Hello fall. Hello winter. Ah, the season of running. Summer time sees lots of swimming and biking in addition to running, but the off season is where it’s at for running.
With running though, it’s easy to get in a rut. It becomes routine to hop on the treadmill, get your 5k in, and get off. Easy peasy, workout complete. Not exactly though. Steady state running is something your body eventually adapts to, meaning you get fewer of those fabulous benefits that come from running. So how do you keep your running from becoming routine?
Generally, when I run and when I schedule running workouts for my athletes, I only do or provide one steady state run per week. And that run is typically a longer weekend run. During the week I keep runs between 3-5 miles and suggest variations of speed, endurance, or strength running workouts.
Tempo runs are one type of run I often time work into my athlete’s training schedules. One mile easy warm up, one mile easy cool down at the end, and sandwich in two or three fast or hard miles in between. Generally these would be pace based miles, like running at your 5k or 10k pace.
High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) are my personal favorites. I like them because they’re easy to do on the treadmill during the months when running outside is more difficult. Do a warm up mile then spring right into your first interval. Intervals can be time or distance based. On the treadmill it’s easier to do time intervals, although distance can be done too, but I’d suggest time intervals on the treadmill. Just my two cents though. These are high intensity sprints so make sure you’re pushing your limits on these. And include a short recovery in between each interval. Follow up with a half mile or full mile cool down afterwards.
When doing intervals another fun run to consider is a fartlek run. Besides being fun to say, it’s fun to run too. It’s literally random intervals, so do a mile or so warm up, then start throwing in some random 20-30 second bursts of speed. Or add in a burst in between light posts, whatever you want to do.
The point is to just give your legs a little kick. And of course, when we’re talking about intervals and speed you can’t not mention track workouts. Head to your local high school and track, get a mile or two easy warm up in, then start crushing some distance sets. Depending on your goal that you’re working towards you might do classic Yasso 800’s, or you may keep it shorter like 100, 200, or 400 meter repeats. If you’re training for distance you’ll want to do some longer intervals, like 1000 meter or mile repeats.
And finally, yes, of course, the long run. Long runs should be done at an easier pace typically referred to as LSD, or long slow distance pace. Longer runs in a lower heart rate zone build endurance. So get out there and run!
Don’t let steady state running stunt your running potential. Make sure you’re varying your run workouts for maximum efficiency and to make the best use your time and fitness.
What’s your favorite running workout?