When creating your training plan, the first major component you need to figure out is how many times you should and can train per week.
Many of us set out good intentions of training every day but soon miss sessions as it’s an unachievable goal due a busy schedule.
As a rule of thumb you should have two key sessions per week and then add more dependant on your event distance, time to event, your current fitness, your fitness history and of course your training availability.
Key sessions are:
> Long run - will improve your aerobic fitness and condition your body so you can run the distance on race day
> A high intensity session i.e. tempo, hill or speed will improve aerobic and anaerobic fitness, muscular strength and endurance so you can run at a quicker pace on race day.
Everyone is individual but here’s a guide to how many running sessions we recommend per week:
2 sessions - If you’re a beginner runner, it’s important not to overload the body as this can lead to fatigue and injury. Two sessions a week is a sensible level as it will get you started on journey to becoming a seasoned runner, but give your body enough time to recover from each session. After four to six weeks your fitness and running conditioning will improve so you can then increase the number of sessions to three or four.
3-4 sessions - If you want to make improvements to your running you should be completing three to four sessions a week as it will optimize your fitness but allows for sufficient recovery between the harder sessions.
The main objective is to make those sessions really count!
For a 5-10k runners, you will have shorter higher intensity sessions to make great gains in your speed. Half marathon and marathon runners, it will give you enough weekly mileage to build a solid foundation, balanced with high intensity sessions to increase your pace.
5 - 6+ sessions - The rate of injury often increases with running volume but if you’re a seasoned runner and want to train at this level that’s great. Mbition will give you four key session balanced with lighter sessions which you can use to recover. Having two run sessions in a day is a great way to increase your weekly mileage but keep your average run distance down to avoid over stressing the body.
Balance your plan
A good training plan doesn’t just include running, you should also include a Strength and Conditioning (S&C) session to improve mobility, flexibility, stability, muscle activation and strength, to reduce injury risk and improve performance.
Mbition S&C sessions are 20-30 minutes long and don’t require any equipment - you could do them in your living room so there’s no excuses to miss them!
Keep it flexible
We know keeping consistency in your training can be tough when you have a hectic schedule. So if there are weeks where you need to reduce your sessions you can adjust your training availability week by week in your training settings. Mbition’s priority system will ensure the most crucial sessions are on your plan so you can keep on track with your event goal.
Rest days are important!
Whatever level you're at, it's not the amount of training you can do that counts, it's the amount you can recover from.
A rest day will give your body the time it needs to recover and make the physical adaptations necessary for you to run further and faster. A good weekly training plan will be built around three to four key runs, with sufficient rest between each session.
TOP TIP: ACE will automatically optimise the placement of your sessions, but having limited availability will restrict the planning engine from doing it’s clever stuff. If you have a plan which has back to back high intensity sessions, please revisit your training availability so you give yourself a rest day in-between.