How to Find the Perfect Training Plan

09.16.2015 | Setup

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It’s September, which means the fall racing season has officially begun. In order to crush your goals and set new personal records, you’re going to need a solid a training plan. Alas, with so many training plans out there, it can be hard to know which one is right for you. After all, no two athletes are alike and we all have different needs and lifestyles. To make sure that you’ll be feeling fine at the finish line, we’ve rounded up a few things to remember when creating your next training plan.

  1. Don’t sell yourself short. If a plan promises to take you from 0 to 26.2 in four weeks, you’re signing up for disaster. Be wary of plans that make big promises, and instead seek out something that offers a more conservative path to a PR. A couch-to-5K plan should be around 12 weeks long, half marathons should be about 14 weeks long, and marathon plans should take about four months. In other words, the more intense the distance, the longer the plan.
  2. Set a reasonable goal.If you’ve never done a race in your life, you probably don’t want to sign up for an Olympic triathlon—at least not right away! Start small, build a solid base, and then work your way up the distance ladder. By setting reachable, reasonable goals, you’ll be able to savor each sweet success while at the same time pushing yourself to take the next step.
  3. Rest and recovery is key.A good recovery plan will include plenty of time for rest and recovery. Make sure you plan for a rest day or easy workout after your long runs, and allow plenty of time to taper before the big race. You should also make sure you have a light week about once per month during your training. This will help prevent injury and burn out.
  4. Don’t forget to stretch!Plans that include stretching are important, especially as the training ramps up and the workouts get harder. Keeping your body limber and loose with a dedicated stretching session is key, and the best way to ensure that you don’t skip these sessions is by putting them where they belong—on your training plan.
  5. Find a plan you’ll enjoy.The most effective training plan is the one you actually complete, so make sure the plan you choose is one you’ll enjoy. If you work 40 hours a week, you’re probably not going to hit the gym for two hours a day. If you have a newborn, running at the crack of dawn might be difficult. Make sure your plan fits your unique lifestyle so that you approach it with excitement rather than dread.

If you need help finding the perfect excuse to test out your training plan, Set Up Events has a full calendar of awesome fall races. Sign up now, and we’ll see you at the finish line!

 
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