Posted in running, training

Running Terms

Quite often when I am talking about running and training I get asked what terms mean, so I thought I would cover off on some training terminology .

Fartlek: These runs are suppose to be informal and unplanned. The idea is to work on your speed work but have no real plan. When i am training farkleks I like to see a sign and push myself to get to that sign as quickly as possible and then drop back down into an easier run, then i will pick another landmark and push towards that. The great thing is because they are unplanned you can push as much as you can, but if you need to recover a bit longer that is ok too.

LSD: Long Slow Distance runs are generally a lot slower than your race pace. The idea of these runs is to build distance and should be comfortable and enjoyable. I find the best LSD runs are when your running with a friend and you both can chat and laugh the entire run. They should not be stressful, in fact you should just enjoy the company  and the beautiful scenery.

Strides: The idea behind strides is to work on form and technique. Your goal should be to increase your stride length and maintain a quick foot turnover.


Easy Run/Recovery Run/Zone 2 Training: An easy run would normally be 1 to  2 minutes slower than your race pace. When doing an easy run you should focus on your breathing and technique. An easy/recovery run would normally be 60-70% maximum heart rate or in Zone 2. At first if you are not use to training at these lower heart rates you will find it quite challenging, however as time goes on you find your body will start to improve on fat utilization and and also increase lactate clearance.  I would be recommending that endurance athletes include a lot more Easy runs in their training schedule.

Intervals: Intervals are a great way to increase your speed. When i am running intervals I will push for 1km and then go into a recovery run or walk for 1 to 2 minutes. However that being said you can split your intervals up anyway you like. If I am doing a run/walk i will often run for 10 minutes, walk for 1 minute, or even run for 4 minutes walk for 1 minute.

Threshold: Threshold running is running at a pace where lactate does not increase significantly in the blood during the run. These runs are a great way to gain aerobic fitness. A Threshold run should normally be slower than your 5 or 10km race pace, but harder than your normal easy run. If you are using a heart rate training program you would normally aim to be in Zone 4 for approximately 20 to 30 minutes. I will mix up my Threshold running and include some intervals of 6 to 10 minutes Threshold running followed by a few minutes of easy zone 2 or 3 running.

Tempo: When running a tempo run you are maintaining a comfortably hard or challenging pace. You should be able to hold these runs a lot longer that your Threshold Run. If you are heart rate training you are aiming run at a maximum of 80-85% HR

Steady Run: These runs are a great way to build aerobic  strength. They are basically steady state cardio and normally performed in Heart Rate Zone 3. Usually a steady state run for me would be maintaining a constant pace and heart rate for 40 minutes to an hour.









Hello, My name is Bre Gustafson and I have been living in Canada since December 2012. I was born in country Victoria, Australia and lived my entire life. I actually never imagined moving across to the other side of the world until I met my Husband Jacob. Coming from a background in finance I decided I wanted to make a change from the corporate world and pursue my passion in fitness. In 2014 Jacob and I moved to Calgary and I got a job with Spa Lady. I am currently their fitness manager at Westbrook Mall as well as a personal trainer and soon to be a group fitness instructor. I specialise in re-hab clients, but I also get really excited to help clients looking to increase their strength or start or improve their running. My passion is running. I have completed 1 marathon, so many half marathons I can’t keep count as well as 30km, 10km and 5km races. I think the best way to view Calgary is through walking or running, we are very lucky here to have some many running and biking paths. Some of my favourite areas to go are Fish Creek Park, Edworthy Park and Glenmore Reservoir. I look forward to sharing my journey as a runner and trainer with you 🙂

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