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How to create a training plan for beginning runners

I’ve been thinking a lot about just who should consider themselves a beginner and I tried to recall how I took to running.
I think a beginning runner is someone who wants to start running regularly and who may have a goal or a reason to do it.

Napsat nějaký univerzální běžecký plán pro běžce začátečníka, není vlastně možné.

However, a beginning runner may be a crazy twenty-year-old who does different sports every day or even several times a day and would like to add running so she can run a marathon one day. Or it may be a fifty-year-old man with a beer belly who only walks from his couch to the fridge and wants to make a change. That’s why it’s in fact impossible to create a universal plan for a beginning runner.

Recalling my first kilometres makes me laugh. In February 2009, there was a lot of snow where I lived and I needed to get to Prague. With city transportation suspended, I said to myself: “Looks like I’ll have to run to the subway station.” I managed 8 kilometres in an hour and have been running this route ever since. Wearing snow boots or a down jacket when there was snow, or flip-flops and a dress with a backpack in summer. I fell in love with running and registered for my first half-marathon, having no idea what was ahead of me or how long it would take me. Pace per kilometre? I had no idea such a thing even existed, and I didn’t even tell anybody I’d participate. Well, I somehow finished at 1:40 and said to myself: “Pretty cool, now let’s try a marathon.” Which is exactly what I did in May. Crazy? Yeah, that’s me.

It may sound weird but I was wearing indoor shoes, kept chatting with some guy, and finished at 3:35. On top of it, it was the only marathon in my life with a negative split. I have no clue how that happened. Well, long story short, I became a true maniac, running even three times a day up and down Prague, in all kinds of shoes and clothing, but maintaining the same speed. And only several years later did I find a coach who showed me that running can be creative and fun and that there are lots of options and paths to improve.
A training plan is a very specific, useful thing which needs to be tailored to your needs. Nevertheless, there are some general guidelines. Each training plan should consist of cycles, most often taking 4 weeks; during such a cycle, the training gradually intensifies for three weeks and the last week is easier. At least one free day a week is crucial in order for the body to regenerate and keep improving. The rest is about the person this training plan is for.

Uvidíš, jak může být běh kreativní a zábavný, kolik je v něm různých možností a cest ke zlepšování se.

A training plan should include a low-intensity run, interval training on a flat surface or climbs, a run at an intensifying speed, fartlek as well as recovery runs. Exercising in the gym, special runner’s exercises as well as stretching should also be parts of each training.

If you want to pick up running but don’t know how to begin or you’ve already set a goal you’d like to achieve, have a training plan tailored to your needs. That’s the only way to enjoy and improve at running without getting injured.

Lenka Králová, Top4Running Club Coach

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