3 Steps To Choosing The Best Training Plan

With so many plans out there, how can you tell which works for you?


With the start of a new year, many of us are diving in to a new training plan. It’s exciting and kind of terrifying all at the same time. How to choose? What plan will work? Should you take a couple plans and combine them? So many questions, right? I’ve recently started a new training plan and went through this whole process myself.

Here’s how I decided on a new training plan. Hopefully this might help a few of you as you think about what plan you would like to follow.

  • Look back at your last training block and assess. I think this is the most important aspect of choosing a new plan. Thinking about what worked, what didn’t and why is key. For me, I knew that I had run more miles than ever before and I’d seen some success with PR’s in a variety of distances. Taking that knowledge into account, I decided to find a plan that would safely help me increase mileage.
  • Once you have a sense of what worked and what didn’t work in previous plans, think about your schedule for the next few months. Will you be able to stick to a plan that has you running six days a week? Or is three runs a week all you can reliability fit in? There’s no single right answer here. The right answer is the one that makes sense for you. The best plan is the one that you will follow through with.
  • Finally, think about your goals. Are you just looking for a plan to keep you running through the tough winter months or are you seeking to PR a goal race? If you are looking for something more low-key, that will give you some guidance as well.

As for me, I’m looking to set a half marathon PR in the spring, so I ended up choosing to use a version of the Hanson’s Half Marathon plan. This is higher mileage than I’ve ever run for a half marathon, but I am convinced that this tough plan will help me reach my goals. You can read more about my training process over at my blog and even see the details of my plan.

How do you choose a new training plan?

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