8 Best Running Workout to Train Your Endurance and Strength

Running is a simple exercise, all of use can do it and most of us enjoy it, until you added different goals, workout programs and other things that makes it more complicated.

Its a no-brainier that the workouts on your training program are designed to make you stronger, faster and cover more distance than before. Most programs are straight forward and easy to work with, today we are going to show you 8 best running workout, and how to structure a training program and how to make it work for you.

easy run

1. Easy Run

Running at an easy pace will help you build endurance, proper form, base mileage and recovery. This should you be you most common practice, with 65-80% of your mileage. Easy run is also your aerobic exercise, where you body and muscles have the energy and oxygen then need.

Most runners should run their majority for long run miles, here’s a sample work out.

  • Workout 1: 6 miles easy pace, no fluctuations in speed, hardest part will be resisting to speed up.
  • Workout 2: 45 minutes easy pace, distance doesn’t matter as long as you are running for time instead of distance, no mileage target either.

2. Tempo Run

Tempo run is difficult because it requires you to push it but comfortable enough that you can still sustain the effort. Usually 85-90% of your max heart rate.

Tempo workout helps you increase your lactate threshold, the higher your threshold is, the longer you can sustain that given pace and start building strength, speed and endurance.

  • Workout 1: Start at 40 minute easy warm up run, 5 minute interval with three minute rest and repeat three times.
  • Workout 2: Start at 90 minute run with 15 minutes tempo pace, and 8 minute recovery, repeat three times, this is good for marathon workout.
  • Workout 3: 60 minute run with 8 minutes tempo pace and a 4 minute recovery, repeat three times. If you can find a hill, include it during tempo pace.

tempo run

3. Progression Workout

Progression workout is the simplest of all, basically the idea is start slow, finish fast. During the workout, you will increase the pace by starting easy and finishing hard.

The progression pace will give you a complete workout using aerobic and anaerobic, without draining your body with energy.

  • Workout 1: 15 minutes easy pace, 15 minutes comfortably hard pace, 15 minutes hard pace. This workout will increase your speed at every 15 minute increment throughout the training run.
  • Workout 2: 30 minutes comfortably easy pace, 10 minutes hard pace, 5 minutes all out. You will be maintaining the easy pace throughout the run, until the last 15 minutes where you go all out. Great for practicing will power on late race push

Hill Workout

4. Hill Workout

Hill workout also known as speed work, because they offer more than the traditional speed workout, without having the need to run at top speed. Running uphill will help you build explosive power and will promote speed, while running downhill will help you build strength in your tendons and joints.

Both are important to be a balanced-runner, focus on your workout one at a time to get the most benefit and reduce the risk of injury. You can do hill workouts through hard, short sprints uphill or downhill.

  • Workout 1: Short hill repeat, 8 hill sprints with light jog back down to recover, follow with 3 mile easy run. Helps you build explosive leg strength and teach you how to run shorter hills during race.
  • Workout 2: Sustained hill repeat, 5 half-mile hill climb on a gradual incline with easy run back down for recovery. Great for training a hilly race and helps you build endurance and strength on hills and flat surface.
Lock Laces in your running shoes
Lock Laces in your running shoes

5. Interval Workout

Interval workout are the most painful runs in your workout routine, this one focus to build speed and strength and working your anaerobic system, lactate threshold and will focus on shorter distance. You can also run on a track or a set of loop.

  • Workout 1: 400 meters on track with 400 meter light jog in between, try to maintain a consistent pace for each 400 meter intervals. Do eight repeats.
  • Workout 2: 800 meter track, light jog for the same amount of time you run the 800 meters in between. Also known as “marathon predictor workout”, will help you with solid speed and endurance build. Repeat 10 times.
  • Workout 3: 1000 meters with 2 minute rest periods, 800 meters with 90 second rest periods, 400 meters on track with 60 second rest periods, repeat two times. You will decrease the length of each interval, but you will increase the pace.
  • Workout 4: 1,600 meters with 120 seconds recovery in between, repeat four times. This will help you build endurance, for consistent pace for each mile.

6. Ladder Run

Ladder run is popular form of interval workout, which makes you climb up and down or both within a short distance of 90 seconds or a 400 meter jog, its a great way to challenge yourself and mix things up.

  • Workout 1: Up and Down, 400 meters repeat twice 800 meters repeat twice, 1,600 meters  repeat once, 400 meters repeat twice with a 400 meter light jog in between interval. A tough workout which will push your endurance and speed.
  • Workout 2: Down, 1,600 meters repeat twice, 1,200 meters repeat twice, 800 meters repeat twice, 400 meters repeat twice, 400 meter light jog between each interval. The lesser the distance, increase your pace.
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7. Fartlek Workout

Fartlek workout is the type of speed-play routine, you will play around different speeds and distances on a single workout.

Mix fast running and slower running, varying the pace and distance for each interval. You can be flexible by picking a random street corner, car, tree or other things that you can mark on. Run the tempo pace for three minutes, followed by easy pace for four minutes and sprint for one minute. There are no rules, other than the different pace and distances that you will cover.

  • Workout 1: 5 miles run with a final 4 miles interval, probably the most common approach to this workout.
  • Workout 2: 1 mile warm up, 3 miles four to six minutes of burst, followed by two to three minute easy pace running and a 1 mile cool down. This is a little more structured and will allow you to be flexible with defined intervals.

8. Long Run Workout

Long run workout often viewed as opportunity to go long, not fast. Instead, you should work on your late race speed, like a final push on a race day to help you toughen your mind and pushing your body when its fatigue.

A few things that you remember, do not do long run work out every week, add them to your training routine and set a comfortable distance.

You should limit your long run work out pace below the tempo pace, probably around your marathon race pace.

  • Workout 1: 1-2-3 Workout, once warmup is done, do a 1 mile marathon pace follow by 1 mile easy pace, then 2 mile marathon pace and 2 mile easy pace, 3 mile marathon, 3 mile easy. Set the intervals and structure.
  • Workout 2: Countdown long run, take the difference between your easy and race pace and divide that by the number of your current mileage run. Increase your pace by setting an increment each mile, by the end of the run you should have a steady increased pace from easy to race pace.

Now that we have listed the best running workout routines, this is how your week should look like,

Monday: Rest.
Tuesday: Tempo workout
Wednesday: Easy workout
Thursday: Track workout
Friday: Rest.
Saturday: Long run workout
Sunday: Easy workout

The schedule above includes different variations, from distance, pace and different kind of workouts. You can challenge yourself from these workouts and see how you progress and how it can help you reach your goal.

This is just a simple template for a running workout routine, pretty sure there are coaches that can help you with customized plan with complete guidance. Still, its easy to stick to simple workout especially if you are a beginner.

Hopefully this 8 best running workout is going to help you and your friends, and please share if you have other programs that you follow so we can include it here.