There are many training plans and coaches out there. All with various philosophies on number of miles to run, days to train, etc. It can be very confusing. Here are some things to keep in mind in your search for the training plan that is best for you.
#1 - The plan starts where you are. If you’ve never run a step, the right plan will be for a short distance and will include walk intervals. Those walk intervals will shorten as you become more accustomed to running. On the other hand, if you’re more advanced, there will likely be more miles to run and more days to train, and more variety in intensity.
#2 - The plan challenges you. Each week should feel “doable” but not necessarily easy. If you skip ahead and look at the final weeks, they may look beyond your reach. Don’t worry. It’s amazing how far you can progress when you stick to a plan consistently.
#3 - The plan helps you progress gradually. Doing too much too soon or not allowing ample time for your body to recover and adapt to the training load is a recipe for disaster.
#4 - The plan is balanced. An effective training plan includes a variety of workouts designed to keep your body guessing and stepping up. Varying intensities, stress and rest, as well as mileage should be carefully considered relative to each other. The perfect mix is highly individual.
#5 - The plan is flexible. Each individual is different and we progress at different rates. Sometimes things get in the way that impede progress. Sometimes we progress faster than the plan and the workload and timetable needs to be reevaluated and updated. It’s important to remember that training is a fluid process, ultimately designed to get you to the starting line, healthy and ready to run!
Looking for a training plan and training tips? Check out the ZOOMA Training page for FREE training plans!
Marcia Kadens is an RRCA certified running coach and the voice behind Marcia’s Healthy Slice.