I started running track and cross country in high school however didn’t really start taking running seriously until college. No, I was not a collegiate runner and I don’t claim to be an “elite” runner that is taking the podium by storm. But I do have many years of running experience. I have run 12 full marathons, including three Boston finishes, dozens of half marathons, 15K, 10K and 5K races, not to mention four full Ironman races, 12 half ironman distance races, and olympic and sprint triathlons. I have taken what I have learned through trial and error in training to develop plans to help others on the path to achieving their next running goal.
Each distance will have plans for beginner, intermediate, and advanced runners. Beginners are those that are new to that running distance. Intermediate runners are those that may already have a few races under their belt but are looking to improve on their times. Advanced running plans are for those that are already very familiar with racing and are looking to take their training to the next level. Plans will involve long runs on Sunday that will progressively increase. For the longer distance plans there will be weeks that the mileage will step-down to help in recovery as well and then increase again the next week. Speed work is important as well, even in longer distance plans, and come in the form of tempo runs, “pick-ups”, and repeats. Hill runs are included to not only add variety but to help build quadricep strength and obviously prepare you for hills that you will encounter on your race day. Downhill running is something that is often ignored in training, however the eccentric contraction of the muscles in downhill running produces a great deal of muscle breakdown and it important to incorporate this into your training to be ready for race day.
All of these plans will have a progressive build-up. The 5K and 10K plans are eight weeks in duration while the half marathon plans are 12 weeks and full marathon plans are 18 weeks long. These are just guides! Adapt them and see what works best for you according to your training goals and schedule.