When people choose to run in order to one day run races, or participate in running events, rather than simply jogging for aerobic fitness, it is necessary to employ some type of training method. There are a number of different methods of running training that can be effective, and many people choose their running training method based on personal preference and the amount of time they have available to them. Interval training and alternating distance runs are two common training methods.
Interval training is frequently used by runners who want to increase their speed. In interval training, a runner will run at a set pace for a predetermined period of time, and intersperse this speed with periods of sprinting. For instance, one might run at a normal speed for two minutes, then sprint for 30 seconds, then return to a normal speed for two more minutes, and so on. Over time, this method of running training is a great way to increase speed and endurance, as well as increase the muscular strength in the legs.
When preparing for distance runs, where it will be necessary to maintain a speed over a long distance, one common method of running training is to do a few short runs on most days of the week, followed by a long run for one day of the week. For instance, if one is training for a long run, one might run five to ten miles each day during the week, followed by a 15 mile run on the weekend, for example. Running coaches often advise taking at least a day or two of rest during the week to allow the body to recover.
This method of running training helps the body to slowly build up endurance and become strong enough to run races. If one is participating in cross country events, one will generally choose to do running training outside on uneven terrain in order to adapt the body to that type of training. Another type of running method training is through the use of heart rate tracking, which is an excellent measure of physical fitness as well.
Finally, some simply time themselves while running in order to train; one might time oneself to see the speed at which a mile can be run, then gradually try to improve that time. Any method of training can be effective, but it is important to consider one's goals ahead of time. It can be very motivating to have something to work for, but discouraging if you set your goals too high.