Andy Hawthorne

Andy Hawthorne

Projects, photos and running

10 Apr 2020

How to Make Your Running Count

Reading time: 3 minute(s) - 500 words

It’s true that running is hard. But to make it count you still have to put the work in. And keep putting it in.

To do that, there are here are four types of workout to include in your running week:

  1. Tempo sessions
  2. Repetitions
  3. Long runs
  4. Recovery

First though, a word about quality.

It’s all about quality

Runs that leave you gasping for air are the ones that will do you the most good.

Or runs where you are out for much longer than normal - they count too.

The quality of a workout means how hard you worked.

You can’t expect every workout to be tough. You will need to add in some easier stuff.

But it’s true that the hard stuff is what makes it count.

Let’s take a look at those workout types…


These are runs where you hit an uncomfortable pace and then keep it there for the whole run.

The idea is to get you used to running faster. That means you might have to keep these sessions a bit shorter than some of the others.


Hill repeats, surges or fartlek are all examples of repetitions.

The idea is: you run hard, recover and then run hard again.

Make the hard bits last for at least 30 seconds to make sure it counts.

The long run

This one is all about endurance. You can run these slower than your other sessions.

The idea is to build your ability to keep going for longer distances.


You can intersperse recovery runs with hard sessions.

They are quite short and you should run at a pace where you can still hold a conversation.

When you finish, you should feel good.


You have likely heard if High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT).

The high intensity stuff is the stuff that works for your fitness. And for your running performance.


Mind the junk miles

Yeah, so quality should be your watch word. If you find yourself running lots of stuff at then same pace, it’s not working.

You need to make it hard - or some of it at least.

They way your fitness will improve. And if you are trying to lose weight it’ll start working.

Junk miles are miles of running where you float along not under any pressure.

That’s great for a recovery run. Otherwise, shift your butt. Then, you’ll make it count.


Running is hard. And making it count needs lots of effort.

But… there is no feeling like it when you finally stop and realise you’ve run a personal best.

It makes all the suffering worth it.

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