As half and full marathon training kicks into gear for fall races I thought I would take this time to share some free run coaching tips and information that will help you to build the perfect plan – your training plan essentials if you will. If you have already built your plan I would be sure to look it over and make sure you have incorporated these important training plan essentials. Don’t want to deal with setting up the plan and taking all these factors into account yourself? Then, I highly suggest looking into some run coaching services. I am personally using a coach as I take on the NYC marathon this year, and I am coaching others as they do the same.
Training Plan Essentials:
*Be sure to click on each image and/or link for the full article including detailed information on how to implement each practice into your plan and when it should be used.
1. Every runner should begin by planning each of their training weeks around the Easy/Hard Principle of Running. Utilizing this principle will help you to make better gains while avoiding the risk of injury.
2. Another training plan component that is crucial for all runners is the cutback or unloading week. Incorporating cutback weeks into your plan helps you to get to the start line happy and healthy.
3. The third part of your training plan is making sure that you have an adequate base building phase. Some people focus on base building before they start their actual plan, some include it as the first section of their plan, and for some the entire plan is base building. It is all about your current mileage and running experience.
4. Once your base building phase has been complete you can begin add in tempo runs in order to help a bit with your speed. Tempo runs are probably the best way to work on building speed for a half or full marathon because they correlate closest to the race pace goal and distance. However, tempo runs are not for everyone, beginner runners may choose to stay in the base building phase.
5. After you have spent a few weeks mastering tempo runs if you are still feeling strong and like you could challenge your body a bit more it is time for some interval work. Intervals will be more intense then tempo runs so they too are not for all runners. If you are coming off injury, are a beginner, are trying out a new distance, etc. you should probably save these for another time. However, if you feel healthy and strong they can take your running up a notch.
FYI – A Fartlek (not dirty like it sounds) is actually a type of unstructured interval run. These can be a great way to ease into interval running or to work a few intervals into other runs.
6. Building in fast finishes to your training plan can help teach your body to push hard on tired legs at the end of your run. This is beneficial because it can help keep you from crashing or hitting the wall late in a run. Also, fast finishes can help teach your body how to pick it up at the end in order to negative split your runs and races.
7. The final aspect of half/full training that every runner needs to include as one of their training plan essentials is the taper. A quality taper will leave your legs feeling fresh and ready to go, not heavy and tired from all the hard training you have put in.
Let me know-
Any training plan questions? Comment or email me.
Are you currently training for a race? If so which one?
Do you have your training plan scheduled around the Easy/Hard Principle and cutback weeks?
Does your plan have a base building phase and also a taper?
Do you do any type of tempo, interval, or fast finish work to improve speed? Remember not every plan needs these.
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