by Davy Kestens in Training Tips, image by Lambert Wolterbeek Muller

How to Manage Your Own Training Plan

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One of the most important parts of any kind of exercise training is having a good plan. Although any exercise at all can be helpful, its effectiveness can be improved immensely by planning it out ahead of time. Even the most basic work out schedules can be extremely helpful towards creating exercise efficiency. Here are some of the main reasons an exercise schedule is important.

Making Sure You Do It: Run!

One of the hardest things about exercising regularly is sticking to it, especially when just beginning. A plan makes sure that this happens. First of all, knowing ahead of them when you’re going to exercise means you can set aside time for it to prevent interference. Second, it reminds you when it’s time to work out, so you don’t forget. This personal accountability can be vital getting into better shape.

Don’t Run Too Much

One of the most common mistakes of runners is to push themselves too hard, too often. While it’s true that hard work is the only way to improve, your body still needs time to rest and heal from time to time. Maintaining a running schedule helps make sure you don’t lose sight of this by planning in rest days. This will not only help improve your overall fitness but help prevent injury as well.

Keeping Track

Knowing how far you’re going to run help you set goals for the future. Once you’ve followed the plan for a while, you can look back and see how well you did in achieving those goals, and what you might need to change to be more successful in the future. Keeping track: Why a running log is important

Mixing Up Workouts

Having a good work out variety is essential for overall fitness. It’s tempting for many athletes, especially runners, to do the same kind of exercise every day. However, we have many muscles that work in different ways, and to strengthen them all we need to use them all. Even distance runners can benefit from occasionally going to the weight room or doing sprint exercises. A good work out plan will schedule various exercises to build both strength and endurance and to break the monotony of the usual routine.

Creating a workout plan is surprisingly easy

First, you need to establish well defined goals for yourself

Don’t make just one; make several based on endurance, speed, and strength. You may want to make goals about other things like your weight. Make them ambitious but manageable.

Then think about what you’ll need to achieve those goals. How much time will you need, how much progress do you expect to make in a given week or month? How much exercise, and what kinds, will you need to do to achieve them? Do you need to make special arrangements, such as waking up early, to do your work outs? Don’t just think about exercising, either. Also think about other fitness related subjects like your diet and sleep. How will those need to change to accommodate your goals?

Next, create your running schedule

Although it’s tempting just to have it in your head, it’s really best if you have a hard copy somewhere prominent to remind you. Any spreadsheet program can be great for organizing your work out, but you can make one on a calendar or by hand if you prefer.

When creating your schedule, there are a few other things you need to take into account. The first is things that could disrupt your schedule, such as vacations or other activities. This isn’t a problem, but you’ll need to plan around it; that’s that scheduling your exercise if for, after all. The second is that you need to plan in rest periods for your body and mind to recover. Usually, one entire day of little to no hard exercise per week is a good idea, often accompanied by one day in the middle of the week that has only light exercise.

Finally, keep in mind that while you should always try to achieve your goals, they may be subject to change

If you find you were too ambitious when making them, don’t be afraid to scale them back; it’s better than chasing the impossible. Conversely, if you find yourself speeding towards your goals much more quickly than expected, you might have been too conservative and should consider making them more difficult.

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