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Fun, Fall Workouts to Run Faster

All-American Distance Runner and recent Idaho college graduate, Kinsey Gomez, competes as a professional distance runner for Hansons Brooks Original Distance Project.

Gomez says, “I know that I need to fuel my body with whole food, nutrient-dense products and supplements to perform at my best.”


Fun, Fall Workouts to Run Faster

By Kinsey Gomez

I love absolutely everything about fall running. There is something about the crisp autumn mornings and the bright colors of the changing leaves that make me so excited to run out the door. Not having to battle the extreme heat of summer or the brutal chill of winter also makes fall the ideal training season. This accommodating fall weather allows workouts to get quicker and personal records to get faster for runners of all ability levels. Whether you are just a recreational runner or someone who is training for an upcoming race, I am sharing some of my favorite fall workouts that will help runners of all levels improve their fitness.

As a professional long distance runner, I am slightly (okay A LOT) biased towards longer workouts that build up an athlete’s aerobic strength. I believe working the aerobic system helps people run faster and longer, so I chose to incorporate it in all of my workouts below. Without further ado, here are my top three favorite fall workouts:

  1. The Progression Run: for this fun workout, I suggest runners warm up anywhere between a mile and 3 miles, depending on
  • Break down: 5 segments of 5 minutes getting faster each segment. Total time: 25 minutes. To start, run the first segment out at a conservative pace and put the medal down bit by bit each segment to finish with a challenging pace by the last 5 minute increment.
  • Warm up and cool down: 1-3 miles for warm up and cool down depending on fitness, preference, and mileage goals.
  • Tips for success: Don’t start out too fast and pace yourself. The workout should not be “extremely hard” during the 3rd and 4th Save some energy to feel fastest at the end.
  1. Extra Fun Long Run: getting more out of your long run doesn’t necessarily mean you need to increase the length of the run. Instead, focus on getting the intensity up towards the end of the run.
  • Break down: During the last 2-3 miles or 20-30 minutes of your long run, throw in a surge that is a comfortably hard effort. This pace should be faster than your easy run pace, but not too challenging that you cannot finish intended length of the run.
  • Warm up and cool down- let the warm up be the beginning of your long run and leave about 5 minutes left to cool down after the harder effort.
  • Tips for success: if you are training for a marathon, try to make this tempo segment your target goal pace. If you are not training for anything, just have fun with this tempo and look forward to seeing what your body is capable of!
  1. Mile Repeats with a Twist: this workout is a fun change of pace from the traditional mile repeats. With each rep, the first half is relaxed and the second half is where you push yourself.
  • Break down: 1-5 mile repeats with 5 min rest between each mile repeat. The first half of the mile should be slightly slower than the overall mile goal time, and the second half is called “go for it” where you push yourself to see what you are capable of.
  • Warm up and cool down: 1-3 miles for warm up and cool down depending on fitness, preference, and mileage goals.
  • Tips for success: Example for how to run each mile repeat- if your mile goal is 7 min, try running the first half in 3:45 and then let the legs “go for it” and try to negative split the second half as much as possible.

Enjoy incorporating these workouts into your fall routine, and I guarantee your fitness will improve. These workouts are challenging, but also very adaptable for any individual. Have fun enjoying the beautiful fall weather and colors while pushing your body to new limits. Cheers to an autumn season of running happy and fast!

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