Learning How To Run Workouts By Feel

Use the talk test during various workouts to gauge whether or not you're running at the right effort level.

Get the most bang for your training buck by listening to your body. 

As a new runner, training vernacular can sometimes make your head spin. Head out on a run with your local running club or pick any running magazine up off the shelf and your head will be immediately filled with words such as threshold, VO2max, steady state, and the list goes on. Who knew running could be so complicated?

Even after you find yourself a running dictionary and figure out what these terms mean, there is still the task of understanding what they feel like. After your research, you now understand that a tempo run means running at about 10 mile to half marathon pace for a given amount of time, but what the heck is that supposed to feel like, especially if you’ve never run such a workout before?

Understanding how different types of workouts should feel isn’t only important for new runners, either.

The ability to properly adjust your effort as an experienced runner is critical when you’re pushing for that last one percent improvement to break through a plateau. When you learn to comprehend exactly what certain workouts should feel like, you can easily adjust for weather conditions, workout days when you’re not on your game, and any other wrench that might get thrown into your training.

Over the following pages, you’ll learn the purpose of three important types of workouts–namely, steady runs, tempo runs, and VO2 max workouts–and how to properly “feel” the proper pace and effort while doing them.

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