RW Run Longer Plan (7 weeks)

Training Load By Week
Training Load By Week

This seven-week plan, developed by the experts at Runner's World, will help you transition from running three miles or 30 minutes to one hour. This plan will help you develop the endurance to run six miles without walk breaks and build the strength to race a 5K (3.1 miles) or finish a 10K (6.2 miles). The plan includes some hills and loosely structured speedwork (fartleks) to help build your strength. Before doing this plan, you should have spent six weeks running regularly for about 30 minutes. The plan includes four workouts per week with an optional fifth day. The first workout is a one-mile run, and the plan builds gradually, so that by the end of the program you should be able to run six miles (or 6.2 miles, a 10K). If you have a BMI of more than 25, are 60 years or older, or if you'd like to take a more gradual approach, you can repeat any week, or every week, and stretch this out to an eight-, 10-, or 12-week plan.

Sample Day 1
1mi
1 Mile Easy

Welcome to the Runner's World Run Longer training plan. This seven-week plan will help you develop the endurance to run six miles without walk breaks, and build the strength to race a 5K (3.1 miles) or finish a 10K (6.2 miles). Each week you'll have four workouts and have the option to do a fifth easy workout. The program builds gradually so that by the end of the program, you should be able to finish a 10K (6.2 miles) feeling strong, or race a 5K. If you're over 40, or have a family history of heart disease or other health problems, see a doctor before you start a regular exercise program. If you have a BMI of more than 25, are 60 years or older, or if you'd like to take a more gradual approach, you can repeat any week, or every week, and stretch this out to an eight-, 10-, or 12-week plan. Your week starts with an easy 1-mile run. Don't worry about how fast you're going, simply focus on getting into a comfortable rhythm that you can comfortably maintain. You should finish feeling like you could run one more mile. Before you start your workout, and after you finish, add a 3- to 5-minute warmup and cooldown.

Sample Day 2
2mi
2 Miles Easy

Today you'll run 2 miles at your easy pace. Before you start your workout, and after you finish, add a 3- to 5-minute warmup and cooldown. This week, scout out a few flat, scenic, safe routes that you can regularly take in a variety of weather conditions. You should always run against the flow of traffic, and assume that drivers can't see you. Tracks are great options because they are flat, free of motorists, and the distance is measured.

Sample Day 3
1mi
Rest or Walk 1 Mile

Today you have a choice: You can rest or take a 1-mile run or walk. In these first few weeks, it's probably best to start with four workouts per week and see how your body responds. If you're feeling sore or extra fatigued, continue to rest. If you feel healthy and energized, make Wednesday a short workout day.

Sample Day 4
2mi
2 Miles Easy

Today you'll repeat the same workout that you did Tuesday: Run 2 miles at your easy pace. Before you start the workout, and after you finish, add a 3- to 5-minute warmup and cooldown. As your training gets under way, invest in shirts, pants, shorts, underwear, and socks that are made of technical, lightweight fabrics that wick away moisture. These fabrics, such as Dri-FIT and Coolmax, help prevent blisters and chafing.

Sample Day 6
3mi
3 Miles Easy

Run 3 miles today at your easy pace. Before you start your workout, and after you finish, add a 3- to 5-minute warmup and cooldown. Each Saturday will be designated for your longer run, designed to help you develop the endurance to build up to 6 miles. Since you'll be going longer today, you can start out slower than you usually do. On these days, your goal is to just complete the workout. The important factor in these workouts is how you feel. They should feel smooth and comfortable, as if you could go forever.

Sample Day 8
1mi
Run 1 Mile

Welcome to week two of the Runner's World Run Longer plan. This week will be similar to last week, with four days of workouts, plus an optional fifth day. You'll add a half-mile to two of your workouts, and tomorrow you'll get the opportunity to do some hill work to help you build leg and lung power. At the end of the week, you will have 9 to 10 miles under your belt. Your week starts with an easy 1-mile run. Don't worry about how fast you're going, simply focus on getting into a comfortable rhythm that you can comfortably maintain. You should finish feeling like you could run one more mile. Before you start your workout, and after you finish, add a 3- to 5-minute warmup and cooldown. A well-kept training log can help keep you motivated and injury-free. Take notes on how you feel during the workout, how long you went, where you went, and what the weather was like. Seeing all the workouts add up can keep you motivated when the going gets tough, and seeing all that you have accomplished may make the workout ahead seem less daunting. If you keep track of aches and pains, you can nip them in the bud before they become full-blown injuries. Be sure to note when you get new shoes; you should replace them every 300 to 500 miles.

Sample Day 9
2mi
Run 2 Miles with Hills

Today you'll do your first hill workout. Scout out a route with a variety of inclines and descents; the exact grade and length of each hill doesn't matter. Just aim for some hills that take 30 to 60 seconds to run up at an easy effort. Practice running up the hill while maintaining an even level of effort--and the same effort you had on level ground. Avoid 'charging' the hill. You don't want to feel spent by the time you get to the top. If the area where you live is pancake flat, you can do this workout on a treadmill (adjusting the incline as needed throughout), or use bridges or the ramps up to parking structures.