Livekick Team | Jan. 17, 2018
Running is one of the most popular types of cardiovascular exercise. It requires no special knowledge, equipment or environment and its length and intensity can be adjusted to meet individual needs, regardless of age or fitness level.
Everyone knows that running is a great way to get into shape but what does it specifically accomplish? Running is incredibly effective at making the body healthier in a number of ways. It benefits almost every part of the body and it is an excellent mood booster. While it may not be everybody's favorite form of exercise, knowing what it can do for your health overall just might put running in an entirely new light!
In order to become a “good runner,” practice is truly all you need. Practicing running in general with the addition to other types of running will help achieve better results. As far as benefits go, first and foremost, running can help enhance the power of the cardiovascular system as well as various muscle groups. Secondly, endurance and aerobic capacity endurances are heightened. Moreover, when you diversify the types of training, the risk of injury is decreased. Studies have shown that running can help prevent obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke and some cancers, as well as vastly improve the quality of one's emotional and mental life. In this article, we will highlight eight styles of running workouts.
A base run is a short to moderate-length run taken at the runner’s natural pace. This type of running helps maintain weekly training mileage. Training sessions are done at natural pace and don’t need to be extremely challenging but should be done frequently. Anyone can make great progress in enhancing his or her endurance and aerobic capacity by performing simple base runs. Runs at a moderate pace establish basic mileage which assists in quick recovery of the whole body. A great example of a base run is six miles done at a natural, slow to moderate pace.
This type of run begins at a runner’s natural pace and ends with a faster segment. It provides a full-body training, employing both aerobic and anaerobic systems, but should still be only moderately challenging and not require maximal effort. A progression run should be harder than a base run but easier than an interval run. With progression running, apply the formula, “Start slow, finish fast.” An example of a progression run is five miles at a slower, natural pace, then one mile at marathon pace (a little faster), and then another mile at half-marathon pace (even faster). After a progression run, the body will generally not need as much recovery time as with traditional speed workouts like interval runs.
A long run is simply a longer base run that lasts long enough to leave a runner moderately to severely fatigued. By performing long runs, the principal goal is to increase the distance of the base run and increase raw endurance. The objective here is not to run faster but increase the mileage (e.g. probably at least 10 miles here). This helps build endurance as well as provide experience on how to handle increased mileage, both mentally and physically. Every individual is different, of course, and so the exact distance or duration of what is considered a “long run” will be different for everyone since it depends on each individual’s level of endurance. As a general rule, your longest run should be long enough to give you confidence that raw endurance would not limit you in a race competition.
In Swedish, the word fartlek means “speedplay,” which accurately describes this type of run. A fartlek run allows runners to mix basic runs by altering speed, distance and/or duration. Basically there are no rules: runners can set their own goals and checkpoints. It’s a great way to begin the process of developing efficiency and fatigue resistance at faster speeds in the early phases of training or to get fast running later in the training to supplement the larger doses provided by tempo/threshold and interval workouts. This type of training also allows for speed play since it is not as structured as interval running. A wokout example could start with natural pace for 10 minutes, then a tempo run for five minutes, followed by sprints for 2-3 minutes each and then complete the run with a slow pace for 20 minutes. There are no rules other than to having variety in pace and distance.
Intervals consist of repeated shorter explosive efforts separated by longer segments of slower running, jogging or walking sessions. These intense parts of training force runners to push to the limit. They help enhance running efficiency, speed, strength and fatigue resistance. Furthermore, this format enables a runner to pack more fast running into a single workout than he or she could with a single prolonged fast effort to exhaustion. Interval workouts are typically sub categorized as short intervals and long intervals and are often performed on a track. Long intervals are 600 to 1,200-meter segments run in the range of 5K race pace with easy jogging recoveries between them. They’re an excellent means of progressively developing efficiency and fatigue resistance at fast running speeds. An example of an interval run could be one to two miles of jogging followed by 3-5 sets of intense one-mile runs followed by one mile of jogging to cool down.
A tempo run is a run at the fastest pace someone can sustain. For very fit runners, it’s the fastest pace that can be sustained for one hour and for less fit runners, it’s the fastest pace that can be sustained for 20 minutes. These workouts help runners to push to his or her maximum speed and increase the amount of time they can sustain these challenging conditions. A sample tempo workout is one mile of jogging to warm up followed by 2-3 miles at your fastest pace, followed by one mile of jogging to cool down.
Hill repeats are short repeated segments of difficult uphill running. This is a type of speed workout that allows for running at a moderate pace with significant benefits that are not available from traditional running sessions. Running on an incline for two miles, for example, burns 18% more calories than running those two miles on straight ground. Hill repeats increase aerobic power, high-intensity fatigue resistance pain tolerance and run-specific strength. The ideal hill on which to run hill repeats features a steady, moderate gradient of 4-6%. These repeats are typically done as a relatively safe way to introduce harder high-intensity training into the program. An example of a typical hill workout could include a short warm up of two miles of easy jogging, followed by 5-10 45-second hill repeats (with short recovery between sets), followed by two miles of easy jogging to cool down.
Ladder runs are a version of interval training, adding a new challenge to the traditional interval workout. With the ladder, the repeats grow increasingly more challengin, in either distance or intensity, as the workout progresses. Ladder runs are excellent if you’re someone who gets bored easily or just wants to mix up things up. Changes to speed, time and distance are all incorporated in a single run. For example, you might run 200 meters, rest, run 400 meters, rest, jog a mile, rest, sprint 200 meters, rest, run 600 meters at 50%, and more. This kind of run is also great practice for managing exertion throughout a workout, as in pushing yourself extremely hard while leaving something in the tank to finish strong. A typical ladder workout includes 2-5 minutes of work with 1-2 minutes of recovery between each interval.
Whether you have taken up running to lose weight, to improve fitness, to relieve stress, to compete or just to kill time, you'll find that the benefits are many. And one of the best parts is that there are few universal truths to running. Everything depends on the individual and techniques some runners swear by might not be right for you. Experiment, find what makes you comfortable. It's not terribly complicated. The only hard and fast rule to running is to simply keep putting one foot ahead of the other. And if boredom sets in, try adding one of these eight different types of running to your practice!
These runs are a great way to complement your Livekick live sessions. Ask your trainer for more suggestions on how to spice up your cardio.