Monday, December 18, 2017

6 Basic Runs that Every Runner Should Do

As you get more and more into running, you realize that not every run is the same. There are several different kinds of runs and each run does something different for you.  Today I wanted to share the different kinds of runs that I do and what those runs do for me and for my running.

The Base Run: This is the run I do when I don't know what kind of run I feel like doing. This run is a moderate pace and distance. I think pace and distance are definitely different for everyone. For me, this run is usually a 3 mile run at a 60% (around an 8:30) pace, but for you it could mean 6 miles, or it could mean 2. These things really depend on you and where you're at with your running. It's not really challenging, it's just to help me get out and move. I use this run to help me mentally/emotionally help me dump all my stress and relax my mind. Physically, these runs help a lot with your endurance and aerobic capacity. 

Hills:  I like doing hill repeats or finding a run that has at least 2 big hills in it. These runs do a lot for you physically. Hill runs are great for your pain tolerance and strength training. They also help you with your speed without doing speed work. I also found that hills help me better my running form. Hill runs help me with my mental game too, every time I get up a big hill that I wasn't able to get up as easily before, it shows me that I can break down those barriers and do hard things.

Speed Work: There are so many different speed workouts for you to choose from. There are intervals that you sprint for a certain amount of time or distance and then jog for a time for recovery. Then there are Fartleks which are a lot like intervals but it's all about time. You sprint for a minute and then recover for a minute. I usually do this in sets of 10. So 10 x 1:00 sprints with a minute of recovery time in between. These runs help with, obviously, speed and also helping with your fatigue resistance which helps you put out a higher power for a longer amount of time.

Tempo run: One of my favorite runs, which I hadn't ever done up until the last year or so.  Tempo runs are done at a comfortably hard pace. A pace that you are pushing yourself but you don't feel like you're going to pass out or throw up or die the whole time.  For example (1 mile warm up, 4 miles tempo, 1-mile jog/cool down) You want to maintain your pace as best as you can for those tempo miles. These runs are great to help with both speed and endurance at the same time. They are also great for your mental game.

Long run:  Again this one all depends on you and where you are at as a runner. Right now this means 6-7 miles for me. A couple of years ago this meant 15 miles for me, but I'm not there right now.  It's done at an easy pace but you will feel tired afterward. More tired than you do with a base run or speedwork. The main purpose of a long run is to increase your endurance. You shouldn't be worrying or be thinking about your speed at all during this run. This is another good run for me to relieve any stress that I have or work on my inner battles. It's a great one to think things through and come out feeling really empty of worry or stress. This is another favorite of mine!

Recovery run: This is a slow, short run, usually the first run after a race (or hard speed workout that left you sore) to loosen your sore, tight muscles. Don't worry about the time this takes, or how many miles you're trying to log. You need to take these runs easy! These runs usually hurt at first because you're sore, but by the end of the run, you should be feeling loose and good again.

There are a thousand different types of runs out there. These are just a few of the basic runs that every runner should know.  Remember that everyone is at a different place with distance and pacing. So don't worry about following an exact plan down to the mile. Run for you!

What is your favorite type of run?

What is the hardest run for you to find motivation to do?

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