Fitness Runner Training Plan

There are many different running goals and reasons to run, but they all have one thing in common; they involve improving your overall fitness. The calorie burning, muscle building, bone density enhancing and stress reducing potential of running makes it the ideal activity for improving fitness levels. A holistic year round training plan is perfect for a fitness runner because it meets the requirements of being a well rounded plan that is consistently performed on a year round basis. Even as a fitness runner you probably have some specific fitness goals. To help you meet your fitness running goal, this booklet includes mini training schedules for the following holistic fitness running needs:

Build Up

As a holistic, year round runner you probably don’t need a full build up, but even holistic runners have a starting point or need to rebuild after an extended down time. This build up schedule will take you from a lower level of fitness and endurance to a point at which you can engage in the general maintenance plan. Use this schedule whenever you need to rebuild a base after an extended downtime.

General Maintenance

This is a general holistic fitness training program that includes endurance, stamina and speed workouts as well as some strength training. This program is good for maintaining your current base of fitness and for a basic year round maintenance program. The general maintenance plan is a three week rotating schedule. Simply follow and keep repeating three week schedule, or one similar to it, for the duration of your maintenance training.

Weight Loss

Fitness and weight loss generally go hand in hand. The vast majority of fitness runners are also concerned with weight loss or weight maintenance. While you may not always need to engage in a weight loss running plan, this is a useful three week rotating mini program for those times that you want to drop a few extra pounds of body fat. This is a three week rotating schedule that focuses on higher intensity and longer duration running for additional calorie burning potential. It also included more frequent strength training to improve your fat burning lean muscle mass. While other mini plans in this booklet include as few as three training days per week, this mini plan has a minimum of four days because of the importance of more consistent exercise and additional calorie burning.

Stress Relief

High stress levels can wreak havoc on your health and fitness. Fortunately, distance running is an excellent way to fight the adverse mental and physical affects of stress. This three week rotating mini plan concentrates on low key, fun and less structured workouts that will allow you to relax and de-stress. These workouts also include some short, high intensity, stress releasing running repeats to decrease your stress to new lows and improve your fitness to new highs.

Consistency Build Up

Since you’re reading this plan you almost certainly are a holistic, year round runner or have that as your primary running goal. One of the primary and most important characteristics of a holistic runner is running consistently on a weekly, monthly and yearly basis. That doesn’t necessarily mean a holistic runner never takes a day off. It simply means that running is such an ingrained and important part of a holistic runners life that it becomes as much of a daily activity as eating meals or brushing your teeth. If you’re not quite at that point yet you may need a consistency build up. The key to building consistency is learning to love running and never fear or by intimidated by your daily workout. This consistency build up is a bit lower in intensity and has much more build in flexibility. The workouts call for a range of running time from very short to moderate. That gives you a choice and makes the workouts seem very easy. The truth is that the hardest part of running motivation is lacing up your shoes. Once you get out the door and start striding you will most likely get into an enjoyable rhythm. You will keep going for the full duration. This plan just gives you a mental boost to get you out the door, but you always have the choice of cutting it short. The important thing to remember with this mini plan is to get out the door every day and have fun with your running. This is a 4 week non-rotating plan. After finishing this plan you should move on to a maintenance or other improvement plan.

Endurance Improvement

It may seem like a fitness runner really doesn’t need to focus on high levels of endurance. After all, as a fitness runner, you probably aren’t actively training for a marathon. But improving your endurance is also important for its fitness benefits. Extending your endurance will improve your muscular endurance, your cardiovascular fitness and your injury resistance. It will also increase your calorie burning potential, which is important for weight loss. This book includes endurance improvement micro schedules for both basic and advanced level fitness runners. These are 4 week non-rotating plans.

Metabolism Booster

A higher metabolism will do wonders for your fat burning ability, weight maintenance and weight loss. Both the basic and advanced metabolism booster mini schedules focus on building lean muscle mass and improving your lactate threshold. More muscle mass increases your calorie burning ability and a higher lactate threshold increases your ability to run at faster paces for longer periods of time. The combination of more lean muscle and a higher lactate threshold make you a more efficient calorie burning machine. These are also 4 week non-rotating plans.

Running Workouts

There are four specific types of running workouts in your program:

Endurance Runs

This type of run is also known as aerobic conditioning. Endurance runs make up the highest percentage of overall mileage for a distance runner. Endurance runs build your overall endurance, increase your blood volume, improve your ability to store energy supplying fuel, and improves the ability of your system to deliver oxygen to your muscles. These workouts are performed at about 55 to 75 percent of your VO2 max (your body’s ability to process oxygen). This pace should feel easy and “conversational” in nature.

Stamina Runs

Stamina runs are moderate to long distance runs that are performed at between marathon pace and about 15 seconds per mile slower than 10K pace. Stamina training intensity is slightly less than lactate turn point intensity. The purpose of stamina training is to improve your ability to run longer distances at paces that produce a significant amount of metabolites without the limiting factor of reaching your lactate turn point. Stamina runs should feel like you are running at a moderate to moderately hard pace.

Progressive Runs

Progressive runs are a type of stamina workout that combines endurance training, tempo training, lactate turn point training and speed training. When performing progressive runs you should start at an easy endurance pace and gradually increase your pace through out your training run. Increase from endurance pace to lactate turn point pace through all but the final 2 to 4 minutes of your progressive run. Then increase your pace to speed pace portion. For example, if you are doing a 30 minutes progressive run you should start at endurance pace and gradually speed up to lactate turn point pace through the first 26 minutes. Then finish at speed pace.

Speed Runs

These workouts are also known as aerobic capacity training. Speed runs are performed at between 90% and 100% of your VO2 max which is between your 5K race pace and your 3K race pace. Improving this pace will increase your fitness, speed, endurance and speed endurance. These training runs should feel very hard but not all out.

Strength Workouts

The second category of workouts in your training program are strength workouts. Strength training is important for runners because it helps prevent injury, improve your impact resistance, improve your running economy and build your speed and power. Your holistic fitness runners program includes two types of workouts:

  • General Strength – General strength workouts build your overall body strength and provide a base for the more specific types of strength training.
  • Running Specific Strength – These are strength building exercises that target your running specific motions and muscles

This fitness runner training plan is presented in PDF format. You can move through the pages using your scroll bar or the PDF viewer controls at the bottom of each page.