So what’s in a training schedule? What’s the method behind the madness? Have you ever wondered how training schedules are crafted?
When making a decision on which training plan to use for your next big race there are a few questions you should ask.
What’s my time frame to train?
I have seen half marathon training plans that range from 8 weeks to 12 weeks. In a perfect world you would give yourself ample amount of time to gradually build up to the distance you are training for. If you are planning on training for your first race, make it a point to build up your base mileage first. Depending on the type of training schedule you choose, base building will allow you to focus on building strength to start a strenuous training schedule. Base building is a very important part of training for a race and is often overlooked. If it’s the Lord’s will I plan on running in the Richmond Marathon in November. But for now I’m keeping my legs strong with a simple base training plan.
What’s my fitness level?
If you never ran a 5K, it might not be wise to download a 12 week half marathon training program. In an ideal situation, you would contact a local certified running coach (Ahem, ME! ) or club and have them give you a fitness assessment. However, a good rule of thumb is starting with the lowest distance race you’ve never completed. If you currently do not run, start with a 1 mile fun run. Then work your way up to a 5K training plan. Next stop, 10K baby! And so on.
What’s my race goal?
Is your goal just to finish the race or finish it in a specific time? This will most certainly play a role in how you incorporate pacing into your training schedule. If your goal is to just finish, you will do just fine with a training schedule that does not specify which paces to run on which day.
However, if you are aiming for a specific time, you may want a training schedule that includes days for your easy run pace, long run pace, Tempo paces (5K, 10K), etc. These different paces can be determined by a previous race time.
These are three key questions you should ask yourself when figuring out which training schedule is best for you. Were these tips helpful? I’d love to read your feedback. Are there any abbreviations or terms you don’t understand on your current training schedule? Feel free to post your question in the comment box and I’ll respond asap! In the meantime, I’ll go complete the half marathon training schedule I owe Alex! LOL.
Would you like a customized training schedule? Well you can most certainly contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Love, Peace, and Sweat,
Monisha I. Randolph is a Senior Contributing Blogger for Sporty Afros. Founder of Runner’s Revelations, Monisha is a RRCA Certified Distance Running Coach specializing in running clinics and training programs for beginner runners. She’s also the author of Runner’s Revelations: How Running Changed My Walk. To learn more about Monisha please visit www.runnersrevelations.com. Follow her on Twitter @RunRevelations and join the Runner’s Revelations Fan Community on Facebook.