Run Types

The 4 Key Run Types They Don’t Tell You About

When you start taking a semi-serious approach to your running, you might encounter articles and blog posts that tell you about different types of runs.

A typical selection might be recovery, tempo, long slow distance, intervals and fartlek runs.

But what you WON’T find in these technically-oriented pieces are details of four “real world” run types that a runner will experience at some point of every training cycle:

  1. Inferno Run: aka “The Run From Hell”

    It starts in that warm, cozy bed that you don’t want to leave. Your mojo has gone walkabout, but you finally wander outside in your running gear, full of self-loathing and resentment.It goes downhill from there! The run is hard work, you hate every single second, everything goes wrong, you struggle to breathe, the humidity is too high, there’s smoke in the air…and you end up limping the last few Ks, nursing an injury.

  2. Beige Run: aka “Totally Freaking Ordinary”

    This run is the “bread and butter” of most training cycles. You kind of look forward to getting out there, but you just don’t feel the love. You half-establish some kind of “groove,” but there are twinges or worrisome thoughts buzzing through your mind about unpaid bills and the like. This run is a completely “meh” experience from start to finish, but hey, you get it done. Yay you!

  3. Bonus Run: aka “The Surprising Rewarder”

    In many ways, this run is my favorite. It starts out a lot like the “Inferno Run.” You reluctantly struggle into your running gear, and you find yourself outside waiting for the GPS to locate a satellite.Once you start running, it hurts. It hurts like hell. It’s harder work than any 12-hour shift, and you’re sweating more, too! You absolutely slog your guts out. You can’t wait for it to be over. You keep wondering why the hell you ever started this running nonsense. Suddenly, it actually IS over, and you feel on top of the world!

  4. Nirvana Run: aka “End to End Runner’s High

    This run occurs, if you are lucky, maybe once every training cycle. It is the run in which everything clicks. You get in the zone and experience the full effect of the runner’s high.You cruise along at a good pace for hundreds of miles. You start to understand how everything on the planet is connected. That lecture on quantum mechanics makes absolute sense. Finally, you solve the problems of global famine AND world peace.

Do these run types ring true for you? What other types of “real world runs” would you add to this list? 

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