With spring well on its way, there’s no better time to get your training structure down. Events are looking more and more likely, so the work starts now to have a successful summer and autumn season! What you put in from now on will make all the difference.
No matter what your goal is, making your training more structured can play a part in helping you achieve it. It can help you stay focused, motivate you to keep going, and provide a solid foundation for your training. It doesn’t have to be too complicated – the best structure is one that fits around you, your lifestyle and your goals!
But how do you inject some structure into your training? Read our top tips to help you build your perfect plan.
- Evaluate your fitness, health and overall goals.
If you haven’t done already this year, make sure you assess where you are now and set a goal for where you want to be. Read our guides on how to set the right goals for you and then come back here!
- Asses your schedule.
The perfect training plan or structure is one that fits around you. Take a look at all of your commitments and see what you can realistically fit alongside them – if you can’t fit as much as you think you need, then your goal might be too ambitious.
- Build your base
Make sure you start your plan off slowly and build up gradually. Depending on your goal, this could mean training 3 days a week and gradually increasing your frequency, increasing length of training sessions, adding in more difficult terrain such as hills, or increasing the number of interval sessions you do.
Don’t start off too slowly – if you’ve been maintaining your fitness over the winter then you still need to boost the intensity to get you going.
- Mix it up
It’s important to get in a variety of workouts to improve your overall fitness – particularly if you’re a runner. This could mean doing different types of runs – easy runs, interval sessions, progression runs, long runs, negative splits, fartlek runs – or different types of work outs, such as cross training, walking, swimming, yoga, strength training or pilates. This will also keep you engaged and combat boredom, making it easier to get to your goal.
Make sure you maintain the same time and effort levels as your running plan if you incorporate any additional training such as strength or cross training. This will allow you to effectively build up strength and endurance.
- Break it into blocks
Coming up with a year long training plan can feel like a lot of work! One way of setting it out is to come up with a week-long structure, repeating 3-5 times, followed by a rest week. Then level up for the following month, and so on.
- Write it down
Make sure you write down your plan – both the structure you plan on following and when you plan on doing it. Whether you get it down on paper or in your email calendar, getting it down and out of your head will help you commit to it.
- Make sure you’re fuelling correctly
The better your recovery and fuelling strategies, the more success you’ll see with your training plan. Try Energy Gels, Bars or Drinks to maximise your training sessions, ZERO to keep you hydrated, and Recovery Drink or Bars to recovery properly when you’re done. A good nutrition strategy that works for you will allow your body to be the best it can be!
- Keep it flexible
It’s normal to feel stronger on some days than others. Don’t fixate too strongly on your plan and keep yourself adaptable – for example swapping out an interval session for an easy run or vice versa depending on your energy levels. Listen to your body and keep it balanced!
Not sure where to start? Don’t feel like you have to start from scratch – there’s plenty of resources out there for any goal. Start with our training guides and plans, but make sure you adapt it to fit your goals and fitness level.
Let’s get spring started!
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