If you simply go out and run, you might be unaware that there are many different running training methods. Why do you need them, you may ask? When you incorporate various approaches, you benefit more from each run. 

Your endurance levels go up, and you can run longer. By including simple changes in your routine, you improve your overall health and reduce injury risks

Let’s see what these training methods and their benefits are.

Base Run

If you want to improve your endurance and get aerobic benefits, then the base run training method is the one you should incorporate. This run is short-to-moderate, and you will run at your normal and natural pace. The base run should form around 60% of your weekly running goals.

While your heart will be pumping faster during this run, you should be able to carry out a conversation without stopping. Initially, you start out with a time frame of 45 minutes (regardless of the distance) and later work up to 10 miles (if that is your goal) as you get more comfortable. 

Fartlek Run

This is a combination of fast and slow running to bring variety to your exercise. It develops efficiency while reducing fatigue. The fartlek run is a less structured form of running. 

When you start with fartlek, you may want to walk fast for some time and then jog, or you could combine jogging and sprinting. Basically, this is running at varying speeds for short periods or lengths, so you may run at your natural pace and then go as fast as you can for a minute or more. After that, you revert to your natural pace for recovery

Hill Repeat Run

The hill running helps build leg and arm muscles and strengthens the core. This improves efficiency and pain tolerance, and you are able to run faster, using less energy when you do run on a flat track. 

For a hill repeat, you need to go uphill. You don’t need to find a steep hill, but one with a moderate gradient will do. Of course, the hill you choose should have a path you can run on. 

You start from the bottom and go as fast as you can to the top. Once there, you jog back to the bottom and repeat the exercise.

Interval Run

A combination run that comprises low-to-moderate and high-intensity running, the interval run helps build stamina, and you’re able to run faster for longer by burning more calories.

You would run hard and fast for one minute, then jog for 2 minutes and continue with this combination till you have completed your run. For the slower version, you can either walk fast, slow run, or jog. During the fast runs, you should push yourself until you are panting hard and gasping for air. 

Long Run

As its name suggests, the long run is focused on distance. It’s helpful when you’re training to run a race or a marathon. It improves endurance, promotes fat burning (as opposed to the body using glycogen), and improves muscle and heart strength. 

You can run at a steady pace and don’t need to run faster than usual. After you complete your long run of approximately 10 miles, you should feel fatigued. 

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Progression Run

If you want to improve your running stamina and concentration, then this is the kind of run that will do. For this exercise, you start at your natural pace and then build up speed gradually.

Toward the end of the run, you will be running at your fastest. The progression run is similar to how you would run a marathon or a race, where you keep your last burst of speed to win or meet your goal. 

Tempo Run

This kind of run is best for reducing muscle fatigue. You have to push yourself to run as hard and as fast or comfortably fast as you can for a longer period. This helps build endurance, and your muscle fatigue reduces eventually. 

For a regular runner, this involves 20 minutes of running at high speed. More experienced runners may be able to carry on the pace for an hour. 

After the tempo run, you should jog for some time to recover. 

Recovery Run  

The recovery run is done on days between hard and long runs and for as long as you feel comfortable.

For this run, it’s important not to push yourself as its purpose is to help eliminate fatigue and soreness while keeping your metabolism high. 

When you vary your running training methods, you can get more out of running and be able to run faster and longer without facing muscle fatigue and injury. Different running styles also keep boredom at bay.

Key takeaways:

  • Improve your fitness by varying your running methods – change in running patterns helps build endurance and reduces fatigue.
  • Adopt different running methods on different days – varying running training methods will help improve fitness levels, and you will be able to run faster and longer.
  • Running in the same way every day can cause problems – you face an increased risk of repetitive stress injury and fitness problems, and you can also get bored.
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Written by

Chris Zibutis

Chris Zibutis is the Head Running Coach and founder of Joggo – that one person on earth who loves interval runs.  He holds a degree from Copenhagen Business School and is an avid runner – having participated in numerous marathons and triathlons, Chris brings substantial fitness and running experience to the Joggo team.