Pacing, Structure, and Philosophy of Running Workouts with Elisabeth Scott

Learning to play with speed intentionally is the foundation of all running workouts, whether short or long, simple or complex. If they are done right, workouts can help you get faster and gain an intuitive sense of pacing that will serve you well at any distance.

When it comes to training design, running workouts often get all the attention. Well-structured workouts can help you earn a personal best, but what’s even more important is understanding how they fit into the bigger picture of your training. 

After all, there are so many!

Well-designed workouts make you stronger and move you toward your race goals, but they must be balanced with adequate recovery. The 80/20 rule (where about 80% of your running is done at an easy effort, and 20% is done at more challenging paces) is a good place to start, but may not suit every runner at every stage of training.

With so much terminology around running workouts (strides and threshold runs and VO2 max efforts, oh my!), it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Fortunately, the general philosophy behind these types of training is less complicated than you think. 

Elisabeth Scott on Running Workouts

To help address some of the confusion surrounding run workouts, this week’s podcast answers a number of questions from Twitter followers. Here to discuss them with me is Elisabeth Scott, host of the Running Explained Podcast

Elisabeth has coaching certifications from USA Track and Field, Road Runners Club of America, and the United Endurance Sports Coaching Academy. She loves going deep on the science of training, and will help you better understand the concepts and design of running workouts.

Some of the listener questions we address cover:

  • Defining workouts and determining how often to run them
  • Running workouts by pacing vs. perceived exertion
  • Using workouts appropriately when base training
  • How a narrow focus on pacing can keep you from getting faster
  • Why hilly races may require less hill training than you expect
  • The importance of mileage, strength and consistency alongside your workouts

Runners of all levels will benefit from learning how to think about your workouts to stay motivated and find longevity in the sport you love!

Subscribe to the podcast in Apple PodcastsSpotifyStitcheriHeartRadio, or Google Play

Links & Resources from the Show:

Thank you DrinkLMNT!

A big thanks to DrinkLMNT for their support of this episode! They make electrolyte drinks for athletes and low-carb folks with no sugar, artificial ingredients, or colors. They are offering a free gift with your purchase at DrinkLMNT. And this does NOT have to be your first purchase. You’ll get a sample pack with every flavor so you can try them all before deciding what you like best. 

DrinkLMNT’s products have some of the highest sodium concentrations that you can find. Anybody who runs a lot knows that sodium, as well as other electrolytes like magnesium and potassium, are essential to our performance and how we feel throughout the day.

My favorite flavor is watermelon salt, but citrus salt is also a banger. I’m drinking one a day now to help me get enough fluids in our dry Colorado air. It’s tasty and delicious and I find that I’m not peeing every 45 minutes throughout the day, which might be an indication I wasn’t eating enough sodium.

There’s now mounting evidence that higher sodium intake levels are not unhealthy – and athletes need substantially more than your typical sedentary person. Of course, ask your doctor if you’re worried. But for those athletes running outside in the heat, an electrolyte replacement makes a lot of sense. So check out DrinkLMNT to try their new flavor or get a free sampler pack.

Thank You AG1!

We’re also supported by AG1, the greens superfood mix. This is a category-leading greens mix that has 75 vitamins and minerals, prebiotics, probiotics, antioxidants, and adaptogens. It’s recommended by professional athletes and has over 7,000 positive reviews.

One scoop per day is what I’ve been doing to help me fill in any nutrition gaps in my diet. It also provide a nice boost of energy and focus throughout the day. With all 3 of my kids in school, I know I need to support my immune system or else I’m getting sick and can’t train.

I also love that AG1 has changed over the last decade. They’ve made 53 improvements to the formula based on the latest research to make these nutrients more absorbable and rigorous with the 3rd party testing that they do.

For our listeners, they are offering a year’s worth of free Vitamin D and 5 free travel packs of AG1 with your first purchase. You can sign up for single shipment or for a monthly drop – the choice is yours. Check out AG1 to redeem your offer today.

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