Unlock Your Running Potential: The Power of Arm Swing Techniques For Runners

Have you ever noticed that some runs feel more challenging than others, even on the same trail? The answer might be in your arms. Let’s explore the role of arm pump in enhancing your running form.

For a long time, I, like many runners, focused primarily on foot strike, stride length, and maintaining a consistent cadence. But then, I discovered the significance of the arm swing. Our arms are not just along for the ride; they play an active role in our running economy and pace.

If you’re skeptical, try an experiment during your next run: keep your arms still for a bit, then let them swing naturally. You’ll likely notice a significant difference. It’s remarkable how a minor adjustment can have such a profound effect.

Now that I have your attention, Let’s delve deeper. We’ll look at its benefits, perfect the technique, and learn drills to make arm pumping a fundamental part of your running.

Feeling pumped?

Let’s get to it!

What is Arm Pump in Running?

Arm pump in running is a term you might have come across as a runner or fitness enthusiast. Let’s dive into what it really means, blending personal experiences, scientific insights, and some fun running metaphors to keep it engaging!

Think of arm pump as the conductor’s baton of the running world. It’s about the rhythmic arm movement that complements your leg strides. It’s more than just moving your arms; it’s a harmonious action.

Imagine your arms bending at the elbows, swinging back and forth in sync with your opposite leg. This coordination isn’t just for aesthetics – it’s a fundamental aspect of your running mechanics.

From my experience, I used to overlook the importance of my arm movements while running. But when I started focusing on my arm swing, it was like unlocking a new level in my running game. Arm pumping isn’t just an add-on; it’s a vital component that propels you forward, maintains your balance, and sets your running pace.

When I began incorporating arm pumping into my runs, I noticed remarkable improvements.

I was able to run longer and more effortlessly. It felt as if I had discovered an extra set of legs in my upper body.

Moreover, getting my arm movements right turned my running sessions from mundane tasks into smooth and enjoyable journeys.

Would you like to reap similar benefits? I bet the answer is yes.

Research on Arm Movement Efficiency:

A study in the “Journal of Experimental Biology” compared runners using their arms to those with stationary arms. The difference was striking. Runners using their arms required significantly less metabolic energy. This was a revelation to me – our arms are not just passive participants; they’re efficient contributors to our running.

Further research by the “Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports” delved into the coordination between arms and legs. They discovered that synchronized arm and leg movements create a well-balanced, efficient running style. This is especially important in long-distance running, where rhythm and endurance are crucial.

Impact on Running Posture and Speed:

Did you know that the way you pump your arms can actually keep you running taller and stronger? Research in the “International Journal of Sports Science & Coaching” brought to light an intriguing fact: proper arm pump is like the backbone of your running form. It helps you maintain an upright posture, crucial for efficient breathing and stamina. I remember reading this and immediately straightening up – it’s amazing how a small change can make a big difference!

Sprinting with Extra Zest:

Now, let’s talk about speed, especially those heart-pumping sprints. A study in the “Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research” focusing on sprinters showed that arm movements are like the secret ingredient in your speed recipe. They add that extra momentum, giving your pace a noticeable boost. Think of your arms as your personal cheerleaders, pushing you to go faster and stronger.

Research on Arm Swing Efficiency:

A fascinating study from the “Journal of Experimental Biology” shed light on the importance of arm swing in energy efficiency. It revealed that runners use less oxygen when they swing their arms, compared to running with their arms still. It’s like your arms are helping you ‘breathe’ easier while running. This was a lightbulb moment for me – understanding that my arms could actually help make my running more economical.

Studies on Upper Body Mechanics:

The “International Journal of Sports Science & Coaching” took a closer look at upper body mechanics, including arm swing, and their impact on running performance. This research highlighted that optimal arm swing not only reduces the perceived effort of running but also enhances endurance and speed. It’s like finding an untapped reservoir of energy right in your upper body!

Arm Swing and Running Posture:

The “European Journal of Sport Science” brought an interesting perspective to the table – the connection between arm swing and running posture. Proper arm swing is key in maintaining an upright posture and minimizing excessive upper body rotation, which translates to a more efficient running form. It’s like your arms are the pillars supporting the structure of your run.

The Energy Paradox of Arm Swinging:

In a 2014 article from Live Science, a surprising discovery was made: while arm swinging itself requires energy, not swinging your arms actually consumes more energy. This paradox fascinated me – it turns out that swinging your arms is a smart energy investment for the long run (pun intended!).

Practical Techniques for Effective Arm Pump

Let me share with you some practical techniques for effective arm pumping, a little trick I’ve picked up in my running journey. These aren’t just any tips; they’re like secret weapons that have transformed my runs from good to fantastic.

By tweaking my arm technique, I’ve noticed my runs have become smoother and more enjoyable. Here’s how you can do the same and elevate your running game:

Embrace the Power of the Swing:

Imagine your arms as personal cheerleaders, energizing you with each stride. Keep them actively engaged, swinging smoothly like a clock’s pendulum. This motion, parallel to your body, is like shifting into an extra gear during your run. It’s a simple change, but trust me, the difference it makes is incredible.

Find the Sweet Spot in the Bend:

This is like finding the perfect pitch in music. Aim for that golden angle between 90 to 100 degrees at your elbows.

It might sound technical, but it’s all about feeling that sweet spot where your arm movement feels natural yet powerful. This bent-arm position has been my key to unlocking efficient and effortless arm movement.

Avoid the Midline Mix-Up:

Swinging your arms across the midline of your body can disrupt your run, much like rowing a boat in zigzags.

I learned the hard way that this only wastes energy.

Keeping your swing straight is crucial; it’s like following a rhythmic melody that keeps your run smooth and steady.

Synchronize Like a Symphony:

Your arms and legs should work together like a well-coordinated orchestra.

When your right foot strikes the ground, let your left arm swing forward, and vice versa. This coordination has been my rhythm section, helping me maintain balance and stability. It’s like each run is a symphony, and every part needs to be in harmony for the music to flow beautifully.

Keep It in the Zone:

Think of a box that extends from your waist to your chest. This imaginary box represents your arm swing zone. It’s like focusing a laser beam; it ensures that all your energy is directed efficiently, without any wasteful, dramatic movements.

Relax and Let Flow:

Tension in your hands can spread like a ripple effect up your arms. That’s why I keep my hands relaxed, with fingers lightly curled as if I’m holding something as delicate as a butterfly. This approach is key to maintaining comfort and efficiency in my upper body, making my runs more enjoyable and less strenuous.

Specific Drills for Arm Pump Development:

Something that I learned over the last few years is that drills can be incredibly helpful. Let’s explore a few drills that focus on perfecting your arm swing and coordinating it with your leg movements. These exercises are like rehearsals for the main performance – your run.

The Arm Swing Symphony:

Stand tall and start by practicing your arm swing. Imagine conducting an orchestra with each swing from your shoulder, maintaining that crucial 90-degree bend in your elbows. You can do this while stationary to get the feel of the movement, then progress to practicing while walking. This drill is like the scales in music practice – fundamental and essential.

The March of Coordination:

Now, let’s add some leg movement. March in place, lifting your knee while simultaneously swinging the opposite arm. This exercise is like a dance rehearsal, helping you fine-tune the coordination between your arms and legs, which is essential for an effective arm pump. It’s all about creating a rhythm between your upper and lower body.

Mirror, Mirror: Your Form Guide:

For immediate feedback, practice your arm swings in front of a mirror. This is like watching a playback of a dance routine. It helps you correct your form in real-time, ensuring your arms don’t cross your body’s midline and that your hands swing in a controlled arc from hip to chest level. The mirror doesn’t lie – it’s an excellent tool for ensuring you’re maintaining the right form.

Incorporating Arm Pump in Different Running Workouts:

Over the past few years, I’ve discovered the importance of adapting my arm pump technique to different types of workouts. Whether it’s a leisurely long run or an intense sprint session, the way you use your arms can significantly impact your performance and enjoyment. Let’s explore how to tailor your arm pump for various running workouts, adding that special ‘oomph’ to each stride.

During Long Runs

On those long, endurance-building runs, think of your arm pump like a steady drumbeat – consistent and relaxed. This isn’t just about moving your arms; it’s about establishing a rhythm that helps you conserve energy. Imagine you’re a metronome, keeping a regular, soothing tempo.

During Fast Running

Now, switch gears to those heart-pounding speed workouts – intervals, sprints, and the like. Here, your arm pump turns into a powerful force, driving your speed. Think of it like adding an extra burst of energy to each step. As you sprint, let your arms swing more vigorously, matching the increased tempo of your legs.

During Uphill Running

When you’re running uphill, think of your arms as your own personal cheer squad, giving you that extra boost. Increase the drive in your arm swing – it’s like adding more power to each stride, propelling you forward and upward. This stronger arm movement is crucial for tackling those challenging inclines, giving you the momentum to conquer each hill like a climber reaching for the peak.

During Downhill Running

Now, when you’re descending, the story changes. Here, you want to focus on a more controlled arm swing. It’s like applying the brakes gently on a steep road. This controlled motion helps maintain your balance and stability, preventing you from going too fast and losing control.

When Changing Pace

Whether it’s interval training or a race with varying speeds, being able to modulate your arm swing according to pace is like a musician adjusting their tempo. It’s a skill that can significantly benefit your run. Practice changing your arm swing as you switch between different paces.

How To Maximize Your Treadmill Workouts: Expert Tips for Optimal Fitness

Looking for practical tips to get the most out of your treadmill workouts? Then you’ve come to the right place.

Think of treadmill training as a trusty sidekick in your fitness journey – it’s convenient, adaptable, and perfect for those days when the weather just isn’t on your side.

But let’s be real: there’s so much more to treadmill running than just pressing ‘start’ and zoning out. It’s about crafting a smart, strategic plan that turns your time on the treadmill into a powerhouse of fitness gains.

That’s exactly what I’m diving into today.

I’m here to spill my top secrets and strategies that will elevate your treadmill game, whether you’re lacing up your running shoes for the first time or you’re a seasoned pro looking to refine your routine.

I’ve got tips that will transform your indoor runs into something you look forward to – making them more effective, more enjoyable, and, let’s face it, a whole lot less monotonous.

Sounds like a good deal?

Then, let’s get started.

Setting Realistic and Achievable Goals

Whether you’re aiming to up your productivity on the job or enhance your treadmill sessions, it all boils down to setting the right goals. And I can’t stress enough how crucial this is.

So, what’s the best approach? It’s simple: SMART goals. This framework has been a game-changer for me. It stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound goals. By using this approach, you create objectives that are clear, realistic, and perfectly aligned with your overarching running ambitions. Believe me, it makes a world of difference.

Here are a few examples to kickstart your goal-setting journey:

  • Improving Endurance: Say you want to boost your treadmill endurance. Set a goal like running for 30 minutes non-stop within the next two months. It’s specific and has a clear timeline.
  • Losing Weight: If shedding some pounds is your aim, choose a realistic and healthy target. Maybe it’s losing a certain number of pounds through a blend of treadmill workouts and dietary changes over a set period.
  • Training for a Race: Preparing for a race? Set a goal to complete a certain distance within a target time. Utilize your treadmill to mimic race conditions and keep track of your improvements.
  • Increasing Speed: Fancy speeding up your runs? Aim to run a mile in under a specific time by gradually cranking up your treadmill’s speed during your sessions.

I could go on about the ins and outs of setting effective running goals, but these pointers should give you a solid start.

Understanding Treadmill Features and Functions

So, have you set your running goal? Fantastic! Let’s take it to the treadmill. But hold on a sec – before you step onto that treadmill, it’s crucial to understand its features. Trust me, a treadmill is more than just a ‘start’ and ‘stop’ machine. Its various functions, from incline settings to pre-set programs, can transform your workout experience.

If you’re new to treadmill running, don’t worry. I’ve got some tips to help you make the most of these features.

Using Incline Settings:

  • Mimic Outdoor Running: Cranking up the incline can simulate outdoor running, adding some spice to your indoor workout.
  • Target Different Muscles: Incline running hits different muscle groups, especially in your legs and glutes, more than flat-surface running.
  • Boost Calorie Burn: Higher inclines mean higher intensity, which can up your calorie burn.

Speed Settings and Their Use:

  • Warm-Up and Cool-Down: I always start slow for warm-ups and cool-downs. Gradually increase the speed as you warm up and slow down towards the end.
  • Interval Training: Interval training is my go-to for a high-energy workout. I alternate between sprinting and jogging or walking, changing the speed settings to match.

Utilizing Pre-Set Programs:

  • Diverse Workouts: Most treadmills come with pre-set programs that automatically change speed and incline. It’s great for structured workouts and keeping things interesting.
  • Goal-Oriented Programs: Pick programs that align with your goals, be it endurance, weight loss, or interval training.

I know this might seem overwhelming if you’re new to treadmills, but trust me, it’s simpler than it sounds. Once you start, you’ll quickly get the hang of it and soon be operating the treadmill like a pro. Just don’t hesitate to experiment and explore the different settings.

Optimizing Running Form and Technique

Proper running form matters, whether you’re hitting the trails or the belt of a treadmill. That’s why optimizing your running form is key to getting the most out of your treadmill sessions. Good technique is all about running efficiently, helping to prevent fatigue and reduce injury risk. What’s not to like, really?

Here’s how to develop proper treadmill form.

  • Stay Upright: Keep your body upright with a slight forward lean from the ankles, not the waist. This improves proper alignment and balance.
  • Look Forward: Focus your gaze ahead, not down at your feet, to maintain a neutral neck and spine position.
  • Hands Relaxed: Avoid clenching your fists. Keep your hands relaxed as if you were holding an egg in each hand without breaking it.
  • Relaxed Swing: Let your arms swing naturally from the shoulders. Keep your elbows at a 90-degree angle, and avoid crossing them over your chest.
  • Avoid Overstriding: Landing with your foot too far in front of your body can lead to inefficient running and increased stress on your legs. Aim for a comfortable, natural stride length.
  • Maintain a Mid-Foot Strike: Try to land on the middle of your foot rather than your heel or toes. This helps distribute impact more evenly and can reduce the risk of injury.
  • Avoid Landing Harshly: Try to run softly on the treadmill to reduce noise and impact. This can also help in avoiding excessive stress on your joints.

Here’s the full guide to proper treadmill running techniques.

Partner Up

Just like hitting the pavement is more fun with friends, treadmill running can also be a social and enjoyable experience. Teaming up with a workout buddy can transform a long treadmill session into an engaging social hour (or two). The camaraderie and shared motivation can make the time fly by.

If you’re struggling to find someone who’s up for a treadmill challenge, why not get creative? You could call a friend or ask a family member to keep you company. Even a virtual partner, chatting over the phone or through a video call, can add a social element to your workout.

Additional resource – How to combine keto and to run

Visualize a Route

To beat the monotony of the treadmill – sometimes playfully dubbed the ‘dreadmill’ – try visualizing an outdoor route you love. Picture yourself running past familiar landmarks, and adjust the incline to mimic elevation changes. This technique can be surprisingly effective.

Your brain holds a treasure trove of pleasant running memories, and through active visualization, you can tap into these positive associations. This mental strategy helps make treadmill running more engaging and less of a chore.

Struggling with visualization? A helpful tip is to search for images of scenic running routes on Google and imagine yourself conquering these paths. This practice can provide a mental escape and add an element of adventure to your treadmill workout.

Listen to Music

Listening to music while running can be an excellent dissociative strategy. It shifts your focus away from the exertion and can even reduce the perception of effort, potentially boosting your endurance by 10 to 15 percent. Aim for playlists with a beat in the 120-160 bpm range for an uplifting experience.

Not a music fan? Audiobooks or podcasts can be equally engaging. Some popular ones currently include “The Joe Rogan Experience” and “The Rubin Report.

Watch TV

Adding a visual element to your run can make it more enjoyable. Running with the TV on can be a fun distraction, especially with shows that don’t require intense focus or emotional investment. Save the gripping finales like “The Walking Dead” for couch time.

Looking for show recommendations that are easy to enjoy while on the treadmill? Here’s a list of some popular ones from 2019 to 2022:

  • “Brooklyn Nine-Nine”: A light-hearted comedy that will keep you entertained with its humor and quirky characters.
  • “The Witcher”: Dive into a fantasy world with short, action-packed episodes ideal for a quick run.
  • “The Umbrella Academy”: An engaging mix of superheroes and family drama, perfect for keeping your mind occupied.
  • “Bridgerton”: Immerse yourself in the regency era with this visually captivating series.
  • “Ted Lasso”: A feel-good, heartwarming show that’s perfect for lifting your spirits as you pound the treadmill.
  • “The Mandalorian”: For sci-fi enthusiasts, enjoy this thrilling Star Wars spin-off during your workout.
  • “Money Heist (La Casa De Papel)”: Although intense, its fast-paced nature makes it great for a high-energy run.

Additional resource – Here’s your guide to buying a second-hand treadmill.

Treadmill Running Apps for Beginners

No matter what your running aspirations are, there’s likely an app designed to help you achieve them. Today’s tech-savvy world offers a myriad of affordable apps catering to various running needs, making your training sessions more dynamic and engaging.

Looking for a distraction? Motivation? Inspiration? Or more structured training? There’s an app for each of these desires. Here are some of my top recommendations:

  • Nike + Run Club: This app is a treasure trove with over 50 guided runs, including sessions tailored for treadmill workouts. Ranging from 20 to 30 minutes, these runs come with audio guidance to keep you on track.
  • Treadmill Trails: If indoor running isn’t your cup of tea, Treadmill Trails can virtually transport you to scenic locations like Central Park or even Mt. Kilimanjaro. It’s a great way to escape the monotony of treadmill running.
  • Peloton Digital: Offering more than 170 live and on-demand Tread Studio running classes, this app covers everything from quick 15-minute sprints to comprehensive 60-minute race pace training.
  • Studio: Ideal for runners of all levels, Studio offers treadmill classes ranging from 15 to 60 minutes. Whether you’re a beginner or prepping for your 11th race, there’s something here for you.
  • Couch to 5K: New to running? Couch to 5K is your go-to app. It provides a structured plan to transition you from a beginner to a 5K runner in 8 weeks or less.
  • Zombies, Run!: Add a twist to your treadmill workout with Zombies, Run! This app turns your run into an immersive game where you’re surviving a zombie apocalypse.


Additional resource – How to start running at 50

How To Make Your 5K Treadmill Training More Fun

I know, I know – running on a treadmill can be a real drag.

It’s like running in place, with no change of scenery, and you might even feel like a hamster on a wheel.  This is especially the case if you’re used to running outdoor, venturing into uncharted territories, and exploring the wilderness.

Worry no more.

In this article, I’m spilling all my secrets on how to spice up your indoor runs. Imagine actually enjoying your treadmill time and seeing some awesome results to boot. Ready to give your indoor running a makeover?

Sounds like a good deal?

Let’s get started.

Setting The Right Goals

As far as I can tell, the foundation for making the most out of the treadmill lies in setting a clear goal. How come? Simple. Goals give your training purpose and direction, which can turn mundane activities into exciting milestones.

You might be already familiar with it, but the best way to set goals is to go after SMART goals. Let me explain:

Here’s how to set the right treadmill running goals.

  • Specific: Define your goals with precision. Instead of saying, “I want to improve my 5K time,” specify, “I want to complete a 5K in under 30 minutes.”
  • Measurable: Make your goals quantifiable so that you can track your progress. For example, “I aim to run 5 kilometers without stopping in 8 weeks.”
  • Achievable: Set goals that challenge you but are within your reach. Starting with a goal of running a 5K without prior training may be too ambitious. Instead, consider intermediate goals, such as completing a 5K walk/run program first.
  • Relevant: Ensure your goals align with your personal aspirations and fitness level. They should be meaningful to you and your journey.
  • Time-Bound: Set a timeframe for achieving your goals. Having a deadline adds urgency and structure to your training.

Create a Treadmill-Friendly Environment

Our environment defines us. That’s why setting up the right setting plays a crucial role in how enjoyable your treadmill training can be.

Take the following steps to create a treadmill-friendly space.

  • Comfortable Setup: Ensure your treadmill area is comfortable. Use a fan or open a window for ventilation, and place a towel and a water bottle within reach for convenience.
  • Lighting: Adequate lighting makes a workout space pleasant. Natural light is ideal, but if that’s not possible, have bright, evenly distributed artificial lighting. Consider placing your treadmill near a window or using full-spectrum bulbs to mimic natural daylight.
  • Temperature Control: Keep a comfortable temperature in your workout area. If it tends to get too hot or too cold, invest in a small heater or fan to regulate the climate.
  • Organized Space: Keep your workout area clean and clutter-free. An organized space creates a sense of order and can make your runs feel more inviting.
  • Hydration Station: Place a water bottle and towel within easy reach of your treadmill. Staying hydrated and wiping away sweat as needed can make your runs more comfortable.
  • Entertainment Options: Set up a tablet or TV in front of your treadmill to watch your favorite shows, movies, or streaming workouts. Entertainment can make time fly by.
  • Music or Podcasts: Create energizing playlists or listen to podcasts that interest you. Music can boost your mood, and engaging podcasts can make the time more enjoyable.
  • Training Apps: Explore fitness apps and virtual running experiences that simulate outdoor routes or offer guided workouts. These can add variety and excitement to your runs.
  • Personalize the Space: Create an inspiration board on the wall with quotes, images, or goals that motivate you. Visual cues can help you stay focused and positive during your runs.

Watch A TV Show

The best strategy for beating boredom during indoor running is a distraction. Your brain needs something to get busy with instead of the machine’s dashboard.

And I hate to state the obvious, but watching TV is the ultimate form of distraction.  It‘s fun and hassle-free. It doesn’t have to be your favorite show; any sort of visual distraction can help get you out of boredom.

A fan of online TV? Save your Netflix shows and download movies (hopefully legally) to watch during your treadmill runs.

Go for shows you don’t have to be too involved in and would rarely let yourself sit around and watch. Keep it light.

Need some good ideas? Here’s a list of my favorite shows:

  • How I Met Your Mother
  • It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
  • Casa De Papel
  • Stranger Things
  • Daredevil
  • Into the Badlands
  • Preacher
  • Supernatural

Hit the Treadmill With a Friend

Pairing up is one of the most effective ways to make any exercise more enjoyable— and that’s true of the treadmill as well.

Also, a little friendly competition can go a long way.

Next time you head to the gym, pair up with a friend. Feel free to do interval workouts together or challenge each other by racing. You can also try treadmill group classes.

Additional Resource – What’s A Good 5K Time For A Beginner.

Listen to a Podcast

Listening to a podcast while pounding the belt is an excellent way to distract yourself while staying updated on the latest trends and events.

There are plenty of good and informative podcasts to suit any interest. Here are a few of my favorites:

If you’re not into podcasts, then try an audio version of a book you wanted to read (but probably won’t). Or brush up on some German before your next trip to Berlin. The choices are virtually limitless.

Visualize a Route

This one requires a bit of creative imagination, but it’s super helpful for making treadmill running more real and fun.

Here’s how to proceed.

Imagine yourself running along and picture the buildings, surroundings, and other landmarks you’d pass along the way.

Go the extra step by printing out a real-world route map, indicating the distances and inclines, and then imagine yourself tackling it. If possible, find a treadmill with built-in satellite mode Google Maps so you can pretend that you’re outside running.

Got an upcoming race? Visualize your racecourse during your treadmill session. Push hard during the last few miles and finish strong at the finish line.

You can also check out YouTube for virtual walks. In your virtual world, you can run in the forest, on beaches, in jungles, or in cities like Paris, Rome, London, etc. Explore the world from your treadmill.

You can also try an app like BitGym that allows you to run virtually on routes from around the world from your smartphone or tablet. Have more coins? Try investing in VR glasses. Set it up to your favorite route or scenery during your treadmill session.

Additional resource – Here’s your guide to buying a second-hand treadmill.

Do an Interval Workout

If you usually pound the belt at the same incline and same speed day-in-day-out, your training will get boring—super fast.

Instead, shake things up by doing intervals. High-intensity interval training, or HIIT for short, sessions provide a quick yet effective way to increase training intensity and burn some mad calories—while taking less time, too.

Here’s how to proceed.

Following a thorough warm-up, increase your speed to a sprint for 30 to 45 seconds, then slow it down to an easy jog for 60 to 90 seconds. Repeat the intervals a total of six to eight times.

Finish the workout with a 5-minute slow jog/walk as a cool down.

Here are a few of my favorite routines

Go For The Hills

If increasing speed didn’t do the trick, try raising the incline.

The incline option lets you run uphill without having to worry about finding the perfect hill (time-consuming) or dealing with downhill running known for causing soreness and pain in the lower body).

Additionally, the incline helps you target your lower body—the hamstrings, thighs, and calves—thus adding power and speed. The higher the incline, the more challenge.

Here’s how to proceed.

Following the warm-up, increase the incline on your treadmill to 7 or 9 percent grade and perform two to three minutes intervals at your 10K pace with a 2-minute recovery, easy running between reps.

Repeat the cycle six to eight times, then finish it off with a 5-minute walk as a cool down.

Mix it up

Max out on your next treadmill workout by picking up the pace and the incline and opting for intervals while following an unspecific training pattern.

Choosing on-the-go speed and incline changes forces your body to work different muscles and be more resilient, helping you become a better runner.

Try this unpredictable treadmill workout. Start off with a 5-minute warm-up, then do 20 minutes of random intervals.

Do whatever you want as long as you are pushing the pace and giving it your best. End the workout with a five-minute cool-down.

Plus, you can make this workout more challenging by adding bodyweight exercises, such as push-ups, squats, or even burpees, between each round, making it for a complete and total body workout.

Additional Resource- Your guide to curved treadmills

Tracking Your treadmill running Progress

Ready to take your indoor running game up a notch? Then, it’s time to start tracking your progress. It’s not just about logging miles; it’s about celebrating every step, every sweat drop, and every milestone.

The truth is, you cannot improve on what you cannot measure. Indoor training is no exception. In fact, there’s something incredibly satisfying about seeing those numbers climb. Distance, pace, calories burned – you name it. Watching your progress unfold is a huge motivator.

Whether it’s a faster mile or a longer run, tracking helps you set realistic goals and crush them. Every time you hit a milestone, it’s like giving yourself a high-five.

And guess what? There are some super cool tools and apps out there that can make this process a breeze and a blast!

Let me share with you a few:

  • Strava: It’s like the Facebook for runners. Track your runs, compete with friends, and even join challenges. Plus, it’s got this killer feature that lets you compare your indoor runs with outdoor ones.
  • Nike Run Club: Here’s your personal running coach in an app. It offers tailored plans, tracks your runs, and gives you that much-needed pep talk. Plus, the community vibe? Absolutely motivating.
  • Zwift: Want to run in a virtual world? Zwift is your go-to. It syncs with your treadmill and takes you on virtual runs around digital landscapes. Boredom, be gone!

Top 9 Long Run Variations – Unlocking the Secrets of Effective Long Distance Running

If you’re eager to maximize your long runs, you’ve come to the right place! Let me share my journey and insights into making the most of these essential workouts.

Long runs are a cornerstone of endurance training, renowned for enhancing fat oxidation, burning calories, boosting endurance, and getting you race-ready.

A word of advice: if you ever need to skip a workout, make sure it’s not your long run. These sessions are golden opportunities to practice everything from hydration to nutrition and gear strategies, setting you up for success on race day.

But let’s be clear: long runs aren’t just about putting one foot in front of the other. There’s a variety to choose from, each with its unique benefits, catering to different fitness levels and goals.

Worry no more.

In this article, I’m going to unpack the most popular long-run variations that will suit you whether you’re eyeing a half marathon, dreaming of conquering a marathon, aspiring for an ultramarathon, or just eager to level up your running game.

We’ll explore the ins and outs of:

  • The long, slow run (your endurance bestie)
  • The progression long run (hello, speed!)
  • The negative split long run (finish strong!)
  • The race pace long run (keeping it real)
  • The marathon long run (the ultimate test)
  • And so much more

Ready to discover which long-run recipe will spice up your training? Let’s lace up and dive in!

Classic Long Slow Runs (LSD)

When embarking on a journey as a runner, one of the foundational elements is the classic long slow run, often referred to as “LSD runs” in the running community. These runs are essential, not just for building basic endurance but also for strengthening muscles and bones.

They’re also a key component in improving your body’s ability to utilize fat as fuel, giving you a metabolic boost for better endurance, research shows.

The trick with LSD runs is to focus on the time spent running rather than the distance covered. This approach helps in pacing yourself better, avoiding fatigue, and preventing injuries.

Now, let’s talk about the pace of these runs. As a rule, aim to be running fast (or slow) enough that you can keep a casual conversation, enjoy the surroundings, and not even notice the passing of time.

Your goal is to keep a consistent and steady pace throughout the entire session. No sudden bursts of speed or fluctuations in your running rhythm. By holding back, you allow your body to adapt and develop the endurance necessary to tackle longer distances.

Progression Long Runs

Progression long runs are a step up, starting at a comfortable pace and gradually ramping up the intensity. The goal here is to challenge your ability to maintain pace and effort as fatigue accumulates.

Why should you give progression runs a shot? Well, research has shown that incorporating progression runs into your training can lead to significant performance improvements. By gradually increasing your pace during the second half of your run, you challenge your body to adapt, pushing your limits and enhancing your aerobic capacity.

The key is to start with an easy pace, allowing your body to warm up and find its rhythm. Begin your run at a pace that feels comfortable, even a bit slower than your usual training pace. But as you progress through the run, turn up the dial, increasing your speed gradually.

Depending on where you are in your training cycle, your progression run might take you to new heights. Towards the end of the session, you might be cruising at a pace that’s close to your marathon goal or even your lactate threshold pace.

Fartlek Long Runs

Fartlek runs, a concept originating from Sweden, mean “speed play.” These runs mix up long runs with intervals of faster and slower running, adding a dynamic and adaptable element to your training.

When you vary the intensity and pace throughout your long run, you challenge your body in unique ways. This dynamic variation boosts your cardiovascular fitness, enhances your speed, and improves your overall performance. What’s not to like, really?

After warming up for 10 to 15 minutes at a comfortable, conversational pace, start injecting random surges throughout the session. How? Every 10 to 15 minutes, pick a random object in the distance and increase your pace until you reach it. This could be a faster jog or a full sprint, depending on your fitness level.

The beauty of these intervals is their random nature. Embrace the spontaneity and let your body respond to the challenge. Speed up for an undefined amount of time or distance, keeping yourself on your toes and pushing beyond your comfort zone.

Fast Finish Long Run

One of the best training strategies for long-distance runners, the fast finish long runs forces you to keep logging the miles fast while fatigued. This type of training is particularly effective once you have established a solid base mileage.

Aim to schedule them every third or fourth long run, giving yourself enough recovery time and allowing your body to adapt to the demands.

Here’s how to do them right. Begin with your normal long-run pace and gradually work into faster paces during the last portion of the session. In fact, you should aim to run the last portion of your run at or near your goal race pace. This part should be challenging but achievable.

However, here’s a friendly reminder: don’t turn all your long runs into fast finish sessions. You don’t want to exhaust yourself by constantly running at race pace. That’s like sprinting a full marathon every weekend! Remember, balance is key.


Serious runner: who is serious about logging the serious miles every week? Then, doing back-to-back long runs is the way to go for boosting your weekly load.

This involves two consecutive long runs, usually on a weekend, focusing on building stamina and adapting to running on tired legs.  Both workouts are performed at an easy, conversational pace with the main objective of improving stamina and boosting confidence.

In most cases, this type of training is often employed by ultra-marathoners to increase their weekly mileage while keeping injury risk at bay. For example, let’s imagine you’re training for your first 50K (31 miles) and are prepping for your peak weekend. It’s safer to run 25 kilometers on Saturday and 15 the next day instead of trying to squeeze the whole 40K in one session.

What’s more?

Back-to-backs allow you to practice running tired legs, which is key for keeping a strong pace during long-distance events.

Here’s how to do them. Break down your peak weekend in two, and then complete part I on the first day and Part II on the second day. You can do this any day of the week, but it’s commonly done during the weekend.

The Surge Long Run

The surge long run adds an element of unpredictability to your training. It involves injecting bursts of speed into a regular long run, followed by returning to your normal pace.

The madness behind the method?  These surges are like little tests, little challenges you throw at your body unexpectedly. They shake things up, forcing your heart, lungs, and muscles to adapt quickly. This kind of training improves your running economy, boosts endurance, and prepares you mentally and physically for the unpredictable nature of race day.

In a race, you often need to speed up to pass someone or maintain pace. Surge long runs train your body and mind for these unpredictable changes in speed.

Plus, let’s be honest, it’s thrilling! It’s a chance to feel that rush, that burst of energy. It’s like playing a game with yourself – how fast can you go, how quickly can you recover? It turns an ordinary run into an exciting, dynamic workout.

If you’re new to this type of training, start with just a few short surges in your long run and gradually increase the number and length of these bursts. You should also decide in advance when you’ll do your surges. For instance, you might plan a 30-second surge every 10 minutes.

Trail-Specific Long Runs

Trail running is a whole different beast compared to your regular road runs. It throws in a bunch of wild cards – think rugged, technical terrain, those sneaky steep hills (I mean, where do they even come from?), and, of course, the whims of Mother Nature herself. It’s like an obstacle course out there!

But here’s where it gets exciting: trail-specific long runs. Imagine taking your usual long runs and sprinkling in a generous dose of elevation changes – we’re talking both uphill sprints and daring downhill dashes. It’s like adding a secret sauce to your training regimen!

Why bother? Integrating these elevation changes is like giving your body and mind a whole new set of challenges. It’s about pushing your limits and getting comfortable with being uncomfortable.

And the payoff? Oh, it’s sweet. You’ll see a noticeable boost in your muscle power, a leap in your strength levels, and an endurance engine that just won’t quit. Plus, your trail running form will thank you big time.

But wait, there’s more! While you’re at it, remember a few key tips:

  1. Gear Up Right: Make sure you’ve got the right shoes for the job – ones that can handle the rugged terrain and offer good grip.
  2. Stay Hydrated and Fueled: Long runs mean you need to keep your energy up. Pack some water and snacks to keep you going.
  3. Listen to Your Body: This new challenge will be tough but don’t push through pain. Adapt and adjust your training as needed.
  4. Enjoy the Scenery: One of the best parts of trail running is the view. Soak in the beauty of nature around you!

Hill Long Run

If hilly terrain is on the menu, it’s time to add a hill long run to your training recipe. This isn’t just a workout; it’s your secret weapon for building leg and mental strength you need to dominate those hills on race day.

But wait, there’s more to hills than just muscle building. They also improve form. Uphill sprints? They teach you to lean forward and pump those arms like a pro. Downhill runs? They’re all about learning control and stability, so you’re not just barreling down like a runaway shopping cart.

And, as I hinted earlier, if your upcoming race features hills, practicing on similar terrain is priceless. Even if your race is as flat as a pancake, the strength and endurance you gain from hill training will still give you an unbeatable edge.

To ace this workout, here’s what you need to do:

Find the perfect route. Aim for a 16-20 mile loop. Start with a few flat miles to warm up, then hit a series of rolling hills. Top it off with a gradual descent for a triumphant finish. Living in a flat area? No sweat! A quick drive (let’s say, 30 minutes max) should land you at the ideal spot.

What’s more?

Pacing is super important. Start slow on the flats, then gradually increase your effort on the hills. Remember, it’s a marathon, not a sprint!

Marathon Pace Runs

Last but not least, the most challenging type of long run you can do is run them at a race pace.

Think of marathon pace runs as the dress rehearsal for your big race day.

They’re, in fact, part and parcel of the marathon training toolkit. During this variation, you’re not just logging the miles, but you’re actually running segments of it that mimic the pace you aim to maintain during your race. This is what race-pace running is all bout.

And if you never run for extended periods at your goal race pace, then you may lack the mettle and confidence on race day.

Start your long-pace run with easy running for around 20 percent of the total time/distance. Then, run the remaining 80 percent at the goal race pace. Following the race pace effort, log in a few easy miles to bring your heart rate and breathing to normal levels.

For example, a long run of 16 miles would consist of 3-4 miles at an easy pace, 10 miles at a race pace, and 2-3 miles at an easy pace. Yes, it’s that simple.

Integrating Long Runs into Your Training

Long runs are a crucial component of any distance runner’s training regimen. To maximize their benefits, it’s essential to combine different types of long runs strategically in your training schedule. Here’s how you can integrate them effectively, along with sample training plans for various experience levels.

Beginner Marathon Training

Weeks 1-8: Building a Solid Base

  • Long Slow Runs (LSD): 2-3 runs per week, each 10-14 miles, focusing on building endurance.
  • Progression Run: Once a week, gradually increase your pace throughout the run.
  • Fartlek Run: Once a week, incorporate speed play for agility and speed enhancement.
  • Rest/Cross-Training: 1-2 days for recovery or alternative exercise forms.

Weeks 9-16: Gearing Up for Race Day

  • Long Slow Runs (LSD): Increase to 14-18 miles per run, 2-3 times a week.
  • Progression Run: Continue once a week.
  • Fast Finish Run: Once a week, end the last 2-4 miles at your target race pace.
  • Fartlek Run: Once a week, maintain your speed play routine.
  • Rest/Cross-Training: 1-2 days as before.

Beginner Trail Marathon Training

Weeks 1-8: Building a Solid Base

  • Trail-Specific Long Slow Runs (LSD): 2-3 runs per week, each 10-14 miles on trails, focusing on building endurance and adapting to varied terrain.
  • Hill Long Run: Once a week, choose a route with rolling hills to build strength.
  • Fartlek Run: Once a week, on trails, for speed and adaptability.
  • Rest/Cross-Training: 1-2 days for recovery or alternative exercises like hiking.

Weeks 9-16: Gearing Up for Race Day

  • Trail-Specific Long Slow Runs (LSD): Increase to 14-18 miles per run, 2-3 times a week, on trails.
  • Hill Long Run: Continue weekly on challenging terrain.
  • Fast Finish Run: Once a week, end the last 2-4 miles at a strong pace, ideally on a trail.
  • Fartlek Run: Once a week, maintain your trail speed play routine.
  • Rest/Cross-Training: 1-2 days as before.

Intermediate Half-Marathon Training

Weeks 1-8: Laying the Foundation

  • Long Slow Runs (LSD): 1-2 runs weekly, each spanning 10-12 miles.
  • Progression Run: Once weekly, with a gradual increase in pace.
  • Fartlek Run: Once a week for speed.
  • Rest/Cross-Training: 1-2 days.

Weeks 9-16: Advancing Your Training

  • Long Slow Runs (LSD): Increase your runs to 12-14 miles, 1-2 times a week.
  • Progression Run: Continue weekly.
  • Fast Finish Run: Integrate a race-pace finish for the last 2-4 miles once a week.
  • Fartlek Run: Maintain weekly.
  • Rest/Cross-Training: Keep up the 1-2 rest days.

Advanced Ultra-Marathon Training

Weeks 1-8: Building Ultra Endurance

  • Long Slow Runs (LSD): 2 runs per week, each 14-16 miles.
  • Progression Runs 1-2 times weekly, increasing pace gradually.
  • Fartlek Run: Once a week for speed flexibility.
  • Rest/Cross-Training: 1-2 days.

Weeks 9-16: Peak Training

  • Long Slow Runs (LSD): 2 runs weekly, each 16-18 miles.
  • Progression Runs: Maintain the 1-2 weekly sessions.
  • Fast Finish Run: Incorporate a race-pace end for the last 2-4 miles once weekly.
  • Fartlek Run: Continue weekly.
  • Rest/Cross-Training: As before, 1-2 days.

Advanced Ultra-Trail Marathon Training

Weeks 1-8: Building Ultra Endurance

  • Back-To-Backs: Incorporate back-to-back long runs on weekends, each 14-16 miles, on trails.
  • Hill Long Run: Once or twice weekly, focusing on elevation gains and technical terrain.
  • Fartlek Run: Once a week on trails.
  • Rest/Cross-Training: 1-2 days.

Weeks 9-16: Peak Training

  • Back-To-Backs: Continue with back-to-back long trail runs, increasing distance to 16-20 miles.
  • Hill Long Run: Maintain the 1-2 weekly hill-focused sessions.
  • Fast Finish Run: Once weekly, include a strong finish on a trail run.
  • Fartlek Run: Continue weekly.
  • Rest/Cross-Training: As before, 1-2 days.

Remember to adapt these plans to your individual needs and consult with a coach or trainer for personalized guidance. Balancing different long-run types will help you develop a well-rounded skill set and achieve your running goals.

Final Thoughts

The key to becoming a well-rounded distance runner is to incorporate these long-run variations strategically into your training plan.

Experiment with different types, durations, and paces to find what works best for you.

Remember that the journey to becoming a better runner is an ongoing process, and each of these long-run types offers a unique path to improvement.

So, lace up your running shoes, hit the road or trails, and embark on the adventure of discovering the power of long runs.

Whether you’re aiming for a marathon, a half-marathon, or simply seeking to conquer personal milestones, these variations will be your trusted companions on your running journey. Happy running!

Get Fit Indoors: 6 Fun and Effective Treadmill Workouts for Beginner Runners

Are you ready to dive into the world of treadmill running? Well, you’re in luck because this is the ultimate guide you’ve been searching for! Forget about risking injury or burnout, because the treadmill is your ticket to a fantastic running experience. Wondering how? Keep reading, my friend.

In today’s post, I’ll be sharing with you everything you need to know to get started with indoor running. By the time you finish reading this beginner’s guide, you’ll have the knowledge to:

  • Master the art of using the treadmill
  • Discover the incredible benefits of treadmill running
  • Learn how to improve your treadmill running form
  • Take your very first steps on this fantastic machine
  • Uncover the perfect treadmill workout designed specifically for beginners

And guess what? There’s so much more waiting for you! Excited? Then let’s hit that start button and begin this exhilarating journey together!

The Benefits of Treadmill Running

Here’s what you stand to gain from hitting the belt more often.

Less Impact

Running on hard surfaces, like asphalt and concrete, increases the risks of overuse injury.

However, the treadmill belt offers extra cushioning that helps absorb much of this stress.

Forget About the Outdoor Conditions

Outdoor running exposes you to the elements, be it the weather, unsafe streets, uneven surfaces, etc.

All of these can stand in the way of your running success.

Luckily, you don’t have to worry about any of this when running on the treadmill.

Simulate the Race

Preparing for a race?

A treadmill can help you nail your perfect pace.

For example, if you are planning for a hilly 10K race, you can simulate that racing experience by incline training or even intervals on the treadmill.

Additional Source – Check this treadmill pace chart

Safer Than Running Outside

You can always run into troubles when doing outdoor running workouts: cracks, ruts, cyclists, cars, people, thieves, stray dogs, the wrong side of town, you name it.

Again, a treadmill can help you sidestep all of these risks.


Dealing with insecurities?

Worry no more.

Hopping on the treadmill gives you more privacy as you don’t have to fret about anyone judging your performance.

You can run at your own pace and call it to quit anytime you want.

Measurable Data

On a treadmill, you have a say on your training conditions, helping you run with more accuracy, whether it’s speed, incline, calories burned, heart rate, step count, and so on.

Beginner Treadmill Workout FAQ: Answering All Your Burning Questions

Are you eager to start treadmill running but feeling unsure about how to begin? No worries, we’ve got you covered! Before we dive into the beginner treadmill workout, let’s address some common questions beginner runners often have about the treadmill.

How Fast Should I train on the Treadmill As A Beginner?

The answer depends on your current fitness level. If you’re just starting out and have a sedentary lifestyle or are over 50 and overweight, don’t worry about speed. It’s important to start slow and work your way up gradually. However, if you’re already active and in good shape, you can crank up the pace.

Pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone is essential to improving your cardiovascular fitness and endurance. If you can achieve a pace of 5 mph or higher as a beginner, that would be fantastic. This will give you room for growth and help you to get your heart rate up. Plus, it’s a great way to challenge your body and boost your confidence.

Don’t be discouraged if you’re not able to hit 5 mph right away. Remember that five miles per hour is the equivalent of a 12-minute mile, which is perfectly fine for someone who’s just starting out. To help you determine your per-mile pace, we’ve included a cheat sheet with various speeds and their corresponding minutes per mile.

Here’s a cheat sheet so you can have more ideas about your per-mile pace.

  • 5.0 mph = 12:00 minutes per mile
  • 5.5 mph = 10:55 minutes per mile
  • 6.0 mph = 10:00 minutes per mile
  • 6.5 mph = 9:14 minutes per mile
  • 7.0 mph = 8:34 minutes per mile
  • 7.5 mph = 8:00 minutes per mile
  • 8.0 mph = 7:30 minutes per mile

How long Should a Beginner Train on a Treadmill?

Again, the answer depends on you.

Every beginner is different and has a different starting point.

Just do as much as you can in the beginning while staying within your fitness level and paying attention to your body’s needs and signals the entire time.

For a complete beginner, you can start off treadmill training at a slow pace for no more than 15 to 20 minutes three times a week.

Then slowly increase the duration to 30 to 40 minutes over the course of a few week.

Here’s how often should you run per week.

How To Start Running on A Treadmill
For Beginners?

To make the most out of your treadmill workouts, try to incorporate these two valuable training tips.

Know Your Treadmill

If you’re feeling nervous about using a treadmill for the first time, don’t worry, you’re not alone. Taking your first few steps on the treadmill can be quite daunting. But it’s not rocket science.

The first thing you need to do is locate the “Start Workout” or “Quick Workout” button. Once you do, hold onto the handrails, step onto the belt, and press the button. In 3…2…1, the belt will start to move. It’s that simple!

As you get started, keep in mind that you may feel a bit wobbly or dizzy. Don’t panic, this is completely normal! You’re practicing a new motor skill, and it will take a few sessions to feel at ease. Once you’re comfortable with the basic functions of the treadmill, start experimenting with the speed and incline/decline options.

Of course, not all treadmills are created equal. Some have minimal options, while others have a more complicated user interface.

But the basics are still the same: Start/Speed/Stop.

Warm-Up For Your Treadmill Workout

Just like outdoor running, the key to effective treadmill training is a proper warm-up.

Skipping it will only increase the risks of premature fatigue and injury.

A good warm-up helps you get your blood pumping and heart rate ticking and be for the hard effort ahead.

Invest in at least a 5 to 10 minutes warm-up period, then aim to slowly increase your speed as you go, but never speed up to the point that your form begins to suffer.

Pay attention to your body before you speed up.

Treadmill Running Form

Treadmill running form is essential.

Bad form hinders performance and leads to injury.

Keep your treadmill running technique in check by doing the following:

  • Run tall and look straight ahead as if gazing at the horizon.
  • Aim to run with your natural gait, and avoid taking short and quick strides as well as thumping the belt too hard. Not good for your sole and ankle.
  • Keep your posture straight, the head should be up, back straight, and shoulders level.
  • Never slouch or curve your back, especially when going against an incline. Open your chest, make space for more air.
  • Let go of the handrails and keep pumping your arms the same way you do when running outside.

 6 Treadmill Workouts For Beginners

If you’re not sure how to proceed with your next treadmill workout, here are six treadmill runs to get you started.

Routine I – The 30-minute Beginner Treadmill Workout

To get started, let’s dive into some beginner treadmill workouts. If you’re brand new to running, start with the 30-minute beginner routine. This workout incorporates intervals of slow jogging and walking breaks for recovery.

First step –Start walking at a 1.5 to 2 mph pace and stick to it for at least 10 minutes.

Be sure to breathe deeply and visualize success all the way through.

Mental preparation is key.

Second Step Pick up the pace and start jogging at 5 to 5.5 mph for two minutes.

This is your first interval, so you shouldn’t push yourself here.

Practice good running form the entire time.

Run as tall as you can, engage your core, let go of the handrails, and swing your arms by the sides.

Keep your form aerodynamic,

Third Step – This is your first two minutes break, so make the most out of it.

Breathe deeply, towel off, and hydrate.

Fourth Step – Repeat the jogging/walking cycle for five times.

If it feels too much, pace yourself and slow it down, especially when your form starts to suffer.

Fifth Step –Slowly decrease your jogging pace and start walking at two mph for five minutes and cool down properly.

Breathe deeply and release all tension.

Make sure to also check in with your body and see how you feel.

Try to perform this workout at least three times per week during the first few weeks.

Then, as you get fitter and stronger, increase the time you spend jogging and less for recovery until you can run at a comfortable pace for 30 minutes without gasping for air.

Want more structure? Try my Couch to 5K treadmill Plan.

Routine II – The 30-minute Interval treadmill workout

Already a runner?

Then try this more challenging routine.

First Step – Warm up for 5 minutes by jogging slowly and taking deep breaths.

Skipping on the warm-up leads to premature fatigue or, even worse, injury.

Second Step – Run at your 5K pace (it should feel hard) for one to two minutes, depending on your fitness level.

Third Step – Recover by jogging slowly for one full minute.

Fourth Step – Repeat “Second Step” and “Third Step” five to eight times, depending on your fitness experience and training goals.

Fifth Step – End your workout with a 5-minute slow jog to cool down.

Stretch gently afterward.

A proper cool-down will help you avoid dizziness and might reduce muscle soreness for the following day.

Additional Resource- Your guide to curved treadmills

Routine III – The Incline Treadmill Workout

Want to take intervals to the next level?  Do them on an incline.

This helps simulate outdoor hill running, which boosts endurance and builds killer lower-body strength.

First Step – Warm up for 10 minutes.

Second Step – Increase the incline to 3 or 4 percent and run for 90 seconds at 80 percent of max-effort—a pace that feels moderately challenging.

Third Step (Recovery) – Jog for 60 seconds with no incline.

This is your recovery break.

Fourth Step – Raise the incline to five or seven percent and run for another 90 seconds at 15 seconds slower than your 10K paces.

Recover for one minute.

Fifth Step – Repeat the previous step three to four times, depending on your fitness level and goals.

Choose a steeper incline for more challenge.

Sixth Step – Cool-down

Additional Resource  – When to replace a treadmill belt

Routine IV – The Beginner Tempo Treadmill Run

A treadmill tempo workout teaches your body how to adapt efficiently to increased intensity.

This type of running helps you build up a fairly high volume of intense exercise that enhances both aerobic and lactate-threshold systems.

First Step – Warm up for 10 minutes.

Second Step – Run a mile at 20 to 30 seconds slower than your half-marathon pace—a pace that feels comfortably easy.

Third Step – Pick up the pace every mile by five to 20 seconds until you’re running the final mile 20 to 30 seconds faster than your half marathon pace.

Fourth step –  Cool down for five minutes.

Additional resource – How To run with a partner

Routine V – The Pyramid Treadmill Workout

Pyramid workouts are straightforward.

You’re simply kicking off your hard interval at one-minute segments, going for a longer running segment, and then working you’re back down one minute.

It should take you at least 50 minutes to complete the routine, but that’s not cast in stone.

Do what feels the best for you, and remember to always stay within your fitness level.

First Step – Five minutes: The Warm-up

Start with a proper warm-up, jogging for 10 minutes at a speed of 4 to 5 mph with no incline.

Second Step –Seven minutes: 1st Ladder

Increase speed to 6.0 mph and keep it going for the next three minutes. Practice good form.

Keep your torso straight, and your body relaxed from head to toe.

Next, increase the speed to 7 mph and incline to three percent for four minutes.

Second Step – Two minutes: Recovery

Slow down and recover for three minutes.

Hydrate, breathe deeply and release any built-up tension.

Third Step – Nine minutes: 2nd Ladder Interval

Increase the speed to 7 mph and incline to three percent for four minutes.

Next, increase the speed again to 8 mph and incline to five percent for five minutes.

Fourth Step – Two Minutes: Recovery

Slow down to 4 mph with a two percent incline.

Fifth Step – Nine minutes: 3rd Ladder

Increase speed to 7 to 7.5 mph and incline to five percent, and keep running strong for a full five minutes.

For the upcoming four-minute, keep the same speed, but lower the incline to three percent.

Sixth Step – Two minutes: Recovery

Slow down to 4 mph and recover.

Seventh Step – Six minutes: Ladder No 4

Speed it up to 8 mph and raise the incline to three percent.

Then, for the next two minutes, keep the same speed but raise the incline to five percent for the last interval of this pyramid workout.

Eighth Step – Five minutes: The cool-down

Jog slowly for ten minutes at a speed of 4 mph with no incline.

Additional resource – How to become a morning a runner

Routine VI – The Beginner Hybrid Treadmill Workout

Mixing treadmill training with bodyweight exercises can help you burn more fat, improve performance, and bust treadmill boredom.

Here is a CrossFit-Running treadmill workout.

It’s one of my favorites.

You can choose to add these bodyweight exercises to your treadmill workout any way you like.

After a proper warm-up of 5 minutes of jogging and some dynamic exercises, do the following.

  • Sprint for 30-second
  • Pushups: 8-12 reps
  • Sprint for 30-second
  • Squat Jumps: 8-12 reps
  • Sprint for 30-second
  • Treadmill recovery: 90 seconds of slow jogging.
  • Sprint for 30-second
  • Jumping jacks: 60 seconds
  • Lunge steps: 16 to 20 reps
  • Sprint for 30-second
  • Finish it off with a 5-minute slow jog as a cool down, followed by stretching.

Need more structure?

Try my beginner running plan.

For more, check my How to design your running program guide.

Treadmill workouts for beginners  – The Conclusion

Still, wondering how to start running on a treadmill? Then I believe today’s post has you covered.

The above simple training guidelines are all you need to start treadmill running.

The rest is really up to you.

Please feel free to leave your comments and questions in the section below.

And please, if you have any treadmill workouts for beginners, please share.

In the meantime, thank you for reading my post.

Keep running strong.

David D.

Run, Recover, Repeat: How to Supercharge Your Training with Recovery Runs

couple doing recovery run on a sunday

As a runner, I can attest that recovery runs are an essential part of my training routine, and I’m excited to share why they should be part of yours too.

Have you ever finished a challenging run and felt like your body just couldn’t handle any more pounding? That’s where the Recovery Run comes into play. It’s like a gentle massage for your muscles, an opportunity to flush out lactic acid, and a chance to get your body ready for the next workout.

But it’s not just about feeling good. Incorporating recovery runs into your training program can help improve your running form, boost your endurance, establish base mileage, and even speed up your recovery time.

In this article, I’ll dive deep into the benefits of recovery runs, how to find the right pace, when to schedule them, how long they should be, and tips on incorporating them into race-specific training.

So grab your running shoes, and let’s explore the art of the recovery run!

What is a Recovery Run?

Basically, a recovery run is a short, slow run completed within 24 hours after a hard session, usually an interval workout or a long run.

A recovery run can be of any distance, but as a rule, shorter than your base sessions and performed at a pace 60 to 90 seconds slower than your average run.

Imagine your body as a car that just finished a grueling race. You wouldn’t immediately push it to the limits again, right? You would give it some time to cool down and recover before revving it up for the next race. This is exactly what a recovery run is all about.

Aside from helping your body recover from hard workouts, recovery runs also help to improve running form, build endurance, establish base mileage, and even speed up recovery time.

“Improved” Recovery

First of all, let’s clear up something from the get-go about recovery runs.

Although called recovery runs, research has not yet proven that these runs actually speed up the recovery process in one way or the other.

In theory, recovery runs may help flush the build-up of lactic acid in the muscles.

Once this build-up is gone, the soreness should subside while healing increases.

However, research is still inconclusive. But,, recovery runs offer other benefits that can take your running game to the next level. Let’s check a few.

Fatigue resistance

One of the most valuable benefits of recovery runs is fatigue resistance. By completing a recovery run after a hard workout or during a state of lingering fatigue, you can improve your endurance and power output, according to research conducted at the University of Copenhagen.

May Prevent Soreness

Recovery runs can help prevent soreness in your muscles, particularly in your hamstrings and calves.

They also increase blood flow and loosen up your muscles, preventing them from contracting and tightening up if you do nothing but sit on the couch all day.

Add Volume

Recovery runs can help you increase your weekly training volume, which can also help you improve your aerobic capacity.

The better your base, the faster and farther you can run.

Improve Form

Perhaps the best reason to incorporate recovery runs into your training program is that they can help you improve your running form and biomechanics.

With enough energy to focus on your technique and nothing else, you can work on perfecting your form and preventing injuries.

How To Find The Right Recovery Run Pace

Recovery runs are an essential part of any running program, but finding the right pace can be tricky. It’s important to remember that a recovery run is not a race, and it’s not the time to push yourself to your limits. Instead, it’s a chance to give your body a break and allow it to recover from a hard workout.

Here are two methods to help you find the right recovery run pace.

Method 1: Recovery Run Heart Rate

One way to find the right recovery run pace is to use a heart rate monitor. During a recovery run, you should aim to keep your heart rate between 60% to 70% of your maximum heart rate. This is also known as zone 1-2. However, it’s important to note that we all have different resting and maximum heart rates.

So, to be safe, it’s recommended to perform your recovery workouts at the lower end of that range. For example, if your normal training pace is 6:30/mile, then your recovery pace should be around 7:30 or 8:00/mile. Elite runners can aim for a pace slightly slower than their marathon pace.

Method 2: The Talk Test

Don’t have a heart rate monitor? No problem! Another way to ensure you’re running at the right pace is to use the talk test. During a recovery run, you should be able to hold a conversation without panting or gasping for air. If you’re running with a buddy, try reciting the alphabet or the pledge of allegiance together.

If you’re running solo, try talking to yourself. If you can’t speak in complete sentences, then you’re going too hard. Slow it down and enjoy the run.

The key to finding the right recovery run pace is to listen to your body. Don’t worry about your pace or the distance covered. Instead, focus on how you feel. Are you relaxed? Are you breathing comfortably? Are you enjoying the run? If the answer to these questions is yes, then you’re doing it right.

Pick a Flat Course

There are some important factors to consider when it comes to nailing your recovery run pace. One key element is the terrain.

First of all, consider the terrain. Recovery runs are not the time to tackle steep hills and rugged trails. You want to give your legs a break from the pounding they endured during your last run. Opt for a flat course instead, such as grass, flat trail, or gravel. Concrete and asphalt are not your friends during a recovery run because they can be hard on your feet.

Timing is also crucial. The best time to do a recovery run is within 24 hours of a challenging workout or long run. In fact, some experts recommend doing a recovery run in the morning if you completed a hard session the previous day. This is known as a “double” in the running world, and it’s a common technique used by elite runners to pack in as many miles as possible.

But don’t overdo it with your recovery runs. Even though the pace is slower, it still counts as running, which means there’s impact stress on your muscles, joints, ligaments, and tendons. If you’re finishing your recovery run sweating profusely and feeling completely exhausted, you’re doing it wrong. You should actually feel better at the end of your workout than you did at the start.

Balancing It Out

It’s important for runners to find the right balance between recovery runs and other types of training.

As a general guideline, aim to do no more than two recovery runs per week and should adjust the frequency and duration of recovery runs based on your recovery needs.

Additional Resource – Your Guide to fun runs

Timing – Recovery Run After a Long Run

According to experts, it’s best to complete your recovery run within 24 hours of a challenging workout or long run. And if you’re a hardcore runner, you can even do your hard session in the morning, followed by a recovery run in the evening.

That’s how some elite runners can pack in as many miles as possible. However, keep in mind that recovery runs are only necessary if you run more than three times a week. If you run two to three times per week, then each session should be a quality workout followed by a recovery or cross-training day.

What’s more?

Keep in mind that just because you’re doing a recovery run doesn’t mean you should skimp on other types of recovery.

Stretching, diet, and sleep should be the bread and butter of your recovery routine.

Don’t Overdo Your Recovery Runs

Every time you pound the track, it still counts as running, no matter the label in front of it.

This involves impact stresses on your muscles, joints, ligaments, and tendons.

Even the easiest recovery pace may aggravate a stress fracture.

As a rule of thumb, if you’re finishing your recovery runs sweating like hell and completely exhausted, then you’re doing it wrong.

The fact is, you should feel better at the end of your workout than you did at the start.

How Long Should a Recovery Run Be

What’s the point of recovery runs if you don’t know how long they should be? Generally, recovery runs can last for 3 to 5 miles or 25 to 40 minutes, depending on your fitness level and training goals.

However, even if you’re an established endurance athlete, covering 30+ miles a week, I’d still suggest no more than 3 to 4 miles for a recovery run. And remember to keep your speed steady and your breathing under control.

Race-specific Recovery Run Tips…

If you race often, then recovery runs should be a part of your post-race recovery strategy.

How quickly you pick up running again after a race depends on the length of the event you’ve just completed, your conditioning level, and when you plan to compete next.

Nonetheless, here is some general advice on when to plan your return to training.

  • Recovery Run After a 5K or 10K. Resume normal training within a few days, depending on your fitness level. The first day after the race, examine how your body feels. Usually, you’ll want to do a recovery run for at least 20 minutes, then stretch your body.
  • Recovery Run After A Half-Marathon. Completing a half marathon pretty much guarantees that you have inflicted some damage to your body. After three or four days, go for a 20 to 30-minute recovery run to help you get back into the swing of things as soon as possible.
  • Recovery Run After A Marathon. The following day following the race, walk around and stretch your body. Avoid running or any form of intense cross-training. Then, after two or three days, lightly cross-training. Next, schedule your recovery run at least a week post-race.

How to Do A Recovery Run  – Listen To Your Body

With all of this in mind, the key to making the most out of your recovery runs—and training in general—is paying attention to your body.

Take a few minutes every day to close your eyes and shift your attention inward to assess how you feel.

Start by performing a full body scan from the top of your head to the tips of your toes.

My favorite time is in the morning.

Usually, during that time, your body will show its true color, so you can easily decide what to do next.

Pay attention, and why not keep track of everything you feel.

Your body is your best coach—it knows best.

Train hard when you’re feeling good, and take it down a notch when you feel like you are coming down with something or don’t have enough energy.

Recovery Runs – The Conclusion

In conclusion, recovery runs are a crucial component of any runner’s training routine, offering a multitude of benefits that can enhance your overall performance. These gentle, slow-paced runs act as a soothing balm for your muscles, allowing them to recover and prepare for future workouts. Beyond the immediate relief they provide, recovery runs contribute to improved running form, increased endurance, and expedited recovery times.

Please leave your questions and tips in the section below

Thank you for dropping by

David D.

5 Hill Running Workouts Guide For Beginners

a bunch of runners hill running

Hill running is like a rollercoaster ride for your body – it may feel like torture at first, but once you conquer it, the exhilaration and sense of accomplishment are unmatched.

It’s a test of your physical and mental limits, and if you can push through the pain, you’ll emerge stronger and more resilient.

Plus, incorporating hill training into your workouts can improve your overall running performance, including speed, endurance, and muscle strength.

It’s no wonder that some of the most iconic races in the world, such as the Boston Marathon, feature notorious hills that challenge even the most seasoned runners.

So, instead of shying away from the hills, embrace them as a worthy opponent that will make you a better runner.

In this article, we’ll cover everything from proper hill running form to specific workouts to help you conquer any hill that comes your way. So, strap on your shoes, and let’s get started!

The Five Hill Workouts Runners Should Do

Here are five different types of hill workouts that you can try. Each workout has its own unique benefits, and by incorporating them into your routine, you can become a stronger, more efficient runner.

1.  Short Hills

First up, we have the short hills. Don’t let the name fool you—these hills might be small, but they pack a powerful punch. Short hills are typically 50 to 200 feet in length and should take no more than 30 seconds to run up. With an inclination of 5 to 15 percent grade, short hill sprints require maximum effort and a 9-10 rating on the rate of perceived exertion scale.

But don’t be intimidated—these explosive hill sprints tap into all three types of muscle fibers and can improve your maximal stroke volume, making your cardiovascular system more efficient. Short hill workouts are perfect for developing explosive strength that’s essential for short-distance or middle-distance running.

So how do you execute a short hill workout? Start with a thorough warm-up of at least 5 minutes, then find a steep hill and sprint up it as fast as you can, recovering on the way down. Focus on your running technique with a powerful push-off and use your arms to generate enough momentum. Run tall and avoid leaning forward, and remember to give it your all—these are sprints, after all.

Start with six or eight sprints up the steepest hill you can find, then gradually build up to ten or more over a few sessions. After each sprint, take at least 90 seconds to catch your breath and fully recover before sprinting up the hill again.

2. Long Hill Repeats

Are you ready to take your endurance training to the next level? Look no further than the long hill repeats workout! While the short hill sprints focus on explosive power, the long hill repeats are all about building endurance and improving your running economy.

This type of hill workout is ideal for those training for longer distances, like half marathons and full marathons. You’ll be able to maintain a challenging pace up the hill but leave the speed for the shorter hill sprints.

So how do you tackle the long hill repeats workout? Start with a proper warm-up, including a five-minute slow jog and some lower-body dynamic movements. Then, find a moderate hill that’s at least half a mile long and has a 5 percent grade. Run up the hill at an effort equal to or slightly faster than your 10K race pace, aiming for a perceived exertion level of around 7 on a scale of 1 to 10.

Remember to pace yourself and finish each repetition with enough energy left for one or two more. Run down the hill at a mildly comfortable effort of about 70 percent of your max to prevent injury and fully recover before the next repetition. Repeat the cycle three to four times and feel the burn as you improve your endurance and overall conditioning level.

Research papers and studies have shown that hill repeats can be a valuable addition to any endurance training program. A study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that running uphill can increase running economy and improve muscle strength and power.

Another study in the European Journal of Applied Physiology found that uphill running can improve maximal oxygen uptake, which is a key measure of aerobic fitness. So why not give the long hill repeats workout a try and see the benefits for yourself?

3. Long Hill Runs

Have you ever felt like you were running on a never-ending uphill climb? Long hill runs might just be the workout for you. These steady-state hill runs are the go-to workout for runners looking to improve their hill running skills and overall fitness. And the benefits are not limited to just hill running.

Research has shown that long hill runs tap into the slow-twitch fibers, which are responsible for maximum endurance, making them the staple and baseline for every long-distance runner. And if you’re planning to race on a hillier course, then incorporating long hill runs into your training is a must.

But that’s not all – long hill runs can also boost ankle flexibility, which helps improve stride length and frequency. Plus, adding some hard downhill sections can add an extra challenge and help build strength in your legs.

When it comes to distance, the average long hill run distance can vary from three miles to 10 miles, depending on your fitness level and training goals. But don’t go overboard and kill yourself trying to conquer the hill. Start with a half-mile to a mile of steep uphill in your long runs, and gradually increase the total volume of uphill as you get stronger.

Or, if you’re up for a real challenge, find a long hill that ascends for at least five to ten miles and shoot for 45- to 90 minutes of continuous uphill running. You can also choose a route that incorporates plenty of rolling hills – it’s always your choice.

Additional resource  – Trx exercises for runners

4. Downhill Running

Sure, the uphill is where the true test of strength lies, but the downhill section is where you can truly improve your running game.

Research has shown that downhill running can increase quadriceps strength, helping to prevent delayed onset muscle soreness. It can also teach you how to control your pace using your core muscles and improve your running form.

So, how can you incorporate downhill running into your workout routine? Start with a proper warm-up, then ease into the downhill with a short and fast burst on a gentle slope with a stretch of smooth surface at the base. Open up your stride slightly, lean forward, and let gravity be your ally. Keep your pace under control and brace your core tight.

As you improve, increase the distance of your downhill section to as much as 200 to 400 meters. And remember, never let the hill control you – you are the one in charge.

If you don’t have time for a specific workout, you can simply reverse your long hill repeats. This will help you condition your legs and improve your overall running endurance.

5. Hill Bounding

Hill bounding is the ultimate running-specific workout to take your training to new heights! It’s like a secret weapon for building leg strength and power without ever setting foot in a weight room. If you’re looking for a way to improve your running form and increase your speed, then hill bounding is your answer.

Research studies have shown that hill bounding drills are an effective way to build leg strength, power, and speed. The quadriceps and ankle muscles get the most significant boost, which translates into improved push-off power and top-end speed. But don’t worry; your glutes, hamstrings, and calves also get their fair share of strength training during hill bounding.

But before you start bounding up hills, make sure you have a solid foundation of cardio and muscular power. Hill bounding is not for the faint of heart or beginners. It’s a challenging workout that requires focus, technique, and commitment.

When you’re ready to try hill bounding, find a hill with a moderate grade of 5 to 7 percent. Start with a few simple drills like hill bounding, hill accelerations, and one-leg hops. Hill bounding involves running up the hill with extra-long steps while keeping your top speed. Focus on maximizing the height of each stride by bringing up your knees as high as possible and stretching the Achilles tendons completely as your feet hit the ground. And don’t forget to have a strong ankle push-off!

Hill accelerations are another great drill to try. Start running slowly at the bottom of the hill, and as soon as you reach the middle point, pick up the pace and run as fast as you can to the top while reducing step length. One-leg hops involve moving up the hill as fast as possible by hopping on one foot. Walk down for recovery, then switch to the other foot.

How Much Hill Training?

When you start incorporating hill bounding into your training, schedule one hill session every 7 to 14 days. As you get fitter, add time to your repeats and an extra climb. Depending on your fitness experience and training goals, you can perform anywhere from eight to ten repetitions.

Just remember to not do it more than once a week, and mix up your hill workouts with some steep and short hills and others with less challenging inclines.


Fartlek Running: A Fun and Effective Way to Boost Your Running Endurance

Are you ready to take your running to the next level with some fartlek training?

Look no further because I’ve got everything you need to know right here.

Fartlek training, which means “speed play” in Swedish, is a fun and effective way to mix up your running routine and improve your overall fitness.

It’s like adding some spice to your favorite dish – it adds some excitement and variety to your workout.

In this article, we’re going to explore everything you need to know about fartlek training. We’ll delve into the differences between fartlek and interval running, the benefits and downsides of fartlek workouts,and how often you should incorporate them into your routine.

Plus, I’ve got some delicious fartlek training examples that will leave you feeling satisfied and accomplished.

So lace up your shoes and get ready to unleash your inner speed demon with fartlek training. It’s time to add some zest to your workout and take your running to the next level.

Fartlek Training Defined

Fartlek is a Swedish term that translates as “Speed play.” Think of it like a game of cat and mouse with your own limits. You’re chasing your goals but also keeping them on their toes by mixing up your pace and distance.

During a fartlek run, you’ll perform bursts of fast and slow running over varying distances, like a symphony of different tempos and melodies.

There’s no set structure, no rigid rules. It’s a speed game, literally—a playful and dynamic run during which you change up your pace multiple times without ever getting bored or predictable. It’s like a chef experimenting with different ingredients and spices, testing the limits of their culinary creativity.

You start by running at your usual pace, then add in a dash of speed—usually to a medium to high tempo—then try to maintain it for a random period of time or distance. And just when your legs start to feel the burn, you’ll slow down for a few minutes before ramping up the speed again, like a roller coaster ride that never gets old.

And don’t worry, fartlek training is not rocket science! You don’t need a degree in physics to master it.

But if you want to learn more about the history and evolution of fartlek training, check out these sources:

Fartlek Training Vs. Interval Training –What’s The Difference?

“But David, isn’t fartlek training just another variation of interval training?” you might ask. Although similar, fartlek workouts and traditional intervals are not the same things. When you do interval training, like 400m on a track, you’re following a defined training pattern.

It’s like following a strict recipe, measuring every ingredient to the exact gram. You also typically stop or walk to recover between the high-effort surges, like taking a timeout on the sidelines. But when you do fartlek runs, flexibility is the priority.

You’re like a free spirit, dancing to the rhythm of your own heartbeat. You’re changing things up and staying unpredictable, like a jazz musician improvising on the fly. What’s more, fartlek training requires continuous running. You actually never stop and rest.

Benefits Of Fartlek Workouts

Here’s why fartlek training is good for your athletic performance.

Speed & Endurance

Fartlek training stresses both the aerobic and anaerobic energy pathways.

Fartlek training is a bit like a rollercoaster ride for your body. It takes you on a thrilling journey of fast and slow, high and low, and keeps you guessing every step of the way. By playing with your speed and intensity levels, fartlek training puts your aerobic and anaerobic systems to the test, challenging your endurance and speed at the same time.

That’s why it’s one of the best ways to help you improve running endurance and speed at the same time.

Ideal For Sports Training.

And it’s not just for runners. Fartlek training is perfect for any athlete looking to improve their speed and agility, whether you’re on the basketball court, soccer field, or football pitch. Even racers can benefit from this type of training, as it teaches your body how to recover faster and keep up with the unpredictable nature of races.

Kills boredom

Fartlek training offers a creative, less structured, and on-the-go form of interval training that’s guaranteed to shake things up with your training program.

Sheds Mad Calories

Fartlek is one form of HIIT workouts.

The typical fartlek workout session will force you to work at a higher energy level, leading to greater calorie burn and energy expenditure.

Let’s not forget the calorie-burning benefits of fartlek. This form of HIIT workout will leave you shedding mad calories and feeling energized. Just be aware of the downsides, such as the potential for injury if you’re not careful or if you don’t have a strong cardio base.

The Downsides of Fartlek Training

Fartlek workouts, just like another workout method, has its own disadvantages that you need to pay attention to if you want to make the most out of it.

Here are a few things to consider before you start fartlek training.

Running Experience

You don’t need to be an elite runner to do fartlek training, but a running base is required.

If you’re still a beginner runner, take a few months to build your cardio base before start counting lamp posts.

Injury Risk

If you’re recovering from injury or have underlying health issues, consult with your physician first before you try fartlek running.

Not buddy friendly

Sure, this is up to your pace, but if you and your running buddy have a fairly different pace, it’s going to be hard to keep up the pace—unless one of you is the leader and the other one is willing (and capable) to follow.

How Often Should You Do Fartlek Training

I recommend that you do at least one Fartlek run every two weeks, depending of course on your current fitness level and training goals.

As I have already explained, fartlek workouts require no real structure. 

If you want to give it a try, simply warm-up, and then start inserting some surge effort every few minutes.

Still confused?

Do the following:

To start doing speed-play workouts, try adding some short periods of faster-paced running into your normal runs.

Keep the higher pace for a short distance or time, such as 300 meters or 45 seconds.

The faster pace surges can vary throughout your run, and you can even use streetlights or houses to mark your segment.

The word key is play.

Once you complete a surge, slow it down until you’re fully recovered, then speed up again.

Note – Here’s how often should you run per week.

Fartlek training

The Fartlek Training Examples to Try

Here is a list of 7 Fartlek training examples you need to be doing.

You can perform one of these workouts once or twice per week—depending on your fitness level and training goals of course.

1.The 5K/ 10K Specific Fartlek Run

One great place to start is with the 5K/10K specific fartlek run. This workout will help you build your endurance and speed at the same time. During this workout, aim to perform at least 8 to 10 gentle, controlled surges, lasting for one minute to 90-seconds with one-minute jog recovery between each.

But don’t let the word “gentle” fool you – these pick-ups should still challenge you. Aim for roughly 10 to 15 seconds per mile faster than your 5K pace race. That’s around 85 to 90 percent of your maximum effort. And according to studies, running at this intensity for no more than 10 minutes each session can lead to vital increases in VO2 max, your body’s ability to con utilize oxygen during exercise.

The Workout

To perform this workout, begin with a proper warm-up, running at a comfortable pace for 5 to 10 minutes. Then, increase your speed for one minute, followed by a drop back to normal speed for one minute. Next, increase your speed for one minute to 90 seconds, then take it down again. Repeat the cycle for 20 to 25 minutes, then perform a final 2-minute surge at maximum speed before wrapping up your workout with a 5-minute cooldown.

Want to run a 5K in under 20 minutes? Try my sub 20 5K plan.

2. The Fartlek Run Surges

If you’re looking to improve your endurance and speed for longer distance events like half-marathons and marathons, the Fartlek Run Surges is perfect for you.

Aim for 20 to 25 seconds per mile faster than your normal long-run pace, and if you feel too tired after the surge, take it slow and gradual. Remember, it’s all about building your strength and endurance.

The Workout

During your longest run of the week, after a thorough warm-up of 10-15 minutes, it’s time to lift off! Blast off with a one-minute pace pick-up every 7 to 8 minutes, shooting for at least eight surges. And don’t forget to hit the brakes with a 10-minute cooldown to bring yourself back down to Earth.

3. The Pyramid Fartlek Run

If you’re looking for a more structured workout, the Pyramid Fartlek Run has you covered. The goal of this ladder workout is to mimic the ups and downs of a race, especially during 5K and 10K events.

The Workout

After a a proper 10-minute warm-up, complete the following intervals:

  • Two-minute at 5K pace,
  • Two-minute easy,
  • Three-minute at 10K pace,
  • Two-minute easy,
  • Four-minute at half-marathon race pace,
  • Two-minute easy,
  • Four-minute half-marathon race pace,
  • Two-minute easy,
  • Three-minute at 10K pace,
  • Two-minute easy,
  • Two-minutes at 5K pace or faster, then
  • Finish off the session with a 10-minute cool down.

4. The “Surroundings” Fartlek Run

This fartlek run is your chance to let loose and run free like a kid! The “Surroundings” Fartlek Run is ideal if you’re looking to maintain fitness and speed without feeling the pressure of a structured workout.

The Workout

After a 10-minute warm-up, pick a landmark in the distance – whether it’s a telephone pole, a mailbox, a tree, a building, or anything else you can think of – and run towards it at a faster pace. Once you reach it, slow down and recover at your normal running pace for as long as you need.

Then it’s time to run wild again to a different landmark. Remember to stay safe and be aware of your surroundings. And if you’re running with a partner, make a game of it by taking turns picking the next landmark. Who said speedwork couldn’t be fun?

5. The Music Fartlek Run

Get ready to jam out and sprint like a rockstar with this workout! Use music as your guide and change your pace and intensity with each song – slow it down during the recovery tunes and crank it up to max speed during the high-tempo hits. It’s like conducting a symphony with your feet!

The Workout

Come up with a predetermined list of songs by putting together a mix of standard running songs that alternates between songs around 120 BPM for the recovery boots, and songs around 160 BPM for the surges.

Here is one of my favorite playlists to try out.

I encourage you to come up with your own.

The Warm-up

  • Raise Your Glass – Pink (120 BPM)
  • Blow – Keisha (120 BPM)

First Surge

  • Hey Ya! – Outcast (160 BPM)


  • Blurred Lines – Robin Thicke (120 BPM)

Second Surge

  • Forever – Drake, Kanye West & Eminem (160 BPM)


  • Lights – Ellie Goulding (120 BPM)

Third Surge

  • Pain – Three Days Grace (160 BPM)


  • Bleeding out – Imagine Dragons (120 BPM)

Fourth Surge

  • In Pieces – Linkin Park (160 BPM)

Cool Down

  • All these things I Have Done – The Killers (120 BPM)
  • Sail – AWOL nation (120 BPM)

6. The Multi-Sprint Sports Fartlek Run

If you want to improve your performance in sports that require varying levels of intensity, such as soccer, basketball, or football, this workout is for you. It’s like doing a Fartlek dance with your favorite sport!

The Workout

After a throughout warm-up, perform the following intervals:

  • A 60-second run at 70 percent maximum effort
  • A 90-second hard run at 80 percent maximum effort
  • A 45-second jog at 60 percent maximum effort.
  • A 20-second sprint at 90 percent effort
  • Run backward for one full minute at the fastest pace you can run.
  • A 45-second jog for recovery
  • Run hard for one full minute
  • Repeat the above cycle for two to three times.
  • A 10-minute cooldown.

7. The Treadmill Fartlek Run

Who said you couldn’t do fartlek on the treadmill?

When weather conditions prevent you from enjoying your speed play outside, you can hop on the treadmill instead.

For example, if you watch television during your treadmill running, you might use commercials as a time to pick up the pace.

Can’t do that?

Then here’s how a fartlek treadmill workout should look like:

  • Begin with a 10-minute warm-up at 7 MPH
  • Speed to 10 MPH for one minute
  • Keep the same pace but increase the incline to 6 percent for 30 seconds
  • Recovery by jogging at 7 MPH for 3 minutes
  • Speed up to 11 MPH for two minutes
  • Reduce speed to 9 MPH but increase the incline to 7 percent for one minute
  • Reduce speed to 6 MPH for 3 minutes
  • Keep the same speed but increase inline to 7 percent for two minutes
  • Keep the same incline but increase speed to 9.5 MPH for as long as you can run with good form.
  • Finish the session with a 5-minute slow jog at your cool down pace.

Fartlek Training Guide  – The Conclusion

There you have it!

The above fartlek training examples and guidelines are all you need to get started with fartlek training in no time.

Now the ball is in your court.

Please feel free to leave your comments and questions in the section below.

Thank you for dropping by.

Keep running strong.

David D.

Unleash Your Inner Speedster: The Ultimate Guide to Sprint Workouts for Explosive Running Performance

Sprint training

Looking to take your running game to the next level? If so, sprint training is your ticket to burning calories, increasing speed, and building muscular endurance.

However, for those who have never tried it before, starting a sprint training program can be intimidating. It’s like signing up for an advanced physics course when you haven’t brushed up on the basics in a while. Except, unlike physics, sprinting can leave you with sore muscles and potential injuries if you’re not careful.

But fear not because I’m here to guide you through the process!

In this post, I’ll be sharing the ultimate beginner’s guide to sprint training.

I’ll cover everything you need to know to get started, from proper warm-ups to the best sprinting workouts.

So, let’s lace up our shoes and get ready to sprint toward a stronger, fitter you!

What is Sprint Training

Sprint training consists of high-intensity, short bursts of running performed at top speed. This workout method helps build muscle, burn fat, and increase metabolism.

There are two basic ways to perform sprint workouts: on flat surfaces or incline surfaces. If you’re just starting out, flat sprints are the way to go. All you need is a safe, open area like a track, jogging path, or sports field. And trust me, and you’ll want to be paying attention to your surroundings – the last thing you want is to be dodging pedestrians or tripping over debris mid-sprint.

Once you’ve built up your base with flat sprints, it’s time to take things up a notch with incline sprints. These are more challenging but also more rewarding. To do incline sprints, find a hill with a steep grade and at least 40 to 60 yards of running space.

For example, you might choose:

Just imagine the satisfaction of conquering a steep hill or powering up a mountain path at top speed.

The Benefits of Sprint Training

Sprint training is not just a workout, it’s a way of life. And the benefits are worth the effort. Science has proven that sprint training is a highly efficient way to provide plenty of benefits.

Of course, don’t take my word for it.

A study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research shows that sprinting drills can help you build endurance and improve your running performance.

What’s more?

This type of training can improve your VO2 max more than any other form of exercise, according to a meta-analysis published in Sports Medicine.

And the best part? HIIT running burns more calories in half the time of a steady-state workout, as reported by Biology of Sports..

I can go on and on about the importance of HIIT for runners, but that’s another topic for another day.

Here’s more about the history as well as the benefits of a sprint training program:

 Risks of Sprint Workouts

While sprint training has a lot to offer when it comes to improving speed and power, it also has its downsides.

For starters, sprinting puts a lot of stress on your joints, particularly the knees and ankles, so if you’re dealing with any pre-existing joint conditions or injuries, you should proceed with caution.

What’s more?

Sprinting can be challenging for beginners who are overweight or obese, as the extra weight places additional stress on the joints and may increase the risk of injury.

In other words, sprinting is like driving a high-performance sports car. Just like driving a high-performance sports car requires skill and caution, sprinting requires proper form and caution to avoid injury.

If you’re not sure whether sprinting is for you, I’d recommend that you consult with a qualified healthcare professional before beginning any new exercise program.

Running Shoes for Sprinting

Before you lace up your shoes and go for a sprint, you need to choose the right ones. Pro sprinters have different shoes for different tracks and events, and you should too.

Again, don’t take my word for it. A study published in the Journal of Sports Sciences found that track spikes offer better performance than regular running shoes during sprinting. Track spikes are designed to keep you on your toes and offer maximum traction for power and thrust. They also fit snugly, feeling more like an extension of your foot rather than shoes.

Look for a pair of lightweight shoes with a relatively stiff design and an outsole that can grip the track surface for maximum propulsion. Track spikes are a great option, as they offer maximum traction for power and thrust, fitting snugly and feeling like an extension of your foot.

Additionally, consider your running mechanics, training experience, and the field you train in to determine the best type of shoes for your needs.

Additional resource – Bolt top running speed

Recovery and Rest

Recovery is an integral part of any training plan, as it allows your body to rest and repair the muscle tissue that is broken down during exercise. Proper recovery between sprint sessions can help prevent injury, reduce muscle soreness, and improve overall performance.

To promote recovery, do the following:

  • Consume a balanced diet that includes adequate protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats.
  • Hydrate well by drinking plenty of water before, during, and after your workouts.
  • Try active recovery techniques, such as foam rolling or light stretching, to improve blood flow and reduce muscle tension.
  • Sleep better. Aim to get 7-8 hours of sleep per night, as sleep is essential for muscle recovery and growth.

Dynamic Warm-up

Think of your warm-up as a key that unlocks your body’s potential. Without it, your muscles and joints are stiff and unprepared for intense exercise, leaving you vulnerable to injury and poor performance.

Here’s how to do it.

Start with a 10-minute easy jog to get your blood flowing, and your heart rate up. Then, incorporate some speed drills to fine-tune your mechanics and prevent injury.

Kick your heels up with some butt kicks, drive your knees high with high knees, and practice quick footwork with ankling. Don’t forget to work your calves with heel raises and improve your coordination with A and B skips. And if you’re feeling bold, add some jumping lunges and backward runs to spice things up.

Now that you’re warmed up and feeling limber, it’s time to dive into the sprinting workout. Start with short strideouts, pushing yourself to run at 80 percent of your maximum effort for 40, 50, and 60 meters with 90 seconds of recovery between each burst. Focus on proper form and maximum speed to get the most out of your training.

Once you’ve completed your sets, finish strong with a closing routine. Sprint as fast as you can for 20 seconds, then jog slowly for a minute to allow your heart rate to recover. Repeat this cycle eight to ten times to really push yourself and see results.

Here is what you need to do next…

Short Strideouts

This is the first section of the sprinting workout and involves performing short sprints at 80 percent max effort with 90 seconds of recovery between each burst.

Focus on maximum speed and proper form.

Here is how to proceed:

  • Sprint for 40 meters as fast as possible, then rest for 90 seconds.
  • Sprint for 50 meters as fast as possible, then rest for 90 seconds.
  • Sprint for 60 meters as fast as possible to complete one set.
  • Rest for two to three minutes, then perform four to five sets, pushing your body as hard as you can.

Next, perform this closing routine.

Sprint as fast as you can for 20 seconds.

Jog slowly for one minute, allowing your heart rate to slow down and recover fully before jumping into the next sprint.

Repeat the cycle 8 to 10 times.

Proper Sprint Technique For Beginners

Sprinting is like a dance – a carefully choreographed routine of movements that require technique, grace, and proper form. Without proper form, you might find yourself stumbling on the dance floor or, worse yet, nursing an injury.

Let’s start with your shoulders. Imagine your shoulders as a set of wings ready to take flight. Keep them relaxed, and don’t shrug them up. Instead, use them to power your movement, like a graceful bird soaring through the sky.

Now, let’s move on to your arms. Think of them as pistons, moving rapidly and powerfully. Keep them bent at a 90-degree angle and pump them backward in an open arc behind your body. This motion creates momentum, so avoid crossing them over your body.

Next, your elbows should stay flexed at a 90-degree angle and move in a straight line. Pump them back vigorously in coordination with your legs, driving them back to create forward momentum.

As for your feet, focus on pushing off from the toe as if you’re launching yourself like a rocket. Take short, fast strides instead of long ones, as this will help you generate more power and avoid overstriding.

The key to maintaining proper form is to relax your body. Don’t hold onto tension or waste energy. Instead, keep it relaxed like a lazy Sunday afternoon.

For more, watch the following Youtube Tutorial:

How to Cool Down After Sprinting Workouts

Once you’re done sprinting, don’t forget to cool down properly. Start with a slow jog for 5 to 10 minutes, letting your breathing and heart rate gradually return to normal. Then, take a leisurely walk to let your muscles relax.

To finish off, perform a series of static stretches, holding each pose for 45 to 60 seconds. This will help prevent post-workout soreness and keep you feeling limber and ready for your next sprinting session.

Great post-run stretches include:

The Hamstring Stretch

The Calves Stretch

The Hip Stretch

The Beginner Sprint Workout

If you’re new to sprinting, I’d urge you to kick it off with this beginner routine. This session is perfect for anyone looking to get started with sprinting and improve their overall fitness.

To perform this workout, start with a 15-minute warm-up that includes dynamic stretches and light jogging.

Then, perform three 400m sprints at 90% of your maximum speed, resting for 30 seconds between each sprint.

Next, perform three 200m sprints at 90% of your maximum speed, resting for 15 seconds between each sprint.

Finally, perform five 100m sprints at maximum speed, resting for 15 seconds between each sprint. Finish the workout with a 10-minute slow jog cool down.

Explosive Hill Sprint Workout

If you’re looking for a more challenging workout, try incorporating hill sprints into your routine. Uphill running helps you build explosive strength and power that can improve your speed and running economy. Incline training targets your anaerobic energy system, which is the primary source of quick sprinting energy, helping you improve your power and explosiveness. Additionally, running uphill also targets your quadriceps and can improve strength in your tendons and joints.

Here’s a sample hill sprint workout for beginners:

  • Warm up for 10 to 15 minutes.
  •  Perform your first hill sprints at 80 percent of max power for 30 seconds.
  • Jog down for recovery. Take more recovery time if you need to.
  • Repeat the cycle for 15 to 20 minutes. Give it 100 percent each time
  • Finish your sessions with a 10-minute slow jog on flat ground.

As you get fitter, make this workout more challenging by increasing the number of reps and/or the incline. Keep in mind that hill sprints are pure explosiveness, so they should be quite challenging.

Note – You don’t have to perform these sprints on the steepest hill around—it can also be a gradual incline.

How to Progress Sprint Workouts:

To take your sprint training to the next level, it’s key to gradually increase the intensity, volume, and frequency of your sprints over time. This can be achieved through a process called periodization, which involves dividing your training into distinct phases of increasing intensity and volume.

During the initial phase, focus on building your sprinting power by improving your sprint technique and boosting endurance with shorter sprints and longer rest intervals.

As the months go by, make your workouts more challenging by limiting rest periods and increasing the distance or duration of the sprints. Finally, during the peak phase, perform high-intensity sprints with shorter rest intervals to improve your speed and power.

Cross-Training – Backing up Your Sprint Training Efforts

Do you want to become an explosive sprinter? Then you need to train like one! Sprinting is an anaerobic sport that requires a combination of power and strength to excel. While running intervals and sprints is essential, it’s not enough on its own. To become a top sprinter, you need to strengthen your key sprinting muscles, which is where cross-training comes in.

Let’s start with strength training. I can’t stress enough how important it is for runners. Two to three strength sessions a week will do wonders for your sprinting ability.

When performing your strength exercises, aim for three sets of 8 to 12 reps, pushing yourself to the limit and reaching muscle failure in the last few reps. So what exercises should you be doing? Try barbell squats, front squats, sumo deadlifts, chin-ups, dips, hanging knee raises, jump squats, jump rope, and sled drags.

Power Clean

Begin by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart with a barbell positioned under your shins.

Next, while keeping your back straight and engaging your core, squat down and grab the barbell with an overhand grip a bit wider than shoulder-width.

Please make sure to keep your chest out, shoulder back, and head up the entire time.

Next, while keeping the bar as close to your body as possible, push your knees back, lift your chest up, then start to slowly raise the barbell from the ground to roughly above your knees.

As soon as the bar passes your knees, explosively stand up by first rising up on tiptoes, pulling the bar up higher (leading with the elbows).

Then, once the weight reaches your sternum level, assume a mini-squat position, drop your body under the barbell, flipping your wrists over so that your palms are facing the ceiling, and stand up tall with your upper arms parallel to the ground.

Last up, to lower the bar down, slightly bend your knees then lower the bar to thigh position.

Then slowly lower it to the floor, while keeping the core engaged and back straight the entire time.

Single-Leg Squats

While balancing on your right foot while extending the left straight in front as high as possible with arms extended out, squat down by bending at the knee and sitting your hips back.

Imagine you are going to sit in a chair behind you.

Once you reach at least a 100-degree angle in your right knee, extend your leg back to standing position, repeat for 8 to 10 reps, then switch sides.

If the single-leg squat is too challenging, then perform the chair assist or the TRX version.

For more challenge, rest a dumbbell on your chest.

Please make sure to keep your back flat and the right knee pointing in the same direction as the right foot.

Romanian Deadlift

Start by holding a loaded barbell at the hip level with a pronated grip—with the palms facing down.

keep your knees slightly bent, hips high, and shoulder on top of the barbell.

Next, lower the barbell by moving your butt back and bending your hips as far as you can while keeping the core engaged and back straight throughout the motion.

make sure to keep the barbell as close to your body as possible, with shoulders back and head looking forward the entire time.

Once you reach the bottom of your range of motion (you will be feeling a good stretch in the hamstrings if you are doing it right), slowly return to the starting position then stand up tall, and repeat for the desired reps.

I love to do this in front of the mirror because I can keep my lower back under control.

Keep it straight, don’t let it curved too much.

Plyometric Lunges

Begin by assuming an athletic position, then lunge forward with your right leg.

Next, while keeping the torso straight and core engaged, jump up as high as possible, and switch your leg position in midair, landing with your left leg in a forward lunge.

Then, powerfully jump up and switch legs to land back in a lunge with the left leg out in front.

Keep jump lunging, alternating sides for 45-second to one minute.

Bench Press

Start by laying on your back on a flat bench.

grab the bar with an overhand grip, lift it off the rack, and hold it above your chest with arms fully extended and core engaged.

Next, slowly lower the bar straight down in a controlled and slow motion until it touches the middle of your chest.

Hold for a moment, then press the barbell in a straight line back up to the starting position.

Please focus on using your chest muscles to move the bar throughout the exercise.

Don’t let your shoulder and elbow work alone.

No cheating allowed.

Perform 10 to 12 reps to complete one set.

Box jumps

Stand tall feet hip-width apart, at a comfortable distance from a 60cm high box or an elevated step (or sturdy object).

Next, assume a mini squat, then while engaging your core, extending your hips and swinging your arms, leap onto the box, landing softly on both feet.

Hold for a moment, then jump backward down to starting position and spring quickly back up.

Sprint Training Explained – The Conclusion

Ready to take your running routine to the next level? Sprint workouts are the secret weapon you need!

These quick and effective fitness boosters are perfect for runners who want to improve their athletic power and performance, but don’t have the luxury of long runs.

So, lace up your sneakers and get ready to sprint your way to success!

6 Interval Training Running Workouts for Maximum Results

woman doing speedwork running session

Are you looking to give your running performance a boost? If so, you may want to consider incorporating interval running into your routine.

A form of High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), interval running has been a favorite of athletes for years. It’s a technique that involves alternating between intense bursts of exercise and recovery periods to build cardiovascular strength, power, and speed.

Think of interval running as a rollercoaster ride – you’ll experience thrilling moments of intensity followed by brief periods of rest before being thrown back into the excitement.

Now, you may be wondering how to get started with interval running.

Here’s the good news – You’re in the right place.

In this article, I’m going to give you the low-down on the six main speed work runs you need to add to your schedule: basic intervals, fartleks, treadmill intervals, hill reps 100m dashes, and tempo efforts. These workouts may not be an exhaustive list of speed work sessions, but they’ll definitely help you on your journey to becoming a faster, stronger runner.

Ready? Let’s go!

Interval Running Explained

Let’s talk about interval running.

This is the training method that’ll take your running game from zero to hero in no time.

So, what is interval running, you ask? It’s a fancy way of saying, “Run fast and recover.” Essentially, you run at a challenging pace for short distances and then take a break before doing it all over again.

This is where the magic happens – by challenging yourself with high-intensity intervals, you’ll increase your stride length, improve your running efficiency, and boost your overall speed.

Interval running is like a box of chocolates – you never know what you’re going to get. One minute you feel undefeatable, and the next minute you’re gasping for air like a fish out of water. But hey, that’s all part of the fun, right? Just keep pushing yourself, and who knows what kind of PB you’ll be able to butter next time around.

And the best part? You can do it anywhere! Whether you prefer pounding the pavement, hitting the track, or even tackling a steep hill, speedwork can be adapted to fit your style.

And don’t worry; you don’t have to be an Olympic athlete to start incorporating interval runs into your routine. Classic sessions like sprints, tempo runs, and fartleks are perfect for runners of all levels.

The Benefits Of Interval Running Workouts

If you want to give your running performance a boost, look no further than interval running workouts.

It’s like turbocharging your training, turning up the intensity to boost your speed.

But there’s more to it than just getting a kick out of a challenging workout. Studies show that interval training can increase your VO2 max, allowing your body to use oxygen more efficiently. This leads to increased fitness capacity, better athletic performance, and improved overall health.

Plus, you might even continue to burn calories at a higher rate long after your workout is done, thanks to the excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC) effect. It’s like a bonus round for your fitness goals!

Warming up Right

Before you jump into your first interval workout, don’t forget to warm up properly.

A good warm-up increases your body temperature, boosts blood flow to the muscles, and prepares you mentally for a challenging run. It can also help prevent injury and burnout, so it’s worth taking the time to do it right.

Start with a gentle walk, then gradually increase to a slow jog for five to ten minutes. Then, add in some dynamic mobility and stretching drills like quad tugs, heel walks, butt kicks, scorpions, inchworms, lunges, and high knees.

The more, the merrier! And don’t forget to include some speed drills to get your legs firing.

Finally, complete four to six strides – quick accelerations lasting 20 to 30 seconds at close to 100 percent speed. Recover fully between each set, and perform them on a flat, smooth surface. It’s like priming your body for action – so you can give it all during your interval workout.

With the right warm-up and a positive attitude, you’ll be well on your way to improving your running performance, hitting your fitness goals, and having a blast while doing it!

Getting started

If you’re just starting out, begin your foray into interval running with a set of six to eight 200-meter at a 5K pace or a bit faster, interceded with an easy 200-m in between each to recover.

Here is how to proceed with your next (or first) interval run session:

  • Start with a decent 15-minute dynamic warm-up.
  • Run at an interval pace—roughly 85 to 95 percent of max speed—for one minute.
  • Jog for a 2-minute recovery break.
  • Repeat the on and off pattern four to six times.
  • Jog for five minutes to cool down, then stretch.

That’s it. Now let’s look at how fast you should be doing these intervals.

The Pace – How Fast To Perform Interval Runs

Interval training workouts are performed at 85 to 98 percent of the maximum heart rate, depending on distance and your fitness level and goals.

So, for instance, short intervals are performed at a slightly faster than 5K race pace, with relatively longer recovery breaks, typically lasting two to three times as long as the repetition time.

Longer intervals are usually performed at roughly a 5K race pace, with recovery bouts of equal length or slightly less than the fast surge time.

But, all in all, as long as you’re running faster than your goal race pace, you’re heading in the right direction.

Additional Resource – Here’s your guide to the Yasso 800 Workout

6 Interval Training Running Workouts For Speed

Without further ado, here are the Interval training running sessions you need to improve your speed and overall running performance.

Interval Training Running Workout I – The Basic Interval Run

The Basic Interval Run is perfect for new initiates as it helps them get their foot in the door without increasing the risk of injury or burnout.

It’s a simple yet effective workout that consists of two main parts. First, you’ll have a fast-paced segment known as the repeat. This is where you’ll run over a specific distance at a targeted pace goal speed.

The typical interval workouts consist of short repeats, lasting no more than 100 to 400 meters, or longer distances, lasting between 800 to 2000 meters. You can choose which distance works best for you depending on your fitness level and goals.

Then, the fast surge of effort is followed by a brief recovery. This can be short—lasting for only 30 to 60 seconds—or of an equal time or distance to the repetition. Don’t worry, the recovery time is just as important as the fast segment. It gives your body time to catch its breath and prepare for the next round of speed.

Once you’ve mastered the Basic Interval Run, you’ll be ready for our other Interval Training Running Workouts for Speed.

interval running

Interval Running Workout II – The Fartlek Bursts

Standing for speed play in Swedish, Fartlek is a form of training that mixes steady-state running with speed intervals in an unstructured format.

This form of training is like a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure book for runners. You get to pick the pace, distance, and recovery time of each acceleration – it’s like being your own running coach!

But don’t let the unstructured format fool you – Fartlek training is a killer workout that can boost both your aerobic and anaerobic systems.

Pick an object in the distance – a parked car, a telephone pole, maybe even your neighbor’s house (just kidding, don’t be that runner) – and sprint towards it. Once you reach your target, take it easy with some light jogging to recover before your next surge. Start with a 10 to 15-minute jog to warm up your muscles, and then let the fun begin.

It’s like a game of tag with your own body, and you get to set the rules. But remember, you still need to challenge yourself. Run fast enough to increase your heart rate and breathing, but don’t push it too hard. You want to be able to finish the interval and recover fully before the next surge.

Additional resource – How fast can Bolt Run

Interval Training Running Workout III – The Treadmill Interval Routine

Feel like you’re running out of time but still want to sweat it out? Then this treadmill interval session is for you.

It’s the perfect way to challenge yourself and push your limits, all while fitting into a tight schedule. And the best part? You can do it all on a treadmill.

Start with a 5-minute warm-up jog to get those muscles firing, then get ready to kick it up a notch. At the 5-minute mark, it’s time to turn up the heat and hit a high-intensity speed of 9 mph or faster. You’ll feel the burn, but remember, you’re a runner – you can handle it! After your intense one-minute burst, take a much-needed recovery break for another minute before repeating the process. But wait, there’s more!

This time, add a 4.0 incline to mimic the outdoor conditions and make those leg muscles work even harder.

Take a breather and jog or walk for one minute before diving back into your high-intensity bursts and incline challenges.

Do five or six rounds of this routine, and before you know it, you’ve got yourself a total of 15 minutes of heart-pumping, calorie-burning goodness.

Finish off with a 5-minute cool-down jog and pat yourself on the back for a job well done. You did it! So, even if you only have 25 minutes to spare, you can still get a killer workout in with this HIIT routine on a treadmill. No excuses, just sweat!

Interval Training Running Workout IV – The Hill Routine

Are you looking for a workout that combines speed and strength?

Look no further than hill reps! These structured interval-style runs consist of hard bursts up a hill with the down section used as the recovery portion before assaulting the hill again.

Hill running is like a marriage between faster-paced running and traditional strength training, making it the ultimate power couple.

Think of hill runs as “speedwork in disguise.” Although they don’t force you to run at top speed, they still offer many of the same perks of traditional speedwork training.

Uphill running is the perfect way to promote good running technique because it forces you to lift your knees and drive your elbows back and forth to propel you forward. These are some of the most universal traits of good form.

And let’s not forget about the downhill repeats. They’ll work your quads like nothing else and increase strength in your joints and tendons.

When planning your hill workout, make sure to find a gentle slope that’s at least 100 yards long and not too steep – preferably, a traffic-free area.

The ideal hill should take you about 30 seconds to one minute to climb at 90 percent of your maximum effort. And if you live in a relatively flat, hill-free region, don’t worry! Find a bridge or highway overpass with about a 5 percent grade for your hill reps.

Now, it’s time for the session. After a thorough warm-up, assault the hill at a 5K effort pace (That’s effort, not speed). When you reach the end point of the uphill section, walk for 10 to 15 seconds, turn around, and jog slowly down to the start.

Then repeat. And remember to perform the reps with good form. Don’t lean too much forward, but focus on maintaining your balance, engaging your core, shortening your leg stride, and lifting your knees a little higher than you’re used to when running on flat surfaces.

Interval Running Workout V – The 100m Dashes

Are you ready to feel like a pro sprinter? Head to the track, but be careful. Only do this after interval workouts and fartleks have become a part of your routine.

You don’t want to pull a hamstring and end up sitting on the sidelines.

Before you go full speed, warm up with a 10-minute jog, then perform six to eight strides to get your muscles fired up and ready to do some intense work. And boy, will it be intense. Get ready for eight to ten 100m fast bursts.

Your first interval should include 40 meters at maximum speed. And to recover, walk or jog for half the duration of the faster interval before jumping onto the next one.

Aim for 95 to 99 percent of single max effort. So, for instance, if your 100m max effort is 18 seconds, then the slowest you drop to is 20 seconds.

As you get used to running on the track, increase the volume of reps and lengthen reps to 200 meters, sprinting nearly the entire time at top speed. Just make sure to cool down afterward and stretch those leg muscles.

Interval Running Workout VI –Tempo Runs

Tempo training is where intensity meets endurance. Think of it like running on the edge of a cliff – you’re pushing yourself to the limit but still maintaining control and balance.

These workouts are like a symphony for your body, with sustained effort over a preset time or distance. Classic tempo runs are the conductor, teaching your body how to maintain that comfortably hard effort over an extended timeframe.

And the benefits? Oh boy, let me tell you. A Dutch study published in the Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports & Exercise found that tempo runs can improve your overall running efficiency by up to 10 percent. That’s like adding a turbocharger to your engine!

But why does it work? It’s all about that anaerobic threshold, the point at which your body switches from aerobic to anaerobic systems. It’s like flipping a switch and unleashing the power within.

And as you push yourself to the limit, you may start to feel the burn of lactic acid. But fear not, because increasing your threshold at a given pace means you can maintain that pace for longer and power through the burn like a fiery dragon.

So, how long should your tempo runs be? Well, that depends on your training level and target race distance. But as a general guideline, start with 15 to 20 minutes and gradually extend as you build endurance and power.

Now, let’s talk about that tempo pace. It should be roughly 80 to 90 percent of your maximum heart rate or 10K race pace. That’s like hitting the sweet spot between hard work and sustainable effort.

When it comes to the workout itself, start with a 10 to 15 minute warm-up jog and then pick up the pace to your predetermined tempo segment. And after all that hard work, don’t forget to cool down with a five-minute easy jog to avoid that pesky blood-pooling phenomenon.

Interval Running Workouts – The Conclusion

Interval running workouts can be a game-changer in your fitness journey, and I hope that the tips and tricks I’ve shared will inspire you to take your running to the next level. By incorporating intervals into your routine, you can increase your speed, endurance, and overall fitness in no time.

So, lace up your shoes, hit the pavement, and let’s get started on this journey together. Remember, every step you take brings you closer to your fitness aspirations.

Thank you for taking the time to read my tips and tricks, and I wish you all the best on your running journey. Keep training strong, my friends!

Your fellow runner,

David D.