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Season Planning for Runners – How to Plan your Running Season

Once the running season is over, we are already gearing up for the next one. Now, the challenge is to figure out how to plan for the upcoming season. Here are some tips we have prepared for you.

Set goals

Reflect on the past running season and think about what you can learn from it, what you should improve, and what you want to achieve in the coming season. This could be, for example, a new challenge (e.g., first half-marathon) or achieving a new personal best. However, it is important that your goals are “SMART”:

S as specific
M as measurable
A as achievable
R as realistic
T as timed

If you have difficulty finding a suitable running competition, our race calendar may help you with your planning. If you choose a race that is not yet on the calendar, you can help us add it to our database: Add race to calendar.

Plan your preparation races

Once the main goal is chosen, you can think about the preparation races. These should be well-dosed (2-4 throughout the preparation) and always serve the main competition. On the way to the four base distances, it could look like this:

5,000m:
  • 2-3 preparation races distributed over the last 8 of the 12 preparation weeks.
  • Last race 7 days before the main competition, maximum 3,000m.
  • Race distances decrease towards the competition, then increase. For example, 10,000m, 5,000m, 1,500m, 3,000m, and main competition.
10,000m:
  • 2-4 preparation races distributed over the last 10 of the 14 preparation weeks.
  • Last race 7 days before the main competition, maximum 5,000m.
  • Race distances decrease towards the competition, with the final race shorter. For example, 15,000m, 10,000m, 5,000m, 5,000m, and main competition.
Half Marathon:
  • 3-4 preparation races distributed over the last 12 of the 16 preparation weeks.
  • Last race 14 days before the main competition, maximum 10,000m.
  • Race distances increase towards the competition, with the final race shorter. For example, 5,000m, 10,000m, 15,000m, 10,000m, and main competition.
Marathon:
  • 3-4 preparation races distributed over the last 14 of the 20 preparation weeks.
  • Half marathon as a “mandatory element,” ideally four weeks before the main competition.
  • Last race 14 days before the main competition, ideally 10,000m.
  • Race distances increase towards the competition, with the final race shorter. For example, 10,000m, 15,000m, half marathon, 10,000m, and main competition.

Determine the weekly number of trainings

The number of weekly training sessions should be based on several factors (including previous training volume, ambitions, and available time). When increasing the number of weekly training sessions, consider that a maximum of one new training session should be added every six months.

This table provides a rough overview of the number of training sessions required for the corresponding performance levels.

Beginner Jogger Intermediate Ambitious Professional
Improve performance 4 4 5 8 12
Maintain performance 3 3 4 5 7
Just for fun 2 2 2 3 3

More information on the topic is available here.

Plan your training

Of course, we highly recommend carrying out this step with suitable assistance. Enter the identified data into the settings of running.COACH and let the plan be calculated. This way, you will always know what training to do on which day and at what intensity.

We wish you a great season in advance!

Create a customized and dynamic running training plan with running.COACH that optimally prepares you for your running goals based on your current fitness level. Test running.COACH for free for two weeks after the first login!

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