Running: truly effective training sessions

Whether you like it or not, the facts are: your mandatory, boring and sticky jogging in the morning does not lead to good physical fitness at all. If you want to be cooler, run smart, we’ll teach you.

You’re probably a man of habit (like all of us): falling asleep under the show around midnight, drinking a cup of coffee in the morning, then running the same distance and at the same speed as a million years ago. But the stability is good only in architecture, and in running training the stability is fraught with stagnation and injuries.

In addition, as you remember, different styles of running have different effects on the body and its systems. For example, short interval trainings noticeably increase MPC (maximum oxygen consumption is an indicator of your aerobic performance), and long interval trainings improve heart function and blood circulation.

Smart athletes use all four main types of training: speed training, threshold training, endurance training and quiet running for active recovery. And it does not matter what result you expect from your training. Even if you are a convinced marathon runner in your heart, you will still benefit from high-speed power work.

This is how Tom Cloos, the coach of the elitist Bay Area Track Club (USA), says: “The greatest transfer of performance for runners of any profile I have seen is from high-speed training – the athlete improves technique, corrects individual biomechanics and gets rid of mistakes that steal energy. By learning how to run fast, you can run for a long time with more speed and more energy savings.

We will tell you about the benefits of each type of training and teach you how to place them in the training schedule in the most effective way.

Speed training

What’s this? (Laughs) 30 minutes of sprint. Improves running technique and pitch amplitude, trains rapidly shrinking muscle fibers.

How to do it? Run 1.5 kilometers slowly, then do a chain of exercises, spending each of 15 seconds: jumping on straight legs forward or left-right, alternating high knee rises in front of you, alternating overhangs of the shin backwards, fast running on the spot, almost without tearing your feet off the ground.

Go through the chain three times, then add dynamic muscle activation: 30 seconds of rock climbing exercise (running with the stop lying down) and immediate sprint with 20 steps up (no ladder? Make 10 lifts with one foot on the platform about half a meter high). Take a breath and repeat this combination once again. Everything, now you are ready for high-speed work.

From the high start position, make a series of fastest accelerations of 25, 35, 45 and 55 meters (after each sprint step back to the start). Then, three times, you have to do a hundred and fifty percent, but don’t go all the way back (after these heats, go back to the start with a light run). At the end of the training session, run 800 meters, slowing down the speed, and the last meters just go quietly.

This training loads more rapidly shrinking muscle fibers than just jogging. Plus the sprint improves your running technique by teaching you to work harder with your hands, carry your knees forward, and hold your body and head correctly. As a result, you can run faster and longer with less energy.

Unfortunately, speed training is not very good for the joints. When you run at a normal speed, your foot touches the ground for a quarter of a second at every step; in sprint this time is reduced to one eighth of a second.

As a result, the joints of your legs are loaded with 7 (!) body weights at each step. Leading experts recommend not to conduct such trainings too often: after a high-speed load you should afford from 48 to 72 hours of rest.

Threshold training

What’s this? (Laughs) Simply put, it’s a 30-60-minute training session, during which you have to run as fast as you can without giving up your breath. And it is necessary to choose such a speed of running that you are constantly on the verge of losing even breath.

How do I escort you? Choose a distance (from 5 to 10 km) and run it as fast as possible in the threshold condition described above.

When the selected training volume becomes too simple, extend the training for 30 minutes if you are a distance expert of less than or equal to 10 km. Want more? Increase the training time by one hour at a time. Over time, build up the pace in which you run the entire distance.

How to determine the required speed? You can be guided by subjective feelings, but for those who like accuracy there is, for example, the McMillanrunning Training Calculator ( He will calculate the necessary pace for you and give you advice.

Coach Greg McMillan talks about the threshold training in the following way: run a little slower than the average pace that you show on the 10 km distance, or, if it’s easier for you, add 40 seconds to the time that you need to overcome every 1.5 km on the 5 km distance.

Finally, the most pleasant way to do this is to invite your friend to a run. Talk on the run, and if breathing allows you to do it, then you have chosen the right pace.