I get a lot of emails asking about training plans…whether I write them for people, asking for the best half/full marathon training plans and affordable coaches. Prices (and quality) can vary a lot, so it’s best to do some research into a coach that will work best for you – whether thats monthly coaching or having someone write you a 16/20 week dedicated training plan for a one off fee.
A lot of runners I know write their own training plans, with varying levels of success. Whilst many would say you can write your own plans, I’ve been warned by far wiser runners than myself, that it can also be a sure fire way to get injured.
But you can edit, utilise your previous running experience and training cycles to cut and paste a plan that works for you. You might find this round up of Free Marathon Training Plans helpful.
- Look around at the free training plans online to suss out the ones that you like, and why you like them.
- Work out how many days a week you want to run/train. And more importantly, how many you can actually fit into your schedule. Make sure you can be consistent with it. I wouldn’t recommend any less than 3 or more than 6 days running per week. You can add in other cardio like swimming, cycling, gym workouts, weights, yoga etc as it suits you.
- Don’t forget to give yourself enough time – 12-16 weeks for a half/full if you have a solid base, longer if you don’t.
- Running coach Kindal (runningwithstrength) advised that you decide your training plan ‘bricks’ – that’s the tempo, long, speed etc that make up your training. Work out what days these will work best on and try to keep that consistent, however it’s important give yourself a bit of flexibility for life to happen. Make sure your hard workouts are not back to back – there should be at least 1 full day in between.
- Work backwards from your goal race, and plan out your long runs first. Anna (annatheapple) believes that the long runs are the most important aspect of your training, so build them up gradually, adding a few miles per week (no more than 10% increase week on week). Every three weeks or so, include a cut back week, with a shorter ‘long’ run, to avoid burnout. Take into consideration any travel plans, weddings etc that are already in your diary.
- Add some races into the plan to keep motivated and encouraged, but don’t RACE them all. See the end of the post for a fun race entry!
- Have someone to keep you motivated and accountable – without a coach to text after each workout it can be tempting to skip or edit your runs. Stay honest with yourself – sometimes it is better to skip the workout and rest instead, but sometimes you just have to slog it out.
- Find out if there’s a local running club or group that you could join for a weekly run and find a way to work this into your schedule if you can. Running with other people is a great way to run faster, smarter and to make great accountability friends!
I love Kindal’s final piece of advice – ‘make your training plan challenging, but most of all FUN’.
I’ve teamed up with the Great Run Series to give you entry to one of London’s Great Races; , where you can run on the symbolic Olympic track just weeks before Bolt and Mo Farah make history on it again at London 2017 World Championships. It’s one of the best finish lines I’ve ever crossed!
The Simplyhealth Great Newham London 10KM Run in partnership with Newham Borough Council takes place on the 2nd July, there’s also a family 2KM fun run so all ages can take part and finish on the track inside the stadium.
I’ve got two places to the Simplyhealth Great Newham London Run 10KM on the 2nd July to give away to two lucky runners. To enter… simply comment below and tell me what your GREATEST RUN has been.
My new greatest run has got to be the London Marathon 2017 – running with Tom, smiling from start to finish and thanking the Royals as we crossed the finish line!