Endurance Running + Effort-Based Training

Here's the Article & the bottom line up front:

  • Running specialists - use effort-based training to show your value to runners.

  • Coaches - include effort-based training in your plans.

  • Runners - learn how to run by feel and perceived exertion.

How do you define successful training & performance for an endurance runner? PRs with a low injury rate rank pretty high!


We want to share two huge success stories from local XC teams that have been using the RunDNA Systematic Approaches taught in our courses. Andy Capone, a local high school XC coach, incorporates effort-based training in his plans. He said he was thrilled to see effort-based training discussed when he took our Level 1 Certified Endurance Running Coach course. With effort-based training, he was able to take a team of 16 kids and guide 9 runners to personal bests at the State Meet with almost no injuries!

The second big win comes from our RunDNA Resident Coach, Coach LK! With only two running-related injuries this season, she coached her team of 28 runners through a strong XC season, and almost the entire team set new PBs. Her girls' squad moved up from a previous 12th place finish to an 8th place finish at the State Meet this year! Coach LK credits personalizing run training for each athlete to the success she’s seen already in just her 2nd year with the program. She loves how the RunDNA Systematic Approach makes personalization for each athlete easier and less time consuming.

The good news is evidence-based principles of personalized run training are gaining popularity across the sport AND leading to big successes. Andy told us about this outstanding article (page 18) from the US Track & Field and Cross Country Coaching Association that supports effort-based training.

Here are our 3 take aways from the article:

  • Rest/recovery both before and after key workouts lead to maximum recovery and adaptation. Runners will often rest leading up to a key workout, but not rest enough immediately after the workout to let the body adapt and recover.

  • As much as we love wearable tech, runners need to learn to run by feel and perceived effort, so they can adjust their efforts no matter the course or conditions. Being able to accurately determine effort level is a skill many runners need to learn by practicing it during their runs.

  • The article explains several types of workouts to include throughout the year. Save the link to this article to share it with coaches and/or athletes if you are encouraging them to try effort-based training. Never hurts to have some support from an organization like USTFCCCA.

With the season nearing an end, it is time to go back to the drawing board to see what worked and what can be improved. For our coaches and running specialists, learn more about effort-based training in our Level 1 Certified Running Endurance Coach course and knowledge blogs. For our runners, find a running specialist that can help you get a plan ready for a successful Spring race.

We hope you will consider effort-based training to get excellent results!

If you're a runner interested in getting a personalized plan, take the assessment with our Plan Builder. If you're a running professional interested in learning more about RunDNA's Systematic Approach to getting excellent results with runners, check out our Education Courses!

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