So you want to create a running workout plan, eh?
….Why? Are you into torture?
Just kidding. Running is a great activity for exercise. You can’t drive down a neighborhood street at seven in the morning without seeing swarms of runners. If you want to create a running workout plan, and want to bring exercise into your life, then I say good for you.
All you need now is a bit of knowledge on what running entails and how you can create the best plan for you.
Running: The Basics
Running, believe it or not, is more complicated than you would believe. I know I know; on the surface it looks so easy. People learn to run about two seconds after they learn how to walk, so how complicated could it be?
Actually, there are several concepts you need to know before we get into the actual running workout plan.
Most people run because they want to get ‘fit’. But what is ‘fit’? Most people would say it is fitting into the pair of blue jeans that they wore in seventh grade. It really depends (to an extent) on your goals.
For most people, being fit means being physiologically healthy, which usually means a person has a normal Body Mass Index (BMI), low cholesterol, normal blood pressure, and energy level suitable to his or her age, gender, and background. Running can help with all of those.
If you want to be more athletic, in that you want to run a faster 5K or have more endurance, then running can accomplish that as well. The key is to know what you’re gunning for, so you can design your workout appropriately.
Drawing Up Your Running Workout Plan
Okay, so, you know what you want to do. No matter what goal you have for fitness, the basics are fortunately the same (that’s why they’re basics).
How far are you going to run? Here’s a good rule of thumb. For losing weight, staying in shape, etc., running any more than 3 miles at a time is a waste of time. To become competitive at long-distance running, you will have to put in at least 3 miles at a time.
How often will you run? Starting off, you should run no more than 3 times a week, with one day in between. To stay healthy, running three times a week will suffice. To lose weight, I would run at least five times a week. For athletic improvement, six days with one rest day is optimal.
How fast will you run? The vast majority of people who run do so at what I call an “average” pace, i.e. breaking a sweat and breathing deeply but not becoming exhausted or strained. That is fine for weight loss and fitness, but for athletic improvement, you will have to push.
Look over those three concepts and play with some numbers. The above concepts really are your building blocks for your own running program.
Enjoy your torture- er…exercise.