6 Types of Running Training to Improve the Results

6 Types of Running Training to Improve the Results

Running is gaining surprising popularity. More high-quality interesting competitions appear, and the number of runners is growing daily. Park joggers are getting more and more excited and ambitious. Although park athletes can’t show impressive speed for now, they’ve set the goal to run for result. It means from now on a running workout should be smart and include a number of effective methods for best results. In this article Oleg Babchin, the coach of the ‘Runner’s High’ club in Russia, will tell about key running exercises used to improve the results.

1. Aerobic run

Aerobic run​This is your foundation and the basic exercise used to improve the most important quality in any marathon runner - endurance. In addition to physiological changes, long running provides psychological adaptation to the idea that you can run a lot and do it easily and in a steady pace. Let me remind you: aerobic exercise mode is a mechanism of energy supply with sufficient supply of oxygen.

I divide aerobic running into 3 modes, each of which corresponds to a certain speed and pulse mode. If the speed may vary in different people, then the heart rate zone can easily be tracked by a runner of any level. Instead of specific figures, it is better to use a universal parameter – percentage from the maximum heart rate (HRMAX).

The intensity of running can be the following:

  • Restorative, 70-75% of HRMAX;
  • Supporting, 75-80% of HRMAX;
  • Developing, 80-85% of HRMAX;

Supporting and developing run should be basic types. Restorative running only speeds up the metabolism and hardly works for functional development. Therefore, if you want to run fast, you have to work within a higher heart rate zone.

I remember how I ran my first, 7 km (3,4 miles). At that time the distance seemed incredible. It took a while to psych up, I took an audiotape player and headphones, because I thought it would took so long. As a result, I went home on my 5th kilometer (3rd mile), as I couldn’t overcome myself. Now it’s easy for me to run 10 km (6,2 miles) at once, it’s like a short walk. Never despair, if something won’t work at once. Work, diligence, and patience - and the result will inevitably come. When you feel bored by the easy mode, you can go to the more challenging ways of training.

2. Tempo run

types of running training

This is quite a serious tool to enhance your adaptive capabilities to a long run at high speed. The most important about tempo run (also known as lactate-threshold, LT, or threshold run) is that it has a lot in common with competitions. The speed you need to run at is the same or slightly below the planned pace at the start. The distance length is slightly shorter than those in the expected basic discipline. For example, you plan to participate in a 10 km run with an approximate result of 50 minutes. Then I would recommend doing tempo running within 4-8 km (2,5-5 miles) distance at a speed of 5:00-5:20 min/km (around 8-9 min/mile). Such training requires some physical training and mental hardiness from the runner and should be conducted no more than once a week.

The advantages of a tempo run are that you can clearly understand and realize your level at the moment and if you are doing everything right. With regular tempo running, basic mechanisms of muscle immunity for acidification are developed.

The drawback of the tempo run is that you won’t be able to run a lot in this mode. The following run workout type is a lot more suitable for fast and long running.

3. Segment

This is an effective way to help the body adapt to intense running. However, it works well only when the runner knows their limits and can meet the minimum requirements for such a training plan. Segmented run can be performed in two formats:

Interval run

This is a regulated form of running at different speeds. There are five components of the interval run:

  • distance length;
  • speed;
  • the number of repetitions;
  • duration;
  • the way of rest.

All of them should be carefully considered in advance. Plan, analyze, and, finally, carry out the intended work. Example: 400 meters (0,25 mile) – 10 times, speed on each segment is 1:50, after 200 (650 feet) meters of easy running – go for 1:10.

During the workout, the length of intervals, rest and speed can vary. The basic principle of interval training is quite intense running with insufficient recovery before each new fast interval. Thus, runners learn to resist fatigue and work in any condition.

Repetitive run

This is a simplified form of interval run, but only in terms of smaller component changes – the efforts remain huge. As in any segmented running type you need to prepare a training plan in advance. The main difference between a repetitive run and an interval run is that you have to rest for a bit longer before the following interval. Also, it means you need to work proportionally harder after such kind of rest.

When you practice running in segments, take the following steps beforehand:

  1. Choose the best place for training, the ideal option is the stadium;
  2. Have a good rest and tune in;
  3. Do a substantial warm-up.

I would recommend these types of training to experienced runners. After all, it requires a lot of endurance, the ability to overcome yourself, a sense of pace, and the stopwatch (recommended). However, the following training option would be nice for beginners as well.

4. Fartlek

In fact, this is a simplified form of interval run. Initially, this is a Swedish term, that can be translated as a ‘speed game’. There is no strict rules or regulations on the interval length, their number and conditions. This format is not picky. You just want to work with a hard intensity.

The idea is simple. You perform any number of accelerations, at any speed, and decide how much and in what way you want to rest after completing the interval. Listen to your body. There are several advantages of this training format:

  • Informal approach;
  • Variable training intensity;
  • Lots of venue options.

An additional feature of fartlek is substantial distance. A couple of accelerations of 30 seconds with a short rest can hardly be called a fartlek. Of course, each runner has their own tasks and opportunities, but usually the total mileage for such training is at least several kilometers.

5. Specific (task-oriented) fitness for runners

Specific fitness for runners​Young runners closely combine running with a wide range of general strengthening exercises from the very beginning. Only strong muscles, elastic ligaments, healthy joints, flexibility and agility allow full development and successful performance. Subsequently, it will help endure all the difficulties and avoid sports injuries without any negative consequences.

General conditioning exercising for runners has their own specifics. Task-oriented exercises for runners strengthen the core and leg muscles (feet, calves and thighs). A complex of circular continuous training is useful in this regard. Today such a training method is known as CrossFit. Popular and effective exercises include various jumps, rope skipping, lunges, working with weights and bars. A distinctive feature specific fitness for runners is that most exercises are performed dynamically, with relative ease and sharpness of movements. Lightness, grace, speed and strength – these are a must for a successful runner.

6. Sprint

types of running training

Sprint is a series of short accelerations at maximum speed. It would be a mistake to believe that running in sprints is useful for sprinters only. Acceleration training is necessary for everyone. It allows refining the running technique, work out the muscles and get an excellent stimulus to increase the speed and strength indicators. You can conduct such training alone or to add accelerations after an aerobic run.

Do not forget about safety! The faster the run, the longer the warmup. Do not neglect stretching, give it enough time before you go for your maximum.

To sum up, running in a moderate mode is the key to the long-distance runner’s progress. However, if you want to improve your results more actively, you must necessarily go deeper into studying other training methods, which allow full development and faster results.

You need a lot of experience to plan all the training process components. It is necessary to choose the optimal days for work and rest, determine the intensity of workouts and timely finish each of them. All that requires talent and experience gained through years. The main thing is to find a balance between the intensity, volume and format of training. There are no clear recommendations, everyone has different potential and opportunities. The only recommendation suitable for all-level runners is to start a new workout only after complete recovery of all body systems. The golden rule that my first coach taught me is: “It's better not to underdo then to overdo”.

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