8 Basic Types of Runs for your Workout Routine

Running is well-known as one of the most effective calories burning workout, chosen by both amateur and professional trainees around the world. There are 08 basic types of runs, which have evolved through a long, wide-scale trial-and-error process and proved their effectiveness.


If you want to get a perfect build without going to the gym, running is one of the most popular choices. However, running is not simple as it may seem. You cannot just run head front and hope it will work. Trainers and trainees all over the world have tried various types of runs and come up with only 08 basic types of runs that actually help form our shape and run faster.

The article below will introduce all 08 basic types of runs. You can use their most basic form, or you can combine two or more of them within a single session. Try and find out which type of running workout is the best for you.

1. Recovery Run

Also known as easy runs, recovery runs are short running sessions performed at an easy speed. It is what your body really need between hard workout sessions. While doing recovery runs, you can let your body relax while adding some mileage to your training routine without stretch your muscles too much. To stop suddenly after working out will certainly do yourself harm, so for the sake of your body, take recovery runs as intervals.

The main purpose of recovery run is relaxing your muscles, so if you find the lingering fatigue and soreness occurring to your body and inclining to increase, you must have done it wrongly. You should start out at a very slow speed and gradually settle into a slow speed. If you run slow enough, your body will automatic pilot and circulate out, bit by bit eliminate the toxins – a waste byproduct generated during muscle cell contraction process. Faster running will accumulate more toxins, making you end up injured or overexerted.

You could perform 4 miles of recovery run at easy pace after a session of hill repeat, and go back to another tempo run or interval.

2. Base Run

Base Run

A base run is a moderate-length run performing at your natural pace. With “natural pace”, we mean you should not over challenge yourself. Base runs aim at stimulating improvements in aerobic capacity, endurance and running economy while making up a bulk of your mileage.

For practicing, you can start by running 3 miles at your natural pace. The running route can be extended when you grow more acquainted to the type of run. Six miles per session is ideal.

3. Long Run

Long Run

Of all basic types of runs, long run aims at massively enhance your body’s endurance. When you set out on a long run, your target is conquer the longest route with the same pace you use when you perform a session of base run. General speaking, we could say that a long run is actually a base run which lasts long enough to make your body fatigued.

Typically, people who choose long run as their favorite workout routine just want to improve their endurance by setting up new length to finish. You can combine both endurance enhancing and speed raising in a session by increase your pace and mix in some intervals. It would be such a challenge if you choose a long track.

Ideal distance for a long run session is from 10 to 15 miles. Keep on working, do not give up when you find yourself sore and fatigued after a run. The discomfort will go away after a period of time and you will get much stronger.

4. Progression Run

If you want to take a workout routine that is harder than base run but isn’t as arduous as tempo or interval runs, progression run may be what you are looking for. In other words, a progression run is a run that starts at your natural speed, escalates with a faster pace at somewhere like marathon.

Due to the moderate effort taken during a session of a progression run, the recovery time for it is less than that of more intense types of runs.

An example of a progression run session is 5 miles at natural pace, followed by 1 mile at marathon pace, then finishes with 1 mile at half-marathon pace. The process of adjusting your muscles, circulation system and respiratory system will enhance all your body’s functions.

5. Fartlek

General speaking, a fartlek session is a base run mixing in intervals of various pace and length. It is a good start for you before working intensively with tempo runs or interval workouts, since its target is developing efficiency and fatigue resistance at an enhanced speed.

There are mostly no rule in fartlek, of all the basic types of runs. Fartlek is less structured than interval runs, giving you a way to have fun with speed without pressure. You can challenge yourself by running at high pace to a tree or a line on your track, then go back to the natural pace and stretch yourself again when you feel relaxed.

These are some example of fartlek workout for you: you can run 6 miles at your natural pace, followed by 10 x 1:00 pickups at 5K pace and then perform 1:00 recoveries mid-run. Or else, you can do a 5 mile session at your natural pace with 10 spurts of increased speed lasting about 30 seconds to 1 minute each, followed by 1 minute recoveries.

6. Hill Repeats

Through the name of the workout, you can see the main task here is uphill running. Hill repeats art repeated short turns of intensive uphill running. The main target of the workout is to increase your aerobic ability, high-intensity fatigue endurance, pain tolerance, and run-specific strength.

To perform hill repeat, of course, you need a hill. Not every hill is suitable to be your run track. You should choose one with moderate gradient of from 4 to 6 percent. A too steep hill may cause you unnecessary fatigue.

Hill repeats are often introduced at the end of a base-building period, since it is a considerably safe workout to pave the way for harder, more highly intensive training performances into the program.

7. Tempo Run

Tempo Run

There are many things to say about tempo run – an increasingly popular workout chosen by trainers and trainees around the world. In term of definition, a tempo run means a sustained effort aiming at lactate threshold intensity. A runner’s threshold intensity is the best speed at which he can for one hour if he is a highly fit runners. The duration is 20 minutes for amateurs or less fit runners.

A tempo run, or we can call it a threshold run, serves to help you both increase your sustained speed and the duration in which you can sustain that pace. Considering the high intensity of the workout, you will need time to recover after each session. Concentrate on your breathing. If you are able to take in broken, short sentences instead of full sentences and prolonged conversations, it is the right pace you should perform in a tempo run workout.

Some people know about a type of basic runs called marathon-pace run, which is somehow similar to tempo run. Well, it is a specific type of tempo run, to be honest. Runners in the final weeks of preparing for a marathon often choose the type to enhance their speed. Of course, it comes after weeks of long runs and longer progression runs including smaller, shorter amounts of running at a high pace.

An example of normal tempo run is 1 mile of easy jogging (warming up), followed by 4 miles at your lactate threshold pace and 1 mile of easy jogging (relaxing your muscles, circulation and respiratory system). If you are starting, the length of running at the lactate threshold pace can be reduced to 3 miles.

To perform marathon pace run, you can perform 2 miles of running at your natural pace and then continue with 13.1 miles exerting at marathon pace. Hope it will do you good.

8. Intervals

Considered the most intensive, calories burning and to tell the truth, hard, type of runs, intervals are the choice of highly trained runners and who want to shape their body fast. In term of definition, interval workouts mean repeated short segments of running at a high pace, separated by relaxing jogging or standing recoveries.

Working out in this format, you will be able to perform more fast running into a single session than you could when running head front with only one prolonged last effort until you are totally fatigued. Interval runs are clarified as short intervals and long intervals, which are usually performed on the track. Wondering how long is the best distance of a long interval? The answer varies, but we recommend you to take it as 600 to 1200 meters per segment.

You can perform long intervals by following the format: 1 mile of easy jogging (for warming up), followed by 600m running at 5K race pace, then 400m jogging recoveries and 1 mile of easy jogging (to cool down your stretched muscles).

Short intervals, however, can be performed as just 100 to 400 segments. They are often chosen by distance runners, who use short intervals earlier in the training cycle to enhance their speed. After some short ones, runners will move to longer, endurance-required intervals, which aim at improving their fatigue resistance.

A typical example of short interval workout is 1 mile of easy jogging to warm up, 300m fast running at 1-mile race pace then 200m jogging recoveries and 1 mile of easy jogging to relax before rebounding.

The ideal pace for a long interval segment is 5K race pace, while that of a short on is roughly 1500m race pace or faster. True the right speed for your training will get you more benefits than just running in formats.

Long interval workouts aim at developing your efficiency and fatigue resistance at fast running speeds. Short intervals, besides, promote all your speed, running economy, and pain tolerance. Such a wise choice for entire body shaping and strengthening.


Running, just like heavy lifting, is one of the most well-known types of working out to gain perfect shape and strength. You don’t have to go to the gym or hire a personal trainer to run, but you surely need some information about basic types of runs and what they can do to your body. By grabbing the knowledge, it is easier for you to find a perfect type of workouts for your body without going through an arduous process of trial and error.

If you just want to run as an activity for health instead of intensively training your body, base run, long run and progressive run may be suitable choices for you. Or else, if you are yearning to enhance your muscles, endurance, pain tolerance, fatigue resistance and overall strength, you should try more intensive and complex workouts such as hill repeats, tempo runs or intervals.

One bright side of running is that you don’t have to stick to only one type of running. You can combine more than two types to gain the best effect. Running is easy, indeed. Once you have the determination and a strong will, you will be surprised how just runs can improve your strength and build. Many people finding they gain nothing from arduous days and months at the gym in vain can get what they want in such a short period of time by running. However, they have to run wisely, following strict format and never give up despite fatigue and soreness.

After reading all the information above, have you set up a perfect workout routine for yourself yet?

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