We focus on different types of training at our Tuesday club sessions to help our members maximise their potential.
So, what are the different types of running workouts?
A base run is where you run at your comfortable natural pace and will be where a lot of your training is focused. It should be at a pace where you can hold a conversation, in sentences, rather than single words. This type of session is ideal for getting your muscles and lungs used to the endurance needed to run further and faster.
When you do a progression run, you start below your natural pace and then gradually increase the pace over the course of the run so that you finish the session at a pace faster than your comfortable pace. The purpose of this run is to directly challenge your bodies fitness and work on gradually increasing the effort level and so your lactate production increases as the demand for oxygen increases. This type of session helps your body become more efficient in its use of oxygen and its ability to cope with lactic acid, the waste product of your muscles working.
Fartlek training literally translated from Swedish means ‘Speed Play’. During the session the speed of the run continually changes so that you can never get used to a rhythmical run. It’s a hard session and is designed to mimic a constantly changing running route. It’s another way to work on your fitness levels and because of the constant change in speed, will improve your body’s fitness and will improve your base running speed. During the session we use natural landmarks to mark the point in the change in speed and could be a tree, signpost, post box or lamppost.
Interval runs are a mix of low-moderate and high-intensity runs. Alternating short intense bursts of speed followed by a recovery jog to work at your fitness threshold and improve your base level fitness. As the session uses active recovery periods i.e. the rest period is running slower than you normally would, it keeps you working and moving and is really good for improving fitness quickly. A great session for all fitness levels.
Brutal but you certainly feel the benefits. Sprint sessions build up strength and endurance in muscles to help you run faster and if it's distance you're after, sprints also help you to run further and helps you cope with fatigue during longer base level runs, described above.
Hill Reps (repeats)
Hill reps are great for not only working on your technique to smash those ‘mounds of opportunity’ as we like to call them but also great for developing strength and endurance as well as working on your fitness levels as you learn to cope with the hills. Hill reps can either be done at a flat-out sprint speed or at a speed above your base level. When you get to the top, you turn and either walk down or gently run downhill, using this as your recovery. When you get to the bottom it’s time to turn and smash the hill again. This is continued until you’ve done the required reps or time is up.
The aim of a tempo run is to get you working slightly above your normal comfortable pace and can be described as a ‘comfortably hard’ run. It should be hard but the pace should be sustained for the required distance or time. This is a great way to improve your fitness and increase your base level fitness and speed. This run is great with company as the encouragement you get from each other will help you sustain the pace and keep going just a bit longer when you begin to tire or feel like giving up. A great session enjoyed by everyone…afterwards.
A recovery run should be a nice easy pace that's relatively short after a period of hard training or after a race. The pace should be just below your base pace and should be a nice easy run with very few challenges. Its idea is to help the muscles recover by ‘turning the engine over’ but not push them to the point of fatigue. This is great run to do with a friend/s for a real good natter and catch up.
These sessions are designed to help improve your technique when running. A lot of people presume running is just a case of putting one foot in front of the other to stop you falling over, however it’s a bit more complicated than that. So sessions based around technique will help improve your efficiency, work on your balance, improve your co-ordination, help you breath when you run, learn how to use your arms and how to use different speeds and cadence (the number of times your feet hit the floor in a given time or distance). Technique training is vitally important when improving your fitness and goes a long way to helping you develop as a runner.
Lots of people ask what kit they should get so we've put together some explanations of the most common items below:
This type of shoe usually has a thick cushioned sole to help protect the joints form the impact of running on hard, concrete or road surfaces. They usually have very little support in the upper of the shoe. The bit your foot sits in and the tread on the sole of the foot don’t tend to be very deep or aggressive as it can be termed. These shoes often come in all the bright colours and most runners hate getting their road shoes dirty! There are a number of main brands to look at and include Brooks, Saucony, Asics, Hoka (This list is by no means exhaustive)
This type of shoe is a must for trail running in the wetter months of the year. The soles are not as thick as road shoes but the tread pattern on the bottom is deeper and more aggressive to give you traction and stability in the wet and muddy conditions of the trail. The upper part of the shoe usually is thick to give your foot more support and the material thicker to prevent tearing or ripping on rocks, brambles and branches on the trail. It’s not advised to wear these shoes when running on the road.
There are a multitude of tops on the market and ideally you will need a ‘wicking’ top that helps pull sweat off the body rather than a cotton t-shirt that will get wet with rain or sweat and stay wet, increasing the chance of you getting cold and uncomfortable. You can buy inexpensive really good tops or pay a fortune for something that does the same. Alternatively, you can buy a club running top (visit our kit page here!)…they’re ace!
These ‘waist coat’ type garments are worn to help runners take the essentials like hydration, spare food, spare socks, waterproof tops etc when out running. They’re also a good place to store phones, keys and money in case of emergency. There are many different makes on the market and it would be impossible to recommend a brand. The best advice is to speak to one of the run leaders or ask another member to tell you what they wear.
There are many different socks on the market and again this is a very personal choice. If you are prone to blistering, then it may be an idea to buy some double lined sock that are in effect two socks in one so that the rubbing, that causes blisters, is absorbed by the socks and not your skin!
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