Design a Training Plan

When I first started running, one of the biggest problems I had was figuring out how to settle into some kind of structured running routine. I couldn’t train by distance because I couldn’t log the miles, but I had near-term goals like a 5k and a 10k. A friend of mine in Santiago recently told me that several years ago, she ran a race that was an Olympic-qualifier. Then, she started her own business, fell off her previous training habits and can barely finish a 5k these days. Granted, she might be quite the exception, but it’s no surprise how easy it is to just lose your running momentum when you miss 2, 3 or even 4 days in a row.

Technically, training plans are only as good as what you make of it. If you plan it and stick to it, you’ll be back on track in no time. I have a few go-to resources for creating a training plan – they’ve never failed me before (unless, I started skipping days). A lot of it is setting the right expectations. I’ve found that the “under-promise and over-deliver” routine works quite well 🙂

Cool Running – they have an excellent section about a runner’s “building blocks” that takes you through the basics of hills, tempos, intervals, long slow distance runs, easy runs, and Fartleks. They also plot out a simple running schedule that can help you get to your first 5K (like the one to the left). Remember that these are rough guides – so feel free to adjust them as needed. If you can’t cover the distance, run based on time. Start out with a goal like jogging for 20 minutes. You can even tune it down by alternating between jogging and walking every 5 minutes for 20 minutes!

Running Training Plan – this one, I’ve never actually used. Although, I keep coming across it every time I look for resources for more casual runners. It’s the least “technical” out of the 3 and they provide 4 PDF print-outs of their basic beginner training plans for the 5k, 10k, Half, and full marathon.

Do you have your own go-to training plans? Awesome resources for free?

I’ll try and keep adding on to this list as I find more….. who says you gotta pay $30-50 for a marked up training calendar? Now you just gotta buckle down and put these training schedules to good use 😉


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