This plan is designed for active individuals who are new to running. It assumes no prior running background, but does assume prior involvement in general fitness related activities (e.g. working out at the gym, hiking, etc.). The athlete should have a time commitment of 2-4 hours per week for training. It is ideal for those who wish to start a running program with the aim of eventually participating in running or triathlon events. It also works well for experienced cyclists or swimmers without a running background who wish to add running to their repertoire with triathlon participation in mind.
The plan has four scheduled runs each week with three days off (multisport athletes can use these off days for training their other disciplines). The workouts adhere to the philosophy of building the aerobic base while simultaneously emphasizing the proper neuromuscular patterns (or “speed skills”) needed to prepare the runner for higher intensity training later in the season. The plan alternates a week of increasing volume with a down week to allow the body to recover and absorb the training. The peak volume occurs during week 7 with 3 ½ hours of scheduled running.