RUNNING: Choosing The Right Plan

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At least 60% of running injuries are due to training errors – Not shoes, mechanics, form, or any of those things we so often blame for our injuries. So the most important factor in injury prevention is following a good training plan.

The best plan, of course, is one made by a run coach specifically for you, but not everybody has access to that or needs that level of individualization. 

So how do you choose a plan? There are a lot of good plans out there you can find, so we’ll give you a few things to look for. 

Characteristics of a good training plan for YOU:

  • Weekly mileage in the plan matches your current fitness level (you should not increase weekly mileage significantly from what you are doing currently). This is part of what will differentiate a novice vs intermediate vs experienced plan. 
  • Should include 4 important run types: speed work (shorter, faster repeats), tempo runs (repeats of longer sustained speed around goal race pace), Long runs (slower longer runs often greater than race distance to build aerobic endurance), SLOW recovery runs.
  • Run frequency works for you and your life. 
  • Should be a gradual increase in mileage and intensity.

New to running? Consider a run-walk plan to progress you slowly to being able to run a few miles at a time.

There are many other factors that can be considered, but this should get you started! 

Austin Kercheville, PT,DPT,OCS | Northshore