Running Workouts | 7 Ways To Make You Better and PR Faster

runner workouts

What are some running workouts that truly work? It is a question that many people will answer in different ways.

One of the best ways to improve your running is to continue to implement different running workouts into your weekly training routine.

The old saying, if you keep doing what you’re doing, you will keep getting what you’re getting.

If you have been doing the same running routine and not getting the results possibly this post is for you.

The key is to continue to be creative with your training. It is a great way to stay motivated in 2013 and during the colder winter months.

I’ll admit it takes some initiative to take risks and do something different. The long held idea that long slow running was the answer to running a great marathon. This isn’t necessarily the case anymore.

What Does 30 Minutes of Running Do?

Running for 30 minutes will lessen the likelihood that you will fatigue. Remember, it takes the body between 3 to 4 weeks to adapt to any stress load being placed on it. So, 30 minutes of running will not be easy at first. That being said, the body will always adapts and will get easier in time.

Does long slow running have its place?

Absolutely, but as we move toward aiming for specific running goals the more these key running workouts come into play, the more you should consider them.

I wanted to share a few of my favorite running workouts and hope they will assist you with your racing goals.

Is running 30 mins a day OK?

Yes, 30 minutes of running will help you to burn fat. In addition, strengthen your immune system.

My favorite running workout involving fartleks. It is a 60-minute run involving running 1 minute hard followed with 1 minute of easy running.

This is a very demanding anaerobic workout. That being said, I’ve found to be one of the best workouts you can add into your training routine.

How will a 60-minute fartlek run workout going to help me?

It is going to dramatically increase your lactate tolerance. In addition to that, you’ll be running over double the distance you will be racing at.

Of course, you will need to first adapt to a 10-minute fartlek run workout before moving toward 60 minutes. Athletes must be in superior shape to do a fartlek workout of this length.

How is 3.1 miles going to be an issue with you now?

I talked with a group of Soldiers yesterday about this.


The new Army Combat Fitness Test where Soldiers have to do a 2-mile run all-out.

I served over 20 years on active duty and Soldiers routinely asked me if running further help them improve their 2-mile time?

Yes. Imagine how easy an all-out 2-mile will feel if you lengthen your long run out to around 10 to 12 miles? I created the new Army ACFT 2 Mile Running Course to help military members achieve faster times. In fact, it was also built for military members in other allied counties as well. Also, it is a great course for civilians seeking to run faster over 8 laps.

You want to get accustomed to running your race distance at or below the pace you want to hold in your running workouts.

Is Jogging Better than Running?

I think jogging is much better especially during easy, recovery days. Remember, the real benefits of our hard training will come from within the rest period. So, the benefits of the hard training you are doing today will be seen several weeks and months from now.

2. Five, repeat 2-miles on the trackglutathione

There was a question brought up by one of the Soldiers I spoke to yesterday.

What workouts would you recommend to help improve VO2Max?

VO2max is basically an individuals maximum oxygen delivery capacity during intense running workouts and races.

The problem with these types of workouts, as I told the Soldiers yesterday is, they hurt.

These anaerobic workouts create a lactic acid adaptation. In addition, teach the body to recruit more fast twitch muscle fibers.

The more FTM recruitment created the more economical (efficient) you are going to run at race speeds.

The problem is dealing with lactic acid and the discomfort that comes from running at higher sustained efforts.

To add insult to injury, you are with less oxygen at these speeds.

What is a Good Distance to Run Everyday?

It may be 2 to 3 miles when first getting started and 10 to 20 miles a day when in great shape. I always recommend a longer rather than a short build up. Remember, the longer your build up the more time you will have to get into great shape. Yes, it will be very difficult to get into superior shape in 4 to 8 weeks.

So, give yourself more time to prepare for your races. The result is you will be better trained and even more prepared to run faster than your competition.

Remember, you will adapt, if you are patient enough.

What pace should I run these workouts at?

It depends on what race distance you are preparing for.

Is your goal to run a 2:37 for the marathon distance? Well, doing 5, 2-mile repetitions at 12 minutes each is not going to help. Yes, you will build some fitness running at 6 minute mile pace. That being said, how will this help you hold the same pace for 26.2 miles?

What Happens if I Run Everyday for a Month?

You will build endurance and burn fat. In addition, will strengthen your immune system. Also, your heart will not have to work as hard as it once had to. You will also notice your paces per mile or kilometer will quicken. So, you will be running faster at the same heart rate you held earlier in your training build up.

Remember, to run a 2:37 marathon you need to sustain 6 minute mile pace for 26.2 miles. So, training too aerobically will not help you sustain goal pace. You have to train well below 6 minute mile pace to help you achieve the time.

You want to get to a point where race pace feels like just your average every day easy run.

Exceeding race pace in workouts will create this effect, if you are patient.

You will be teaching your body to burn fat and speeds relative to the speeds you are wanting to hold at goal marathon race pace.

In addition, you will be teaching yourself to conserve carbohydrates and recruiting more fast twitch muscle fibers doing these hard, anaerobic workouts.

What Happens if I Run Everyday?

You will be far more consistent and successful in your racing. Also, you will be much more confident, lighter and be able to sustain pace longer.

Pace sustainment is one of the biggest challenges for most runners. So, training consistently over a 12 to 24-week block of training will help you set a new personal best.

3. Three, 5-mile repetitions at goal marathon race pace

This is one of my favorite running workouts. It breaks up trying to hold an entire 15 mile run at goal marathon race pace.

So, doing your long runs at goal marathon race pace (90-95% max effort) will help you drop time.

I would consider breaking your long run up into segments.

I would not recommend doing faster, varied paced long runs every weekend. So, do one long and easy run one week followed the next by a more specific marathon workout.

Remember, recovery must be taken seriously to get the best return on your investment.

Everything in moderation.

Is it Better to Jog Slow or Fast?

It is much better to jog slow during recovery days. Again, the major benefits of our hard training will come from within the rest period. So, the benefits come after we do our track and road intervals. In fact, we are 2 to 3 times weaker immediately following a harder, anaerobic workout.

4. 25x400m repetitions

This is probably my least favorite of all the running workouts I do.

I don’t like it but I like getting into a race and being able to react to my competition.

That, I do like.

If you are training for a half-marathon I would advise doing each quarter on the track around 30 seconds per mile faster than goal half-marathon race pace.

For example, if I am aiming to hold 8.00 mile pace for the half-marathon, I would do each quarter on the track around 1.52 per rep with a 2-minute rest recovery early in your training session.

Then, gradually dropping your rest recoveries but maintaining effort.

If you a runner wants to train properly for the 10K doing these reps at goal race pace works well. It is painful but you have to get accustomed to the pace you are wanting to race at.

What Speed is Considered a Jog?

A jog is around 6 miles per hour. In addition, it could be considered a jog if you are running around 55 to 60% of your max heart rate. Jogging is usually conducted at or around a heart rate of 120 beats per minute or less. So, what is the 5th type of running workouts that will help you succeed?

5. 20-mile run at a heart rate of 160 beats per minute

This is the one workout that has done more for me then any other workout I do. Running at a heart rate of 160 beats per minute means you are spending anywhere from an hour and 50 minutes to over 2 hours at or around 75-90% of your max heart rate.

I do this workout religiously. That being said, I don’t normally do this every weekend. I will alternate one weekend with a harder long run followed with the next long run at a much easier pace.

Lisa Rainsberger, the last American female to win the Boston Marathon and my professional coach of three years, taught me the importance of doing your long runs at speeds more relative to paces you are aiming to run for the marathon.

Do Faster Long Runs

This is why the long runs are so important and cannot be overlooked. I went from doing long runs at 7.30 pace to spending 15-22 miles at 5:20 to 5:30 pace.

This workout worked and created an enormous lactate tolerance.  I was able to handle paces that these elite marathoners were throwing at me in races.

You will drop massive amounts of time off your PR if you follow these types of workouts.

I had the rich opportunity to work for three years with one of the most accomplished female marathoners in the world.

Lisa Rainsberger had personal bests of 52.30 for 10-miles, 2.28 for the marathon and 1.11 for the half-marathon. In addition, she was last American female to win the Boston Marathon until just recently.

Desiree Linden won in 2018.

What Happens if U Run Too Much?

Running too much can lead to staleness. In addition, running injuries if you try to do too much too soon. So, be patient with your build up. Again, a training block between 12 to 24 weeks is always best. Of course, longer build ups are always optimal for half marathon to marathon build ups.

Remember, the longer the race the more that is involved to perfect your performance. It is very difficult to get into great shape in a matter of 4 to 8 weeks.

Tempo runs are run at or about 20-25 seconds slower than your current 5K race pace.

Is your best 5K 18:00? Well, your race pace is 5:48 per mile. So, you would want to do your 10-mile tempo at or around 6.08-13 per mile.

Tempo runs are running workouts consisting of efforts at or near your lactate threshold or is the point just below where your body is able to clear lactic acid.

Jack Daniels, one of the world’s top distance running coaches, says 20-minutes or more of tempo running is optimal.

He goes on to say that, for fit runners, tempo runs are run at or around 90% of maximum heart rate.

This is why workouts like this are so demanding and why recovery is so important .

What you do the hours after workouts like this will determine how much you get back from the training session.

I have found this workout to work best for training for a half-marathon to the marathon distance. I often use it preparing for 10K’s as well.

What is 10 Percent Rule in Running?

The 10-percent rule in running basically states that you should not increase your mileage more than 10 percent each week. Again, smarter training will always produce better results. Do the hardest working athletes always get the best results? Not always.

So, you want to train smarter. I highly recommend checking out the resources we have available here at RunDreamAchieve. I am certain they will assist you in setting a new personal best.

7. 20x1K on the road

You are running 1 kilometer repetitions on the road, twenty times with a 1 kilometer recovery jog in between each repetition.

If you do not have a Garmin GPS Watch you can substitute this workout with doing 20, 2-minute reps followed with 1-minute recovery jog in between.

It is a great fartlek workout that you can implement into your weekly training regiment and will produce results from the 5K all the way up to the marathon distance.

I usually do the hard 1K repetitions at or around 175 beats per minute (about 90-95% maximum effort) and the recovery jogs at 130 beats per minute keeping myself in the fat burning zone.

Keep in mind, running at a heart rate at or below 120, means all you are doing is burning sugars (glycogen).

How Do I Know if I Am Running too Much?

Are you feeling overly fatigued or having problems sleeping? Do you have any injuries or feel like you are not improving? Are your splits per mile or per kilometer during training slowing? If so, you could be running too much.

You always want to keep an eye on sparing carbohydrates and using fat as your primary race fuel.

In closing, you have to use these running workouts with a grain of salt.

What works for some, won’t work for others. You can, in turn, shorten them and still get more bang for your buck then running easy every day.

Try them out, see if they work for you. There will be times where you will have to create abbreviated versions of the same workouts but the key is to get something out of the work you are putting in.

Closing Thoughts

Remember, do not draw up conclusions on your head that you are not capable of running fast times.

Ask yourself, have I really prepared well enough to handle racing the speeds I want to compete at. If you can honestly answer that question with a resounding, Yes, then you are well on your way to a new personal best.

If not, then keep pursuing and attacking that pace in training until it becomes a reality in the race.

I hope this post on running workouts has been helpful to you. Make sure to subscribe to the RunDreamAchieve YouTube channel. I create new content there each week to help runners like you get to the next level in their training and racing.

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