How to adapt our training plans to best suit your work / life balance
The single biggest factor that will improve your running is consistency. You need to train week after week, month after month, and ultimately year after year, to be able to reach your true potential as a runner. For you to be able to train consistently, your training plan has to be adaptable, so that it fits around all of the other aspects of your day-to-day life.
What level of the plan should you follow?
If you are training for an event and following one of our training plans, you need to make sure you choose the level of plan that is appropriate to you. "Appropriate" means that it is suitable for your current level of fitness, it doesn't mean following a plan that you think will help you achieve the race goal you want.
You are much better to do slightly less training than you feel like you can cope with, rather than slightly too much and it becoming unsustainable.
Our beginner plans include 4 runs per week. Our intermediate and advanced plans include 5 runs per week. All three levels also have an optional cross training day which allows you to build more fitness and endurance without the risk of running too many miles.
Can you change the days around in a plan?
Yes. You can change the days around to suit your work/life diary better. The three most important days in our plans are Thursday (session day), Sunday (long run day) and Monday (rest day). The other days are for easy runs, strength sessions/body maintenance or cross training.
Here is an example of how one of our plans is structured:
If you want to change any days around then I would highly recommend that you schedule a rest day the day after your long run, and also schedule at least a 2 day gap, preferably 3 days - between your session day and your long run day.
For example, if you want do your long run on a Friday, then you should have a rest day Saturday, and do your session on either Tuesday or Wednesday.
Can you change between levels?
Yes. The most common change is switching between the beginner and intermediate levels. This might vary week to week depending on your time availability, energy levels and how your body is coping with the current training volume.
What happens if you miss a week?
If you have been training consistently for months or years, then you should be able to jump straight back into the plan and not worry about the week you have missed.
If you are new to running, coming back from an injury, or currently managing a niggle/injury - then you should probably repeat the week you missed rather than skipping forward a week. This will help to reduce the chance of you building your volume too quickly.
A short run is better than no run!
If you don't have time to run 8km, or 10km or whatever the plan dictates, it is still VERY worthwhile doing a 2km or 3km run. Every run counts. This article explains it in a bit more detail.