1. Long run
It is important to do at least one long run per week. Long runs build strength as you run continuously for a long time. You shouldn't run too hard, slow enough so you can talk while running. Clocking the time is more important for this run than the effort. My long runs are 90 minutes long, but if your normal run is a 30 minute jog, a 60 minute run might be your long run.
Threshold runs are my bread and butter work out. I wear a heart rate monitor and hold my heart rate between 160-170bpm. Everyone's threshold level is different, but it should be somewhere around this level. This type of training is a solid sustained effort over a decent period of time, and I do mine for 30 minutes. They make the heart really strong.
Repetitions are where you can do some faster running with recovery. In winter I might do 8 x 1km reps with 1 minute recovery, and in summer I might do some faster shorter reps under 600m to get some speed. If you want to go fast and sharpen up for your race, take a longer recovery. If you just want to build fitness, keep the recovery short.
Strength is important. There is only so much running we can do so getting into the gym is where we can get some more gains. It would be worthwhile to be assessed by a physio or a gym coach to see where you're weak and give you some exercises to work on. This should make you more durable, and also help you to run more efficiently.
5. Cross training
If you are a little sore one day and you're worried about it, take the day off and hop on the bike or get in the pool. There are many other ways to get your heart rate up other than running, and to save getting injured, a day or two cross training could be the answer.
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