Easy runs make up the bulk of a runner’s training plan. The run is at an easy effort and breathing is always under control so that you can carry on a conversation with your training partners. There is no lasting fatigue from an Easy Run.
Long Runs are similar to an Easy Run but just last longer. The effort is still easy but may become more difficult not due to the intensity but due to the duration of the run. There may be some lasting fatigue from a Long Run so extra recovery is often required after them.
Training stresses the body. To grow stronger and more fit, there must be recovery. REST days are used to enhance recovery and may be a complete day of rest or cross-training.
Fartlek is a Scandinavian word meaning “speed play.” Often called a pace change workout, a Fartlek Run simply involves periods of faster running alternating with slower running during a recovery interval. Typically, Fartlek Runs are run at 5K-10K effort where you get out of breath slightly during the “on” or fast running part and then regain your breath on the “off” or recovery part (a slower run pace).
As the name suggests, a Progression Run starts at one pace but gets faster toward the end of the run. Progression Runs can vary but often include the last 5-20 minutes at a medium-hard to hard running pace, which closely mimics the increased effort experienced across races.
Named after Runner’s World’s Bart Yasso, Yasso 800s are a marathon predictor workout. You run repetitions of 800 meters in the minutes and seconds of your goal marathon hours and minutes. For example, if your goal is to run 4:30:00 for the marathon then you run your Yasso 800s in 4:30 and take 4:30 recovery jog between. Once an athlete builds to running 10 800 meter repeats in this fashion, it suggests, given proper marathon training, that she can run her goal time in the race.
The Tempo Run is a medium effort run that improves your lactate threshold – the point where lactic acid begins to build up. Tempo Runs usually last 10-40 minutes and breathing is fast but under control. Training partners can usually speak in short sentences during a Tempo Run. Running too fast is a common error so remember to keep a Tempo Run at a medium effort and never lose your breath.
Tempo Intervals are simply broken up Tempo Runs. They usually last 5-20 minutes and include short recovery intervals between. Effort may start at medium on the first few repeats and build to medium-hard by the last few repeats.
Fast Finish Long Run
Unlike a Long Run where the pace is mostly consistent, a Fast Finish Long Run is a Long Run where you run very fast at the end, sort of like a longer Progression Run. Fast Finish Long Runs are a key to racing well at the half-marathon and marathon distance.
Goal Pace Run
Dialing in goal pace is critical for race success. Goal Pace Runs simply involve running at your goal pace. As the race nears, you hope to feel comfortable at your goal pace, another indicator that you are race ready.
Cruise Intervals improve your lactate threshold like Tempo Runs and Tempo Intervals. Cruise intervals are run at a medium-hard effort and include short recovery intervals between. Breathing is fast and on the verge of out of control and the focus is more on running rhythm than pushing hard.
A Speed Workout challenges your mental and physical fortitude. The effort is hard to very hard and the pace is 5K race pace or faster. Recovery intervals are taken between the fast running repeats to allow you to catch your breath. The last few repeats will likely feel very hard but that helps prepare you for the challenge at the end of your race.