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8 Training Runs and Why You Need Them

January 08, 2024 3 min read

“A goal without a plan is just a wish!”

Why care about different types of running? Well if your trying to run your first 5k or you’ve hit a plateau and you’re not getting faster or able to run longer then your training plan needs a little help. Start implementing these 8 types of runs into your run training and you’ll begin to see a improvement!

Base Run

Base runs are just that, the base of most of your training. These runs are moderate in distance and easy on speed. These runs build your running “base” endurance, and aerobic capacity. They also allow for your muscles to recover from longer or more intense runs.

Long Run

Ahhh…the long run. One of my favorites! When building up on these long runs it’s important to only add 1 mile each time. You don’t want to go from 5 miles to 8 the next weekend in a long run as you want to slowly build these runs to keep from getting injured. Long runs are usually completed once a week or twice a month for beginners. When doing these runs the goals should be a super easy slow pace.

Recovery Run

It’s just what it says, recovery. These are runs that you take the day after a hard tempo or interval run or the day after a long run. Recovery runs are slow miles helping to keep some mileage on without stressing the body out by going fast. Recovery runs are a must if you want to be able to stay injury free.


Fartlek is always a fun word to say and fun to do! Fartlek is Swedish for speed play. This means you actually play with your speed by alternating a slow walk/jog with a fast sprint. Depending on where your at you can incorporate a Fartlek on a track by jogging a 100, sprinting a 100 x 4. Last weekend I was on a trail with telephone poles spaced out so I incorporated 10 minutes of Fartlek’s in the middle of an easy 3 miler by sprinting to one telephone pole, jogging to the next.

Tempo Run

A tempo run is a sustained effort where you will run as fast as you can at a level you can hold from 20 minutes to an hour depending on your fitness level. The Tempo run is ran at a little quicker pace then your base run but not as fast as a sprint. This run is at your “lactate threshold” and is ran at the fastest pace that can be endured for an hour for seasoned runners and 20 minutes for a intermediate runner.

Interval Run

Interval runs can be tough but will leave you feeling accomplished! They are meant to increase your lactic acid threshold (ability to go faster, longer) and increase your speed. This run will be broken off into segments of sprints, followed by a slow jog or walk. This format allows runners to run faster longer by breaking it into segments of sprints and rest.

Hill Run

Want to get faster? Add hill running into your routine! The purpose of this run is to increase your running power and strength. These are done in segments of hard uphill running followed by walking or jogging slowly back to where you started. The distance of the hill can vary along with the intensity and repetitions. These runs also help us build pain tolerance and our aerobic capacity.

Progression Run

The purpose of this run is to progressively build speed. Start off at an easy pace and end at a harder pace. This slow progression allows us to cover more distance while slowly building near race pace speed. These runs are moderately challenging yet not done as hard as an interval or tempo run.

That wraps up the 8 types of training runs you can incorporate into your run training! Want a sample workout of each of these types of runs? Head on over to my previous post!

Even if you’re starting off at a walking pace you can slowly add these runs into your training plan. If you love what your reading and would like me to take the guesswork out of your run training, join my virtual Run With PurposeFB group and access your personalized training plan, which includes accountability, strength for runners and more!

-Let’s Run With Purpose! Traci

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