Guiding runners to enjoy the process of reach their higher potential and integrate a healthy lifestyle into their busy life.
I seek to motivate and guide you to reach your goals and higher potential. It only takes one step at a time.
Share the knowledge
Question your paradigms, seek the knowledge and create JOY.

Training Intensities

What are the key elements of a training plan? Training Intensities ¡

The key elements of a great training plan are, in this order,

  1. Is built for you
  2. Your actual fitness level
  3. Good combination of training intensities according to your goals.

The professionally created training plans need to be based first in your lifestyle, actual performance and running experience, then your goals.

Defining first your goal, without a preview assessment of your fitness and lifestyles most of the times leads to poor results, low motivation to train, broken expectations and injuries.  And last a not so good Race experience.

Training Intensities

it’s the key combination of a well-rounded training plan and race season. And that varies from person to person, as no one has the same level of fitness, experience and goals.

Metrics for a successful training plan

I measure my  athletes in 5 areas

  • Constancy
  • Training Hours
  • Pace
  • Volume and Distance
  • Terrain trained where you live, when you want to race.
  • Lifestyle

These 6 key elements build your actual fitness, and we always start by that assessment. Then we compare your actual fitness with your expectations and goals.

To improve your performance and physical condition, you need to stress your body.

Positive physiological adaptations appear when stress (training) and recovery (rest) are adequately alternated

Stress Recovery Grafic for training intensities

After stress each workout, the body works to physiologically compensate the damage caused to the muscle and overcompensates so when the same stress is repeated it does not cause the same physiological damage.

Over time, the body adapts to that level of being and becomes stronger.

After adaptation, the body can endure more work.


An adequate periodization allows to introduce the stimulus so that more and more physiological adaptations are achieved without causing damage to the body

There are 5 phases in each training period.

This is an example for marathon training. Each distance has a different strategy, a mix of workouts and training intensities in each phase depending of the runner experience and goal.

phases of training

Doesn’t matter if you are a newbie runner or an advance runner. The difference it’s how long you stay in each phase.

  • BASE PHASE: Construction of a training base: It is used to create solid foundations and strengthen our body and aerobic capacity. Normally that phase is brought to a low-easy intensity.
    • The important thing here is the constancy, and the miles accumulated. You are building your aerobic capacity and constancy.
  • BUILDING PHASE OR SPECIFIC PREPARATION: This phase includes speed, strength, tempo, long runs, weight training etc.
    • That help you reach your top physical condition for the race for which you are training.
  • PEAK PHASE  Long runs or the most demanding training intensities 
  • TAPER PHASE: Taper’s phrase serves to rest the muscles, recover glycogen levels.
  • RECOVERY PHASE: The recovery phase will depend on the event in which you took part.
    • The rule is for every mile run, you must rest 1 day until returning to work with strong or demanding workouts

workout pyramid

Training Cycles

In Training we have

  • Micro Cycles : Your everyday workout with an individual session /week by week, those include different training intensities
  • Meso Cycle:  Your 12/18 training plan
  • Macro Cycle : Your training season of 25 up to 52 weeks * Imagine training for the Olympics in a 4-year period

training cycles macro, meso and micro

 Running Effort ( Training Intensities)

Today we will focus on individual sessions.  In each article, we will learn from the detail up to the BIG pictures.

A normal training day needs to follow what we called a Running Protocol

A protocol it’s a series of procedure or is a standard set of rules. And we use it in many ambits to ensure compliance, quality, safety and in medicine the correct way to apply a treatment.

In Running there is nothing written, it is always a series of training /trial/error/ evaluation and change until you find the perfect formula that works for you, your goals and lifestyle.

The method that we use with our athletes  is called TEARS (R)  . As it is a continuous work, measure, evaluate, adjust, try again until succeed

tears methodology for training

So learning how your body works, how the workouts are affecting your body, and what needs to be corrected, we need to follow various steps.

  1. Running Protocol
  2. Running Effort
  3. Pain Scale
  4. Mood Scale

Running Protocol

It is how you need to the workout to gain a great physical condition for your coming race or goal

Every single workout you need to :

  1. Objective: What exercise are you doing today? What is your aim?
  2. Warm Up: Its essential to prevent injuries and get your body ready for the hard work
  3. Do your training
  4. Cool down: again let your muscles relax and your body get cool by lightly stretch will keep your injury free
  5. Recover: This mean fueling your body, foam rolling or massage, depending on your training plans and objective
  6. Evaluate: your workout here is where you measure the quality of your training day
    1. Effort
    2. Pain
    3. Mood
    4. Did you do what you were support to do at the correct distance, pace and intensity

Running Effort

Now we will talk about the effort .

We measure the effort in a scale from 1 to 10

[wonderplugin_carousel id=”3″]


1 Is Rest Day: NO activity


2-3 Light Activity, or recovery run: This training it flushes the lactic acid and let your body recover, and its normally in 2 minutes slower than your 10k race pace / You breath normally.


4-6 Aerobic Endurance Run:  Improves resiliency and recovery, build mitochondria count, and increase metabolic efficiency can breathe and speak easily.


7-8 Tempo Lactate Threshold:  Improves ability to process lactic acid, general aerobic capacity, and replicates 10k and the half marathon pace / Out of breath, can speak a sentence or two.


9 Anaerobic speed/ endurance: Improves mental fortitude Replicates 5k and 10k effort/ Track workout and speed workouts. Can’t speak only one word at a time.


10 V2O Max Speed / Race day: Improves form neurological recruitment, fast twitch muscle strength upper aerobic capacity hearth strange and stroke volume.  Completely out of breath/ unable to talk.


Understanding that each work out it differently and has a different role and objective  in a larger picture, and it is part of a whole meso cycle, it is essential for optimal performance.

  • Follow your training plan and evaluating each session will give you valuable insight in order to improve and be injury free.

In the following article we will talk bout Pain Scale and Mood scale , Key components for an injury free training cycle

We give this tools and many others for free when you buy one of our personalize training plans.

Thanks for reading.  Help me spread the joy and wisdom if you like it , please share, comment and subscribe¡.

Ilia signature