A weekly staple for many, a long run should introduce the biggest single dose of aerobic running in a given time frame. Long runs enhance general fitness and musculoskeletal strength while giving you a psychological boost from covering so much ground. Runs that get incrementally faster (known as progression runs) or contain surges and pickups further increase the training stimulus.
During the base phase, regular runs are incredibly important. Since workouts are less intense and more spaced out, these runs serve as a great way to reinforce the benefits of a long run in a smaller, more manageable package.
Fartleks and tempos:
Tempo runs and fartlek sessions are generally aerobic in nature, but it’s a higher-level aerobic workout that receives support from an anaerobic energy processes. You’ll feel this shift as labored breathing and tired legs. Whether it’s a steady five-mile tempo at half-marathon pace or a 30-minute session alternating two minutes hard with one minute easy, the goal should be to stay moderately uncomfortable throughout. These workouts also serve as a good bridge toward the shorter, more intense interval sessions that define the next phase of training in the spring.