Fall Training Plan

Picture of my spring 2012 training calendar

Here’s a picture of my spring training calendar. Yes, I put it on my fridge. Yes, it’s a Google Calendar. Yes, there are Sharpies involved. #iamtactile


I spent the better part of my Monday morning in my jammies, drinking an extra cup of iced coffee, and putting together a fall training schedule. OK, I did laundry, too, with about 15 episodes of Chuggington playing in the background. Dude, whatever keeps the Kidlet happy, right?


So my running base is essentially at zero right now, which I am happy to admit because A) it’s been a hot summer, B) I’ve still been hitting the gym for cardio and weights, and C) running with E in the stroller is hard work. But after last weekend’s heart rate training workshop and after last Thursday’s Girls on the Run coaches’ training (oh, that’s right, I’ve signed up to be a GOTR coach this fall!), I am newly motivated to get my run on. Plus, the promise of fall is in the air, and surely it is going to cool down to bearable running temperatures soon.*

My first objective is to build up my running base. And of course, not to build it up too quickly because my musculoskeletal system needs to re-acclimate to the business of running even though cardiovascularly I’m feeling pretty good. October has a race every weekend that I want to do, but I can’t get my mileage built up enough to tackle all of them, so I put the Sunshine Run 10K and the Missouri State University Homecoming 5K on the calendar for 10/13 and 10/27, respectively. November has two fun runs: the GOTR 5K on 11/4 and the Turkey Trot 5K on 11/22. And I’m open to the possibility of the Run for the Ranch half marathon on 12/30.

My second objective is to keep up my cross training. I’m reducing the frequency of that from three to two days a week plus a day of yoga. Try to keep up with my system:**

  • Monday: cross training (rotates through list below)
  • Tuesday: tempo run @ 80-90% MHR
  • Wednesday: yoga
  • Thursday: speedy-ish run w/ form drills and strides; intervals at 90-100% MHR
  • Friday: cross training (rotates through list below)
  • Saturday: long run @ 65-80% MHR
  • Sunday: rest

Cross Training Rotation

  1. 60 minutes cardio (usually rowing or cycling)
  2. 45 minutes cardio; 15 minutes strength training (usually my Strength Training for Runners circuit)
  3. 30 minutes cardio; 30 minutes strength training (3 x 5 weights)
  4. 15 minutes cardio (plyometrics outlined in Brain Training for Runners***); 45 minutes strength training (3 x 10 weights)
  5. 60 minutes strength training (3 x 15 weights)

That’s the basic structure of my fall training. Fortunately, I was reminded by a friend that the south Y has a large indoor track and child care that I can advantage of when I don’t want to run with E in the stroller (or get up at the crack of dawn), so I may be trekking down there more often in the coming weeks. And I bought a Nike swimming suit on sale last week, so now I have the option to swim laps at either Y location, too.

What about you? Do you have a training plan for the fall? Gearing up for any race in particular or just looking forward to cooler temperatures?

* There are at least two blog posts that I need to write in the paragraph alone: tips for running with a stroller and my decision to be a GOTR coach. Really, they are on my list of blog posts to write! Give me time!

** It is impossible for me to do anything without a system. Seriously.

*** Oh, yeah, that’s another blog post / book review I want to write.


6 thoughts on “Fall Training Plan

  1. Thanks so much for mentioning my post! I wish I had an ounce of motivation to train for a race right now. The most I’ve been able to manage this summer is a 3 mile jog once a week and a few gym (cardio + strength) workouts per week. Your plan looks awesome (and exhausting :-))!!

    • Thanks! We’ll see how well I stick to the plan! My best running friend has been injured since October, and I stick to my runs better when I have someone to go with me. Hopefully, I’ll remember to utilize the Y more this fall!

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  3. We’re planning on running a 10k in late September, so we’ve been gearing up for that with 2-3 longer runs building on our time (with a mobile app) and one shorter run thrown in. I’d really like to focus on some cross training and strengthening exercises for in-between runs. Yoga is definitely a possibility. I’d also like to start biking again. Beyond that, I’d like to slowly increase mileage in the fall as well as work on time. Any advice would be awesome 🙂

    • Hi, Krista!
      Keep up the good work you’re already putting in by gradually building up mileage. To work on time and increase your speed, I’ve read quite a bit lately about incorporating a bit of speed work in every week. Perhaps pick one run a week to run speedier, shorter intervals at a perceived rate of exertion (PRE) at around 9 or 10. And pick another run as a tempo run where you’ll run longer intervals at a PRE of 7-8. Then keep your long, slow runs at a PRe of 6-ish. Your faster runs don’t have to be super hard or super long. Any amount of speedier running will help!
      Thanks for reading!

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