Coaching Glossary

This is a list of commonly used running and training terms that you might find in TempoFit and in Hayden Shearman’s training plans. 

Running Paces

Walk/Run: For beginner runners and those for returning from injury, this approach to running will often be taken to allow the lungs and muscles to recover between running efforts. We use ratios, like 3:2, meaning the athlete is to walk for three minutes then run for two minutes on repeat. The walking should be brisk (6km/h) and the running should be controlled (for most beginner runners about 10km/h).

Easy Pace: This is your running pace that is conversational i.e. you’re not so out of breath that you could still speak to the person next to you throughout the run. 65-79% of max heart rate.

Recovery Run: This run will often follow a demanding workout or race (either the day after the event or between training intervals). It should be slower than your easy running pace and is designed to flush your legs out through gentle movement. For some people a recovery run could include a significant amount of walking and if you have any niggles, switching to a fast walk may in fact be beneficial on this run.

Steady Pace: This is not a speed workout but it is up a notch from easy pace. For some, this will be about marathon pace, for others, this will be about half marathon pace. It’s a speed you could handle for 2-3 hours in a race setting. 80-89% of max heart rate.

Threshold Pace: This is the speed at which lactic acid begins to accumulate at an increasing rate in your body. It’s about the pace you could race at for one hour. 88-92% of max heart rate.

VO2Max Pace: This is the speed at which your lungs are pumping as much oxygen as they can. You may still be able to run faster, but this will just lead to oxygen debt. 98-100% of max heart rate.

Repetition Pace: Ideal for developing technique for all runners and also for speed endurance amongst middle distance runners. Distances are short (150-600m), run at or just under 1500m pace, with longer recoveries than VO2Max pace.


Fartlek: A Swedish word that means “speed play” these workouts involve several minutes at an increased speed, followed by several minutes of recovery jogging. For example 4×3:30min at speed, 90sec recovery. The usual speed we are after for the speed efforts is your threshold pace, however, we rarely recommend that runners do this on a measured course or pay close attention to the GPS watches. Instead this should be a perceived effort over undulating terrain in order to build pace-judgement and strength and have enjoy the feeling of running at elevated speeds.

Strides: Designed to develop running form and keep the legs fresh by opening up the stride length and increasing the cadence. These will usually be done towards the end of an easy run over 15 to 30 seconds (repeated 2-6 times). Each stride should be followed by at least a minute of light jogging to recover before doing the next stride. They should be run at a controlled fast pace and not be sprinting. Typically aim for between 75-95% of full speed.

LSD (long, slow, distance): This run is about completing the time on your legs at about your easy pace, but not getting hung up on the exact pace you’re running. Having said that, it is important to be conscious of maintaining good form throughout and to not let the pace slacken towards the end (better to start slow and finish steady than the other way around). When running this in technical trails or over hills do not worry about hitting a certain mileage figure but just to run for the same amount of time you would normally run for the prescribed distance.

Tempo Run: A workout usually run at threshold or steady pace for 10-50mins without stopping. Designed to improve endurance and mental application at elevated intensity levels over prolonged periods of time. Will typically be run over flat or undulating, measured courses other athletics tracks.

Intervals: Typically run at or near your VO2max pace, these should be run over measured flat courses of distances between 500m to a mile. Recovery jogs are usually quite short.

Repetitions: Faster than intervals but shorter (between 150 and 600m) and with longer recovery. Designed to refine style and efficiency and prepare runners for 10k race and below.

Hills: Easy runs over undulating to mountainous terrain, aiming to maintain the same intensity you would on an easy run (meaning that sometimes you will walk the steep hills).

Hill Strides: Short burst of uphill running designed to develop power and strength (with jog recoveries back down, preferably on soft surfaces).

Hill Reps: Longer efforts at about maximum heart rate (90% +) running uphill for between 200m and a mile (1600m).

15min Up&Down: This will often be written at the front of a workout description and it explains the amount of easy jogging to be done either side of the workout in order to warm up and warm down.

C&C: Means core and conditioning. This is a short workout of 5-20 minutes that will target specific areas of weakness or imbalance in the runner—usually based around the abdominals, gluteus, calves, hamstrings, and general stability. This workout will vary from runner to runner.

Unsure of another term we use in training? Email your query to Hayden here

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