Whether you are running your first 5k race or your 100th 10k, it helps to have a bit of structure to work with rather than following an arbitrary plan. If you have a particular goal in mind, some focused training that is tailored to your specific target can be great at giving you the platform to achieve what you want. That said, following a targeted training plan is not easy and requires commitment and hard-work both mentally and physically.
All our training plans are an accumulation of many years of experience and research in training for a variety of middle and long-distance events from 5k to half-marathons. The key to these training plans is that each session is tailored to your particular target time in the context of your current ability. For example, if you are serious about running a sub 30 minute 5k, then you need to be following a running training plan that is geared towards a target race pace of 9:39 per mile.
If you are completely new to running and don’t know where to start take a look at our running tips for beginners or our Couch to 5k training plans.
During many of the plans, you will often be asked to train, for short periods of time, at a slightly faster pace than your target race pace. This will train your body to cope with the requirements of what you will face on race-day and build up your strength, stamina and endurance.
You should, therefore, ensure that you are able to run at the speed required for at least 1 km before starting any of the plans. If you have no idea how fast you can run (and don’t have a fancy watch) a good tip is to mark out a route online and time yourself over a 1km stretch mapmyrun.com is good for this as it’s easy to use and FREE.
Remember that training is cumulative.
Each session in the training cycle is of benefit and included for a reason (even rest days) so if you miss a training session, just juggle things around ensuring you provide yourself adequate recovery time for the more demanding sessions. Consistency is key