Run Base Training Level 2 (12 weeks by hours)

Average Weekly Training Hours 04:35
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours 04:35
Training Load By Week

This plan assumes prior running experience. It is designed for the experienced runner who—based on a gradual progression over previous years—is ready to handle a training volume of 4 to 6 hours of running over five days each week. (Note: runners who prefer to train by distance should choose the version of this plan that tracks training volume by mileage instead of training hours.) The plan uses a 2 up, 1 down progression schedule, which means a down week is scheduled every third week to allow the body to recover and absorb the training. It is aimed at runners who need more frequently scheduled down weeks to allow the body to absorb the demands of training, such as masters runners or those who have had problems with “niggly” injuries in the past.

The plan has five scheduled runs each week—three “key” workouts and two recovery workouts—with two rest days. The workouts adhere to the philosophy of building the aerobic base while simultaneously emphasizing the proper neuromuscular patterns (or “speed skills”) needed to prepare the runner for higher intensity training later in the season. The plan uses a periodization schedule of two weeks of increasing volume followed by a recovery week. The peak volume occurs during week 11 with 6 hours of scheduled running. This plan comes with the Multisport Training Guide, which provides information on how to determine your training intensity zones, protocols for field tests, guidance on goal setting, and general tips on nutrition and hydration.

Sample Day 1
0:30:00
Easy Run with Drills

This should be an easy run—it is designed to aid recovery, add to your training volume and to loosen you up for the key runs of the week. Run primarily in Zone 1 (or into bottom of Zone 2). Focus on keeping cadence between 28-30 left foot strikes per 20 seconds. Don’t worry about pace or distance covered; goal is to feel fresh at the end. This run is ideal to do on trails where you can keep it easy without worrying about time splits. After the initial warm up or about halfway through the run, find a softer surface for skipping and drills, preferably on the infield of a track, a grassy area, or a dirt trail. Spend 5-10 minutes on some skipping (start with some relaxed skipping then alternate for height and for distance as you feel ready to progress), grapevines, high knees/butt kicks. (Note: if you feel overly fatigued going into this workout, then cut back the duration of this run—or take the day off completely. It’s better to truly recover on this day, rather than going into the next key workout unable to give it a quality effort.)

Sample Day 2
1:00:00
Endurance Run with 4 x Striders and Drills

This run is designed to build your aerobic system and add to your training base. Run primarily in Zone 2 for the bulk of the run. Focus on keeping cadence between 28-30 left foot strikes per 20 seconds. At some point during the run, find a good 100 meter straightaway where you can do some striders. Ideally, this will be a softer surface, such as a track, the infield of a track, a grassy area such as a park, or an even section of dirt trail. Do the 100 meter striders with the wind at your back—start off easy and gradually pick up your pace until you’re at full speed by the end. Focus on good form and leg turnover. The sprints are short and should not tax the anaerobic system too much, although they will work the muscular system. These are “feel good sprints” to develop the neuromuscular action needed for true sprint and speed workouts later in the season. Jog 200-300 meters between each strider or until you feel fully recovered and ready for the next one. Don’t worry about time on these. When finished with the striders, spend 5-10 minutes on some skipping (start with some relaxed skipping then alternate for height and for distance as you feel ready to progress), grapevines, high knees/butt kicks.

Sample Day 4
0:45:00
Endurance Run

This run is designed to build your aerobic system and add to your training base. Run primarily in Zone 2 for the bulk of the run. Focus on keeping cadence between 28-30 left foot strikes per 20 seconds.

Sample Day 5
0:30:00
Easy Run with Drills

This should be an easy run—it is designed to aid recovery, add to your training volume and to loosen you up for the key runs of the week. Run primarily in Zone 1 (or into bottom of Zone 2). Focus on keeping cadence between 28-30 left foot strikes per 20 seconds. Don’t worry about pace or distance covered; goal is to feel fresh at the end. This run is ideal to do on trails where you can keep it easy without worrying about time splits. After the initial warm up or about halfway through the run, find a softer surface for skipping and drills, preferably on the infield of a track, a grassy area, or a dirt trail. Spend 5-10 minutes on some skipping (start with some relaxed skipping then alternate for height and for distance as you feel ready to progress), grapevines, high knees/butt kicks. (Note: if you feel overly fatigued going into this workout, then cut back the duration of this run—or take the day off completely. It’s better to truly recover on this day, rather than going into the next key workout unable to give it a quality effort.)

Sample Day 6
1:15:00
Long Run

This is your “long run” of the week where you run primarily in Zone 2 for the bulk of the run (aside from warm up and warm down). It is designed to build your aerobic system and add to your training base. Focus on keeping cadence between 28-30 left foot strikes per 20 seconds to develop good neuromuscular patterns and running form. Be sure to drink water and electrolytes throughout the run, and take in nutrition if desired. This run is ideally done on a softer surface, such as a dirt trail if available.

Sample Day 8
0:30:00
Easy Run with Drills

This should be an easy run—it is designed to aid recovery, add to your training volume and to loosen you up for the key runs of the week. Run primarily in Zone 1 (or into bottom of Zone 2). Focus on keeping cadence between 28-30 left foot strikes per 20 seconds. Don’t worry about pace or distance covered; goal is to feel fresh at the end. This run is ideal to do on trails where you can keep it easy without worrying about time splits. After the initial warm up or about halfway through the run, find a softer surface for skipping and drills, preferably on the infield of a track, a grassy area, or a dirt trail. Spend 5-10 minutes on some skipping (start with some relaxed skipping then alternate for height and for distance as you feel ready to progress), grapevines, high knees/butt kicks. (Note: if you feel overly fatigued going into this workout, then cut back the duration of this run—or take the day off completely. It’s better to truly recover on this day, rather than going into the next key workout unable to give it a quality effort.)

Sample Day 9
1:00:00
Endurance Run with 6 x Striders and Drills

This run is designed to build your aerobic system and add to your training base. Run primarily in Zone 2 for the bulk of the run. Focus on keeping cadence between 28-30 left foot strikes per 20 seconds. At some point during the run, find a good 100 meter straightaway where you can do some striders. Ideally, this will be a softer surface, such as a track, the infield of a track, a grassy area such as a park, or an even section of dirt trail. Do the 100 meter striders with the wind at your back—start off easy and gradually pick up your pace until you’re at full speed by the end. Focus on good form and leg turnover. The sprints are short and should not tax the anaerobic system too much, although they will work the muscular system. These are “feel good sprints” to develop the neuromuscular action needed for true sprint and speed workouts later in the season. Jog 200-300 meters between each strider or until you feel fully recovered and ready for the next one. Don’t worry about time on these. When finished with the striders, spend 5-10 minutes on some skipping (start with some relaxed skipping then alternate for height and for distance as you feel ready to progress), grapevines, high knees/butt kicks.

Adam Hodges
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Alp Fitness

With credentials from USA Triathlon and the American College of Sports Medicine, All-American triathlete and XTERRA SoCal Trail Series champion, Adam Hodges, PhD, provides training plans and educational resources to help you achieve success in triathlons, running and life. His coaching vision is based on the belief that the ultimate reward of training is the continual process of self-discovery and personal growth that arises out of athletic challenges. Learn more at alpfitness.com.