What do those Run Workout Descriptions mean?
Some of these Runs are not used each season. However, you can interchange them with others at times (ex. perhaps you have a favourite interval workout that we don’t use as much anymore – go for it!).
Easy Runs: These are recovery runs and their goal is to remove lactic acid, improve tissue recovery and prepare your body for your next run. Your HR should be the lowest of all of your runs. (HR: Zone 2 – 60-70% of your Max Effort).
Long Runs: These are the most important runs of this program and are never to be done at race pace. They should be used to test carbo-loading, race day hydration and nutrition techniques. When you feel that your fitness has improved after about 6 weeks of training in the program, you should expect to run your long runs within 30-40 seconds per kilometre of your Race Pace(HR Zone 3a – 70-80% of your Max Effort).
Tempo Runs: This run is designed to increase your high-speed endurance, and is defined as “the effort and speed that you can maintain maximally for 1 hour”. If you can string together more than 3 words while running, your effort should be increased. Your HR should be maintained evenly throughout the run. Most Tempo runs become like races, as you push yourself into a zone of being comfortably uncomfortable – it has to feel tough and mentally challenging to hold your pace. (HR Zone 4a – 85-90% of your Max Effort).
Watch Free Runs: These runs should be an hour or less in time, and should be done by feel. No music, No watch, No Garmin, No fuel. Just run.
Speed, Intervals, Track: These runs should be at 90-95% effort and your repeat times should be the same +/- 5 seconds. Recovery time should be 1:30 or until your HR drops back down to 100bpm. (HR Zone 4b – 90-95% of your Max Effort).
Hill Repeats (Hills): These repeats are done to build leg strength for running on all different types of terrain. The hills we will use are on Speers Road and Cross Ave. These repeats will demonstrate your absolute maximum heart rate as you reach the summit of each climb. The downhill return should be effortless in order to aid recovery. (HR Zone 4b – 5 – 90-100% of your Max Effort).
Trills: Same as above except we run them on TRail-hILLS.
Pylons: These Hill repeats are also done on the hills of Speers Road and Cross Ave. The difference between Hill Repeats and Pylons is considerable in how you feel doing them, the goal of the repeats, and your efforts on the roads.
Pylons are set up every two light posts on Cross Avenue Hill.
We start at the top of the hill, run to the bottom, then back to the top.
Next we run down 75% of the Hill to the third Pylon, then back to the top.
Next we run down 50% of the Hill to the second Pylon, then back to the top.
The last section is down 25% of the Hill to the first Pylon then sprint back to the top.
This represents 1 set of Pylons and equals 2.5 Hill Repeats. You take a rest after 1 set of Pylons.
When you run down less of the Hill, you have less recovery time, but you also have shorter distance to run to get back to the top of the hill, so your effort should increase. Your trip from the very closest Pylon back to the top of the hill should be a very hard effort!
Fartleks: A Swedish word for a run that contains many changes in effort throughout its duration. (HR Zone 4b).
Hilly Run: When we have shifted to speed work in the latter part of the program, we often add a Hilly Run on a Tuesday that will challenge your leg strength. This run should be done in a continuous loop that contains 3-6 hills.
Hard Efforts: Within a long run, these Hard Efforts should be run like a 1 minute segment of a 10K Tempo Run. (Zone 4a) Please run them spaced out within the run with a 5K warmup before the first one, and leave the last 4K for cool down.
‘Special’ Runs: These are yet to be revealed, and will reflect the need to alter your speeds or the terrain within your long runs. I can’t wait to share what we have in store for you. (HR Zone All Over the place!).
Pyramid Intervals: These runs will test your fitness and promote proper recovery and increased leg turnover speed. After a 2K warm up run, the intervals will start at 1 minute of HARD effort followed by an equal amount of recovery/EASY running. The pyramid will climb up to 4 minutes or 5 minutes based on your schedule and race day goals. (Peaks at Zone 4a-4b during HARD efforts).
1-2 Punch: These are perceived effort, timed intervals with alternating Hard and Recovery/Easy Efforts. They have very little to do with distance covered and are more about the effort you give during the interval. After a 2K warm-up, you run 1 minute HARD, followed immediately by 2 minutes EASY, followed immediately by 2 Minutes HARD, then 1 minute EASY. This counts as 1 time through, and the workout may call for 4-6 repeats. The repeats are consecutive and are therefore run without stopping in between. In a group setting, the EASY efforts provide an opportunity for the groups to reconnect after the natural separation that happens when you have variances in speed amongst the runners.
HIIT Runs: These runs are designed to increase your speed without exposing you to the rigors of large numbers of high intensity miles, which may contribute to overuse injuries. The Hard efforts are SHORT, but should be HARD. The Easy efforts are LONG, but should be EASY! This is very important.
Race Pace: Exactly as they sound, runs should be done at the same pace as you plan to race. (HR Zone 3a – 3b).
Accelerations: On the days leading up to race day, accelerations from 0metres-80/100 metres ( The last 4-5 steps of which are run at top speed) are a great way to remind your legs of their ability to run fast. This is a common technique used within a 3K easy run in order to “break” the taper where you have only been running slower miles. (HR Zone 4b at the end of 80 metres).
Build Runs: This is a segment of a run or an entire run where you start very slow but end very fast as you gradually pick up the pace along the way. It is often broken up by distance but can also be done using time intervals.
IN and Outs: This is a Track based workout where (after a healthy warmup of 2-3K) you run loops of the track in a specific way: Run HARD on the straight sections and EASY on the curves. This is a continuous run once you’re on the track, but if you’re going to place fuel anywhere, put it on the curve.
The REID: Named after Olympian Reid Coolsaet, this is one of his favourite workouts to do leading up to a race. 3K warm-up then 30 Minutes of HARD Hill Repeats followed by a 3K cool-down. Awesome.
The KRISTA: Named after Olympian Krista Duchene who re-discovered the beauty of running ‘by feel’. This workout is placed in the latter stages of your training, when you have discovered what your Race Pace will be. Take some time to warm-up into the race pace but hold it there without looking at your watch. Get used to the rhythm, the leg turnover speed (cadence), the arm swing, the breathing….perfect practice makes perfect.
15K Special with 3x5K @ RP: Warm up run followed by 5K at Target (Marathon/Half Marathon) Race Pace, 2 minutes of Recovery running, repeat so that you do it a total of 3 times. This is tough, but a great way to dial in your legs to your race pace when you are tired.
90/60/30: These hard efforts are preceded by a 2-4K warmup. We start with the 90 second efforts and we run them at 10K Race Pace, then the 60 second efforts are run at 5K Race Pace, the 30 second efforts are even faster than that! Each Hard effort is separated by a recovery run that is equal in time to the hard effort. For example, one set of 90/60/30 would look like this: 90s HD – 90s EZ – 60s HD – 60s EZ – 30s HD – 30s EZ. Roll directly into the NEXT set.
1 & 1’s: Exactly how they sound. 1 minute faster than your Target Race Pace, followed by 1 minute at comfortable recovery pace. Examples:
Target Race Pace: 6min/K; First 1 minute at 5:30/K, second 1 minute at 7:15/K pace.
Or Target Race Pace: 4min/K; First 1 minute at 3:30/K, second 1 minute at 5:00/K pace
Cut Down (Tempo) Runs: This is a way to break up your Tempo effort and make your gains more dynamic for racing. After warming up, you start with the longest Interval and work your way down to 1 minute of hard running. Let’s talk about pacing; the longest interval (often around 6 minutes) should be run at Half Marathon Race Pace, each interval that is shorter should get a little faster. The last 1 minute interval should be at 5K Race Pace. Note: this is still a Tempo run at heart, so your recovery intervals are only 1 minute long. There is 3 minutes of recovery in between Cut Down sets if you are doing multiples.
Float Runs: All Runners know what it feels like to ‘Float’ while running – it’s when you run at a pace that feels like you could do it forever, your breathing is in sync with your legs and your heart and your miles feel easy. Of course this pace changes as your fitness improves, so don’t be limited by the pace your watch suggests, just run and Float On.
Progression Runs: These runs are similar to ‘THIRDS’ runs, only more specific to your Race Day goals. We will use an 18K progression run as an example here: First 6K @ EZ Pace, 2nd 6K building up to your target race pace, last 6K @ Race Pace.
Flush Runs: These runs usually follow tough runs, or tough weeks. Forget about the pace, just cover the distance. These are often enjoyable, social runs even though your legs are tired.
GoGoGo Runs: These Checkpoint runs are done about once per month. Set out to run for 1 hour and cover as much ground as you can in that hour. If you choose the same or similar routes each month, you should expect to see that distance covered increase over the course of a training season.