LSD (Long Slow Distance) Training = This is the most common type of training for endurance runners and usually makes up for a large portion of most training programs. This is where you run slowly for long distances or periods of time. This type of training improves your stamina/endurance. Some people measure their stamina/endurance by length of distance, whereas others measure it by duration of time. In either case it is quite simple to measure, all you need is a stop watch or a reference point to go by. If you want greater accuracy you can run on a fixed track loop. Most older schools have tracks with 440 yard laps, whereas new schools have 400 meter laps. Just as an FYI 4 laps on a 440 yard looped track is exactly 1 mile. Physiologically, the benefits of LSD is increased Red Blood Cell count, increased Capillary Density and increased Mitochondrial Density. At this intensity of training your body becomes efficient at burning fats. All of these make your running easier.
Threshold/Anaerobic Training = This is probably the second most common type of training and should be spared for several reasons. This pace is most related to your race pace or slightly slower for endurance races. Physiologically, your running threshold is the point at which your body starts to accumulate waste products and is unable to clear the lactate in the blood. When you run too fast you run the risk of increasing your blood lactate levels to dangerous levels where you body has no other option than to slow down or get injured. You should be able to sustain this pace for at least a few minute to about 30 minutes. Intervals at this pace is a great way to improve performance.
VO2Max Training = This is your maximum running effort just under sprinting. This effort would be related to your all out 400-800M race pace. Many top runners utilize this training zone when doing short intervals from ~(200M-1600M). Aside from sprinting this is the most stressful type of running a distance runner trains at.
Interval Training = This is most interesting and most talked about type of training for serious runners. Many runners have different beliefs about which lengths of intervals, amount of repetitions and duration of recovery is the perfect amount. Starting from he basics, interval training is where you break up your runs into smaller segments or bouts, while running at faster than usual running speed. Speeds during intervals may vary, but the bottom line is that they should be faster than your regular runs to stimulate a speed adaptation response. Intervals can be short or long depending on fitness. The amount of repetitions and recovery also depend on your fitness. For a serious in depth assessment of your fitness and interval prescription please consult a professional certified coach.
Drills / Auxiliary Training = Drills for runners is a great way to strengthen your body to run mechanically efficient. In some cases it may take years for runners to correct their running gates to become more efficient, but there is not doubt that drills help runners prepare for the stress of racing. Some of these drills include: High Knees, Butt Kickers, Gazelles, Bounding, Karaoke, Heel Walks, Toe Walks, Skipping, Lunges, Accelerations and Sprints.
Hill Training = Hill training is the fastest way to increase strength in your legs. It should be done with caution. Most runners use hill training in the forms of intervals. However, you can also use a long steady hill for a continuous effort. Bounding uphill is also a great way to increase strength and power in your legs.
Fartlek Training = Fartlek is the Swedish term for “Speed Play”. The intensities and terrain in these types of workouts vary from runner to runner. One should use these types of workouts to keep the body sharp and responsive to different race environments and situations. These workouts can be structured on a fixed start/stop/shift interval of time or distance, or they can be non-structured, which they can start/stop/shift at any point of time or distance. When working with a group of runners there usually tends to be a clear start and stop or shifting of intensities in these types or workouts. These workouts are a form of interval training.
Race Simulation Training = This is a very specific type of training where a runner would train at the specific goal pace of a race they are training for. In many cases, the distance or time spent in this type of training is less than the amount of the race distance itself. For long distance runners this would include training with fluids and race fuel during the session. You may also want to conduct your race simulation workouts in the same type of terrain and elevations that your race would call for.
Dynamic & Static Flexibility = Dynamic flexibility is a form of stretching in motion, whereas static flexibility is a form of stretching in place or by holding a stretch for an extended period of time. It is well known by many researchers that dynamic stretching should be conducted before workouts and static stretching should be reserved for post workouts. Some examples of dynamic flexibility stretches are Leg Swings (font/back)(left/right), Standing Twists, Arm Swings, Arm Crossovers, Ankle Rotations, Shoulder Shrugs. Some forms of static flexible stretches are Supine Knee Hugs, Bent-Over Toe Reaches, Single-Arm Over Head Reaches, Standing Leg Pulls and Single-Leg Reaches.