Tips and tricks for your endurance run

Valentin Belz 26. May 2024


It’s not just intervals that make you faster - continuous running does too. Tips and tricks for your weekly training plan.

You've almost certainly heard this before when looking to improve your performance: there's no getting around intervals. While that may be true, if you only run fast laps on paths or in woods and forget about the basics then it’s all for nothing. This is because low-intensity training is essential in order to run faster for longer.

3:1 goal

Grass does not grow faster if you pull it. This means that three of your sessions should take place in the ‘green’ zone as endurance workouts and ‘only’ one in the 'red’ zone as speed work. That might sound a little boring. However, these three sessions can be mixed up in terms of duration, intensity and terrain to add diversity to your training schedule.


Different duration

An endurance run can and should differ in length in order to keep things interesting. You can run in the 'green’ intensity zone from anywhere between 30 to 90 minutes. If your goal is a longer distance, such as a half marathon or marathon, you can extend your endurance runs up to a maximum of three hours. We refer to this as a long jog or long run. If you are running for longer than three hours, the risk of injury begins to outweigh the training benefits.

Different intensities

There isn’t just one speed when it comes to endurance running. It’s much more about running at a specific pace or in an intensity zone that takes the other weekly sessions into account along with your form on the day. You can use three levels as an example of the 'green’ zone: very easy, easy, slightly challenging.
If you run at a higher intensity and thus leave the 'green’ zone to enter the ‘yellow’ zone, fat metabolism starts to play less of a role and you will no longer be training optimally. Oftentimes, the intensity is then high but too low overall, so that you don’t benefit from the same effects as with interval training. That’s why it is important to differentiate and it's better to run too slowly than too fast.

Different terrain

In this age of GPS and Strava, many runners look for flat routes in order to show off the fastest possible pace at the end of the session. This unfortunately means that altitude is rarely incorporated into the training session, which strengthens the muscles required for running and works the cardiovascular system harder.

Therefore, try to also mix up the terrain for your runs. For example, choose the flattest route for your longest run so that you can keep your heart rate under control by the end. Then, look for climbs to tackle during your ‘standard’ endurance runs and enjoy the improvement in your pace during your next race.