This plan assumes prior running experience. It is designed for the experienced runner who—based on a gradual progression over previous years—is ready to handle a training volume of 26 to 38 miles of running over five days each week. (Note: runners who prefer to train by time should choose the version of this plan that tracks training volume by training hours instead of mileage.) The plan uses a 2 up, 1 down progression schedule, which means a down week is scheduled every third week to allow the body to recover and absorb the training. It is aimed at runners who need more frequently scheduled down weeks to allow the body to absorb the demands of training, such as masters runners or those who have had problems with “niggly” injuries in the past.
The plan has five scheduled runs each week—three “key” workouts and two recovery workouts—with two rest days. 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 uses a periodization schedule of two weeks of increasing volume followed by a recovery week. The peak volume occurs during week 11 with 38 miles of scheduled running. This plan comes with the Multisport Training Guide, which provides information on how to determine your training intensity zones, protocols for field tests, guidance on goal setting, and general tips on nutrition and hydration.