We’ve had quite a few comments regarding the complexity and the variety of running workouts we’ve been sharing with you. But we know there’s just too many types of running workouts to fit into your busy schedule. I mean, you’d have to run every day, twice a day…
… And to be honest:
Of all the running protocols scattered throughout our articles, these are the basic 8 you’ll need to improve your running performance:
- Tempo Runs
- Hill Intervals
- LSD (Long slow distance) Runs
- Sprint Intervals
- Cadence Training Runs
- Burpee Runs
- Incline Runs supersetted with kettlebell work
- Easy pre-race or recovery runs
As we’ve said, 8 is a lot. How do you combine these runs into a routine that you can not only keep up with but that also won’t get you injured?
Define your focus
The first step to creating a sustainable and tailored running schedule is to understand what you are training for. Is it a long-distance endurance race (Spartan Beast, Tough Mudder) or a shorter race (e.g. Spartan Sprint)?
If it’s a longer race, you’ll want to add more mileage via LSD runs so that you can go the distance. If it’s not a long race, then you’d want to focus on the speed and tempo runs.
Got that down? Good, let’s move onto the next bit of your running schedule.
Add the necessary extras
- Add 1-2 days or rest and mobility training.
At this point you may start to worry that you’re running out of days in a week to fit all of these workouts into… You’re not wrong, but don’t worry just yet.
- Add 2-3 days of strength training necessary to help you dominate the obstacles: upper and lower body training, technical skills, etc.
With so many factors in play, it’s clear that your workouts have to be structured neatly but you can’t define them in weekly cycles. Rather, you’ll need to plan it in 4-week cycles to fit everything in. Which is totally fine. You’re not here to do bodybuilding and hit the same body parts 2-3 times a week. Quite the opposite, you want to minimise training time and your risk of injuries and thus double down on progress.
Create a running schedule
To start creating a routine I would strongly recommend using a spreadsheet, just like the one you can download for free at the bottom of this article.
It needs to include the following:
- 4 sheets for 4 weeks
- 7 columns for each day of the week. You don’t need to name the days, though some people find it helpful to plan out their longer runs for the weekend or before their week gets too busy. If this works for you, then do feel free to get specific and title your columns with the day of the week.
- Clear instructions on how to perform each run. E.g. ‘Tempo run – 20mins’. These markers needs to have a clear progression and deloading logic behind it. What I tend to do is to schedule a week of strong and fast runs where a tempo run might go up to 35mins, then have a week of deloading where the tempo run will come down to just 20mins.
- Once you put this on paper you also need to start listening to your body and adapt the schedule accordingly. This is extremely important if your goal is to progress.You need to record and track your speed averages for each run. You can use Strava or any other service to do this easily. Knowing your numbers will give you a baseline to improve against and assess your progress after those 4 weeks of training.
So here’s a basic draft of possible schedules (n.b. actual times and distance vary depending on your goals):
WEEK 1 – Chill Week
|Easy Run||Hill Sprints||Easy Run||Rest/Mobility||Speed Intervals||Easy Run||LSD|
|20min joyful stroll and/or cadence work run.||15mins of hill sprints AMRAP||25min joyful stroll and/or cadence work run.||Foam rolling, yoga etc.||8x200m, 1 min rest of walk jog in between||15min joyful stroll and/or cadence work run.||<70% HRM. 1h|
WEEK 2 – Hustle Week
|Rest/Mobiliy||Tempo||Speed intervals||Easy Run||Rest/Mobility||Burpee Run/Strenght Training||LSD|
|Foam rolling, yoga etc.||25min tempo at 80-85% HRM||10x200m, 1 min rest of walk jog in between||20min joyful stroll and/or cadence work run.||Foam rolling, yoga etc.||Run 400m, 10 burpees - on repeat for 1 h. Burpees can be replaced for kettlebell work etc. aim for 1min strength work.||<70% HRM. 1h 15min|
WEEK 3 – Chill Week
|Rest/mobility||Easy Run||Speed Intervals||Easy Run||Res/Mobility||Easy Run||LSD|
|Foam rolling, yoga etc.||20min joyful stroll and/or cadence work run.||8x400m, 1 min rest of walk jog in between||25min joyful stroll and/or cadence work run.||Foam rolling, yoga etc.||15min joyful stroll and/or cadence work run.||<70% HRM. 1h|
WEEK 4 – Hustle Week
|Rest/Mobility||Hill Sprints||Tempo||Easy Run||Rest/Mobility||Burpee Run/Strength Training||LSD|
|Foam rolling, yoga etc.||20mins of hill sprints AMRAP||30min tempo||20min joyful stroll and/or cadence work run.||Foam rolling, yoga etc.||Run 400m, 10 burpees - on repeat for 1 h. Burpees can be replaced for kettlebell work etc. aim for 1min strength work.||<70% HRM. 1h 30min|
Once you’ve finished the 4 weeks, it’s time to assess your progress and check how your times and distance run have improved. Based on this assessment, seeing what worked and where you haven’t yet improved, you should then update your running schedule.
Download your FREE template
Well, now that you know what to consider when pulling a kickass running schedule together, what are you waiting for?