As you scroll down, have a look at the paragraph titles. For example, if you feel like you’ve mastered the first technique ‘Warm-Up’ then you can start focusing on the next technique. Simply find a technique you’ve mastered and move on to the next one.
Training progress isn’t linear. You will always need to jump back and forth between different techniques, but this guide will help you find the next level, when you start feeling like you don’t know what to do next.
How to Warm Up
The definition of a warm up is to safely transition from a calm and rested state into an active and alert state. To prevent stress in our cardiovascular muscle (heart) we should progressively increase our heart rate and blood flow. Warming up is crucial to longevity in running, so it really should be the first thing you learn in any sport.
Keep a Running Journal
What may seem insignificant now, will really help you in the long term. Running journals can be simple if you’re only tracking your running distance and total time covering that distance. However, they can also be extremely detailed! Every detail of our daily lives can dictate our energy levels when we go out for a run. That being said, some runners might prefer to track details such as total sleeping hours, weight, water consumption, calorie intake, which shoes they used (and how many miles they’ve ran in those shoes) and even stress levels in order to identify patterns in their running efficiency!
Choosing a Race 5K / 10K
Most people start running because they want to start racing, collecting t-shirts and medals. After you know what race you want to participate in, make sure you prepare well for it! You want to avoid injuries as much as possible. Ideally, you would start with shorter races like the 5K or 10K distances. We’ve built two training plans to help you finish these distances in the best shape possible. Click the links in the title of this paragraph to view the training plans!
Bonus: Having the right nutrition can help you recover better! There are gels that will help keep your energy levels up during races and there are also some pre-race tips that you should know! Have a look at this article to learn a few nutrition tips.
Find Your Running Mantra
A mantra is something that you can use to remind yourself why you’re running. It’ll help you push through the tough parts of a race and keep you mentally focused to complete the task. A mantra is usually a short phrase with deep meaning that you can repeat to yourself throughout a race.
How to Recover After a Race
There are plenty of articles that show you how to train for a race – how many miles you should run, what pace you should be training at, what your nutrition should look like, how many gallons of water you should drink and so on… this is all important stuff! But what happens after you finish the training plan and complete the race? Knowing how to recover is just as important as knowing how to train for a race.
Start Doing Strength Work
It’s best to get used to doing strength work from the get-go. All high-level athletes do some kind of strength work, so why wouldn’t we? Strength is essential in running, especially hip strength. Just one session per week will yield results, but two sessions is ideal. You can even do your strength work at home (click the link in the title of this paragraph)! For the gym version, click here.
When you know how to warm up, run your first race and know how to recover – you’re no longer a beginner (at least not in my books)! There’s still lots more to learn though. Let’s take the leap into being an intermediate level runner.
Improve Your Running Form
After running and recovering from your first race, it’s time to focus on improving your form. You’re now seasoned enough to know what it’s like to run a long distance and now it’s time to work on your form, to make those miles a lot easier for the body to endure. Working on your form is something that will be a part of your training for the rest of your running career. Form is never perfect and there are always different aspects to work on and improve.
Learn New Techniques to Run Faster
Running isn’t just running. There are many different types of training sessions that you can do to improve your strength, speed, aerobic endurance, anaerobic endurance, lactic threshold… there’s lots to learn! But you should definitely start with these three simple techniques!
Time to Incorporate Hills into Your Training!
Most people despise hill training. But you won’t be one of them, because you know the power of hills. Hills improve your running in many ways – from developing strength, endurance and correct running form, hills are a fantastic way to boost running results.
Learn How to Manage Training Between Races
Now that you’re participating in a few different races, you should learn to manage your training in a way that will steer you clear of running injuries. the topic of planning (in running) covers a whole lot of other sub-topics. There’s the principles of progress, picking races appropriately, periodization (which can also be broken down into tons of other sub-topics), recovery, conditioning and so much more… so sit tight, grab a cup of coffee and read this article to learn how to manage your efforts in between races.
Improve Your Running Economy
Running is relatively simple – but it can also be very complex. Usually we think about running as just putting one foot in front of the other for as long as possible but there is more to it than that! It’s time to take your running form seriously! You’ve crossed most major running obstacles, so now it’s time to optimize your running.
Run Your Races Faster
As your aerobic endurance improves, you’ll set your eyes on new, harder goals. Such as running a half marathon in under 1 hour and 50 minutes! How does that sound? We’ve made a training plan to help you do just that! Click the title of this paragraph to read it.
Run Your Strongest Marathon Yet
How do you stay strong in the last stages of the marathon? This is actually a great question! And before we get started, I need to mention the following. There are possibly hundreds of different variables that will determine your performance on race day. However, if you train efficiently, you can make sure that you are physically ready on race day, at least from a training perspective.
Build Your Own Training Plan
Once you’ve been running for a long time and you’ve gained enough experience, you may want to start experimenting with creating your own training plan. Nobody knows your body better than you – so why not try to push it to new limits? Building your own training plan in the pinnacle of running.
Bonus: Creating your training plan is complicated. I’ve created two additional articles to aid you in this task. Click here to read the Beginners Guide and the Advanced Guide.
Here’s a great article with some more in-depth information on managing running volume progression in your own training.
Push Through Plateaus
And finally, as you improve it’s only natural that you will hit a sticking point. Or maybe you will just get bored of following the same routines. This is usually referred to as a ‘plateau’ and learning how to push through these sticking points will be essential to your long-term success.
I will keep updating this list as more articles are published – but hopefully the current list will keep you busy for a while! There’s always something to work on and improve in our running!
If you have a topic you would like me to talk about, let me know in the comments or make a request in the Running and Race Training Facebook group – one of the leading running groups on Facebook!
About the Author