How to Optimize Training

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There are various kinds of running that can be used for different purposes:

Long Runs: Long, slow distances are the foundation of your training. Consistency and the progressive nature of the long, slow run provide a gentle build-up of stamina and endurance. Steady runs below targeted race pace are used to develop and build strength.

Tempo Runs: High-quality run sessions improve your speed and pace judgment. Tempo runs simulate race conditions in a condensed version.

Hills Repeats: Repeated sessions of running hard up and running easy down a hill will improve form, cardiovascular and muscular skeleton strength.

Fartleks: Change of pace in runs of various distances will help runners build determination, strength and speed. As an athlete you will learn how to shift gears between training speed and race speed.

Speed Sessions: These sessions should be run 1 minute to 1 ½ minutes faster than your race day pace. This will provide a sense of running in a zone of discomfort while maintaining form.

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John Stanton is the President and Founder of the Running Room. He is the author of 10 books about running, walking and family fitness.

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