Different Types of Running

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Running is a great way to improve your overall health and become fitter and stronger. You can mix up your schedule and work on different techniques by doing different types of running. It may be helpful to know what each type of running consists of; if you’re new to running and want to create a training schedule, this article will provide you with this information.

Recovery run

After a long run the previous day or a hard workout, you’ll still be recovering from the activity. Many runners like to go out for a short slow run as part of their active recovery. This prevents their muscles from becoming stiff and enables them to get outside and be active. When doing a recovery run, you should keep to a slow, comfortable pace and not push yourself too far. This activity is about recovering rather than building on your endurance or speed.

Hill repeats

These are exactly what the name suggests, running up a hill repeatedly. This form of training is perfect for building strength and speed and improving your mental willpower. The hill should be moderately steep and short. It should be challenging and difficult; if this isn’t the case, find a steeper hill or push yourself harder. Hill repeats should use all the energy you have to go up and down. That being said, you shouldn’t do hill repeats too often; once a week is a good time frame for this exercise. Try rotating the hills you use to keep things interesting and challenging. 

Base run

A base run is what you’ll be doing most of the time when you’re running. It involves running at your natural pace for a moderate amount of time. You should do base runs frequently if you're working up towards an event. They shouldn’t be too challenging or strenuous as part of your training plan. Regular base running can improve your endurance and keep you at a good fitness level. Your length and pace will vary as you build up your fitness level to a longer and potentially quicker base run.

Long run

A long run should be challenging, and you should feel tired after completing a long run. The length will depend on your experience and fitness level. For some runners, a long right might be around 20 miles; for others, it could be 10. A long run is always longer than your base run and more challenging. In a long run, you might need to consume running gels or other energy sources to keep yourself sustained. 

Progression run

This type of run starts at a natural pace but then transitions to a quicker pace towards the end of the run. Progression runs are challenging for runners but not too difficult. They can help to improve your stamina whilst reducing the risk of injury. A progression run might start with 45 minutes of a natural running pace and end with 15 minutes of running at a strong pace. 


Intervals are great for building fitness, burning calories and adding variety to your training. This type of running includes periods of slow jogging or walking and periods of fast running. Beginners can even try interval running to build them up to be able to run for longer periods at once.


A fartlek run is similar to an interval run but with less structure. There are different paces set throughout the run that need to be upheld. Often a single competitor sets the pace for the race in different sections of a fartlek run. Practising this type of running can help to improve your speed, race tactics and ability to overtake competitors when tired. 

Tempo run 

This type of running is very quick and challenging; the runner will push themselves to their quickest pace that can be maintained for the duration of the fastest part of the run. The run will start slowly with a warm-up and end with a cool-down period. These runs don’t need to be very far, but they’re all about pushing the runner to their maximum pace. A tempo run helps runners to improve their overall speed. These should be performed once or twice a week as they’re very high-intensity workouts that you need to take time out to recover from afterwards.

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