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Run Workouts

Tuesday, May 20, 2014 by Coach John

Here is a quick breakdown of the different types of run specific workouts including the benefits and why we have you do them in your training plans.

Warm-up: A period of walking or easy running or any light activity that is done for 10 to 20 minutes before a workout. It gradually increases heart rate, breathing rate, and blood flow to the muscles.It prepares the body for more vigorous work. A good warm-up allows the body to work more efficiently and helps prevent muscle pulls and strains.

Conversation Pace Running: Done at an easy, gentle pace. Builds strength, discipline and base fitness.

Strides: Short burst of swift running 80-150 meters. Builds fast twitch muscles and helps with running form.

Tempo: (AKA Threshold, Steady-State, Control Run) 20-30 minutes up to an hour. Helps improve lactate threshold. Helps your mind and body to manage discomfort while racing.

Fartlek: (Speed play) 20-45 minutes. Good time to practice fast running without having a specific speed or time.

Hills: Push up the hills and hold conversation pace on the way down. No breaks until you have done 1 complete set, which means up and down. You should have recovered by the time you get to the bottom then start it all over again. Always take at least 5 steps past the crest of each hill repeat!

Interval Runs: Helps increase anaerobic threshold. Teaches pace, patience and muscle memory. Good for goal race pace.

Cool down: A period of light physical activity, like walking, after a longer or harder run. Done to help bring the heart rate down gradually and prevent the blood from pooling in the legs.

Pace: How fast you’re running, usually expressed in terms of minutes per mile. Your running pace at a given effort level will vary from day to day, depending on the weather, your fatigue level, and other factors.

Splits: The time it takes to complete any defined distance. If you’re running 800 meters, or two laps, you might check your split after the first lap to shoot for an even pace.

Stride rate: The number of times your feet hit the ground during a minute of running. This measurement is often used to assess running efficiency. Having a high stride rate—say 170 steps per minute or more—can reduce injuries and help you run faster. Typically, the number used refers to the total number of times either foot hits the ground. For a person with a stride rate of 170, the right foot and the left foot would each have hit the ground 85 times.

Track: Most tracks are 400 meters long. Four laps, or 1600 meters, is approximately equivalent to 1 mile. Many runners use the term “track” to refer to a speed session done on a track.

Ice baths: Typically taken after long runs, races, and hard workouts. Ice baths involve immersing one’s legs in ice water for 15 to 20 minutes. The ice constricts blood vessels and decreases metabolic activity, which reduces swelling and tissue breakdown. Once you get out of the cold water, the underlying tissues warm up, causing a return of faster blood flow, which helps flush waste products out of the cells.

RICE: Refers to Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. These measures can relieve pain, reduce swelling, and protect damaged tissues, all of which speed healing. They’re most effective when done immediately following an injury. RICE is the standard prescription for many aches and pains, such as strained hamstrings and twisted ankles.


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