Finding a training plan can be difficult. The internet is always a great place to begin but there are so many options.
The first step should be deciding how long do you want your training plan to be, but also knowing how long should your training plan be.
The second step will be determining the level of difficulty. Typically plans are broken up into Novice, Intermediate and Advanced. Some sites and programs will assist you in making this determination. This step also takes into account what works and doesn’t work for you, such as the number of days a week to train and types of workouts.
Another step would be considering how much you are willing to pay. There are free plans out there and there are plans you have to pay for. Depending on what type of runner you are and what your goals are for your upcoming race will determine the cost-benefit analysis of each plan.
Next I took the opportunity to share with you some resources I have found as well as some that I have used. This is not the end-all-be-all list of training resources, but just my own personal list that I wanted to share.
Full Marathon Training Plans
The recommended training period for a full marathon is 20 weeks, excepted for experienced runners who have sufficient base mileage and can use a 16 week plan.
Hal Higdon’s Training Plans for a full marathon run from 18-30 weeks and are free on his website.
Your Marathon Training Plan also offers free plans as well as coaching services.
Coach Jenny also offers free 20 week training plans.
Some races also offer specific training programs often for a discounted rate, in addition to their free training programs. For example, TCS New York Marathon offers both. Other free training programs include: Chicago Marathon, LA Marathon, Boston Marathon.
Half Marathon Training Plans
The recommended training period for a half marathon is 12-14 weeks.
Hal Higdon offers multiple 12 week training programs
5K Training Plans
Hal Higdon offers 8 week training programs.
There is always the iconic Couch-to-5K Running Plan, which now even has an app for that!
Full Marathon Relay Training Plans
This type of training is dependent on how long your relay leg.
Books containing Training Plans
Run Less, Run Faster – Bill Pierce, Scott Murr, And Ray Moss
YOU (Only Faster) — Greg McMillan
Hal Koerner’s Field Guide to Ultrarunning — Hal Koerner
Daniels’ Running Formula — Jack Daniels
Advanced Marathoning — Pete Pfitzinger
Hansons Marathon Method — Luke Humphrey and Keith Hanson
Customized and Online Training Programs
Most of these programs are customized to your specific history and goals, and some of the programs can also be updated based on how your training progresses. The following links include a variety of training plans as well as coaching services.
Runner’s World has training plans that can be downloaded to their RW2GO app, as a pdf, or to Training Peaks for varying fees.
Question: What resources do you recommend?
Thanks for reading!
DISCLAIMER: All views expressed on this website are based on my own personal research and experiences. As always, please consult your doctor with any medical issues, or before beginning a training program.