Running Plans for 10K, 10 Miles, Half-Marathon, and Marathon
It may sound hackney and like it’s better suited to being a quote on a tea bag (looking at you Yogi) but when it comes to running it is about the journey not the destination. But that’s because you will literally spend more time training then you will racing. Many training plans to build up to a distance race involve several months of effort whereas the average race will take you a few hours to a day depending on your distance. Point being that where your investiture of time truly lies is in the preparation.
So given that, it is important to have a good plan if you want to achieve your distance and or time goals. I’m a big proponent of finishing a race first and worrying about the pace the next time, which is to say I advocate for setting yourself up for success by having realistic goals, sticking to a plan, and being flexible in your expectations of your body. You may feel disappointed that you didn’t get your goal pace but never forget that just finishing the race is a huge achievement you should be proud of, and given the amount of time you spent training you should be proud even if you did not finish the race. A race is not an end all be all metric of success.
All that aside, it is still very difficult to not feel the bummers when you work towards something and it does not quite go the way you hoped. Which is why if you have racing goals this year I am here with some recommendations on training plans to help you achieve them! I am not an expert coach but I do have some experience running and am decent at research so I’ve scoured the internet for information and found that actually many people have already done the legwork. One such person has a blog post that is loaded with free running plans far more thorough then the few I will be adapting. Full credit however goes to Maggie at Running for Sweets: https://runninforsweets.com/free-running-plans/ who did all the heavy lifting which has more running plans geared towards beginners.
However, it should be noted that the famous Hal Higdon also has plans for just about everything as well and they can all be found here: https://www.halhigdon.com/training/ and is fairly comprehensive
I will also be skipping the 5K distance because we have a very solid program developed by our own Keri Niles! So if you have interest in that, I 100% encourage you to connect with her or better yet join the Couch to 5K program Spring session!
But if you don’t feel like clicking through all that here are some minimalist plans adapted from Hal Higdon.