Run Workouts

Here are some examples of run workouts (remember to do the warm up and cool down before and after you do these runs if they aren’t mentioned).

Here are the caterogies listed below:

Endurance – Developing Aerobic Power
Sprinting: Distance Runners Need Speed Too
Fartlek Workouts: Speedplay
Hills = Strength
Boarding the Pain Train – Interval Workouts
Fun Runs, With or Without a Group

Endurance – Developing Aerobic Power

Up Tempo Long Run
Warm up: 2-3 miles, Run long run 20-30 secs faster than normal pace.

Progression Long Run
At the end of a long run, run the final 2-5 miles faster than normal pace. 1 – 1:30 min faster.

Long Run with Speed Bursts
Suring the last 1-2 miles of your long run, run several surges at a much faster pace.  They can be anywhere from 15 seconds to a full minute and should be as fast as a full sprint.
Jog for 30 secs to 2 mins recovery between bursts.

Long Run ending with marathon pace finish
Run a long run, then run a quarter of the initial distance at a fast pace (Example: 16 miles steady, 4 miles fast).

Long Run with Interval Miles
About 2/3s into your long run, run 1 or 2 miles at a fast pace.  Follow the fast mile with 0.5 – 1 mile recovery. Repeat then 1.5 mile cool down.

Over Distance Long Run
A long slow run of over 27 miles to build endurance, spend time on your feet and experiment with energy/hydration.

Marathon or Half Marathon Simulation Long Run
Start your run about 1/5 of the distance into the marathon (5 miles) or half marathon (3.1) route and run the rest of the route to give you experience running the route.

Hill Climb Long Run
On your long run, run the last 1-4 miles uphill or on a hilly (up and down) route.

Marathon 2 milers
Warm up: 1 mile easy, Run 2-4 miles x 2 at your marathon goal pace with 0.25 mile recovery

Marathon Specific Tempo
Warm up: 2-3 miles, Run 8-12 miles at goal marathon pace.  Run it on the route if possible, or on similar terrain / race layout (ie out and back).

Negative Split Tempo
Over 4-7 miles, run each mile or half mile progressively faster.
A good idea is to do it over 1 mile loops.

Tempo Sampler
Run 2000m at 4 increasing race tempos: Marathon pace, half marathon, 10k, 5k with 200m recovery between each.

Long Tempo
Run 5-10 miles at 85-90% of your maximum heart rate.

Long Tempo Intervals
Instead of running a long tempo, split your run into smaller sections: 2 x 15 mins, 3 x 10 mins.  Take a minute of recovery between each set.

Short Tempo Intervals
8 x 800m or 5 x 1200m fast or 6 x 1000m or 4 x 1600. Take a minute of rest between each interval.

Tempo + Fartlek

15 minute tempo + 4 x 2 minutes at about 5-10k pace. Take a minute of jogging recovery after the tempo and 1-2 minutes after each fast effort.

Tempo Circuit
Run a 5-10k tempo, stopping every 800m to do 30 seconds to 1 minute of strength work. Choose from pushups, planks, hurdles, body-weight squats, vertical jumps, or tricep v-push ups.

Tempo with Surges
6,000m at tempo pace, with the final 200m of every 1,000m segment at 5k pace.

Sprinting: Distance Runners Need Speed Too

Hill Sprints
Sprint up a hill and jog down it to recover.  Repeat 3-5 times.  Do more hills and use the time getting from one hill to the next as recovery at an easy pace.

Acceleration Strides
After a standard distance run, run 4-8 100m accelerations on a track, field, or your street. Take 30 seconds to a full minute of walking between each one.

Long Run Surges
During the last 1-2 miles of a long run, run several surges of 20-45 seconds with 30-60 seconds of jogging recovery (do 4-8).

4x200m for Turnover
Run fast for 200m, recover for 200m, repeat. (Same can be done for time splits: ie 2 mins or 3 mins.)

Barefoot Strides
On grass, like acceleration strides but bare footed.

8x100m Post-Workout
For after easier workouts, run the 100’s at close to your maximum sprint speed. You can take 1-2 minutes of walking in between each interval.

Get on the track for the last several miles of a distance run and do an acceleration stride during each straight-away. The curved sections of the track are your recovery jogs.

Fartlek Workouts: Speedplay

Standard Fartlek Workout
Any distance, any pace, as much rest as you want.  A more structured fartlek might be a pyramid: 2′,3′,5′,3′,2 with 1-2 minutes of recovery between each bit of speed.

Sprint Fartlek
Run a series of short sprints with a lot of rest.  A good example is 10-20 x 20 seconds with 1-2 minutes of recovery.

Over Distance Fartlek
Similar to a tempo, this workout includes very long intervals run at a similar pace. You can take as much rest as you like and vary the pace throughout.

Race Course Fartlek
Get on the course of the race that you’re preparing for and run a challenging fartlek.  You can get a good feel for the race time that you’re capable of with this type of workout. Choose medium length intervals of 3-6 minutes and recovery of about 2 minutes.

Destination Fartlek
From your house, find a big loop that passes 3-5 parks. After a warm-up to the first park, run a loop of the area as hard as you want. The recovery is the run to the next field on your loop.

Hills = Strength

Short Hill Reps
Find a park with short hills in it (I use Bellahouston) and do hill repeats, 3-5 of each hill – 30 – 60 second hill climbs.  Use the time coming down the hills and time running from and to hills as recovery.

Long Hill Reps
Longer hill repeats are usually from 90 seconds to 3 minutes. The recovery is much longer since it is the jog back down to the bottom of the hill and the pace is slower.

Rollercoaster Run
Rollercoaster runs are a great way to add hills to your running without doing a structured workout. A rollercoaster run is just a very hilly section of road or trail.

Uphill Run
An uphill run is…uphill the whole time.  Try running up mountain trails, or find the longest hill you can.  The grade shouldn’t be too steep. You can either finish your run by running uphill or you can run several times up the hill in a loop to simulate the effect (like a Rollercoaster Run).

Tempo + Hills
A good example is a 15 minute tempo with four hill reps in the 60-90 second range. You can take as little as two minutes recovery after the tempo or as much as ten minutes. It often depends on how far away the hills are.

Boarding the Pain Train – Interval Workouts

Interval Miles (classic edition)
Warm up, then do five mile intervals with 800m (half mile) jog recovery.

Oxygen Debt Tempo
Start the workout with a good warm-up and then run 800m – 1 mile on the track at a very hard pace, anywhere from 1 mile to 5k race pace.  Take no more than two minutes to recover, then run a 5k at your typical tempo pace.

The Michigan Workout
Warm up well, and then run a mile on the track at your goal 10k pace. To recover, run a mile on the roads or trails near the track.

Continue this pattern so your hard efforts decrease by 400m every interval. They’ll be: 1 mile, 1200m, 800m (all at 10k pace). Then end the workout with an all-out 400m to simulate a finishing kick. Your recovery runs will still be a mile after each interval.

Interval 400’s and 800’s
A classic staple for the mid-distance runner, these intervals are geared to get you race-ready and prepare you for speed.

Depending on your fitness level, start with 4-8 reps. You can do all of the same intervals, or mix and match for a pyramid workout – like 400, 400, 800, 400, 400.  Recovery is 1-3 minutes between intervals.

5k Simulation
After a thorough warm-up,
Run 5 x 1,000m at your goal 5k pace with 200-400m of easy running recovery.
If you start at 400m for recovery, then you can reduce it to 200m after 2-3 weeks.

Catch the Rabbit
This is a really fun workout and adds a twist to fast running. On an 800m – 1 mile loop, have one runner start 20-45 seconds before you (or your group). They’re supposed to run hard, but not too fast, and your job is to catch them.

Pyramid Workout
This is another track classic and can be used as another multi-pace workout to prepare you for multiple types of races. Use intervals from 400 – 1 mile in length and create a pyramid structure. A good one is 400, 800, 1200, mile, 1200, 800, 400.

The 400’s are run at mile pace, the 800’s and 1200’s are run at 5k pace, and the 1200m is at 10k pace. Take 400 meters of recovery after every interval.

Descending Ladder
Descending ladder track workouts are like pyramid workouts, except you start at the top and work your way down. In this workout, you start with longer reps at a slower pace and gradually speed up as you descend down the ladder.

If you are preparing for a fast 5k, start with 1 mile at your 10k pace, then do 2 x 800m at 5k pace, 2 x 400 at your mile pace, and 2 x 200 at a controlled sprint. Recovery between intervals is 200m or 1-2 minutes.

Ascending Ladder

An ascending ladder workout is also like a pyramid workout, except that you stop when you reach the top. By doing faster intervals at the very beginning, you start in a fatigued and oxygen deprived state.

You don’t want to start a workout like this by running 200m intervals at a controlled sprint. Instead, run 400m at your mile pace. It’s more manageable and will allow you to still finish the entire workout.

An ascending ladder workout example is 400, 800, 1000, 1200, 1600 at mile – 5k pace. You can take 200 meters of recovery after the first 400m interval, but then bump that up to 400m. 

Multi-Pace Intervals
Choose an interval distance and the paces that you want to run. If you’re training for a 10k, you should include paces from 10 mile race pace down to mile race pace.

An example workout would be 6 x 800m with 400m jog recovery. Alternate the following paces for the intervals: half-marathon, 5k, 10k, 5k, 10k, mile (or as close as you can get).

30-40 Pre Workout
This workout alternates fast 200’s with slow(er) 200’s on the track.  Pick two 200m times that are 10-15 seconds apart and alternate 200’s on the track for 1-3 miles.

Competitive runners can use 35 and 45 seconds while slower runners may want to do 50 and 65 seconds for each 200m. Experiment with the times to find what works for you.   Remember that there’s no rest between each 200m – they’re all in a row!

Hills + Intervals

Hills build tremendous strength, but they sap the speed and turnover from your legs.  That’s why this workout is so hard. Start by doing 4-6 hill repeats from 30-90 seconds.  Then get on the track and run 4-6 shorter intervals to work on your turnover.

Hills on Treadmill
Start the treadmill at a steady pace at 3% incline.   For each mile after increase the incline by 1% and reduce speed by 0.5 – 1mph.  Run for 5-6 miles. (Mile 1 = 3%, 2 = 4%, 3 = 5%, 4 = 6%, 5 = 7%, 6 = 8%) – then collapse in a heap!  Don’t worry about your speed, but make sure you reduce it as you increase the incline!

Drill Circuit
This workout can be done on a track or a park loop. For 3-6 miles of total workout volume, you alternate hard running with drills. Try this:

400m at tempo pace
100m of skipping / a-skip / b-skip / high knees / butt-kicks*
100m acceleration stride
200m at 5k pace

Fun Runs, With or Without a Group

Barefoot Running
If you’re new to running without shoes, start with 1-2 minutes on a soft surface like an artificial turf field or golf course. Keep the pace easy and take the next 2-3 days off from running barefoot. Gradually increase the time you’re running barefoot until you can run about a mile.

Indian Run (Group Fartlek)
This workout is best done with at least five people. In a single file line, the last runner in the group has to catch up to the front of the pack. She then becomes the leader and can run as fast or slow as she wants to.

Dice Workout
Preferably run on a track, the Dice Workout is a fun way to break up a hard day and is usually reserved for when you are not in a race-specific training period.

For this type of workout, 600-1000m intervals work best. Before each rep, roll a die – each number corresponds to a pace pattern that you’ll run for the entire rep. The paces aren’t exact, rather it’s the effort that counts.

For example:
1 = alternate easy / medium / hard every 100 meters
2 = alternate easy / hard every 200 meters
3 = run the whole interval at a medium effort
4 = run the whole interval at a hard effort
5 = alternate medium / hard every 100 meters
6 = alternate easy / medium every 100 meters

Pace Perfect
This is a fun workout that helps your sense of pacing. It’s not to be run fast. Instead, go your normal distance run pace. 

Pick a loop that’s between 1-2 miles. You’re going to time the first loop on your watch and note the time. Run another 3-5 loops and use your watch’s split feature to keep track of every loop’s split time.

But the key here is not to look at your watch after the first lap. Try to run the same exact pace for every single loop, while splitting your watch to keep a record of your actual times.

Run as you feel
No pressure, no times, just run as you feel (and try not to look at your watch!)

Running is experimentation. Now get out there and explore!

This entry was posted in Run, Speedwork, Training Plans. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Run Workouts

  1. Pingback: Hey you, Zombie on a treadmill | Lorn Pearson Trains…

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