Do you know the difference between a tempo, steady, fartlek and LSD run? If not, don’t worry, when I started out running I had no clue either! Don’t get overwhelmed by the different types of runs, there are a few (you don’t need to incorporate all into your weekly training schedule) but they all have their purpose and benefits to help you become a stronger and faster runner.

TEMPO – this pace is comfortably hard. If you were running with a friend you would be able to say the occasional word but wouldn’t be able to say full sentences – if you can say full sentences then you are not running fast enough! This run helps to develop stamina.

STEADY – this is a comfortable pace. If you were running with a friend you would be able to say sentences but you wouldn’t be able to chat continuously; this is a pace that you could comfortably keep up over longer distances.

LSD (LONG SLOW DISTANCE) – as the name suggests, these runs are long and slow – in fact, the slower the better. These runs are intended to get your body used to running for longer periods of time, but because you are going slower than race pace, your body won’t take as long to recover. The goal is for your kilometer/mile splits to be 60-90 seconds slower than your tempo pace. If you were running with a friend you would be able to comfortably chat without being out of breath.

HILLS – as the name suggests, running hills! These are designed for speed and strength. This run helps to develop muscular strength and raise your aerobic threshold. Posture is incredibly important with these runs (check out this blog for more info on hill training).

SPEED WORK – to run fast you must run fast! This interval-style workout is at a faster pace than tempo, but for short bursts of time. By utilising your “fast twitch” muscles, you’ll gain overall speed, develop strength and recover faster.

FARTLEK – taken from the Swedish name meaning speed play, these runs incorporate tempo, steady, speed work and LSD paces. Throughout the run you vary the paces speeding up and slowing down – ultimately this helps to keep your pace varied, makes you stronger, and mimics a race.

HELLO, I’m Gillian, a running and nutrition coach based in Toronto, Canada. Thank you so much for taking the time to read this post, it really means a lot to me. If you are interested, I have MORE:

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