Today I’m going to talk about my favorite runs, not specific paths but the workout itself. There is a philosophy of workouts in which there are 3 difficulties of days. The first is easy or recovering days, best for days before and after races and workouts. The second moderate is longer runs at a faster pace, these include long runs and in my opinion are the most satisfying. The third is workouts or hard days. After these workouts I am often exhausted and tired, however these give the most benefits and confidence boost. My absolute favorite is a hard day because you accomplish something that was hard to do.
Within hard days there are multiple possibilities. Workouts during track are mostly intervals or track work, cross country has tempo pre and post season. Tempos are set to be a certain time slower than a race pace, and usually the race distance you are training for. E.g. 5k pace = 5:40/mile, tempo = 6:00/mile. Intervals typically are to be ran at pace for the race, and track work is a particular type of interval. Hard days can include long runs if the pace is pushed, but also they can be considered moderate.
The most satisfying workouts, I have found are often the workouts that make me most sore. This is partly due to the fact that I feel that I am improving through the workout by simply only working. Also, the premise of completing an intense grueling workout makes them even more fulfilling
While hard workouts are essential it is important not to over train. One key is to listen to your body and not overextend. This can have effects spanning beyond just physical. One method of training is hard, easy, moderate, repeat. This gives you time to recover and prepare for the next workout allowing your body to improve along with your mental race state.