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Running Plans - From Start to Finish!

With the weather getting nicer around the country, people are seeking to start a running program and getting motivated to do so.  But motivation can quickly turn painful if you do TOO much TOO soon.  Below are a few charts for you to build up to a 5K run/walk to a Marathon over the course of several weeks depending on your present ability.

My personal rule for clients who request training plans for running for long races is to take your time and build up to nearly 25-30 miles a week before you really start concerning yourself with improving your performance in the long run like a half marathon or marathon. This alone can take anywhere from 10-15 weeks depending upon your present running level. The standard rule of ramping up your running is adding 10-15% of distance per week.

For Intermediate / Advanced PFT runners: 1.5 mile, 2 mile, and 3-5 mile timed runs


The first TEN weeks are designed for a beginning runner or one who is recovering from an injury as seen in the chart below:

Running Plan I - Build up to a 5K run!

Beginner Running Chart for people seeking to start an exercise plan and need to lose 20+ lbs:   (always start run workout with a quick 5:00 walk / light leg stretch).  I highly recommend the RUN / WALK method as you are learning to run.

 Each Run Workout is to be done THREE times a week

Week 1

Walk 20-30 minutes / stretching entire body daily  (monitor weight loss*)

Week 2

Run 1:00 / Walk 1-2:00 for 20-30 minutes

Week 3

Run 1:00 / Walk 1:00 for 30 minutes (listen body as injuries occur this week**)

Week 4

3 Sets of Run 1:30 / Walk 1:30 | 3 Sets of Run 2:00 / Walk 1:00

Week 5

3 Sets of Run 2:30 / Walk 1:00 | 3 Sets of Run 2:00 / Walk 30 seconds

Week 6

4 Sets of Run 3:00 / Walk 1:30

Week 7

Run 1 mile / try non-stop / walk 1 mile fast

Week 8

Run / walk combo 2.5 miles  (from weeks 8-10 try to run as much as you can)

Week 9

Run / walk combo 2.75 miles

Week10

Run / walk combo 3 miles

Running Plan II - Intermediate Runners - Build up to a 10K run:

After starting a running plan, often people get injured after continuing past the 3 mile run point.  Add some non impact aerobic options in the plan of the week to help alleviate future pains.  See running injures article at www.stewsmith.com/linkpages/runningarticles.htm

Wk

Mon

Tues

Weds

Thurs

Friay

Saturday

1

1-2 mile

Bike or swim

1-2 mile

Bike or swim

1-2 miles

1-2 mile

2

2-3 miles

Bike or swim

2-3 miles

Bike or swim

2-3 miles

2-3 miles

3*

3 miles

Bike or swim

3 miles

Bike or swim

3 miles

3 miles

4

2 miles

3 miles

off

4 miles

4 miles

5 miles

5

2-3 miles

6 miles

off

4-5 miles

Off

 6 miles

6

3 miles

4 miles

5 miles

off

off

10 k

 

The following nine weeks will take you to a level where you can seriously start to train for a 10 miler, half marathon or marathon without risk of serious injury. Just climbing to this level of running could cause tendonitis and other joint pains due to the harshness of running on the body. (FACT - 30-60% of all runners get injured every year - Runner's World). It is NOT recommended to start Running Plan III until you can perform week six from the Running Plan II.

Running Plan III - Intermediate / Advanced Runners - Build up to 10 - 13 miles
 

Wk

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

Sunday

1

4 miles

5 miles

off

3 miles

4 miles

6 miles

off

2

5 miles

4 miles

off

6 miles

4 miles

6 miles

off

3

5 miles

4 miles

off

6 miles

4 miles

6 miles

off

4

6 miles

4 miles

off

6 miles

4 miles

6 miles

off

5

7 miles

4 miles

off

6 miles

4 miles

7 miles

off

6

8 miles

4 miles

off

6 miles

4 miles

8 miles

off

7

8 miles

4 miles

off

7 miles

off

9 miles

off

8

8 miles

4 miles

off

8 miles

off

10 - 11 miles

off

9

9 miles

4 miles

off

8 miles

off

10-13 miles EVENT

*Work on speed and goal pace during above workout (minutes/mile).

** ON Tuesday and Friday add in leg workouts with short runs to total a 4 mile workout:

Option #1 Option #2 Option #3
Run 1 mile warmup
Repeat 8 times
Run at goal pace
rest with 10 squats
and 10 lunges / leg

Run 1 mile cooldown / stretch

Run 1 mile at goal pace
Repeat 4 times
Run mile at goal pace
rest with 20 squats
10 / lunges per leg

Run 1 mile cooldown

Run or bike 5 minutes
Repeat 4-6 times
Run or bike 5 minutes
Leg press - 10-20 reps
Wood chopper Squats 20
squats - 20
WC Lunges 10/leg
side step squats - 20


Once you have the foundation of running thirty miles per week under your belt, you are now ready to train at your goal mile time and distance for a faster marathon. Usually Saturday and Sunday make the best days for your longer run so Monday and Friday will be off days in order to recover and prepare. The chart below is a 12 week plan for a Marathon:

12 Week Running Plan for Better Marathon Performance - Very Advanced Runners
 

Wk

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

Sunday

1

off

8 miles

5 miles

6 miles

off

6 miles

6 miles

2

off

8 miles

6 miles

6 miles

off

7 miles

7 miles

3

off

9 miles

6 miles

6 miles

off

8 miles

8 miles

4

off

9 miles

6 miles

6 miles

off

10 miles

6 miles

5

off

10 miles

6 miles

6 miles

off

12 miles

6 miles

6

off

11 miles

6 miles

6 miles

off

14 miles

6 miles

7

off

12 miles

6 miles

6 miles

off

16 miles

6 miles

8

off

12 miles

6 miles

6 miles

off

18 miles

6 miles

9

off

12 miles

6 miles

6 miles

off

19 miles

6 miles

10

off

10 miles

6 miles

6 miles

off

20 miles

6 miles

11

off

8 miles

6 miles

6 miles

off

10 miles

6 miles

12

off

6 miles

6 miles

off

off

2 miles

marathon


Goal paces
10:00 / mile = approx. 4.5 hours
9:00 / mile = approx. 4 hours
8:00 / mile = approx. 3.5 hours
7:00 / mile = approx. 3 hours
6:00 / mile = approx. 2.5 hours

These workouts are recommended running programs that have worked in the past for many people, but they may not be right for you. Check with your doctor prior to starting any exercise routine (especially running) or you may find yourself reading the articles in the StewSmith.com Archives about Lower Back or Knee Injuries.

 

Stew Smith is a former Navy SEAL and fitness author certified as a Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) with the National Strength and Conditioning Association. If you are interested in starting a workout program to create a healthy lifestyle - check out the StewSmith.com Fitness eBook store and the
 
Stew Smith article archive at StewSmith.com. To contact Stew with your comments and questions, e-mail him at stew@stewsmith.com.

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BOOKS / eBOOKS / DVDs

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Published Books / DVDs
Complete Guide to Navy SEAL Fitness (Book / DVD)
Maximum Fitness

The Special Operations Workout

The SWAT Workout - From Recruit to SWAT Team Member
The Combat Swimmer Stroke DVD

The Pre-Habit Workout DVD
Clinic DVD for Navy SEAL PST
The FBI Special Agent Test Clinic DVD

The Complete List of Stew Smith's eBooks:

Fitness for All Levels of Fitness

The 90 Day Beginner Guide to Fitness
The Advanced Maintenance and Recovery Program

Reclaim Your Life - The Erin O'Neill Program

Veteran's Fitness - Baby Boomer and a Flat Stomach

The Busy Executive Workout Routine
The Advanced Weights / PT Workout (Fall / Winter Weight Gain Cycle)
The Perfect Pushup Workout

The TRX Workout
- Circuit Training 101 ebook

NEW Obstacle Course Race Ebook
 

The Special Forces Physical Fitness Workouts
 Combat Conditioning Workout

Navy SEAL Workout Phase 1  Beginner Weeks 1-9
Navy SEAL Workout Phase 2 - 3 - Intermediate Weeks 1-12
Navy SEAL Workout Phase 4  Grinder PT -  Four weeks before Hell Week

Navy SWCC Workout

The Army Special Forces / Ranger Workout 

The Army Air Assault School Workout

The Army Airborne Workout

USMC RECON Workout
Air Force PJ / CCT Workout

The Coast Guard Rescue Swimmer Workout

The OCS, ROTC, Service Academy, & Bootcamp Workouts

New - Army PRT and CRT
Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard OCS Workout

The USMC IST and PFT Workout
USMC OCS / TBS Workout
The Service Academy Workout (West Point, Navy, Air Force Academy)
The Navy, Air Force, Marine Corp Bootcamp Workout

The Army OCS and PFT Workout
The PFT Bible - Military / Police Standard PFT

 

The Law Enforcement Physical Fitness Test Workouts

The FBI Academy / PFT Prep Workout

The DEA Prep Workout

The FLETC Prep Workout - Ace the PEB

The State / Local Police Academy Workout

The Fire Fighter Workout
 


Seal Multi Men's Multi-Vitamin Multi-Mineral



TRX Train Like the Pros


       


Some Titles Above available in Print Softcover Format

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