The Prepare To Run Plan
Do you want to become a stronger, more robust runner?
Do you want to be less prone to injury?
Or maybe you feel you’ve plateaued of late and you’re looking to improve performance?
If so, the Prepare To Run Plan is ideal for you! It includes:
- 6 weeks of strength and conditioning sessions with exercise prescription, sets, repetitions, rest periods etc
- Warm-ups and cool downs to keep aches and pains away
- A foam rolling routine to ensure your muscles are given the attention they need
- Exclusive video content so that you have demonstrations of every exercise (with coaching points)
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Prepare To Run Plan – FAQ
This plan is for anyone who has thought about wanting to get stronger to aid their running. It is a simple format that should lend itself well to beginners who have little/no experience in a gym. Each exercise has some carry over to running and so it is not a ‘general health and fitness’ programme.
The plan requires some of the kit available in most commercial gyms and training facilities. Page 5 of the plan sets out exactly what is needed.
A gym will have most if not all the kit you need for the programme. In addition, a gym will be a safe and motivating environment that isn’t weather dependent. The biggest reason for using a gym is that as you get stronger, you’ll need progressively heavier weights, increasing band resistance and potentially more space.
The plan tells you exactly what to do each week, including how to best progress the exercise intensity (weight used). Your gym should have small increments available (such as 1-2.5kg increases in dumbbells) meaning you can make small but consistent increases in strength. Our advice is to always make the smallest increment possible but to be looking for challenging – not impossible – weights.
This plan is not suitable for anyone who currently has a lower body muscle or joint injury. We advise checking the plan with your physiotherapist if in doubt. As always, we do not offer medical advice in our training plans and you should consult your doctor if illness or injury is affecting training.
We hope that all the exercises are possible in your gym but if for any reason they aren’t, feel free to contact us and we will do our best to offer an alternative. If you have watched the demonstration videos and still don’t feel comfortable performing any of the exercises, leave that one out and still perform the rest. You may not get 100% of the programmes benefits but it will undoubtedly be better than no training at all!
The training programme shows 2 training days per week of gym based activity. This is designed to fit around any running you are currently doing and may even replace some at first. We suggest performing the weights sessions on non-consecutive days and having AT LEAST one rest day per week.
The programme lasts 6 weeks but could be repeated more than once per year as long as things are still progressed and you make the planned fluctuations in exercise volume. The best approach however would then be to move onto one of our more advanced plans or race specific training phases.
Yes! We actively encourage you to continue running alongside this programme. It may take a little while to adjust to the new training but the whole purpose of this programme is to get better at running by being stronger, more balanced and agile as well as more resilient to injury!
Muscle soreness (Delayed onset muscle soreness – DOMS) is a normal part of training, especially if that activity is new. It occurs usually within 24 hours and can peak at around 48 hours after training. Usually within 72 hours there is no longer any pain. The very first time you do a certain exercise you can expect a little tenderness. If you’re sensible and increase things very gradually (as in this plan) this discomfort will be clearly distinguishable from the kind of pain that occurs with a genuine injury. This DOMS is often the reason people avoid training with weights but the reality is that you become accustomed to the exercises within a short period (couple of weeks usually) and only get sore every time if you aren’t consistent.
We don’t agree with training through genuine pain. If it is painful, there’s a reason and it’s a signal to stop or change something. As you get used to strength training you will learn what is uncomfortable and what is truly painful. These are important distinctions; training will get uncomfortable if you’re pushing yourself but real pain is not necessary to progress.
Of course you do! Everything in the plan is there for a reason and should add something to your physical qualities as a runner. Your aim should be to complete each workout as prescribed, barring any legitimate reason something was not possible (see earlier question on what if you cant do something…)
Sure! We don’t mind if you do the programme with your grandma (as long as she’s not injured!). The idea is that anyone can do this programme if they have the right kit and are healthy enough.
As runners, our priority is lower body stability and strength, core strength and endurance. Whilst upper body training for runners does serve a purpose (as written here), when strength training just 2 days a week we have to prioritise the lower body and trunk.