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Eight types of running workouts

This is an excerpt from Fitness Running-3rd Edition by Richard Brown.

This book outlines just eight types of workout. However, within each type, the sessions are extremely flexible so you can vary the length and pace to fit your ability and goal. The types of workouts you will build your training program from are listed in table 8.1. Descriptions and instructions for the workout options are described in the text following the tables (tables 8.2-8.4), moving from the slowest and easiest sessions to the fastest and hardest. When in doubt in training and racing, be conservative, except in the last half of your goal race. Then, if in doubt, be intelligently aggressive.


Fartlek Runs

Description: Fartlek means speed play in Swedish. You can substitute this workout for a steady-state run anytime. Here you simply play with speed. Part of the run is at an easy to moderate pace and part is at a pace you might run for a mile, 800 meters, or 400 meters. Play is the key word. Don't think you have to run moderately for 2 minutes and hard for 30 seconds. Have fun with the variety and keep changing it up. For example, during the course of the workout you could end up running three-quarters of it easy to moderate and one-quarter at faster speeds.


Priority: High to medium, with a rating of 1, 2, or 3 (on a scale of 1 to 7), depending on the week and program. Note that many weeks include two or even three fartlek runs.


Duration: Two-thirds of current maximum time or distance, plus additional minutes as assigned in each program's weekly schedule. Added time ranges from 1 to 10 minutes.


Pace or effort: Overall somewhat strong


Percentage of V\od\O 2 max: Overall 75 to 85 percent. See table 7.3 to calculate your pace based on V\od\O2max. The easy to moderate part might be a little slower and the speed part a little faster.


Warm-up: Run easily or walk for 5 to 10 minutes.


Cool-down: Run easily or walk for 5 to 10 minutes and then stretch.


Typical workouts: For a fitness runner with a 36 V\od\O2max and a max run time of 30 minutes: Maybe 15 minutes easy to moderate and 5 minutes at various faster speeds.


For a mile to 10K runner with a 50 V\od\O2max and max run time of 60 minutes: Maybe 30 minutes easy to moderate and 10 minutes at various faster speeds.


For a half marathon to marathon runner with a 50 V\od\O2max and a max run time of 90 minutes: Maybe 45 minutes easy to moderate and 15 minutes at various faster speeds.

Learn more about Fitness Running-3rd Edition.