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Runs & Workouts
Our runs and workouts as distance runners can be broken up into 2 broad categories - stress workout and recovery runs. Below are some definitions of the workouts and runs we recommend and how to execute each. The most effective paces to utilize for these workouts can be found on the Training Paces page.
The stress workouts can be broken up into 3 main categories: Speed, Stamina and Endurance, plus a category for some race specific workouts we may add in as our goal race approaches.  Workouts in each category elicit the desired adaptations in our body to effectively increase our fitness in that area (speed, stamina or endurance).
Note: each workout is shown in minutes/duration, if you like running by distance instead simply select a distance that would fall within the duration range listed given your target paces.
 
Recovery Runs
Stress Workouts

Easy/Recovery Runs


Easy runs are runs we do in order to promote recovery from our stress workouts while maintaining or advancing our cardiovascular fitness and our body’s adaptations to running.  These runs should be kept short enough in duration and slow enough in pace that they do not significantly stress the body’s systems, while being quick enough to maintain bio-mechanical efficiency and provide cardiovascular benefit.  
Main Physical Benefit: maintain or advances the bodies adaption to running including cardio-vascular conditioning, while aiding the body in recovering from stress workouts (see below).
Main Mental Benefits: gives the body a break from hard, intensity of taxing durations and allows the runner to enjoy the act of running without worry about pushing paces and physically challenging its limits.
Workout: easy run of between 20 minutes and 90 minutes in duration
Feel: comfortable and relaxed pace, the pace at which you can easily carry on a conversation with a running partner. Never pushing the pace.
Pace: wide range of exceptable paces - see Training Paces page
Tip: Don't look at your watch too often (or even occassionally run watchless), just enjoy the run. Ease into the run, using the first mile to get into an easy rhythm.
Examples:
- 30 minute easy run
- 45 minute easy run
- 60 minute easy run
Stress Workouts
Speed Workouts

Fast Repeats

Main Physical Benefits:  improve stride power, running economy and improves the bodies familiarity with faster paces and effort profiles.
Main Mental Benefits:  to toughen the mind to high effort periods of running, improving our focus in a high intensity environment, and makes other paces seem easier (more manageable) by comparison

Workout:  Repeats of between :30 and 2:00, totaling between 15 and 20 minutes
Recovery:  slow recovery jog of 100% of repeat duration (minimum 1 minute)
Pacing:  even to slightly negative splits

Feel:  hard, quick, aggressive rhythm but never straining.
Pace:  roughly the pace you can hold for 6-9 minutes in an all-out effort (see Training Paces page)
Tip:  these can get intense so ease into these over first few repeats shorting for your targeted speed range by the 3-4 repeat and it the workout will often go smoother.  
Examples:
- 18 x 1:00 w 1:00 jog recovery
- 12 x 1:30 w 1:30 jog recovery
- 4 x 2:00 w 2:00 jog, 4 x 1:30 w 1:30 jog, 4 x 1:00 w 1:00 jog
 

VO2 Max Repeats

Main Physical Benefits:  The main physical purpose of VO2 Max Repeats is to improve the amount of oxygen the body can deliver to the muscle cells (used to produce energy) by stressing the maximum of the heart, lungs and circulatory system (your VO2 Max).   

Main Mentally Benefits:  The mental purpose of VO2 Max Repeats to toughen the mind to higher effort periods of running, improving our focus in a higher intensity environment, and make other paces seem easier (more manageable) by comparison.

Workout:  Repeats of between 2:00 and 5:00, totaling between 20 and 28 minutes
Recovery:  slow recovery jog of 75% of repeat duration (3 minute max)
Pacing:  even to slightly negative splits

Feel:  strong, hard but controlled rhythm
Pace:  roughly the pace you can hold for 12-18 minutes in an all-out effort (see Training Paces page)
Tip:  start conservative and make your first repeat your slowest and last repeat your fastest

Examples:
- 8 x 3:00 w 2:15 jog recovery
- 6 x 4:00 w 3:00 jog recovery
- 2 x 4:00 w 3:00 jog, 3 x 3:00 w 2:15 jog, 4 x 2:00 w 1:30 jog
 

Groove Repeats

Main Physical Benefits:  The main physical purpose of Groove Repeats is to improve the body’s adaptations to running in a higher lactate environment (lactate tolerance and lactate shedding abilities) and running at a high percentage of maximum heart rate for extended periods of time
 
Main Metal Benefits:  The mental purpose of Groove Repeats to toughen the mind to harder periods of running for extended periods, improving our focus in a higher intensity environment, and make other paces seem easier (more manageable) by comparison.

Workout:  Repeats of between 4:00 and 8:00, totaling between 28 and 36 minutes
Recovery:  slow recovery jog of 50% of repeat duration (3:00 max)
Pacing:  even to slightly negative splits

Feel:  quick, hard, groove; pressing but sustainable for moderate durations
Pace:  roughly the pace you can hold for 30-40 minutes in an all-out effort (see Training Paces page)
Tip:  start conservative and make your first repeat your slowest and last repeat your fastest. As the workout name suggests, work to find a good “groove” to your rhythm, something that is hard but manageable for a while.

Examples:  
- 8 x 4:00 w 2:00 jog recovery
- 5 x 6:00 w 2:30 jog recovery
- 1 x 8:00 w 3:00 jog, 2 x 6:00 w 3:00 jog, 3 x 4:00 w 2:00 jog
 

Hill Repeats

Main Physical Benefits:  improves stride power and running economy and improves the bodies familiarity higher intensity efforts.
Main Mental Benefits:  to toughen the mind to high effort periods of running, improving our focus in a high intensity environment, and make flat running seem easier (more manageable) by comparison

Workout:  Repeats of between :30 and 2:00, totaling between 15 and 20 minutes
Hill:  Moderate hill of 4-6% incline
Recovery:  slow recovery jog down the hill
Pacing:  even to slightly negative splits

Feel:  Hard, quick, aggressive rhythm
Pace:  will depend on incline of hill – approx. Groove to LT pace (see Training Paces page)
Tip:  break the workout into 3-4 segments (example 12x repeats broken into 3 x 4 repeat segments) with the pace getting just a little quicker each segment (so start conservative)
Variation:  do these on a treadmill with 100-150% of repeat duration jog at 0% incline for recovery

Example:
- 18 x 1:00 Hill w jog down recovery
- 12 x 1:30 Hill w jog down recovery
- 12 x 1:30 at 5% incline on treadmill w 1:30-2:00 jog at 0% incline recovery

 
Stamina Workouts

Lactate Threshold Tempo

Main Physical Benefits:  improves lactate threshold and efficiency at dissipating lactate, ability to run at a quick pace for extended periods of time

Main Mental Benefits:  to help the mind get comfortable with being uncomfortable for extended periods of time.  To mentally callous ourselves for long, hard efforts.  

Workout:  Continuous run of between 24 and 30 minutes
Pacing:  even to slightly negative splits

Feel:  strong, smooth rhythm; pressing but sustainable for extended periods
Pace:  roughly the pace you can hold for 60-70 minutes in an all-out effort (see Training Paces page)
Tip:  start on the conservative side of your goal range (or even a bit slower), if having a good day you can do a slight negative splits, if not having as good a day you can keep it even on the slow end of your range. If you find you have a hard time getting going on these, add in a 60-90 second tempo section into your warm-up to get the aerobic enzymes stirred up.

Examples:  
- 24 minute tempo run
- 27 minute tempo run
- 30 minute tempo run
 

Lactate Threshold Repeats

Main Physical Benefits:  improves lactate threshold and efficiency at dissipating lactate, ability to run at a quick pace for extended periods of time

Main Mental Benefits:  to help the mind get comfortable with being uncomfortable for extended periods of time.  To mentally callous ourselves for long, hard efforts.  

Workout:  Repeats of between 5:00 and 20:00, totaling between 30 and 40 minutes
Recovery:  slow recovery jog of between 20% of repeat duration (3:00 max)
Pacing:  even to slightly negative splits

Feel:  strong, smooth rhythm; pressing but sustainable for extended periods
Pace:  roughly the pace you can hold for 60-70 minutes in an all-out effort (see Training Paces page)
Tip:  start on the conservative side in your first repeat, if having a good day you can do a slight negative splits and run the other repeats a little quicker, if not having as good a day you can keep it even on the slower end of your range. If you find you have a hard time getting going on these, add in a 60-90 second tempo section into your warm-up to get the aerobic enzymes stirred up.

Examples:  
- 7 x 5:00 w 1:00 jog recovery
- 3 x 12:00 w 2:20 jog recovery
- 1 x 10:00 w 2:20 jog, 2 x 7:30 w 1:30 jog, 3 x 5 w 1:00 jog
 

Lactate Threshold Progression Tempo

Main Physical Benefits:  improves lactate threshold and efficiency at dissipating lactate, ability to run at a quick pace for extended periods of time.

Main Mental Benefits:  to help the mind get comfortable with being uncomfortable for extended periods of time.  To mentally callous ourselves for long, hard efforts.  This workout mirror the effort profile of a race a bit more than a even tempo does, so helps you mentally prepare for higher intensity efforts late in the run/race.

Workout:  Continuous run of between 24 and 30 minutes at a gradually increasing intensity

Feel:  starts at a comfortably quick rhythm and gradually increases in intensity until running at a hard, aggressive pressing pace by the end
Pace:  starting at Aerobic Threshold pace and gradually speeding up as you go until finishing at Groove pace (see Training Paces page)
Tip:  Use this workout to practice staying as relaxed as you can as the speed and effort increases, running relaxed while running quickly is a something that needs practice and this workout is a great place to practice that as it starts relaxed but gets pretty intense in the last third of the workout.

Examples:
- 24 minute progression tempo run
- 27 minute progression tempo run
- 30 minute progression tempo run
 

Lactate Threshold Wave Tempo

Main Physical Benefits:  improves lactate threshold and efficiency at dissipating lactate, ability to run at a quick pace for extended periods of time

Main Mental Benefits:  to help the mind get comfortable with being uncomfortable for extended periods of time.  To mentally callous ourselves for long, hard efforts.  Helps practice staying in the moment and executing 1 segment at a time.

Workout:  Continuous run of between 24 and 30 minutes alternating between 2 intensities every 2-5 minutes (8-12 segments in total)

Feel:  alternating every 2-5 minutes between a comfortably quick rhythm and hard aggressive rhythm
Pace:  Alternating segments between Aerobic Threshold (4-5% slower than LT) and Groove (4-5% quicker than LT) paces - see Traiing Paces page
Tip:  may be helpful to do this workout on a track or treadmill the first couple of times you do it to help with the pacing.  Focus on staying in the moment and executing 1 segments at a time. with smooth transitions. Most find it helpful to think of this workout as a long tempo run pace with some surges thrown in, rather than as repeats with a quicker recovery pace (help keep you from slowing down too much on the slower segments).

Example:  
- 24 minutes wave tempo - alternating between AT & Groove paces every 3 minutes
- 27 minutes wave tempo - alternating between AT & Groove paces every 3 minutes
- 30 minute wave tempo - alternating betweeen AT & Groove paces every 3 minutes
 

Aerobic Threshold Tempo

Main Benefits:  Long Stamina - improves aerobic threshold and efficiency at using energy sources, ability to run at a quick pace for extended periods of time.

Main Mental Benefits:  to help the mind get comfortable with being uncomfortable for extended periods of time.  To mentally callous ourselves for longer, hard efforts.  

Workout:  Continuous run of between 48 to 60 minutes
Pacing:  even to slightly negative splits

Feel:  comfortably quick rhythm; strong but smooth and controlled
Pace:  roughly the pace you can hold for 120 minutes in an all out effort or 4-5% slower than Lactate Threshold pace. - See Training Paces page
Tip:  start on the conservative side of your goal range (or even a bit slower), if having a good day you can do a slight negative splits, if not having as good a day you can keep it even on the slow end of your range. If you find you have a hard time getting going on these, add in a 60-90 second tempo section into your warm-up to get the aerobic enzymes stirred up.

Examples:
- 48 minute tempo run
- 54 minute tempo run
- 60 minute tempo run
 

Aerobic Threshold Repeats

Main Benefits:  Long Stamina - improves aerobic threshold and efficiency at using energy sources, ability to run at a quick pace for extended periods of time

Main Mental Benefits:  to help the mind get comfortable with being uncomfortable for extended periods of time.  To mentally callous ourselves for long, hard efforts.  

Workout:  Repeats of between 10:00 and 40:00, totaling between 60 and 80 minutes
Recovery:  slow recovery jog of between 15% of repeat duration (3:00 max)
Pacing:  even to slightly negative splits

Feel:  comfortably quick rhythm; strong but smooth and controlled
Pace:  roughly the pace you can hold for 120 minutes in an all out effort or 4-5% slower than LT tempo pace - see Training Paces page

Tip:  start on the conservative side in your first repeat, if having a good day you can do a slight negative splits and run the other repeats a little quicker, if not having as good a day you can keep it even on the slower end of your range. If you find you have a hard time getting going on these, add in a 60-90 second tempo section into your warm-up to get the aerobic enzymes stirred up.

Examples:  
- 5 x 15:00 w 3:00 jog recovery
- 3 x 25:00 w 3:00 jog recovery
- 1 x 30:00 w 3:00 jog, 3 x 15:00 w 3:00 jog
 

Aerobic Threshold Progression Tempo

Main Benefits:  Long Stamina - improves aerobic threshold and efficiency at using energy sources, ability to run at a quick pace for extended periods of time

Main Mental Benefits:  to help the mind get comfortable with being uncomfortable for extended periods of time.  To mentally callous ourselves for long, hard efforts.  

Workout:  Continuous run of between 48 and 60 minutes at a gradually increasing intensity

Feel:  starts at a brisk, moderate intensity and gradually increases in intensity until running at a strong, pressing but sustainable intensity by the end
Pace:  starting at Brisk pace (roughly 4-5% slower than Aerobic Threshold pace) and finishing 4-5% faster than Aerobic Threshold Pace (Lactate Threshold pace) - See Training Pace page
Tip:  Use this workout to practice staying as relaxed as you can as the speed and effort increases, running relaxed while running quickly is a something that needs practice and this workout is a great place to practice that as it starts relaxed but gets pretty intense in the last third of the workout.

Examples:  
- 48 minute progression tempo run
- 54 minute progression tempo run
- 60 minute progression tempo run

Aerobic Threshold Wave Tempo

Main Benefits:  Long Stamina - improves aerobic threshold and efficiency at using energy sources, ability to run at a quick pace for extended periods of time

Main Mental Benefits:  to help the mind get comfortable with being uncomfortable for extended periods of time.  To mentally callous ourselves for long, hard efforts.  Helps practice staying in the moment and executing 1 segment at a time.

Workout:  Continuous run of between 48 and 60 minutes alternating between 2 intensities every 5-10 minutes (8-12 segments in total)

Feel:  alternates every 5-10 minutes between a brisk moderate intensity and a strong, pressing but sustainable intensity
Pace:  alternating between Brisk Pace and Lactate Threshold Pace - see Training Paces page
Tip:  may be helpful to do this workout on a well marked course or treadmill the first couple of times you do it to help with the pacing.  Focus on staying in the moment and executing 1 segments at a time. with smooth transitions. Most find it helpful to think of this workout as a brisk pace run with some surges thrown in, rather than as repeats with a quicker recovery pace (help keep you from slowing down too much on the slower segments).

Examples:  
- 48 minute wave tempo run with 6 minute segments
- 54 minute wave tempo run with 6 minute segments
- 60 minute wave tempo run with 6 minute segments
 

Brisk Pace Run

Main Benefits:  improves the body's efficiency at using energy sources, hardens the body to longer durations at moderate intensities.  Good opportunity to practice longer race fueling.

Main Mental Benefits:  great practice running smooth and relaxed at slightly faster paces. It helps the mind get comfortable with being moderately uncomfortable for extended periods of time.  To mentally callous ourselves for long, hard efforts.  

Workout:  Continuous run of between 60 to 100 minutes, easing into Brisk pace over the first 10 minutes.
Pacing:  even to slightly negative splits

Feel:  brisk, moderate intensity; smooth and sustainable
Pace:  roughly 4-5% slower than Aerobic Threshold pace (Brisk pace) - see Training Paces page
Tip:  see how relaxed and smooth you run a this pace range.  Rather than trying to run faster try and see how easy you can make it feel.  For marathoner this is a great workout to practice a aid station in to get the body use to absorbing fuel (fluids or gel) while at a slightly quicker pace.
Variation: for a moderate workout (less than a full stress workout) and to get in extra practice at this pace (for marathoners) a brisk pace segemnt can be added to the second half of a easy run - example: 90 minutes with first 60 at Easy pace and last 30 at Brisk pace
Examples:  
- 60 minute brisk pace run
- 80 minute brisk pace run
- 100 minute brisk pace run
 

Endurance Workouts

Moderate Rhythm Long Run

Main Benefits:  Endurance - improves glycogen storage capacity, improves energy usage efficiency, advances cardiovascular adaptations, hardens body to extended periods of running

Main Mental Benefits:  to mentally callous ourselves for long duration efforts.  To get used to running for extended periods.  To get familiar with running on lower energy and higher fatigue levels.

Workout:  Continuous runs of between 90 and 200 minutes
Pacing:  even to slightly negative splits

Feel:  comfortably and relaxed but never lagging (moderate rhythm)
Pace:  comfortable and relaxed but never lagging - see Training Paces page
Tip:  be careful on the length of these, do not exceed 25-30% of weekly mileage on a weekly basis.  Some lower mileage marathoners may need to go beyond that percentage on occasion but don’t do it every week or it will increase the risk of over-use injuries.  Good idea for marathoners to do these on as similar a course to their goal marathon course as possible.  Fine to start these slower than goal pace range and ease into it over the first few miles.

Fueling: 3-6 oz of fluids once every 20-30 minutes and sports nutrition once every 60 minutes if desired/needed. (in normal conditions)
Examples:
- 120 minutes moderate rhythm long run
- 150 minutes moderate rhythm long run
- 180 minutes moderate rhythm long run

Steady State Long Run

Main Benefits:  Endurance-Stamina - improves energy usage efficiency at quicker paces, improves glycogen storage capacity, advances cardiovascular adaptations, hardens body to extended efforts at a slightly higher intensity.

Main Mental Benefits:  great practice running smooth and relaxed at slightly quicker paces. It helps the mind get comfortable with being moderately uncomfortable for extended periods of time.  To mentally callous ourselves for long, somewhat harder efforts.  

Workout:  Continuous runs of between 75 and 150 minutes
Pacing:  even to slightly negative splits

Feel:  steady state effort, somewhat comfortable but with some sustainable intensity added
Pace:  Steady State pace - see Training Paces page - see Training Paces page
Tip: This is a good run for marathoners to practice race fueling to experiment and zero in what will work best for you in the race.  Start a bit conservative and ease into the run over the first mile or two.  Practice staying as relaxed and smooth as possible on this run, especially as you get tired later in the run.  Make sure you keep good posture when getting tired and don’t “sit” or slouch with fatigue.  

Examples:  
- 90 minute steady state long run
- 120 minute steady state long run
- 150 minute steady state long run
 

Tempo Long Run

Main Benefits:  Endurance-Stamina - improves energy usage efficiency at faster paces while in lower or partially depleted glycogen state, improves glycogen storage capacity, advances cardiovascular adaptations, hardens body and mind to running at quicker paces while tired/depleted

Main Mental Benefits:   practice running smooth and relaxed at quicker paces while somewhat depleted or fatigued.  To mentally callous ourselves for running quickly for extended periods while tired.  Build confidence in our ability to still run quick while fatigued.

Workout:  Continuous runs of between 75 and 150 minutes with the first 20-40% at an easy pace, the middle 40-60% at comfortably quick rhythm, and the last 20-40% at a recovery pace
Pacing:  even to slightly negative splits within each segment

Feel:  the first and last segment at a comfortable and relaxed pace with the middle segment at a comfortably quick rhythm
Pace:  the first segment at Easy pace, the middle section at either AT or Brisk pace, and the last segment at a Easy pace. - see Training Paces page
Tip:  this is a great workout to stress both stamina and endurance as well as harden the mind, but it’s tough.  Start a bit conservative on the tempo and ease into it, then try and hold it nice and steady and settle into a good rhythm.  Don’t worry about pace on the last easy segment (may start as a slow jog), just get in the time/distance and reap the benefits of endurance building.

Examples:  
-120 minutes - first 30 minutes easy pace, the middle 60 minutes at Brisk Pace, and the last 30 minutes easy pace
- 120 minutes - first 40 minutes easy pace, the middle 40 minutes at Aerobic Threshold (AT) pace, and the last 40 minutes at easy pace


 
Fast Finish Long Run

Main Benefits:  Endurance-Stamina - improves energy usage efficiency at faster paces while in lower or partially depleted glycogen state, improves glycogen storage capacity, advances cardiovascular adaptations, hardens body to running at quicker paces while tired/depleted

Main Mental Benefits:   practice running smooth and relaxed at quicker paces while somewhat depleted or fatigued.  To mentally callous ourselves for running quickly for extended periods while tired.  Build confidence in our ability to still run quick while fatigued.

Workout:  Continuous runs of between 75 and 150 minutes with the first 50-80% at an easy pace and the last 50-40% of the run at a comfortably quick, strong but controlled intensity
Pacing:  even to slightly negative splits within each segment

Feel:  the first segment at a comfortable and relaxed pace with the last segment at a comfortably quick rhythm
Pace:  the first segment at easy pace, the last segment at either AT and Brisk paces (depending on duration) - see Training Paces page
Tip:  it can be hard to get going at first on the up-tempo closing segment and that is normal, the body is lower on glycogen and not used to running faster in that state (so we are teaching it). Ease into it and be patient and find your rhythm.  Often you’ll feel better 10-20 minutes this finishing segment then you did the first few minutes, so stay patient and stay with it.

Examples:  
- 120 minutes - the first 80-90 minutes at an easy pace, the last 30-40 minutes at Aerobic Threshold pace
- 120 minutes - the first 60 minutes at an easy pace, the last 60 minutes at Brisk pace
 

Race Specific Workouts

These are race specific workouts done to prepare the runner for a certain specific aspect of the goal race. They can be different in many ways than the other stress workouts listed above, depending on the specific demands of a given goal race and the particular strength or weakness of the individual runners.

Race specific workouts can include:

Race Simulation Run:  a run of 40-60% of goal race distance done at goal race pace and done simulating as much of the goal race conditions (course, time, meals, fueling, etc.) as possible. This type of run serves as a type of dress rehearsal for the goal race but can be significantly taxing and may require an extra recovery day afterwards.  

Tactic Specific Workout:  this is a workout done to simulate an anticipated or planned race tactic such as a mid race surge or sprint finish.  

Course Specific Workout:  this is a workout done to simulate the course you will be racing on by mimicking the layout of the race course in as many respects as possible.

Goal Pace Run:  this is a workout done at goal race pace (which doesn’t always overlap with the workouts listed earlier), usually broken into 3-5 segments with short recovery jogs between the segments, this workout is done in order to increase the runners familiarity with and feel of a goal race pace.