Remember when running was simple? You woke-up before work, tied on your sneakers, went for a run and then proceed with the rest of your day as usual. It was relatively easy to be a runner when all you thought you had to do to succeed was run.
Now we know that in order to be a lifetime runner, we have to do more than wake-up and run. We have to take care of our bodies by eating well, strength training, foam rolling, cross-training, stretching and doing running drills. Combine all of these things with every other responsibility we have in life and running doesn’t seem so simple any more.
Putting together a training plan that incorporates all of these things can feel overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. You can keep things simple and add every necessary element into your training plan without quitting your day job.
Here are some things to keep in mind to help manage all these elements along with a sample weekly schedule
- Keep your strength training sessions short. 15 minutes of doing the right exercises can be enough.
- Give yourself at least one full rest day.
- When you’re short on time, reduce your run time by 5 minutes and complete 5 minutes of core work. You’ll benefit more from doing planks and hip bridges than you will from five more minutes of running.
- Tell yourself that 5 minutes is enough time to do any of the following: foam roll, warm-up, do five strength training exercises or or do a few yoga poses.
- Realize that everything doesn’t have to be perfect. You just have to do a little bit of all of these things.
- Double up on workouts, but don’t spend any additional time working out. For example, combine a run with a strength training workout by doing a 30 minute run and a 20 minute strength training session.
- You don’t have to do everything everyday. Just make sure you incorporate these elements at least once each week.
- Be flexible. Know that you can still reach your goal even if you miss a workout every once in awhile.
Sample weekly training schedule:
Monday: Foam roll 5 minutes, easy 3 mile run + 15 minutes of strength = 55-minute workout
Tuesday: Tempo Run: 5 minutes of dynamic stretching + tempo run (warm-up 15 minutes + 30 minutes at tempo effort) + 5 minutes of core work + 5 minutes of foam rolling = 60-minute workout
Wednesday: Easy 4 mile run + 5 minutes of running drills + 15-minute strength workout = 60 minute workout
Thursday: REST Day
Saturday: Long run
Sunday: Foam roll 5 minutes + dynamic stretch 5 minutes + recovery run 2-4 miles + 5 minute core workout = 30-45 minute workout