5 Steps for a Better Running Plan
Becoming an accomplished runner is no easy task. In fact, it takes lots and lots of training to truly improve your performance. However, once you get the hang of it, running can become an enjoyable way to burn some steam and become more fit.
Whether you’re aiming for marathons or simply want to improve your fitness, here are 5 steps for a better running plan:
- Assess Your Fitness Levels
One of the reasons your running plan may not exactly being going as well as you’d intended is because you’ve overestimated your current fitness levels. Be realistic with your fitness levels and where you’d like to be in a few months. You should consider the following questions:
- Are you out of shape?
- Do you have any series injuries?
- Do you have high blood pressure?
- What is your current BMI?
- How many times a week do you currently do exercise?
Depending on your answers, you can create a fitness plan that’s either beginner, intermediate or advanced. If you’re over the age of 40 and haven’t exercised in a while, then it’s worth checking with a physician before engaging in any running plan.
- Work Out a Schedule
If you plan too much running time in your week, you’ll feel disappointed once you realise you can’t achieve what you’ve set out. Instead, think about how many days a week you can actually exercise, and how many hours in the week you’re willing to commit to running. You can then begin to schedule these days into your calendar, before or after work depending what suits you.
- Set Realistic Goals
Every plan should be designed to take a specific route towards your running goal. When you set yourself clear, attainable, well-defined goals, you’re more likely to feel a great sense of achievement when you reach them. Your goals should be measurable, specific and set within a time limit. For example, this could be to run 5K in 30 minutes by the end of June.
- Build Your Workouts
Now you’ve got an idea of your current fitness levels and what you want to achieve, you can start to get your gym apparel, running shoes and muscle fit hoodie ready. How are you going to reach your fitness goals? What kind of training program will you create? It’s best to do a variety of workouts to ensure you’re taking part in a well-rounded training program. Different types of running workouts could include interval training temp runs, hill reps, strides, ladder runs and pyramid runs to name a few.
- Stick to Planned Recovery Time
Recovery is just as important as your main running plan – don’t skip it! Despite what you may think, a recovery period doesn’t need to be a complete break from running. This could be a 30 to 40% reduction in running intensity and volume to aid recovery and allow your body to prepare for even more training load the following week. During this time you can also take it a little easier and run for shorter amounts of time.