My Top-3 Running Workouts:
Any time I talk to other runner friends about training or discuss my coaching philosophies with one of the athletes I coach, inevitably the conversation of “workouts” comes up. What types of workouts do you like to do? What are the best workouts for someone to do? Much like the question “what shoes should I wear?”, the answer isn’t universal for everyone. That said, I like to tell people that I have a few workouts I prescribe to my athletes and run frequently myself, and I think they have the most bang for your buck!
- Trail intervals. Interval workouts are always beneficial, regardless of the terrain. For me, though, running an interval workout on an undulating trail is about as good of a workout as you can get! Why, you ask? Pushing the pace on rolling hills creates great resistance, because it’s impossible to time where your intervals will start and stop, meaning that you will be running some of them on flats, some going uphill, and some going downhill. That unpredictability creates a more effective stimulus for the body!
- Hill surges. Call them hill repeats if you want, but I rarely go up and down on the same hill doing repeats. Rather, I like to find a route with plenty of climbing and inject 30-60 second surges (or sometimes a little longer) while I’m running uphill. It’s one of the absolute toughest workouts you can do, but as a wise person once told me, “Hills pay the bills!”
- Cutdown runs. Cutdown runs are done at a specific pace, where you are slowly speeding up every mile (or different interval) that you run. For example, you might do a 10-mile cutdown workout where every mile you run is 10 seconds faster than the last. The point of these workouts is to work on pacing, something very important to distance running! It’s also fun to gradually speed up throughout a workout and watch as your body grows accustomed to the injected speed. I will occasionally run a workout like this on less predictable terrain, just for the added challenge of seeing if I can complete the workout as prescribed.
Every single one of these workouts will make you a better runner! That’s the Adam Kimble guarantee. Sometimes I hear people say that distance runners “don’t need to run fast,” because they don’t run at tempo speeds during most races. I couldn’t disagree more! Speed kills, and the more frequently you run fast, the more you will improve your running economy and endurance over the course of time!