Running - Trivia

Types of Running Sports: Different forms to Explore Running!

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Every runner would agree with the fact that there is a freedom in running that makes you feel alive and invincible! If you are a newbie or a pro at running, you should know about the different types of running sports that bring a newness to running. Running is a way of understanding your body better and there is some magic in running that keeps you hooked to it. Before you start indulging in different types of running, you should know the different types of workouts that help you to become a better runner.

Before you start indulging in different types of running, you should know the different types of workouts that help you to become a better runner. Once you develop the stamina and strengthen your muscles and cardiovascular system, you are ready to opt for different types of running sports. Running different types of races will help you become a better and consistent runner.

And how do you become consistent?


Read on Tips to Become a Consistent Runner

Workouts for Different Types of Running Sports

We have provided different types of workouts that every runner practices.

types of running sports
Running – the best workout

1. Base Running

Boost your running skills with base running! This workout is for a newbie runner. All you need to do is run 3-4 miles at a time with your normal pace. The key is not to go overboard. A regular base run workout will improve your performance, running economy and aerobic strength.

2. Progression running

Slow and steady wins the race with progression running. This workout is a mix of slow and fast running. Start running at a normal pace and then gear up the last mile at a faster speed. Running progression will help you in marathons, races.

3. Tempo running

This workout teaches you how to sustain your pace. It is a quite challenging running workout. It is performed at the fastest speed. It helps you improve the speed at a certain interval of time. However, it takes a time to recover afterwards the tempo run. You can choose the tempo interval as 1 mile of warm up, then run 3 miles at fastest speed and then end with the 1 mile of jogging to relax.

To know the details on Tempo running read – What are Tempo runs and how do they help !

4. Fartlek

Break the rules and enjoy the freedom! This is a workout with no rules. Enjoy the base runs with no steady structure. You just need to run without stress merging few intervals of different time and distance. For instance, one moment you want to run faster to a certain target and the other moment, you may slow down and release stress.

Considering one of many examples, a jog for 30 seconds, followed by a fast run for 30 seconds, and then again jog, followed by an all-out sprint for some seconds, and then a walk at the end. Repeat the same set for 30 minutes.

To know about Fartlek in detail, read Fartlek – A Swedish Training for Runners

5. Intervals

Fast running+ Slow jogging = Interval

Intervals help you to increase the pace, improve running economy, coordinate mind and body, burn fat, and resist fatigue. It requires more effort than tempo runs. You need to keep running even above the red line when you start struggling for air and counting seconds and then followed by an easy warm up jog. You need to keep running even above the red line when you start struggling for air and counting seconds and then followed by an easy warm up jog. For instance, start with 1-mile jog, then indulge in 1000 meter runs with jogging at 5k pace and then jog for 5-10 minutes to cool down.

Want to know more on interval workouts?
Read Running Workouts to Increase Your Speed and Endurance

6. Recovery Running

Recovery running is a rewarding workout after intense running. It is the easiest run among all types of runs. These are the short runs preferred to be run after workouts such as tempo intervals. Do this exercise slowly and recover from fatigue! For instance, 3-4 miles at a slow pace after intervals or tempo runs.

7. Hill Repeats

It is the workout that mainly helps to increase aerobic strength, endurance, and tolerance level. It also contributes to resist high-intensity fatigue. It would help you to build up for running sports such as adventure running and mountain running. The best place to practice these types of runs are the low slope hills.

Now that you know all about the types of running workouts, what are you waiting for? Gear up to know about the different types of running sports, too!

Types of Running Sports

It’s a dream for every runner to explore more and add variety in running. Well, what better than exploring the different types of running sports. You can pick out any of them based on the type that suits you.

types of running workouts
Explore different types of running workouts

Adventure Running

Bring out the adventure buff in you and explore the roads with adventure running. This is the type of running that takes place over various kind of surfaces: road, dirt, mountain, sand, and snow. It is basically a running part of the adventure race. It includes running through various challenges such as snow, high altitudes, low or high temperature, scrambling, and river crossing.

Well! It definitely comes with various benefits. You get to explore the parts of the city in a way that you never did before—as you do during the treasure hunt. It requires both physical and mental abilities to decide the strategies to complete all the paths efficiently. For runners who are looking for off beat places can enroll in stage races which is a popular running sport and is multi-day event that goes for a couple of days.

Here are some examples of adventure running:

  • Great Wall Marathon is an annual marathon held in China.
  • Big Five Marathon takes place on the savannahs of South Africa.
  • Great Tibetan Marathon takes place on the Tibetan Plateau in northern India.
  • Petra Marathon in Petra, Jordan
  • Rocksport Challenge: India’s first obstacle racing event
  • Polar Circle Marathon in Greenland.

Cross Country Running

This type of running sports can be done almost anywhere off-track or natural terrain areas such as dirt, grass, rocky areas, water, hills, etc. It mainly includes the track of 3 to 8 miles which requires a change of tempo intervals and efforts to be put in the right direction.

types of running sports
Cross Country Running

It includes both an individual and a team sport and then the scoring is decided based on Point-scoring method wherein scores are determined by adding the top four of five finishing places on each team. Such that a member receives point based on their finish line crossing— first place gets 1 point, second gets 2 and so on. The team with the lowest sum wins the race. Running over excessive terrain areas require more efforts than any other types of running, which in turn makes your legs strong. Change of pace helps to improve your cardiovascular capacity.

One major advantage of running cross country is the location of the event. It keeps you away from the cacophony, and hence you get time to clear your mind and think. Various state championships and World Championship of cross country running are organized over the years. Formerly, it was also a part of Olympics.

Livingit Tip
Cross country running rules are decided by International Amateur Athletic Federation (IAAF) for both men and women.

Road Running

Road running is mainly a long distance run ranging from 3 to 26 miles, held over the road surface. It puts more stress on the feet, knees, and lower back due to running over concrete surface. It may also lead to joint pain for some people. Therefore, you should always choose the best fit shoes which provide more cushioning for road running.

types of running, road running
Road Running

The main benefit of road running is its feasibility for participation by anyone from amateur to a professional runner. Also, a special event is organized in which wheelchair entrants can also participate. The road running events are done on concrete surfaces or well-built roads of major cities and towns. A large number of people can participate in the race at once.

Some of the major events around the world are:

  • Round The Bays
  • Falmouth Road Race
  • City to Surf
  • Charleston Distance Run
  • Great Aloha Run, and
  • the Manchester Road Race.

Livingit Tip
Choose cushioned shoes for road running which will prevent joint pain and injuries.

Protect your body! Read about The 5 kinds of Running Injuries every Runner face!

Fell Running or Mountain Running

It is the type of running that takes place on off the road and highly inclined areas where it requires high potential for gradient climb. In fact, running down the trail with speed is even harder and frightening.

types of running sports
Mountain running

It is one of the popular kind of races which is preferred by advanced runners. Fell running is done with the help of mountain navigation skills and various survival equipment, such as map and whistle, prescribed by the organizers of the race. Some running events include fully marked trails, while some require you to navigate yourself, wherein you might get lost if you do not have the map.

Livingit Tip
For a powerful run on uphill always lean forward and stick your elbows back.

Learn about the Benefits of Trail running .

Track/Field Running

Track run is a perfect fit for beginners as it is flat, traffic free, and has proper measurements written on the track. It is performed in the stadium on tracks enclosed inside the grass field.

different types of races, types of running sports
Track Running

Nowadays, Tracks are designed in compliance with IAAF guidelines such that it is divided into eight lanes of some particular measurement. The innermost lane is designed for fastest runners.

There are three types of track running for official World Championship based on the distance:

  • Sprints/Short distance: 60 to 400 meter
  • Middle distance: 800 to 3000 meter
  • Long distance: 5000 to 10,000 meter

Running Races

Want to push yourself beyond your limits? Then you should try running races!

Running races are another popular type of running sports that challenges you, motivates you to become a better runner. There are different types of races that you can indulge into based upon your likings such as fun runs, team obstacle racing, triathlons, trail racing, ultra racing and much more. So there is a race for every type of runner, so go push your limits and enroll yourself for a race.


Marathon is not just a game of win, but it strengthens the heart, keeps cholesterol in control, and improves your immune system. While Marathon has a lot of health benefits, it may lead to health problems as well if not done properly.

types of running sports, running a marathon

A huge number of marathon events take place over an entire year. Depending on the types of marathon races, people of different age groups take part. Below is the complete detail of each type of marathon:

  • Beginner Level Marathon- The length of the marathon is 6.21 miles and is also known as 10K which is perfect for beginners.
  • Half Marathon- The length of the marathon is 13.1 miles race. Now that you are going for a bit longer marathon, you should train yourself for at least 3 months before the event.
  • 25K- The length of the marathon is 15.5 miles and this type of race requires 3 months of training and workouts.
  • 30K- The length of the marathon is 18.6 miles and moderate runners can participate with regular training and workout.
  • Full Marathon- The length of long-distance running a marathon is 26.2 miles. It is usually run on the road. Spend a quality time of around six months training for a marathon, before you go for the event.
  • Ultra-Marathon- The length of the marathon ranges from 30 miles to more than 100 miles. For this type of marathon, you need to build up a strong and reliable fitness level. You need to train your body and daily run at least one run of minimum 70% of your actual ultra-marathon event.

No matter which type you choose, among all the above types of marathons, you should train yourself properly.

Planning to run a marathon?
Read the Ultimate Marathon Running Guide to get a better insight.

Now that you know about various forms of running, choose your form and go ahead. Let us know which one is your favorite!

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