Training Runs Explained

My entry to running began with a goal to run a half marathon. My husband and I were not runners, and we found a Hal Higdon Novice training plan for a half marathon. We dutifully logged our miles, running together for the entire training plan and race.

Now, 7 years later, we are both avid runners. We are learning more about the sport and how to train to improve our speed. As part of my reading, I found explanations for different types of runs.

Long Runs (Over 15 miles)

Start at the slower end of the pace and gradually pick up the speed. The last 5-10 miles should be 10% slower than marathon goal pace.

  • 10-20% Slower than marathon goal pace
  • 74-84% of maximum HR.

Medium Long Runs (11-15 miles)

Similar to Long Run pace.

Marathon Pace Runs

Sometimes a training plan calls for a pace run. This is typically a medium long run where you run most of your miles at marathon goal pace.

General Aerobic Runs

This is a standard moderate effort run of up to 10 miles. It is shower than lactate threshold runs and shorter than medium long runs, but faster than recovery running. A general thing to remember about this type of run is that if you are too tired to do a hard training session the next day then your general aerobic run was too hard.

  • 15-25% slower than marathon goal pace
  • 70-81% of maximum HR

Lactate Threshold Runs

These are tempo runs with a run of at least 20 minutes at lactate threshold pace. The lactate threshold pace is somewhere between a 15K and half marathon pace.

  • 72-91% of max HR
  • 2-3 mile warm-up, 4-7 miles of tempo run in the middle and 15 minute cool down.

Recovery Runs

These are relatively short runs at a relaxed pace. This type of run will leave you feeling refreshed. You should look for flat surfaces and a soft surface is preferable.

  • Below 76% of max HR


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