People love to run.
So states Justin Levine in an article on Active.com titled Is Your Running Plan Appropriate for You?
The article concludes with the paragraph:
Random running without attention to progressions, strength development and smart tactics will lead to injury. You have to understand your body, pay attention to signs of overuse/overtraining symptoms and be willing to adjust the program accordingly. As an industry, let’s not bastardize running; let’s reward people for getting out there, pushing themselves and improving their health. The key is education. If you are a strength coach or running specific coach, hammer knowledge into the runners you train about smart training principles and get them to understand the complete picture. If you are a runner, be wise. Don’t just run without adding other elements to the program. Let’s remember, running is a sport that many people enjoy. Let’s encourage activity and promote smarter training so we can continue living healthy and taking advantage of every day!
I used to be a “random runner” until I started my own training plan, and I completely agree with Mr. Levine’s conclusion. Running should be fun, but too often it is not, due to setbacks caused by injuries. As Mr. Levine says, the secret is progression, strength training and smart tactics.
When I started running I had no intention of “racing”: for me, running was just a pleasant way of exercising and getting fit and healthy. A friend persuaded me to run my first 10K and I was hooked! After that I ran regularly without any plan and participated in 5K and 10K runs several times a year. I had frequent injuries, which took some of the enjoyment out of my running, but just believed they were a necessary part of the experience.
Training For A Half Marathon
It was not until I started running half marathons that I decided I needed a running program. In fact, I had already started mixing in some intervals, hill runs and fartlek with my routine runs, but had never really built a training plan. For the half marathon, though, I knew I needed more, so I researched several plans and developed a half marathon training schedule that worked for me.
As I was testing my plan, I recognized that different runners have different needs, depending on their starting point. That was the origin of the different schedules in my Half Training eBook, which contains various plans ranging from an easy beginner plan to an aggressive plan for experienced runners. Over the years, I have found little need to modify these plans.
As a runner, fitness counselor, and running adviser I have learned (sometimes the hard way) the truth behind Mr. Levine’s statements. If you are already a member of Half Training Schedule you will be receiving regular newsletters based on my own running experiences, in addition to the running advice on this website. Strength training was for me the final step in building the level of fitness I needed to enjoy my training schedule.
You will find no references to strength building in my training plans: I used to hate working out with weights. I now believe that strength training is an important part of overall fitness, whether or not you’re a runner. For runners, it’s vital as an aid to avoiding injuries.
Fortunately, strength training does not need to take nearly as long as running training. I now know that 20 minutes or so per week, provided you follow the correct plan, is sufficient.
Now that I can handle!