity to finish your races strong.
7. Running Intervals is a very traditional approach to hard workouts. You run a set distance or time, rest, and then repeat. There are many different interval workouts, including the three below.
* Running 1 Mile Repeats is a classic interval workout. You can run this workout slower than 5k/10k race pace with short rest, or a little quicker than race pace with equal recovery.
* The 4x400m to find your 1500m pace workout is geared specifically towards the 1500 meter run. You run four 400 meter intervals with less rest between each 400m. Whatever your total time was for the four 400m should give you a good idea on what you can run a 1500 meter race in.
* 300m hard, 100m easy continuous run is a workout that can be adjusted to any race between the 1500 meter run to the 10k. The 300 meters are run just below your goal race pace, and then you jog 100 meters. You repeat this as many times as it takes to get to your race distance.
* Mixed Distance Intervals involve running longer intervals slower than race pace followed by short intervals faster than race pace. You can adjust this workout for a 10k all the way down to an 800.
* The Walk and Run Middle Distance Workout is based upon having an active recovery during an interval workout. Instead of standing around between intervals, you have to walk a certain distance in a certain amount of time before the next running period.
The list of workouts above are great to add your routine. However, if you are running a marathon and want the best plan from day one of training to race day, I highly recommend the 100 Day Marathon Plan. You can see how to schedule your workouts, plan your race day, learn your optimal pace and more.
– Written by David Tiefenthaler
This article was written by David Tiefenthaler, the founder and main contributor for Tips4Running.com. In addition to running, he’s also an author, and a full time teacher.
You can follow David on Twitter @Tiefsa or visit his blog.