run sessions

Running workouts

There are many different types of running workouts that people do across the globe. I’m going to walk through my 6 most common running workouts I use and prescribe. This post has been split into two:

The first will cover the more basic sessions. These aren’t by any stretch easier but they are the one’s I’d use more commonly at the beginning of a training plan. 
The second will cover the more advanced ones. Again these aren’t harder than the above just working on different areas that are better towards the later stages of a training plan. 

The six different types of sessions are: 

  • Aerobic conditioning 
  • Speed work
  • Muscular strength/power 
  • Aerobic threshold intervals 
  • Anaerobic intervals 
  • Test session

If you want to dive deep into the training weeds a good read is – The triathlete’s training bible. It has good foundation principles for the three sports of triathlon. 
That’s enough of the talk. Let’s get into the good stuff. 

Aerobic conditioning

Aerobic conditioning can be done in many ways. They are by nature longer runs or longer time based efforts where the aim is to improve aerobic capacity (how much oxygen we can use and how efficient we are while running). Improving your aerobic conditioning is, in my opinion the first point of call in all run programs. Therefore it’s a big part in my training. 

These are commonly done in two ways, Examples of each are below. ⁣⁣

  1. Distance run; After warming up you run for a set amount of time staying at around a comfortable run pace (approx RPE 5/10). Another way to think of these run workouts is a run with a friend where you can both maintain conversation throughout the run. Time spent running will vary between individuals due to previous training and ability. 
  2. The second are aerobic efforts (different to that of the aerobic threshold intervals stated above). These are effort given in these is somewhere around a 6-7/10 where to leave an aerobic state. The rest between the efforts is done at your aerobic pace. An example of my aerobic effort sessions: 10 minute warm up, 6-8 x 1-2 minute efforts with 3-5 minutes jog to between. (Length of rest is dependant on length of effort e.g. longer effort = longer rest) And a normal cool down to follow. ⁣⁣

These sessions are aimed at being able to help you run for longer/further and can help with your distance. ⁣⁣

Speed work

⁣⁣These are another common type of run workout implemented in my personal programming and prescribing. These sessions aren’t super hard however are aimed at improving run speed and efficiency. ⁣⁣⁣⁣It’s my belief that you should try to get faster and more efficient prior to undertaking long distance events. This not only improves your performance but will help with recovery.
⁣These  sessions are different to your typical ‘speed session’. They are aimed at those who do want to run distance (to whatever degree) as opposed to those who want to sprint.

An example of these sessions is a short 15-20s stride every 2-3 minutes of steady pace jogging. Your aim is to focus on your technique  as opposed to how fast you are going. ⁣⁣⁣⁣Speed workouts will commonly last between 20-40 minutes which allows time for 10-15 strides to occur. 
⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣The run pace in between Your run pace between strides should be really comfortable (E.G. RPE = 3-4/10t).⁣⁣⁣⁣
I generally use these sessions as recovery whilst helping improve my technique and speed.
If you’re looking at improving your run speed with particular focus on your technique. These sessions are for you. 

Muscular strength/power

Muscular strength run workouts are the type that most people hate. Yes these refer most often to hill workouts as it’s the easiest and best way to improve your running strength (or force). A lot of people associate hill sessions with pain (that is warranted) and being dead at the end. However when done correctly they shouldn’t leave you feeling like your legs have been turned to mush. 
Remember the key in these sessions is to improve leg/hip muscle strength and power. Rather than leave fatigued and sore for 5 days. Don’t get me wrong, I want these sessions to be challenging, just in the right way. 

Ann example of this session (taken from my training plan as writing this) is as follows: 
A 5-15 minute warm up (RPE 3/10) that includes walking, lunging and squatting. Followed by a jog or undulating ground where possible. 
Following the warm up, 10 hill repeats of 1 minute up (RPE 8/10) and 2 minutes down (RPE 3/10). The time to come down and recover after the effort uphill ensures I have adequate recovery in terms of muscle fatigue. However the repeat reps work to build my strength and power. 
After the 10 hill effforts, I then do a 10-20 minutes aerobic run (RPE 4-5/10) that acts as the first part of a cool down. Upon completion of the run I walk for at least 10 minutes.  

Not sure how to structure your running workouts?

We can help you implement the perfect plan to suit your needs and lifestyle. All you have to done is follow the link below and fill in them form. The path to your goals and the ultimate training plan awaits you. 

There you have my first three more basic types of run workouts. We hope this helps you re-think your training and optimise your running.

We also have videos available in our rehab room and on our YouTube channel, be sure to check them out. Plus our blog has many a post of running performance, check it out also! 

Thanks for reading and watching, 
Stay safe, 
Dr Jamey Pemmelaar (Osteo) 
Kensington Vic