What exactly is a progression run?
The answer to this question varies because there are multiple types of progression runs.
Each week I try to run at least one progression run – whether it’s during a regular weekly run or a long run.
The progression run I do each week is a start slow, finish fast run. I aim for each mile to be faster than the first. This means I have to start out at a very comfortable pace or else I will not be able to run faster each mile. It also means that the mile pace doesn’t increase at a rapid speed or I risk getting slower in a middle mile rather than getting faster.
These types of runs teach my body how I want to run in a race situation. I want to start out slow, slower than race pace, and I want to finish at race pace or faster.
When I first started running these runs it was not easy having each mile progressively get faster. These runs are about listening to your body. It might take months before you truly master what it feels like to push yourself a tiny bit faster each mile.
This type of run will also help you work on running on perceived effort. It doesn’t matter the terrain – you want each mile to get progressively faster. This works only when you are tune with what certain paces feel like. I don’t look down at my garmin during each mile. I only look down at it when I hear the split beep. Work on doing the same on your run.
Friday’s progression run: 46:19 – 7:41 avg
- Mile 1: 8:10
- Mile 2: 7:48
- Mile 3: 7:42
- Mile 4: 7:42
- Mile 5: 7:39
- Mile 6: 7:07
Sunday’s progression run: 1:02:40 – 7:50 avg
- Mile 1: 8:23
- Mile 2: 8:19
- Mile 3: 8:04
- Mile 4: 7:59
- Mile 5: 7:36
- Mile 6: 7:33
- Mile 7: 7:24
- Mile 8: 7:17
The other type of progression run I aim to do during each marathon training cycle is the thirds progression run. The first third of the run I run slowly, the second third of the run I run at an easy speed, working into a faster speed, and the last third of the run I attempt to get down to race pace and stay there for the remaining miles.
I like to do the thirds progression run on a long run, but this type of progression run can be done on any run.
If you want to read about more types of progression runs or for a more in depth explanation as to the benefits of them, you can check out McMillan’s site for the three types of progression runs he recommends for his athletes – CLICK HERE
Do you do progression runs? How do you do them?
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