Structuring your training pattern each week is a difficult task if you don’t know what to do. The Running Algorithm doesn’t recommend any particular order in which you should do our sessions but rather advise you plan your week with some key principles in mind. This means you can fit your plan in with your own schedule. What use is a training plan that gives you a 15 mile long run on a Sunday if you’re working a 12 hour shift and have your day off on a Tuesday? Here’s our three, simple, guiding principles for structuring your training.
1 – Plan your key sessions first. These include your long run and any interval sessions you have in the plan that week. Space them as equally apart as possible to allow better recovery between these sessions keeping in mind when your hard sessions were the previous week and when you’ll do them the next week. Your long run takes the longest to complete so most people opt to place that on their day-off work. If you work Monday to Friday for example and have a long run, tempo run and VO2 max intervals included in your plan that week you might do the Tempo on a Tuesday, VO2 Max reps on Thursday and a Sunday long run. This pattern can be adjusted but always keep in mind principle number two…
2 – Try and avoid doing two hard days in a row! Running on overly tired legs is more likely to lead to injury. This is one you have to judge yourself. If one week you have to squeeze your sessions in and you feel like you can handle it then it’s a judgement call but don’t get into the habit of scheduling hard sessions on back to back days.
3 – Be flexible, sometimes you have to swap sessions round or cancel them at late notice for whatever reason. Keep a positive mindset and know that missing one session won’t lead to a bad outcome. Running rewards consistency over long periods of time and being adaptable in your plan is an excellent way to achieve this. There’s nothing magic about doing your track sessions on a Tuesday night, you can train on other days too.
Keep these principles in mind when planning your week, if you have questions about your plan, need running advice or want to contribute content to our website please do get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Check out our “Plan Builder” page for a fully automated custom training plan.