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Running: Have a Plan

Updated on February 24, 2012


When starting to run, it is always good to have a plan in mind. By having a set routine, it will likely help to keep the runner on track. Plans and goals are important to following through and sticking to running. There are two main ways to implement a running schedule.


Miles

One way is to go by miles. The runner’s planning and progress can be tracked through incremental increases in the distance run each day. When training for a race, this is often a common approach. For instance, a runner training for a 10K (6.25 miles) may just be a new to running. Likely, they will begin with short distances, such as a mile. After a week or so at that distance, they will move up to 1.5 or 2 miles with each run. They will continue to build up their mileage until they have comfortably met their distance that they know they can complete the 10K.


Time

For runners who may not be as competitive, time might be a better way to plan. Some people get depressed and discouraged when training by miles. If their mileage stays low, they feel as though they aren’t making progress. Simply creating a plan based on time gives these runners the ability to enjoy their running without having any pressure with how far they went. This is normally done by casual runners who are simply trying to stay in shape and get exercise. They might start off by only jogging for ten minutes each day of the first week. The next week, they might run for fifteen minutes each time and then continue to increase progressively. Once they reach for their targeted amount of time, they can plateau.


While time and distance are the two main ways to set up plans for a running schedule, there are also other ways. For instance, very competitive runners who are training for races use a mix of both time and distance when planning. While they need long distance runs to build a base of a substantial amount of miles, they also need to incorporate speed training and timed workouts to adequately prepare them for their race. Competitive running requires a far more complex plan than does that of a casual runner.


Creating this plan is great, but the real key is sticking to it. Numbers can look easy on paper, but people don’t always muster up the motivation to follow the plan. Having a schedule will help to mentally prepare the runner for what is coming. This is crucial because the mental side of running is huge to overcome. The schedule will keep the runner accountable and make the times and distances more manageable. It’s always important to set realistic goals and have an appropriate plan to meet them. Whether time or distance is the runner’s method of choice, it is just necessary to have a plan.


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    • krosch profile image

      krosch 5 years ago

      Also running by time can be good for strong training too especially if you are running in lots of different areas and don't have mileage marked off. Since as you improve you will run further and further. I worked on the road for a number of years and I switched to running by time for much of that because every week I was in a new survey area and spending a bunch of time marking out miles every new location seemed like a waste.

      Whether running to get in shape or do well in a race its good to push your self a little (or a lot!) because most of the really good training effect actually comes as you push just beyond your comfort zone and train in that zone for awhile.

      Also the first 2-3 weeks don't expect to see many results since it takes awhile for training results to catch up and once you get through that period often the soreness you will have when starting will go down dramatically as well.

      Go out and get started. :) Make sure to get through that first 4 weeks or so and you will find the continuing journey of running will fall into place for you.

    • Joelipoo profile image
      Author

      Joelipoo 5 years ago from Ohio

      @krosch - Thanks for reading and commenting. Yes, you bring up some very excellent points. Timed running does work well when you are in an unfamiliar place and don't know how far the route you run is. Those first few weeks getting started are definitely always the worst too.

    • agreenworld profile image

      Dawn A. Harden 5 years ago from CT-USA

      Running is a very good. You can lose a lot of weight. Pacing yourself builds endurance. Nice article.

    • Joelipoo profile image
      Author

      Joelipoo 5 years ago from Ohio

      @agreen - Thanks for reading. Yes, running is definitely a good, healthy choice.

    • Capedium profile image

      Capedium 5 years ago from Texas.

      I really wish I hard time to run.. I know is useful, but find the time is usually my problem.. I guess am going to try harder.. Thanks for sharing.

    • krosch profile image

      krosch 5 years ago

      Making the time to run can really get you to focus better on other things and can really help you be more productive. Especially if you are caught in a rut.

    • Joelipoo profile image
      Author

      Joelipoo 5 years ago from Ohio

      @cape - Im sure if you try you will be able to make time. It's all about how badly you want it. Krosch is right. Running can help you get more focused on other things. I have found that having more to do has forced me to manage my time better.

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