Harlow Running Club

Road & Cross Country Running (UKA 2658068)

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Training Plans - Introduction

Posted by Jon Steadman on September 28, 2012 at 7:50 PM

At club last night I discovered that members now knew if they had got a place in the Virgin London Marathon 2013, so I had better get on with this…

A question you my ask:

“I am reasonably fit, go for a run 2-3 times a week, why do I need to follow a training plan?”

Well, it is true that you may well be able to run a 5K, 10K or even a marathon off the back of this, but you will never achieve your full potential and in the case of a marathon, the experience is unlikely to be very pleasant.

So what is a training plan?

A training plan is a series of activities designed to get you to the start line of your key event in the best possible shape.

Why follow one?

You might say that the best way of training for an event is to practice it – effectively race a 10K, marathon etc. each time you go out. In principle this sounds like a good idea and you may even get away with it for a 10K, but eventually the body will get tired, injured, your performances will deteriorate and you will not get your best result. A training plan is smarter way of training. It allows you to build up training to peak for the event of your choice with a lower chance of injury or fatigue along the way.

The training plan is also specific to the event you have targeted. Each distance you do puts different demands on the body and actually requires different training methods to get the best results. Although it is true that by following a marathon plan, your times for all distances are likely to drop as you get fitter, you will still not achieve your full potential (compared to if you trained specifically) as you will be lacking the outright speed you need. However, follow a 5K plan for a marathon and I can guarantee the final few (maybe even 10) miles will be a living hell.

As well as event type specific, the plan is also date specific. You may well get that 5 mile PB in a warm up race 4 weeks before the event, but at this time you are still in hard training. You will have been tired and not able to go full out.

Next time I will cover what goes in to a training plan.


Categories: Training

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