Run training plans can be all over the board. I am certain that is why you are here, reading this article, is because you may be concerned or confused as what is the right training plan to follow. All training programs will offer you a means of getting back into shape to running a PR on your next race. If you are a beginning runner, then it is vitally important for you to start off on the right foot [no pun intended]. Effective plans will incorporate some level of fitness, stamina, and strength coaching suggestions.
To meet your goals, it may be important for you to have some specific advice and guidance though. The real problem though can be when, during your training, you reach a plateau, don’t feel good after some runs, get injured, etc. Too often, runners place blame on something that they should not. It is in these inevitable situations that a customized training program and personal advice can be an invaluable resource.
Whether your program is customized or not, the plan should have most of the following included. Though a non-customized plan will not be designed specifically for you, your abilities, and goals, it should have some level of difficulty placed on it.
Training Schedule with Weekly Run Workouts: Each week, the workout should be detailed to the day, offering expectation and how to proceed in each workout.
Pacing and Finishing Times: You should have some expectation of pace and of your finishing time. However, do not make this your focal point, especially if this is something new to you, as your body is not completely adjusted.
There are many, many physiological things that are happening to your body when you start some type of consistent running workout program, and one of them is that it will take around six months for your blood capillaries to get stronger, allowing more and faster blood flow to increase your oxygen, etc.
Strength Training: This is really not that necessary when starting out running, though it cannot hurt, so long as you keep it simple. Strength training really is better once you have been running for awhile. The training desired when starting out is something more along the lines of cross-training and ply metrics.
Warming Out and Cooling Down: There is one HUGE myth about warming up. How often do you see people, or yourself, stretching before a run? You may be surprised to learn that stretching beforehand is not only not necessary, but can actually go against you. Your muscles are not ready to be fully stretched. It is better to start with a walk or very easy run. When your run or race is over, it is best to do a cool down, which does include stretching. Stretching after the run will do more good than almost anything else you do.