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2011 Schlathaus Park by Bob Kopac

Run Intensities

Run Types and Intensities

Adapted from Jack Daniels, Daniels' Running Formula plus Coach Mike Reif of the Genesee Valley Harriers.



70% effort, usually 30 minutes to 1 hour in duration

Long run

70% effort for 1 to 2+ hours, not to be longer than 2-1/2 hours. A long run is typically 25% of weekly total mileage.

Threshold runs

There are two basic types of threshold running.

A steady (approximately) 20 minute steady run. Intensity is 88% of effort (about 90% of maximum heart rate). The steady 20 minute "tempo" run can vary by a couple minutes. For example, if you have a regular three mile loop and your threshold pace is 6:20/mile, you could be satisfied with a three mile run in 19:00. Similarly, if threshold pace is 7:00/mile, you might go 21:00 for your tempo run. Better runners may well complete a 4 mile distance if threshold pace is near 5:00/mile.

In cruise intervals, an interval workout is done at Threshold pace, the same 88% effort used for a steady tempo run. However, with cruise intervals, a series of runs are performed with a very short recovery period between each. For example, 5 x one mile at threshold pace with one minute rest between miles. Another example is 8 x 1000 m at threshold pace with one minute recoveries.

A cruise interval would typically total 8 - 10% of total weekly mileage, at threshold intensity in a single session.

Interval running

Intensity is approximately equal to 3K to 5K race pace. In any case, it is the speed you could race for about 12-15 minutes.

In this workout, intensity is at 98-100% of VO2 max or max heart rate.

A single session should involve up to 8% of total weekly mileage, performed at interval intensity.

Recovery time is about equal, in time, to work time. For example, if you do 1000m intervals in 3:00 minutes, then recovery time should be 3:00 minutes or less. Jog during recovery periods. Individual workbouts in an interval session should be 30 seconds to 5 minutes in duration. The best is 3-5 intervals, but there is a place for interval 400m or even 200m.


Several intensities are appropriate:

  • 6 seconds faster per 400m interval pace; slowest and is often used for repeat 800m
  • 3 seconds per 400m slower than season's goal one mile race pace; good for 400m
  • 3 seconds per 400m faster than current 1 mile race pace; good for repeat 200m

Total quantity in a single session should be up to 5% of total mileage. Recovery time should be full recovery, possibly four times as much time in recovery as  during work. You are supposed to feel good during each part of repetition session.


Repeat 20-40 second runs at about repetition pace, or about current one mile race pace, with a couple minutes job recovery after each stride. Strides are best done as part of a warm-up, after a threshold workout, or in the middle of an easy run.

 2013 Fox Trot by Charlotte Kopp