So, you got into the Broad Street Run — congrats! Now only 10 weeks of training stand between you and the finish line at the Navy Yard.
The average runner will invest over 72 hours pounding the pavement training for the Broad Street Run. While those 72 hours will greatly determine what the finish-line clock will read, there is perhaps one determinant of your success that most people ignore. It doesn’t include running, lifting weights or even getting off the couch, but rather a pen and paper.
Ready for it? You need to have a plan.
A successful race-training plan is well thought-out, written down and kept visible for you to see daily. And I hate to break it to you, but haphazardly running while increasing your mileage each week is not a plan.
Not to worry: I’ve got two training plans to get you started for the Broad Street Run:
- Broad Street Run Training Plan: Beginner
This plan assumes a starting fitness level of being able to run two miles comfortably.
- Broad Street Run Training Plan: Intermediate/Advanced
This plan assumes a starting fitness level of being able to run five miles comfortably.
Both of these plans call for a 10-week training period. And guess what? This coming Sunday puts you exactly 10 weeks out from the race, so plan to begin Week 1 next Tuesday (Mondays are a rest day).
Whichever method you choose, here are the crucial components of any successful race-training plan:
- Determine how many days you can really run. Don’t overestimate. Be realistic. I would recommend a minimum of four days per week for the best results.
- Be realistic about your ability level. Following a plan that is above your ability level will either leave you injured, overtrained or frustrated.
- Commit to a recurring weekly schedule. Pick which days work best for you and stick to them.
- Include rest, easy and hard days. Plan days where you will push the pace and days where you’ll run slower than normal. This stress/rest cycle will make you faster.
- Be patient: A good coach knows you cannot force fitness — you must let it come to you. Alberto Salazar, coach of two-time Olympic Gold Medalist Mo Farah said, “If you can run four days a week, every week, you are going to get 90 percent of the benefits of training seven days a week.” Gradually build up the volume and intensity each week. Doing too much too soon will only increase your chances of injury. Guidelines on how much you should increase your volume will vary. It has been said that increases should range anywhere from 10 percent to 30 percent week after week, with some including “down weeks” of lesser mileage to allow for adaptation.
- Write your plan down. Write it somewhere you’ll see it every day and add your runs to your calendar. Another great option is an online tool, like Final Surge, that will email your workout to you every morning.
And remember, if you didn’t get into Broad Street, there’s still hope: There are numerous charity spots open, most of which offer VIP treatment. Check out the charities here.
Cory Smith, a Philadelphia based running coach, shares his expert advice as an American Cancer Society DetermiNation running coach; founder of Run Your Personal Best, a private running-coaching business; and head cross country coach at Penn State Brandywine. He is a USA Track and Field-certified coach and a 4:03 miler. As a student athlete at Villanova, Cory was an NCAA Division One Regional and National Championship qualifier. Contact Cory at firstname.lastname@example.org. Read all of Cory’s posts for Be Well Philly here.