Training Plans

04.01.2016 |

Episode #2 of the course “Ultimate Guide to Running” by Matthew Henshall


Now we are going to create a training plan. This is the core for improving your running, but to better understand these plans and how to apply them, you need to make sure you read the next 8 days of emails on each method individually.

Yesterday, you should have defined your goal and either gone for a run or tried something different. For example, you might have written “my goal is to run 5 km in 30 minutes in 12 weeks. I currently run 5km in 35 minutes.”


Short-term goal (12 weeks)

Today, you are going to make a training plan and complete the first day of that training plan. Even if you don’t get around to making the plan, there will still be a lot to learn from the future emails.

Today, you need to figure out what your 1-mile speed is at 90% effort (ensure you warm up at least 15 minutes before). This time will give you a good idea of how to create your plan.

My 1-mile time is __(i)___


2.1 training_plan


Ingredients for success

Your training plan will consist of a mixture of various things depending on what your goal is. Are you trying to get faster or run farther? Do you run in the mountains or on flat roads?

These are the levels:

1. Easy (60%) – able to carry on a conversation

2. Medium (70%) – must be sweating

3. Hard (80%) – only able to give 1-word answers

4. Optional/Recovery

5. Hill work (80%-100%) – unable to carry on a conversation

6. Speed work (80%-100%) – unable to carry on a conversation

7. Cross-training (section 5)

8. Goal

(The % effort, where your 1-mile was 90% effort)

There are many other ingredients needed to improve your running, such as nutrition, gear, stretching, injuries, and psychology. The above-mentioned levels are simply for your training plan. We will deal with the other ingredients in the next couple of days.


Golden rules

1. Do not increase your mileage by more than 15% a week. 5-10 miles a week is a good start. Build it from there.

2. Warm up before speed work, especially when it is cold.

3. When trying something new for the first time, do it once, slowly, and listen to your body.


Create your plan

Create a 12-week plan. In each of the day’s blocks below, add one of the eight levels. Even if you only run once a week, it is so important to include at least 10 minutes of speed work. We are going to get more into these running techniques tomorrow. This plan you are creating below is by no means final—it will change frequently.


Training Plan



• Warm up and run 1 mile to get your 1-mile time.

• Create your plan.


Recommended book

“The Complete Runner’s Day-by-Day Log 2016 Calendar” by Marty Jerome


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