June 03, 2019

Free Training Plans (for running or walking)


Click here to jump straight to the training plans

In 2013, I took a course to become an RRCA-certified running coach. I wasn't really sure if I'd ever take on running clients, but I really wanted that credential to back me up when I write on my blog about running. I am very confident about training and the advice that I give, but confidence doesn't mean much if you don't have a credential to prove it ;)


I've written numerous plans for friends and family, but haven't taken on running clients (yet--I may in the future). However, I thought it would be fun to include some plans here for people to enjoy. I will add to this page as I write more training plans, and I welcome feedback (positive or negative) regarding the plans. I'd love to help people reach their running goals! And this a great way for me to do that. So far, I've received fantastic reviews of the plans, and I appreciate that so much.

A few notes about my style of training:

*I follow the 80/20 ratio of easy running to moderate or hard running. Numerous studies and examples have shown that this is the ideal formula for reaching our best potential as runners. I recommend Matt Fitzgerald's book, 80/20 Running, to explain why this formula works so well. (Make sure you get the print edition, because the training plans require a ton of flipping back and forth through the pages, which would be very difficult with a digital copy.)

*I love heart rate training (namely for easy runs) and I highly recommend using a heart rate monitor to keep your easy runs truly EASY. Please please please read this post about the importance of easy runs.

*I believe that rest days are necessary, so none of my plans will involve training every single day.

*I write most plans in terms of time, rather than distance. There are a couple of reasons for this: 1) You won't rush through your easy runs in order to get through them faster--if you're scheduled for 30 minutes, then you'll run 30 minutes regardless of pace; and 2) The 80/20 ratio of easy to hard running is meant for time spent running, not distance.

Finally, my favorite group of people to help train are the middle- or back-of-the-pack runners. I can certainly help train highly competitive people, but these plans that I write will focus mostly on the middle of the pack. If you have an idea of a plan you'd like me to create, feel free to leave a suggestion, and I may consider it in the future!

(Please remember to check with your doctor before beginning any exercise program. These plans are not individualized, so they don't take your personal health into consideration. Use my advice and plans at your own risk.)

Note: If you happen to share these plans, I would be so grateful if you would share the blog post instead of just the pdf file. I don't earn any money for writing these plans, and I spent a LOT of time working on them. Each page view on my blog gives me a little money (fractions of a penny, but it adds up!) and it doesn't cost you anything. Thanks so much!


Here is a plan to run your first 5K, since that is why most people wind up on this page ;)  If you have a particular goal in mind, I have a whole post dedicated to common individual goals, which you may find helpful:

How to Chase Down Running Goals of All Types


Finally, here are the individual training plans:

Walk Your First Half-Marathon   A training plan to go from walking to running

Training plan to run your first mile   5K training plans for beginners

Base building for beginners   Training plan to run a PR in the 5K

Training plan to run a PR in the 10K   Training plan: Walking for Weight Loss

Six Month Half-Marathon Training Plan for Beginners   Half-Marathon Training Plan for Beginners

Training Plan to Finish a Half-Marathon and Feel Good at the End   Training Plan to Run a Marathon in Six Months

Kids' off-season cross country training plan   2017 Running Checklist

2018 Run/Walk Challenge   2019 Summer Run/Walk Challenge


Here are some posts I've written with general training advice that may be helpful as well:

The importance of the easy run (a must read!!)
My Favorite Running Things (clothing, gear, etc.)
A guide to running lingo (common terms used in running)
50 Running Tips (everything from clothes and weather to safety and beating boredom)
Tips for running (and training for) your first 5K race
Tips for running (and training for) your first 10K race
Tips for running (and training for) your first half-marathon
Tips for running (and training for) your first full marathon


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