What do you get with a training plan?
Workout #1 : Day Off
WEEK 1 REST/XT
Welcome to the Beginner Plan for the Runner's World Hat Trick. This 12-week plan will help get you to the starting line of the 5-K, 10-K, and Half-Marathons for the Runner's World Half and Festival in Bethlehem feeling fit, fresh, and ready to run your best. Each Monday, you'll get a note about your training for the week ahead. And each day, you'll receive an e-mail reminding you about the workout for the day. This week, you'll have three short runs and four days that are reserved for rest or cross-training (XT). This weekend your long, slow distance run (LSD) will be four miles. This run may not seem very "long" now, but it will gradually build to 10 miles in week 10 of the program.
Your training kicks off with a rest day. Mondays are always reserved for rest so you can recover from the previous week.
As your race preparation officially gets underway, it's important that you have an accurate sense of your current level of fitness, so that you can determine your appropriate training paces. If you haven't raced in the past few months, race in a 5-K so you have an accurate understanding of your top speed and current level of fitness. That will help you manage your training paces for all three races. Plug your finishing time into the training calculator at runnersworld.com/trainingcalculator.
Have technical questions? Write to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you'd like coaching and access to RW experts on training, nutrition, and injury prevention, join the Runner's World Challenge. Find out more at runnersworldchallenge.com.
Workout #2 : Run
2 MILES EASY
Run at a comfortable pace, easy enough that you can hold a conversation. If you're huffing and puffing, you're going too fast. Don't worry about your speed. Just focus on covering the distance feeling strong.
Workout #3 : Day Off
Ideally, you won't exercise at all on these days. But it's okay to do a no-impact activity like yoga, stretching, or swimming. Whatever you do, just take it easy.
Workout #4 : Run
3 MILES EASY
When you first start training, it's easy to think that more is better. But whenever you run instead of resting, or go harder than you should, you raise your risk of exhaustion, burnout, and injury. Stay focused on your bigger objective of getting to the starting line healthy, and staying energized for your quality workouts. This will help keep your training more consistent and increase the chances that you’ll reach your race-day goals.
Workout #5 : Day Off
A well-kept training log can help keep you motivated and injury-free. Seeing all the miles add up can keep you motivated when the going gets tough. And if you keep track of aches and pains, you can nip them in the bud before they become full-blown injuries. Take notes on how you feel on the run, how long you ran, where you went, and what the weather was like.
Workout #6 : Day Off
Cross-training activities that challenge the body in new ways can help you burn more calories, reduce overuse injuries, and address some of your weaknesses like flexibility or upper-body strength. Begin any new activity early in the training program, when your mileage and intensity are low. Try to fit that activity on your recovery day or the day after an easy run. Be sure to reserve at least one day a week for complete rest.
Workout #7 : Run
4 MILES LSD
Today is your long, slow distance (LSD) run. The long run is the backbone of any successful training program. It builds your aerobic base, increases your endurance, boosts confidence, and helps you rehearse some of the gear and fuel strategies you'll need for the race. It also helps you prepare for the psychological challenge of racing for a few hours. Since you'll be running farther, you can go out slower than you usually do. On these days your goal is just to complete the distance feeling good.
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To get coaching and access to RW experts on training, nutrition, and injury prevention, join the Runner's World Challenge. Find out more at runnersworldchallenge.com.
Workout #8 : Day Off
Week 2 REST/XT
Welcome to week two of training. This week will follow the same pattern as last week, with four days of rest or cross-training and three days of running. This week your long run (LSD) will inch up to five miles.
Try to incorporate as many hills as you can into your training. Hills build leg and lung power. They'll also prepare you for the significant climbs you'll face in the race. The course is filled with rolling hills, and there are four major climbs on the course, located at miles one, four, 5.5, and 10. The biggest hill is a long, steady, half-mile climb at mile four.
Make time to stretch after each run. Any time you try to do a hard effort back to back, that second day you’re likely to be quite tight. Stretching will help increase mobility and flexibility going into your races, and help you steer clear of injury. After each run, do a circuit of basic static stretches: hit your hamstrings, quads, calves, hip flexors, and glutes. Hold each stretch for one minute.
Have technical questions? Write to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you'd like online coaching and access to RW experts on training, nutrition, and injury prevention, join the Runner's World Challenge. Find out more at runnersworldchallenge.com.
Workout #9 : Run
2 MILES EASY
The race starts and finishes on the grounds of the former headquarters of Bethlehem Steel. Founded in 1904, the company was at one time the second-largest producer of steel in America and a symbol of U.S. industrial power in the 20th century. In its heyday, the company manufactured steel for many of the country's most renowned landmarks, including the Golden Gate Bridge, the Chrysler Building, the Empire State Building, and the Hoover Dam.