I am a planner. I likes lists and calendars and the highlight of January 1st for me is opening my new, fresh, clean diary and putting away my stickered, highlighted, bookmarked one from the previous year. So it won't surprise you to know that I am big into training plans for running too.
I'm now on the countdown to the Cambridge Half Marathon (5th March 2017) which is a new distance to me, and I have a handful of 10k events I've bookmarked as well. If you're reading this and you're not sure you could ever manage to run a mile, let alone a 5k, 10k or beyond, then there's something here for you too. This is a round up of some of my favourite training plans- beginners, PB chasers, distance transitioners... I got you!
1. The beginner plan- Run/Walk
I'll kick right off with this beginner plan that is based on the principle of run:walk. It's how I began my running journey and understanding that it's ok to walk, and that running continuously takes time to build up to was a key to getting me out of the door a couple of years ago. Click here for 5k & 10k plans.
2. The 5k improver plan- Sub-30mins
Once you've mastered 5k, especially if it's a distance you run regularly at Parkrun or other events, maybe the PB bug is setting in? My first big time goal was to get my 5k under 30 mins. Click here for the (US) Womens Running sub-30min 5k plan and they also have sub-25 mins & sub-20 mins for the ambitious runner out there.
3. The Transition Plan- 5k to 10k
Mastered 5k, and looking for a new distance challenge? Or perhaps you signed yourself up for a 10k but your training has been a bit lacklustre? This plan is designed to get you from 5k to 10k in 4 weeks and is great if you like to mix up your workouts as it is based on 3 runs per week combined with cross training. I couldn't find a credit for this plan but you can find it on my Training Plans board on Pinterest.
4. Another Transition Plan- 10k to Half Marathon 13.1
You got 5k down, you are owning 10k and perhaps like I was, you're wondering what all the fuss is for when it comes to half marathons. The 13.1 distance is fast becoming one of the most popular distance events and this is another great transition plan. It's based on 4 runs per week and is a good starting point if you are struggling to work out how much mileage you need to build for a half. Again, no credit for this one but you can find this 10k to half marathon transition on my Training Plans board on Pinterest.
5. The PB or bust Half Marathon plan
And last but not least, my personal favourite. Not least because it's the plan I'm currently using with a few tweaks here and there. This plan is set out for those trying to go sub-2 hours in their half marathon, but I'd suggest I'm highly unlikely to manage that given this is my first event. So why this plan? Well, it covers cross training as well as running- I am really enjoying spending time in our home gym this winter, getting to grips with weights and strength training has been a major part of keeping myself injury free. Not only cross training but this plan has guidance on speed work, hill training and technical elements within runs such as strong finishes and race pace running. These are things I try to keep in my schedule, race training or not and the intensity & frequency of these extras match my needs perfectly. Click here for the 12 Weeks to Half Marathon PR plan & the whole article.
Whatever your goal is, there's a plan out there for you and the internet is a great resource for it. You can check out my Training Plan board on Pinterest which covers everything from C25K to Ultra plans and try having a search for a specific distance or time goal. Go forth and conquer.