Run training plans

Building a run training plan

Creating a run training plan can provide you with extra motivation to run and can give you the structure required to push yourself to new goals. In today’s newsletter we review the benefits of a run training plan and share tips to create one.

Why create a run training plan?

Sometimes, the hardest part of running isn’t the running itself, but getting started. Making a solid but flexible running plan is a great way to help yourself stick to training, especially when you don’t feel like it. A training plan also helps runners produce results. If you want to gradually become a better runner, then you need to plan. Without a plan, you run the risk of sticking to a similar routine and never progressing, or adding too much work too fast and becoming burnt out or injured.

3 basic principles of a good running plan

  1. Have a goal

  2. Mix in different types of runs and training

  3. Increase distance and intensity gradually while allowing for recovery time

5 tips to creating a run training plan

  1. Start with a big-picture view. Choose a goal that you want to achieve, whether that be a target distance, personal best time or other health achievement. Once the goal is set, work backwards to build a plan to achieve that goal.

  2. Determine weekly mileage. This depends on your goals. Here are example weekly mileage and activity time targets based on race distance goals:

    • 5K: 10 to 25 miles per week (20-40 mins of activity/day)

    • 10K: 25 to 30 miles per week (40-50 mins of activity/day)

    • Half-marathon: 30 to 40 miles per week (50-65 mins of activity/day)

    • Marathon: 40 to 60 miles per week (65 mins-1:40 hrs. of activity/day)

  3. Mix up the workouts. Include several types of workouts in your plan including:

    • Easy runs: a relaxed effort.

    • Intervals: “run for two minutes, rest for one” and variations like that. These are great for building fatigue resistance.

    • Hill repeats: good for endurance and building strength in leg and back muscles.

    • Long runs: moderate effort with more labored breathing but still within your comfort zone.

    • Strength training: ranging from body-weight exercises to traditional weighted exercises at the gym

    • Cross training: activities like swimming, hiking, biking and anything that engages muscle groups that are not normally used for running without being too strenuous.

  4. Stay consistent and flexible: Once a plan and routine is established, stick to it! If you can easily get away from the house for 20-40 minutes, then make the most of that time. If you can’t do the full workout then do what you can.

  5. Enjoy the process: embrace discomfort, mark the milestones and focus on the positive benefits that running offers like the additional energy, strength, and courage that it provides.

Sticking to the plan

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