Types of Runs/Workouts: We’ve got you covered!

Coach Casey · March 2, 2020

Whether you’re a first time user or a veteran Charge All-Star, you may wonder what workouts to join each day. Between our daily Live Runs and our expansive On-Demand library, there are TONS to choose from at Charge. Occasionally, the types of runs/workouts you choose are determined by your schedule. However, when you’re working towards a specific race goal you’ll want to know what workouts are crafted to get you there. 

Herein lies the subject of our blog. What are the differences between each of the various types of runs/workouts offered here at Charge? Which one might be right for you? The short answer is that they’re all right for you! Every workout can be scaled to your experience and ability level. However, for more in-depth information, keep reading:

Base Runs

Base runs are your weekly mileage builders. Your “normal runs”. These workouts are easy to scale and are completed at a comfortable, controlled effort. The effort doesn’t exceed about 30-40% of your maximum running effort, or 60-75% of your max heart rate. Whether you need many miles or are looking for a lighter recovery day, base runs are for you. Base runs should make up about 50-60% of your total weekly mileage, and are never runs where you’re overstraining or “going to the well.”

Tempo Workout

Tempo runs are generally considered “comfortably hard.” The goal of these workouts are to hold a slightly harder intensity for an extended duration (generally 3 -10 minutes). The workouts are done close to, but slower than, your lactate threshold point, where your body is producing and clearing lactate at the same rate. These runs are GREAT for developing efficiency within your body’s energy and oxygen systems and learning proper, controlled pacing. A longer tempo-style workout should be done 1-2 times per week, especially in preparation for longer races such as the 1/2 marathon and full marathon.

Interval Workout

Interval workouts are completed at a higher intensity but for a shorter duration than their Tempo counterparts. Technically an interval workout is any group of repeated reps at a set distance with predetermined rest. Generally, specific goal splits are set in an interval workout to guide an athlete through the distance. While tempo runs featured sustained “comfortably-hard” efforts, intervals are compact bursts of speed generally between 30sec – 2min. Interval workouts are exceptional for developing acceleration and functional, neuromuscular movements. They’ll also work you out within your anaerobic system, and fine-tune your speed. Generally you’ll want to limit a hard interval workout to 1 day per week unless you’re training specifically for shorter races (5k and less). 

Speed Play (Fartlek)

Also commonly referred to as a “Fartlek” (Swedish for “Speed Play”), these workouts share a lot in common with intervals but are effort and time based versus pace and distance. A typical fartlek workout will break down into “On/Hard” durations of running time and “Off/Easy” durations. Your legs are constantly moving and your body is continuously working to manage its oxygen and energy efficiently. For runners looking for some of the benefits of an interval workout without the ability to track exact distance or pace, these workouts are perfect. All you need is a watch! Again, like interval workouts, try and keep these to 1 time per week for most training calendars. 

Track Days

Whether it’s Track Tuesday or Track Thursday at Charge you’ll be getting a shot of raw speed directly into your system! Our Track Day workouts are designed as Hard Intervals simulating the style of hard, fast repeats you’d generally do on a track. If you’ve got a track to use, GREAT! If you’re just hitting the open road or the treadmill, also GREAT! Don’t be caught by the fact that we have 2 Tuesday (4:30am EST and 6pm EST) and 1 Thursday Track Days, these are max intensity workout so be cautious about over-doing it in a given week with more than one!    

Progression Runs

Progressions runs are tried and true in race preparation. Building through a workout or race to finish faster than you started is a skill all runners should hope to possess. Progression runs are designed to build that skill. While there are multiple varieties of progression run workouts, the same basic premise exists: be running faster at the finish line than you were at the start line. Commonly these runs are constructed as “negative split” runs, start slow-finish fast runs, or time pace progression runs. Each variety builds the same key skill in just slightly different way. You can’t go wrong!

Walk to Run

The perfect run for people at any stage of their running journey! Build your aerobic foundation, just like a Base Run, but with added walk recovery to keep your legs fresh from start to finish! You can use a workout like this in place of a normal base run to strengthen your weekly mileage or as a recovery or bonus-run after a hard race/workout. No matter what you’ll walk away feeling good and having more miles under your belt than you did before. 

Long Run 

Everyone’s favorite! The weekly long run has over time grown to have its very own legendary status in the running world. Let’s be clear, there is no minimum required distance that must covered in a long run. Just like any run or workout, long runs are completely individualized. Long runs tend to be 50% longer than your average weekly base run and completed at a slightly slower pace (15-30sec per mile). Spending a very extended amount of time on your feet running, even at a comfortable pace, helps strengthen your muscles, tendons and ligaments. It also helps grow capillaries in your blood to transport more oxygen to those oxygen-needy muscles. One run a week that’s longer, and even a bit slower will prove immensely beneficial!

No matter the types of runs/workouts you’re looking for, Charge has got you covered! Join our team and access all of the workouts above in over 120 live, professionally coached runs per week! 

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