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Progression Run – How & Why 2 Add In

runner progression runs

Unlock Your Potential with a Progression Run!

Hey there, Run R2P community!

Today we are talking about one of my favorite running workouts, the “progression run”. If you’re searching for a way to boost your performance and challenge yourself in new ways, this workout is for you.

What is a Progression Run

So, what exactly are progression runs? In essence, they’re where you gradually increase your pace over the course of your run. Instead of maintaining a steady speed throughout, you start off easy and then pick up the pace as you go along. It’s like a gradual build-up to a crescendo, pushing your limits with every step.

How do you execute a progression run effectively? One way is by tracking your times over a specific split, such as a mile. This allows you to gauge your progress and adjust your pace accordingly. I often program progression runs to dose in time at your tempo or threshold pace – those more intense speeds that really push your limits.

But why bother with progression runs? Well, for starters, they’re a fantastic way to ease into your tempo or threshold pace. Instead of diving headfirst into a high-intensity workout, progression runs allow your body to gradually adapt to the increased demands, reducing the risk of injury and helping you perform at your best.

Not only that, but progression runs are also great for improving your pace control. By practicing starting slow and finishing strong, you’ll develop a better sense of pacing, which is crucial for race day success. Plus, it’s incredibly satisfying to finish a run knowing that you’ve conquered those final miles with power and precision.

Put it Together

So, how can you incorporate progression runs into your training routine? Just like with many threshold or tempo runs, you wouldn’t want to complete this workout more than once or twice a week max. Start off at a comfortable pace, then gradually increase your speed with each passing mile or kilometer. Pay attention to how your body feels and adjust your pace accordingly – the key is to find that sweet spot where you’re pushing yourself, but still in control.

Try this workout yourself!

  • Total Run Distance: 3-6 miles
  • Start conservatively at your base pace or marathon pace. 
  • Each mile increase your pace by 15-30 seconds per mile faster until you work toward your 5k or 10k pace. 
  • No more than 2-3 miles will be completed at that tempo or threshold pace. 
  • Make sure to complete a walking or jogging cool down for 5 or so minutes afterward to help gradually bring your heart rate down. 

The Finish Line

In conclusion, progression runs are a powerful tool for any runner looking to elevate their performance. By gradually increasing your pace over the course of your run, you’ll build strength, improve your pacing, and unlock your full potential as a runner.

So lace up those shoes, hit the pavement, and let’s start progressing towards your goals, one mile at a time!

Happy running!

If you need any further guidance or support along the way please feel free to reach out to me directly at, hopefully we see you at an upcoming R2P Run Club – get the details HERE

Happy Running!

running physical therapist

Dr. Greg Ellis PT, DPT, CSCS

Performance Physical Therapist 

Follow Greg on Instagram (HERE) for more content and to see his running progress!

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