When Worth Way Runners were founded in a June 2015 we targeted those within  the community who wished to take part in a Zero to 5k course with the goal being to graduate at the local Tilgate Parkrun, that took place in early August of that year. The coming months saw a continued increase to our Parkrun numbers which are still increasing to this day. With 5k conquered we were then being asked for a training plan for 10k then 10 miles etc and this continues.

I’m a big believer in that we are all individuals and as such training plans or schedules are not a ‘one type fits all’ so for 5k a 12 week plan may suit some but not all and this can clearly be seen with the way our members complete their goals. Although both 5k and 10k distances are manageable within the club when we then move onto 10 miles, Half Marathon and Marathon distances members need to take some responsibility for their own training especially at weekends. I do find that our ‘distance ladder’ helps to keep a check on progression but it also helps to reduce the speed of progression and is therefore measured in kilometres and not Miles as kilometres are smaller advancements.

Having stated that we CAN help you with your 5k, 10k and even 10 mile training we then take a big jump up to distances such as Half and Full Marathons. I would strongly advise you to take a look though the various training plans that can be found via the Internet, I myself use plans from Runners World magazine but know that a number of other plans suit other members such as BUPA. Training plans should be more than just pounding endless miles on the same route day in day out, we have moved on leaps and bounds since those sort of plans back in the 1970s. Ideally two training sessions of mixed workouts such as low mileage 3-5 miles with mixed days of Hill Training or Interval Training will really help you. That then leads onto the weekend where shorter SATURDAY distance is followed by ‘The Long Run’ on Sunday. Take into account your normal week and adapt that to your training so that your weekend may be on a Wednesday and Thursday due to work, if you miss a day or two don’t get stressed these plans are not steadfast but are an aid.

I mentioned that we have scientifically moved on and this is ever changing. I have read differing training plans and whist some make sense to me others do not but that is my own opinion. One suggests that being able to run for a length of 3 hours shouldn’t be surpassed during training as the body doesn’t gain strength beyond this period whilst another suggests training no longer than 18-20 miles again as the body doesn’t gain anything. There is another study that explains that regular ‘refuelling’ stops will get you that PB you require because you are not only resting but your body is able to absorb your intake better. Each has its own merits and you must consider and be honest with yourself and what stage of running you are at and test these for yourself.

What else to consider? Other things need to be taken into consideration such as kit, weather conditions, nutrition, Injuries, your age etc. Kit, most importantly shoes, should be closely looked at. Are your shoes ideal for the distance that you are training for. Not all shoes are designed for long distance!!! Most shoes have 500 miles as an ultimate distance and should then be replaced. If you afford it have at least two pairs to train in and alternate them. Training in bad weather can also be a problem and can hinder training so if you intend to tackle runs in March/April you will be training through winter months which may set you back. Nutrition is a whole chapter so all I will say is think of your body as a car. A car has an engine which needs clean premium fuel to functional properly, your body is the same so think about your intake. Your car engine needs water otherwise it will overheat, your body is the same etc. Be aware of what your body is telling in regards of any ‘niggles’ you may experience. You are, in most cases, pushing your body beyond what it is used to. Slight pains or aches should be addressed as quick as possible in my case I consult a local Physio. If problems persist then the wise thing to do is rest if advised, stretch if advised, exercise if advised. When you train remember how old you are and how physically fit you are but that’s not to say you can’t run a Sub 1.30 Half Marathon if you are over 50 as plenty do but set yourself a realistic goal so that when you achieve that goal it will motivate you to better that next time and not crush you!!

Training should be fun!! Running should be fun!! If possible pair up with someone of similar speed and relax into your long distance training together, believe me running over 10 miles on your own can be extremely difficult, boring and easy to cut short. You should be able to chat to each other, this will somewhat take your mind off of the distance being run. Don’t be afraid to walk if the need be remember ‘Run when you can, Walk when you need to’ it’s not a failure.

I hope that this is of help and reassurance to you and if we can help in any way please just ask.