A Running Training Program to Meet Your Needs

The right running training program will cause an adaptation to occur in your body. This means that your chosen program should both motivate and challenge you to push beyond your boundaries to directly prepare you for your specific running goals. A running training program is really a series of daily goals strung together over weeks and months that compound to provide an ultimate training effect on your body. This training effect should always be in direct relations to your chosen goals.

Below you will find a variety of running training programs that I trust will aid you in achieving your running goals. While training programs are meant to be followed closely to achieve your goals, paying attention to your body and how it's responding to your workouts is always paramount. Even it it means taking an unscheduled day off! There is also some risk of under preparing if you don’t pick one that is designed to meet your specific needs and abilities. For example, if you are looking to properly prepare for a marathon, it's not ideal for you to follow a low mileage 5k training program that has you running 200 and 400 m repeats every week and topping out your long runs at 10 miles. Likewise, if you're goal is aggressive such as breaking the 3 hour marathon barrier, you should be spending a larger amount of aerobic development time when compared to a fast 5k or even 10k running goal.

For a complete list of running workouts that make up these training programs along with their training benefit and tips for execution, go here!

*For a fresh look at marathon training plans including both beginner and intermediate plans, check out marathon veteran Dan's well written and very organized training plans page here:


**Did I mention they are tried, tested and free? :)

Make Every Workout Count

As Dale Carnegie once said, "Don’t ever think if you only have 5 minutes you don’t have a precious commodity."

When it comes to running training program design, making the absolute best use of your training time should be of top consideration. There should not be a single day allocated to ‘junk miles’ or training just for the sake of training. Every workout should have a specific purpose and benefit your growth towards your running goal. For example, while some marathon programs may have high mileage which would be counterproductive for a beginner runner looking to simply complete his or her first marathon, such a program structure may be necessary for a runner looking to achieve an aggressive time goal.

There should be a variety of workouts that vary in their training objectives from purposely challenging and breaking you down physiologically to enhancing and aiding in your recovery.


A good running training program, essentially is a set of strategically placed workouts that serve to break you down, provide recovery time, and ultimately make you stronger and faster. Any good running training program therefore must result in your body adapting to the stimuli placed on it. So, when you’re perusing through the various training programs it’s important that as an individual you look closely at what a training program is providing you to ensure that it is challenging yet allowing enough recovery time for adaptation to take place. For it is the adaptation that makes you stronger and faster. An increase in your speed and endurance happens due to a growth in one or more of your body systems in a synergistic fashion such as aerobic capacity, anaerobic tolerance, increased muscle firing, increased ability to recruit different muscle fibers or an increase in your oxygen uptake capabilities.


It’s important that once you select a running training program for your goal, that you stick with it right to the end. Often your adaptations are difficult for you to see as they happen in a spiral formation. This means, 2 steps forward and 1 step back or what some refer to as the working through of various ‘plateaus’. These do occur while your body resists certain stimuli. You must be patient and persist through the steps back. Trust that your body will do what it is designed to do and do not let doubt enter into your mind! It’s normal to have sore and ‘off’ days, it is a regular part of your growth in response to your training. You'll also have days where you will feel great and be given signs that your training is working such as faster track splits.

Runners of every level have good reason to ask the question: 'What am I getting out of my workout today?' Knowing the purpose of any given workout, or lack of workout, can also be motivating as you can remind yourself why you need to lace up and get out there or why you need to take a day off.

Training programs represent a big commitment of your precious time and effort, so do your best to pick the right one and commit to it with conviction right until your event.

That said, I care about your success otherwise this website would not exist so if you have any doubts or questions about any of the programs you see, contact me and I’ll do what I can to help.

Training Programs

Here are a list of training programs for you to pick from depending on your desired running goals. Each of the links below will bring you to a program page that contains a brief description along with the programs to download themselves.


Just Starting Out - From the Couch to 5k!

5k Training

Half Marathon Training

Marathon Training

**The information contained in the above training programs reflects only the opinion and experiences of the authors, trainers, affiliates or associates of www.meet-your-running-goals.com. In no way is it to be considered medical advice. Training programs are stressful undertakings that are designed to prepare your body for a given event. Please consult with your doctor before you begin any fitness, exercise, nutrition, diet, weight loss or other change in lifestyle.**

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