There’s an abundance of training plans out there, many of which are free. Maybe you want to try one out or do some research before fully committing to a race? Well, you’re in luck! We’ve compiled a small list of reputable resources in an effort to help you make an educated decision. Whether it's a 5K, 10K, 1/2 Marathon or full Marathon, each plan incorporates unique requirements and disciplines.
It’s important to note that a proper heart rate monitor and a seasoned coach to help analyze the data can make all the difference in setting and reaching goals. That being said, while many coaches have tailor-made plans and costly monthly fees, a good coach will help analyze your personal data and promote proper recovery.
And for the more adventurous types, perhaps all you need is full dedication and direction towards the resources available to you.
Here are a few options, with interchangeable ability levels, to get you started:
- Boston Marathon Training Plans
- Runner's World Training Plans
- Hansons Training Plans
- Hal Higdon Training Plans
Also, check out the Maffetone Method for "base building”. Atreyu founder Michael Krajicek uses his "Maff number" and heart rate monitor (almost exclusively) for his marathon training and Ironman Distance Triathlon training/racing. For those of you who haven’t spent the majority of your lives "building this aerobic base," it’s important to understand all aspects of endurance, and the Maffetone Method is an incredibly illuminating resource. BEWARE: It’s often much harder than it seems to go as slow as the Maffetone Method requires :-)
Remember, endurance-based strength training is quite a bit different than bodybuilding! As endurance athletes, you’ll want to optimize both strength and mobility in an effort to fortify your kinematic chain. Core workouts and resources like Mark Allen's 12 Best Strength Exercises for triathletes (great for runners too) can provide a well-rounded approach to the subject.
Enjoy the journey!