Your Cheat Sheet: Understanding 10 Different Runs in a Marathon Plan

Remember the day when you first looked your new training program and thought to yourself, "what the heck have I gotten myself into?"

Was it because of the MONTHS of work you just signed up for?

Or the new, scary distances you'd be conquering?

Or was it this new running language that you were 95% sure was all made up?

Ok, it might have been a mixture of all three.

But regardless, if there's something EVERY runner should learn, it's what the heckin-heck all these different running terms/words/things mean.

If you've ever been confused over a threshold intervals run vs a fartlek, you're not alone, even if you've been running for 10+ years like I have.

Why all the confusion anyway?

  • Because we have a lot of different ways of saying the same thing


  • there are enough differences between 2 different but similar runs that they still need different names, but belong to the same "running family".

What the heckin-heck am I talking about?

I'm talking about a fantastic (and convenient) glossary that was published in a recent research article: "The Training Characteristics of World-Class Distance Runners: An Integration of Scientific Literature and Results-Proven Practice."

Just to clarify, this doesn't mean YOU have to smash all of these different type of runs into your next training plan because you "have to be" a world-class distance runner!
Always run your own race; train the way that's best for your mind and body; and trust your training.

At the same time, why not learn from the best and years of running data and discover exactly why type of runs they use?