Optimal training for your target competition – How running.COACH prepares you for your competition

The goal of running.COACH is to optimize your training and adapt it to your specific requirements. Not only your current performance is taken into account, but also the training days available to you (number and time) and your individual running goals. The following blog post can serve as a guide on how to get running.COACH to optimally prepare you for your running goals.

Step 1: Set a suitable target

So select an appropriate run. Make sure that the target is realistic. So if you can run 30 minutes without stopping at the moment, then a marathon in 3 months is probably not very realistic. In this article we use the Edinburgh Half Marathon as training goal – the running.COACH is supposed to build up the form based on this event.

Step 2: Define your running target in the settings

Log in at www.runningcoach.me and then click on the “Training settings” tab. At point four, first select “Participation in competitions” as your primary training goal (from the drop-down list) and then click in the empty field below. If your training goal, in our case the S Edinburgh Half Marathon, is stored in our database (there are more than 400 running events stored in Switzerland alone), it will appear as a selection after you have entered a few letters. Select the desired distance (21.1km).

Step 3: Determine the priority of your race

In order for the plan to be optimally aligned with the Edinburgh Half Marathon, you must give it the highest priority level. When planning your training, the plan is ALWAYS based on the next race with the highest priority level. If you have not defined a race with the highest priority level, a general training plan will be calculated for you, which is NOT specifically geared to one of your registered races with priority level 1 or 2. After the Edinburgh Half Marathon has been assigned priority level 3, the entry must be confirmed by clicking on the diskette symbol and the plan must be regenerated.

Step 4: Determine your preparation program

On the way to your goal, it may be useful to schedule a few preparatory competitions. For the different distances we recommend the following program:

Five kilometers:

2-3 preparation races spread over the last 8 of the 12 weeks of preparation.
Last competition 7 days before the main competition, maximum 3000m.
Competition distances will decrease towards the competition – later increasingly. For example 10’000m, 5’000m, 1500m, 3000m and main competition.

10 km:

…2-4 prep races spread over the last 10 weeks of the 14 weeks of prep.
Last competition 7 days before the main competition, maximum 5000m.
Competition distances decrease towards the competition, final competition shorter. For example: 15’000m, 10’000m, 5000m, 5000m and main competition.

Half marathon:

3-4 prep races spread over the last 12 of the 16 weeks of prep.
Last competition 14 days before the main competition, maximum 10’000m.
Competition distances will increase towards the competition, final competition will be shorter. For example 5’000m, 10’000m, 15’000m, 10’000m and main competition.


3-4 prep races spread over the last 14 of the 20 weeks of prep.
Half marathon as a “compulsory element”, ideally four weeks before the main competition.
Last competition 14 days before the main competition, ideally 10’000m.
Competition distances increase towards the competition, final competition shorter. For example 10’000m, 15’000m, half marathon, 10’000m and main competition.

Step 5: Integrate the preparation competitions into your plan

Enter the preparatory competitions in the settings in your plan. Proceed in the same way as in points 2 and 3, but then define the priority as level 1 or 2. Recalculate the plan. The practical search functions of our running calendar can be of great help in your search for a suitable preparation run.

Your plan is now optimally aligned with your target competition. If you now stick to the guidelines, (almost) nothing can go wrong.

This post is also available in DE.

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  • […] My goal – Define your running goal. First choose one of the basic settings “Beginner”, ” Physical health” or “Participation in competitions”. With the first two options, running.COACH will create an entry plan or a basic plan, which will either introduce you to running training (beginners) or help you to improve your general fitness level (health). If you choose “Participate in competitions”, the plan will be told how the plan should be structured in terms of time (date of the competition), which training distances are suggested (competition distance), whether a mountain running plan should be created (number of vertical meters) and whether the plan should be specifically designed for this competition or not (priority). THE PLAN IS ALWAYS SPECIFICALLY GEARED TO THE NEXT MAIN COMPETITION. If no main competition is entered, a general fitness plan is suggested. Save the plan by clicking on the diskette icon on the right hand side: How should I plan competitions for different distances? How do I enter a target competition […]

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