Having a training plan is a great way to provide structure and drive you towards a target race or challenge. A good training plan can help you run faster, stay focused and arrive at race day injury free. Read on to find out why it might be time you got yourself a training schedule.
When you sign up for an event or challenge you’re going to want to throw yourself head first into training which is great! However, it can be very easy to get ahead of yourself and do too much. Ultimately your fitness will be improved through a cycle of stress and rest, you stress your body with training and then rest in order to let the physiological adaptations and gains in fitness happen. Having a good training plan will balance stress and rest helping you to reduce the likelihood of injury and illness.
The great thing about following a training plan is that it gives you the sense of routine which so many of us like. Knowing exactly when and how you’re training each week gives ownership and structure to your training, it also allows you to plan your other commitments around your training.
Following a training plan is a great way of making a goal or challenge more manageable and less overwhelming. Training should be progressive to minimise the risk of injury and maximise your fitness gains. By breaking your training down into stages and having a thorough plan which builds on a solid foundation of training you’ll be able to tick off the days and months and see your fitness improve.
Have you noticed a slump in your performance or perhaps your race results haven’t been quite as you were expecting? If you keep doing the same thing and keep getting the same results you’ve probably reached a plateau, in which case it may be time to add a little variety to your training. Both the body and mind respond to changes in training, a good plan will incorporate variety to keep your fitness and motivation soaring.
It’s easy to become a victim of the ‘grey zone’ when training. That is, you’re probably pushing too hard too often, and not running slow enough, often enough. A structured and focussed training plan will help you add purpose to every run you do no matter whether it’s a hard interval run or a slow and steady recovery run. Ultimately, a training plan will help you train smarter and maximise your potential.