This 10-week plan was designed by the experts at Runner's World for beginners who have at least a year of experience running on a regular basis and who log an average of 15 to 20 miles per week. Each week includes three days of rest, three or four days of shorter runs, and one long run, which starts at five miles, builds gradually, and peaks at 10 miles. You'll do some gradually longer segments of running slightly faster than your usual pace to give you the stamina you'll need to finish 13.1 miles feeling strong. Not the right plan for you? Check out Runner's World's training plans for intermediate and advanced runners.
Run at a comfortable pace, easy enough that you can hold a conversation. If you're huffing and puffing, you're going too fast. Don't worry about your speed. Just focus on covering the distance.
Be sure to sandwich each run with a warmup and cooldown of five to 10 minutes of walking and easy jogging, even on days that call for short, easy runs. Doing so will help you feel more comfortable on the run and will help prevent injuries such as muscle pulls.
A well-kept training log can help keep you motivated and injury free. Take notes on how you feel on the run, how long you ran, where you went, and what the weather was like. Seeing all the miles add up can keep you motivated when the going gets tough. And if you keep track of aches and pains, you can nip them in the bud before they become full-blown injuries.
Today is your first long, slow distance (LSD) run. Since you'll be running farther, you can go out slower than you usually do. On these days your goal is just to cover the distance.
The important factor in easy runs is how you feel. These runs should feel smooth and comfortable, as if you could go forever.
Run five miles today at an easy, conversational pace.
Run at a relaxed pace today, or cross-train on a bike or an elliptical trainer for the same amount of time that you'd run. Just don't go so hard that you're sore tomorrow.