How to select a training plan for running success

If your running goal includes setting a PR (personal record), then you need to make changes to your previous plan – if you had a “plan”. Most runners will see progressions early, without much planning or structured training due to starting at a PR of “zero”.  You should see quick gains from your body getting efficient at moving at a faster-than-walking pace through muscle and limb co-ordination. Then expect some advances in your cardiovascular fitness with regular outings. At some point, you will likely plateau and to “get faster” you will need to add some structure to your running efforts – things like speed intervals, hill repeats, tempo runs, and the long slow distance runs. Most off-the-shelf training plans that include 3 days per week of structured running will take you to the next level of PR.

To advance past this intermediate level of running, which may be getting you into the top 5 of your age group in local races, you will need to step-up to “training with a purpose”. This is where every workout has a purpose to create a training-effect on your body. The key is to prescribe the “effective dose” of training without pushing past your limits towards injury. To balance between loading and over-loading the body, the right amount of recovery/rest needs to be inserted. All of this is unique to you.

So how do you get there? First, you need to understand your current fitness level and abilities. Set a realistic goal based on your expected fitness gains and lifestyle. You also need to understand your safe-load-level (training miles per week and running/rest days per week) along with the type of workouts that are easy for you and the ones that are a challenge. Add to this, strategies for improving the “weak links” in your running to become a better athlete.

Please contact me to be a strategic partner in your running success.