You’re ready to go for a run. You’ve got all your gear, and the weather is perfect. Now you wonder: what kind of run is this going to be? An easy run? A tempo run? An LSD (long slow distance)?
You may have never even thought about these things before (who knew there could be so many different paces to run?!). You just want to go out and run and now you have to think about what today’s goals are. To clear up the confusion, let’s take a deeper look at some popular used running terms:
Easy Run: These runs should make up the bulk of your running week. Easy runs should be about 70-80% of your weekly mileage and are designed to give your body a chance to recover from hard workouts. Running at an easy pace will allow your body to build an aerobic base, work on form and allow you to build miles safely. These runs should be done at a comfortable pace for the entire run.
Long Run Pace or Long Slow Distance (LSD) Pace: These runs are typically once a week and are your long run for the week. They typically increase in distance as you progress through your training. As the name indicates these runs are done slowly to prevent injury.
Marathon Pace: This one is a little easier. This is the pace you intend to run your race at. It can be called Race Pace as well. Miles done at this pace allow you to get used to running at this pace and indicates whether the pace is an achievable goal.
Tempo Pace: Tempo pace is harder than marathon or race pace. Tempo pace is often described as “comfortably hard.” Tempo runs allow the body to become more efficient at handling blood lactate (associated with fatigue), and get the runner use to running under stress. Tempo workouts usually consist of a warm up and a cool down with periods of running at a faster pace.