Running fast: the essential workouts – part one

There are some athletic quantities that limit the performance of a runner. We’re going to see how we can improve these quantities. For simplicity, we’ll divide the workouts that contribute to improving the SAN and VO2MAX from the workouts that concern aerobic capacity or power.

The last one before the competitive phase is usually one of the types of sessions that are included in the specific preparation phase.

Remember that each phase has a different purpose. Therefore, each phase will include different workouts. However, all phases should include workouts that improve the athletic qualities we’ve discussed so far.

The first workout we are going to discuss that improves anaerobic capacity is hill work. Hill work is simply running up (or down) a hill repeatedly. There are many different ways to do hill work.

Here are a few: Run Uphill (As Fast As Possible) One day per week Run a hill 10 times as fast as you can without hurting yourself. (This will improve your speed and endurance.

 SAN and VO2MAX are essentially the following:

1) Long repetitions;
2) Medium repetitions;
3) Short repetitions;
4) Interval training;
5) Fartlek;
6) Interval race uphill;
7) Variations of rhythm.

We now describe the different types of training:


For a certain number of times, at a certain pace, with a recovery period between one test and another, it is a type of training that involves running long or short distances repeatedly. The type of repetition depends on the distance to be covered, the pace to be held, the number of trials, the duration and the type of recovery.


The distances you’ll cover range from 2 to 5 km, the pace at which you’ll run will be set based on your 10 km race record, meaning that your performance will not diminish throughout the session.

The goal of this training is to improve your ability to use oxygen and accustom the muscle fibers to dispose of the lactic acid produced.

This training can be done indoors or outdoors, but I recommend that you do it outside since the fresh air will do your body good.

You’ll need a flat surface such as a park, a street, or a field for you to run on, and a stop watch or a clock to time yourself.

The first part of the session is just warming up, running easy for five minutes.

Orlando Pizzolato recommends the following speeds:
– 2 km: 10 km record pace;
– 3 km: pace of the record on 10 km + 5/8 “
– 5 km: pace of record on 10 km + 10/12″
and the following maximum km to cover depending on the race that is scheduled:
– 5 km race: max 8/10 km per session
– 10 km race: max 8/12 km per session
– 21 km race: max 12/14 km per session
– 42 km race: max 15 / + 20 km per session.

Between each training period, this training session should last about three to five minutes. It is possible to do it in an active way with a light jog. It’s important to do this in an active way so that you have enough cardiovascular activity for absorption of lactic acid.

Warm-up The warm-up is a series of exercises that you do before your workout. The goal of this part of the workout is to prepare your body and mind for the next exercise. It is very important to do this step before any workout because it prepares your body for the work you are going to do.


It is necessary to have a knowledge of the characteristics of your body in order to know the intensities and distances at which you can produce less and more lactic acid.

To select the intensity and distance of our races, we need to know the anaerobic threshold, which is the maximum intensity at which you can accumulate lactic acid, and the speed at which your body produces it and disposes of it.

The pace for this type of repetition should be the pace of the 10 km – 5/10 ″ record for this type of exercise. Total distance covered in training will range from 5 to 8 km depending on the length of the race being prepared. And the recovery should be approximately 1.5 times the length of the repetition.


The purpose of this type of exercise is to accelerate your metabolism. When you start to run faster, your body makes more of a chemical called H+, which causes your pH levels to become more alkaline, because it causes your body to make more of a chemical called H+.

The scale ranges from 0 to 14 and 7 is considered neutral. Your body becomes susceptible to disease when your pH levels are too low. Your body becomes prone to aging when it is too high in alkaline levels.

In this type of session, the total distance you should be covering must not be greater than 5% of your weekly mileage. Your recovery time should be 2.5 times the length of the repetition, and your speed should be around the 50% mark of your 100 m repetition.

1. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) The purpose of this type of exercise is to boost your metabolic rate. HIIT is one of the most effective ways to burn fat quickly. During this type of exercise, you will perform a short intense exercise and then rest for about 15 to 20 seconds.

This type of exercise is best for those who have little time to spare. The total distance you should be covering must not be greater than 10% of your weekly mileage. Your recovery time should be equal to the length of the repetition, and your speed should be around the 70% mark of your 100 m repetition.

2. Plyometrics The purpose of this type of exercise is to improve your running speed. Plyometric exercises involve jumping or bouncing up and down and landing on the ground. Plyometrics help to increase your power output. Plyometric exercises help in developing your leg muscles, which helps to strengthen your legs. They also help to improve your balance.


This is one type of interval training that will improve your endurance while using short distances. The difference with respect to short repetitions is in the duration of the recovery which is much shorter, in the type of recovery, in the intensity of the effort and in the number of trials.

The commitment of this session is less than the commitment of the short repetitions of about 1.5 / 2 ″ for each fraction of 100 meters, this means that the production and accumulation of lactic acid will be lower. 

The duration of the pause is therefore more limited than the short repetitions and must be approximately equal to the duration of the test. The distances to be covered range from 100 to 400 meters and the repetitions from 15 to 20 depending on the distance covered in the test. 

The recovery mode is obviously different depending on the level of efficiency of the athlete: runners who are a little less trained can, for example, do half of the recovery at pace and the rest at a slow pace, while runners a little more advanced they can run at a slow pace throughout recovery time.

The benefits of interval training are to be sought not only in the training effectiveness on the cardiovascular system and therefore in the maximum oxygen consumption, but also in the improvement of running mechanics.

This is because running at a brisk pace requires a greater commitment of muscle strength (especially calf), plus training the reactivity and pushing action of the feet.


The word “fartlek” was derived from Swedish and means “game of speed”; it is an interval training method that’s part of the interval training methodology because it involves alternating stretches of fast running with other routes at a slower pace for recovery purposes.

The rhythm to be sustained is therefore that of a “sensation”, and it’s necessary to have a good sensitivity in recognizing both the running commitment and the response of your body. Originally, it was about training on unpaved trails with limited or no markings on the ground to help develop a runner’s sense of distance, terrain, and speed.

Nowadays, trail running has evolved to the point where it offers challenging yet pleasant trails with many scenic and historical points of interest. The main emphasis has switched from an internal feeling to an external awareness, which includes the ability to read the landscape and know when and where to go to find the optimal route.

Benchmark and recovery are self-managed, which makes them subjective and sometimes questionable. Some U.S. citizens might be affected by the variable results of the Swedish fartlek. coaches have transformed into a type of training that uses very precise rhythms of both fast and recovery stretches and runs measured stretches. Different types of fartlek are available depending on the duration of the variations.

–  SHORT : with variations in duration from 15 ″ to 60 ″ at high speed (that of 3 km races to be clear) with recovery of 1 ′ at slow running. The variations are repeated 15 to 25 times.
– LONG : with variations from 2 ‘to 5’ races at race speed of 5/10 km and with 2 ‘recovery. The repetitions range from 10 to 20.
– COMBINED : with mixed variations associating repetitions of short fartlek with repetitions of long fartlek.


It is possible to improve muscular strength and endurance by running uphill. It increases your aerobic capacity, improves the efficiency of your running motion, and increases your tolerance to fatigue.

Your feet should always remain planted on the ground, that’s the only thing that matters. This will increase the strength of your knees, quadriceps, and entire body. The degree to which your torso is slightly inclined forward is important.

Your legs will be able to push against the force of the gravity. By the way, based on the distance you cover, you can determine if you are doing interval training or running continuously uphill.


The best uphill sprints are 15 to 20% on a high-slope with a rest interval of 45 to 90 seconds between each repetition. The heart’s ability to supply the working muscles with more blood and oxygen than on level ground makes the state of the anaerobic state less pronounced. Between each effort, the recovery is extended up to ninety seconds. The number of times you can do a repetition is from 5 to 12.


The marathon is a long distance run which typically lasts between two and three hours. The distance varies greatly, but is usually somewhere between 26 and 42 miles. The fastest people in the world have run the course in 2:03 and 4:18, while the slowest person ever recorded, Dennis Kimet, took 9:17 to run the course.


People who enjoy running and walking will find this a great workout. The commitment is similar to that of a 10 km race on the flat, and the slope must not be very steep. The recovery is equal to the distance covered, which is why the repetition range is from 3 to 5 trials.


It is a type of interval training that requires the athlete to maintain high intensity for long periods, but not with extreme intensity. It’s done to prevent the absorption of lactic acid into the muscles during the recovery phase. It can be done before the competitive tests, but it is very common in competitive sports. Use the larger distances when the distances are greater than 1000 m.

Some examples of rhythm variations proposed by Pizzolato:
– 1 km at anaerobic threshold rhythm + 1 km average rhythm x 5/6 times;
– 2 km at a threshold pace + 10 ″ + 1 km at an average pace x 4/5 times;
– 3 km at threshold pace + 15 ″ + 1 km at medium pace x 3/4 times;
– 3 km at threshold pace + 15 ″ + 1 km at threshold pace + 5 ″ x 3/4 times.
This type of sessions is also able to train the athlete to discipline the physical and mental energies and to better manage the effort, which is not always immediate during the competition.


We have published the second part of the article at this address , happy reading!

Leave a Comment