Race season is in full swing, and whether you consider yourself new to the running scene or a seasoned vet, it's never too early to start training for one of Fall or Winter's big races. From a 5K to beyond, here are all the tips and training plans you need to make yourself race ready.
The Beginning: 5K
Running 3.1 miles might seem like a daunting feat, but with a plan in hand, the process becomes so much easier. A 5K is considered a gateway race, and once you complete it, it's likely that you'll want to take on longer distances.
- Get started with our beginner 5K program. It's a six-week training schedule that incorporates everything you need for a successful first race. It'll have you running three days a week and cross training on the side.
- Before hitting the starting line, read these tips for running your first 5K, and make sure to download one of our 5K playlists that will help you keep pace.
- Once you finish, set goals for a new personal record using these tips and our training plan on how to run a faster 5K.
Doubling Up: The 10K
Once you have a 5K under your belt, it's time to tackle a 10K. The 6.2-mile race means adding to your weekly mileage to help build up endurance.
- Get started with this 12-week 10K training plan, or if you're more pressed for time, try this eight-week training plan instead.
- Longer, harder runs will definitely help you take on those extra 6.2 miles, but you'll also want to follow these specific fitness and diet tips for building endurance.
Going Halfsies: Half Marathon
When you're ready for the challenge of running 13.1 miles, the half marathon begins to call your name. Upping your mileage to cover this much ground requires careful planning.
- This 16-week half-marathon training schedule for beginners starts with weekly mileage of just under 10 and builds up to 25 miles in seven days, before tapering before the race. If you already run on a regular basis, this six-week half-marathon plan should get you to the finish line. Before starting this plan, be running for at least two months with a base mileage of about eight to 10 miles per week.
- Not sure if you're ready to meet the challenge of a half? Learn what it takes to go from a 10K to 13.1 miles, from what you should be eating to how much of a time commitment training takes.
All the Way: Marathon
Once you start, it's hard to stop. A good mindset will only get you so far when it comes to running 26.2 miles, but a solid plan will have you crossing the finish line.
- When training for a marathon, it's important to build mileage up gradually. Give yourself 18 weeks to complete this training schedule for your first marathon, and be sure to make these running stretches a part of your training routine.
- Running 26.2 miles is no joke; you'll need to make sure that your body is fueled properly every step of the way. Follow Olympic marathoner Ryan Hall's tips on what to eat when running a marathon.
- It's hard to anticipate what the course will be like, but these insider tips will have you running like a pro. For instance, did you know you should stay off your feet in the days leading up to the race?
- Because this may be the biggest race you ever do, follow these tips on how to enjoy running 26.2 miles, while avoiding the biggest race-day mistakes runners make.
Trying It All: Sprint Triathlon
If pounding the pavement day in and day out isn't your thing, mix it up a little and train for a sprint triathlon. The blend of swimming, biking, and running builds cross training into your schedule.
- Take two and a half months to train for a sprint distance triathlon: swim a half mile, bike 13 miles, and run a 5K. Be sure to practice those transitions!
- If biking or swimming is new to you, then definitely check out why you should pick up a cycling habit, as well as our tips for swimming your first mile.