RW Special Edition: Intermediate Plan for the Runner's World Hat Trick (12 weeks)

Training Load By Week
Training Load By Week
Sample Day 2
3mi
3 Miles Easy

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. The Hat Trick races start and finish on the grounds of the former headquarters of Bethlehem Steel. Founded in 1904, the company was at one time the second largest producer of steel in America and a symbol of U.S. industrial power in the 20th century. In its heyday, the company manufactured steel for many of the country's most renowned landmarks, including the Golden Gate Bridge, the Chrysler Building, the Empire State Building, and the Hoover Dam.

Sample Day 4
5mi
5 Miles Hills

When you're running uphill, don't try to charge up it; you'll spend all your energy by the time you get to the top. Try to run relaxed. Keep your hands loose, and keep your shoulders away from your ears. Just think of letting the road rise to meet you.

Sample Day 5
3mi
3 Miles Easy

Be sure to sandwich each run with a warmup and cooldown of 5 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.

Sample Day 7
7mi
7 Miles LSD

Today is your long, slow distance (LSD) run. The long run is the backbone of any successful training program. It builds your aerobic base, increases your endurance, boosts confidence, and helps you rehearse some of the gear and fuel strategies you'll need for the race. It also helps you prepare for the psychological challenge of racing for a few hours. Since you'll be running farther, you can go out slower than you usually do. On these days your goal is just to complete the distance feeling good.

Sample Day 9
3mi
3 Miles Easy

The purpose of easy days is to develop the endurance, strength, and cardiovascular fitness you'll need for the race. You don't want to take them so fast that you're sore the next day. At the end of the run, you want to feel like you have the energy to run longer.

Sample Day 11
5mi
5 Miles Easy

Be sure to replace your shoes every 300 to 500 miles. Since it's easy to lose track of how long you've had a particular pair, record the date that you started wearing them in your log. When you're shopping for running shoes, go to a specialty running store, where trained professionals will evaluate your feet, watch you run, recommend the right shoes, and let you take them for a test run. You'll leave with a comfortable pair of shoes that will have you running pain- and injury-free.

Sample Day 13
6mi
6 Miles Hills

If you don't have hills where you live, you can improvise. Bridges, parking garages, and steps can all provide substitutes for hills if the area where you live is pancake flat. Just watch your step and look out for traffic!