he process of preparing your body for an interval workout or tempo run. A good warm-up dilates your blood vessels, ensuring that your muscles are well supplied with oxygen. It also raises your muscles' temperature for optimal flexibility and efficiency. By slowly raising your heart rate, the warm-up also helps minimize stress on your heart when you start your run. The warm up jog should be run at an easy pace. Following the warm up jog, you should do 6-8 x 100m strides to further prepare your body to run the faster paces associated with interval workouts or tempo runs.
The process of easing your body out of the state following an interval workout or tempo run. Just as critical as the warm up, the warm down keeps the blood flowing throughout the body and flushes out lactic acid build up that could make your legs feel heavy the next day. Stopping suddenly after a workout can cause light-headedness because your heart rate and blood pressure drop rapidly. Winding down slowly allows them to fall gradually and speeds up the recovery process from the workout. The warm down should be run at the pace of a very slow jog.
5K PACE INTERVALS
These interval sessions are designed to be the hardest in your training program. Your heart rate in these workouts will reach somewhere between 93-97% of Max HR. Recovery times should be long enough to insure that you can maintain pace throughout the workout. The goal of these sessions is to introduce race pace effort in shorter segments ranging from 400m up to 1mile repeats for the advanced runner. Over the course of the season these sessions will help to achieve your goal 5k pace as you adapt to handling the higher intensity heart rates and lactate loads from week to week.
10K PACE INTERVALS
The 10k interval sessions that are an integral part of your success when looking to compete in a variety of race distances from the 5k up to the Half Marathon. Your heart rate will reach somewhere between 91-93% of your Max HR during these intervals. Recovery times should be long enough to insure that you can maintain pace throughout the workout – typically 1/3 to ½ of the total interval time. The goal of these sessions is to introduce race pace effort in shorter segments ranging from 800m up to 2mile repeats for the advanced runner. The total workout volume should be somewhere between 4-6 miles of 10k pace intervals. Over the course of the season you should expect to be able to maintain 10k pace for longer intervals as you adapt to the stress. Once you can maintain an even pace and heart rate throughout the workout then you are ready to chase your 10k race goal.
15K PACE INTERVALS (otherwise known as Lactate Threshold Pace or 10mile pace)
Intervals run at this pace will be somewhere between 87-90% of your Max HR. Or in race distance - somewhere between ½ Marathon and 10k pace. The design of the session is to stress your system just enough so that it forces your body to learn how to process lactic acid build up more efficiently. These sessions should be done with short recovery breaks between intervals. Typically one’s heart rate should be able to get below 140 beats per minute before starting up the next interval. If it is taking an excessive amount of time to reach this recovery point then you are probably going too fast on your intervals. The goal of this session is not to go faster, but to be able to do more total work in the session. You always want to finish these sessions knowing that you could do one more interval if needed.
HALF MARATHON PACE RUN
A continuous, steady tempo run at goal half marathon race pace or somewhere between 84-87% of your Max HR. Tempo run workouts teach your body to run at a fast pace for a relatively long period of time. Through these workouts you will learn to recognize and maintain a specific pace on race day. Try to stay relaxed early on when you run these workouts. As they increase in length it becomes all the more important to work on proper pacing strategies. If you can maintain a steady pace or a negative split (finishing faster) pace then you are well on your way to a great half-marathon race.
MARATHON PACE RUN
A continuous, steady tempo run at goal marathon race pace or between 80-85% of your Max HR. Tempo run workouts teach your body to run at a fast pace for a relatively long period of time. Through these workouts you will learn to recognize and maintain a specific pace on race day. These runs are also great times to work on staying hydrated, taking in sports gels and testing out what running equipment you plan to use on race day. The better you get at these workouts the more likelihood you have for success in the marathon.
Runs of various distances done at an easy pace slightly harder than that of the pace on a recovery run. While you’re running aerobically, you should be able to hold a conversation with a training partner. If you can’t get the words out without gasping for air, you’re running too fast. Aerobic runs are designed to build strength and endurance. A typical aerobic run will start at an easy effort and then look to maintain an effort somewhere between 70-80% of your Max HR.
Recovery Run - a relatively short run performed at a slow pace. Recovery runs serve to maintain strength without taking away from performance in the harder, more important workouts that precede and follow them. Recovery runs are best done as the next run after a hard workout or race. Do your recovery runs as slowly as necessary to feel relatively comfortable despite lingering fatigue from your previous run. Your heart rate should not exceed 70% of your Max HR.
Usually used in the warm up before hard workouts or after aerobic/ recovery runs, strides are fast but controlled runs of 80-100 meters. Gradually increase your pace over the first 40-50 meters and then maintain a speed that is about 90% of your top effort for the final 30-60 meters. Slow down gradually from top speed to a walk once you are finished with the stride.
Strides help warm up your muscles and prepare you for the faster paces of an interval workout or tempo run. They also work to increase your stride rate and help to build specific speed endurance which in turn will help all sub max paces feel much easier to maintain.
Repeated short segments of hard uphill running. They increase anaerobic power, high-intensity fatigue resistance, pain tolerance, and running-specific strength. Hill sprints enhance speed by building strength and improving running mechanics naturally. The ideal hill on which to run hill repetitions features a steady, moderate gradient (4-6 percent). Walk back down the hill for recovery. The goal of these sessions is “quality” so if you notice that you are slowing down or not running smooth then take more rest between reps. If you are still not running as well as you have been then it is time to stop the session for the day.
A series of longer hill repeats similar to hill sprints, but with more focus on endurance and strength. The hill circuit uses longer hills and more repetitions than a hill sprint workout. Typical hill circuit running is done on a hill that you can still run fast enough to get your heart rate and breathing rate elevated. If the hill is too steep then it is too physically challenging to get the speed out of the workout that is required. Ideally this is a workout that should elevate your heart rate higher than any other training session. The increase in heart rate will make you stronger and more efficient when you go back to running race pace.