What is a Progression Run?

Today I did a progression run.  I did not set out to do a progression run.  I set out for a 7-8 mile easy run.

Then the clouds rolled in.

I saw the clouds.  I saw the other people around me notice them, too.  Other runners, bikers, parents pushing kids in strollers.  No biggee!

Then the sun disappeared, and the clouds got a little darker.  A few of the clouds grumbled.

I was 3 miles into my run and 3 miles away from my house.

The clouds were moving and they were moving towards the sun.  It was going to get a little darker.

I better speed up.

How fast were the clouds moving?  Could I still get more of a distance run in today?  Maybe not 8, but could I get 7 in?

It started to sprinkle.  No big deal.  Then it started to rain a little harder.

I better speed up.

1.5 miles to my house.

I was happy with my pace.  I was happy with how I felt.  The rain was hitting my face, so I turned it down and to the side.  I have been focusing on my form more lately, and was disappointed I couldn’t run with it up.  The rain was coming harder.  I had to focus on the ground and where I stepped.

It was pouring.


Boy, did that feel good.  I hit my 5K pace and let loose.  The racing horse was let out of the start gate.  I was free.

I got home, I walked around a little before I stretched and watched the rain.  A progression run is not what I set out for today, but gosh, I am glad I did it.  Nothing like the weather changing to push you in a way you weren’t planning!

There are different kinds of PROGRESSION RUNS, but according to McMillan Running.com a progression run with a super fast finish is: a run that begins at a runner’s natural pace, then ends with a super fast finish.  These types of runs are exhilarating and do not require a long recovery.  They are fast enough to really stimulate your Speed and Sprinting ability but short enough you do not feel a lasting effect on your next run (but you must be accustomed to fast running or you might be sore).

Benefits of a progression run:

  1. Muscles get a nice warm up by starting out slowly
  2. Helps to increase the faster-stamina type training
  3. They are runs with an easier recovery

I I didn’t set out for a progression run today, but I got one in and it was FUN!