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How to plan a great workout

There isn’t one single workout that we can guarantee will transform you into a pro athlete but you certainly can create a workout using the same principles they do. This will act as part of your training plan to help you become a faster runner!

Disclaimer: Please consult with your doctor before beginning harder workouts if you have any underlying health conditions 

We recommend the following before starting a harder workout:

  • Always start and finish a workout with a warm-up and a cooldown 
  • Exertion can be measured in many ways such as the Borg Scale. For the purposes of this article, we will use a 1-10 rating of perceived exertion (RPE) scale. 
  • Don’t do the same type of workout each time, mix it up, have some fun!
RPE scoreEffort level
1Extremely easy
5Somewhat hard
9Very hard
10Maximal effort

Different types of workouts

There are many different workouts that will benefit you in different ways. They all come under these 3 categories of whether they help build speed, endurance and/or strength. The workout length depends on your experience. 

You may wish to start at 10 minutes of harder running and work out towards 30 minutes after a period of consistent training.

Warm-up/cool down 

Some runners may refer to the cool down as a ‘warm down’ (controversial!) but I prefer to use cool down so we will stick with that for today.

All of these workouts are best done with an easy jog/walk for 5-15 minutes before your workout to help warm up or cool down your muscles. This will help you to recover quicker after your workout and also minimise injury risk. Winner winner. 

Warm-ups and cool-downs are usually done at about effort level 3-5 on our exertion scale.

Your pace for your warm-up/cool-down depends entirely on how you feel that day. Warming up might feel harder if you have had a busy week or a bad night’s sleep. Also, if you have run a harder workout than usual, you might need to slow down more than you think during the cool down. 

Please note: finding the right level of intensity in your warm-ups/cool-downs, will allow you to run a better workout. Try to find what works for you.

HIIT workouts (High-intensity interval training)

Workout focus: speed, endurance and strength 

Benefits: improves cardiovascular health and breaks up monotomy of exercise   

Added benefits for: runners with limited time available

Effort level for harder running: 5-7

Effort level for rest: 3

Workout ideas: HIIT focuses on alternating high with low intensity. It is entirely based on your individual fitness levels, so ensure you work to the effort levels above. 

Beginners: Run for 1 minute at high intensity, then low intensity/rest for 2 minutes. 

Intermediate: Run for 90 seconds at high intensity, then low intensity/rest for 2 minutes

Advanced: Run for 3 minutes at high intensity, hen low intensity/rest for 2 minutes

Try to have a go at making one yourself! 

As you get more confident, try creating workouts with variable splits. E.g. A pyramid HIIT session – Run at high intensity for 30 seconds, 60 seconds, 90 seconds, 2 minutes, 2 minutes, 90 seconds, 60 seconds, 30 seconds all with a low intensity/rest period in between (1-3 minutes depending on fitness levels). 

Hill training

How to Plan a gret workout - Hill Training

Workout focus: endurance and strength 

Benefits: activates your muscles more as you are working against gravity more

Added benefits for: runners with knee problems

Effort level for harder running: start at 3 and work up to 7

Effort level for rest: N/A

Workout ideas: Start with the incline at level 1 and begin walking/running at around level 3-4 of effort for about 1 minute. Increase the incline by 1-3 levels every 1 minute until you reach about effort level 7. Then work your way back down, decreasing the incline again back to level 1. Repeat if required.

We have 20 levels of incline so as you get more confident you can alter the length of time you spend at each incline and the increments between each incline change.

Hill workouts can be made more accurate by purchasing our NoblePro Zero Shoes.

The Zero Shoes allow your treadmill to be at absolute zero as most treadmills tend to have a 1-2% offset in incline. This means that the minimum level is can be between 1-2% when the treadmill is showing 0% or on level 0.

Tempo training

Workout focus: endurance and speed

Benefits: improve mental and physical endurance and improve running economy  

Added benefits for: training for longer endurance events

Effort level for harder running: 5-7

Effort level for rest: 3

Workout ideas: Tempo running can be a difficult art to perfect and is more suited for more advanced runners. It is a pace that feels ‘comfortably uncomfortable’ that you can hold for longer periods of time. 

A good place to start is running at tempo effort for 5 minutes with 90 seconds rest (x3). This should not tire you out, it should make you feel strong!

As your fitness levels increase, try decreasing the rest periods and then increase the tempo effort periods. Do these alternatively and not both at once! Hopefully over time you will be able to hold 20-30 minutes at the pace.


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