Running Program Basics
Whatever distance you are training for, you will find running programs to help you meet your goals. Running programs take the stress out of training, providing you with a structured approach based on years of experience, so that you can feel comfortable that the miles you are putting in will give you the results you want.
As with any form of athletic training, running training requires that you find the right balance between pushing too hard – and getting injured – and not doing enough, in which case you will get frustrated at your lack of progress.
If you are happy scheduling in your hill runs and your Fartlek, if you know when to push and when to back off, and if you know the warning signs of over-training, then you can probably do without a running program – but for the rest of us, it is the best way to be sure that all your hard work will be rewarded on race day.
When comparing different running programs, the first thing is to be sure that the person offering the program actually knows what they are talking about. Many personal trainers will offer to help you prepare for a race, but few of them actually have experience with what it takes to construct and monitor a training program that will enable a runner to peak in time for a specific race.
It is much better to either seek out a running coach, who understands the demands of race preparation, or look at one of the many online programs – these are typically offered either by top running coaches, or else trusted sources like running magazines.
Taking advantage of those who have done it many times before is the best way to know that come race day you will be ready to run the race of your life.