My task for the first sprint was to research different kinds of running programs and then build my own plan based on the findings. I have now been reading about this topic from different sources and I have found out that they are very close to each others and thus it’s quite easy to build own program my just picking best parts out of few different programs. I believe that on my level this kind of self-made program is just enough and I’m not in a need to get e.g. help from trained coach. I think using a professional is definitely useful when you are after cutting down minutes in order to reach your target time, but as long as my target is “just to reach the finishing line”, I OK with my self-made plan. Naturally using a personal trainer might be useful in order to check your running style / posture, so let’s see if I change my mind during the journey after all : )
In general it seems that running programs are split into categories based on the target lengths of the journey and based on your starting level: beginner, intermediate, experienced. Thus you can choose the program based on are you starting from zero or do you have already some kilometers behind you. I decided to focus mostly on the programs that are targeted for intermediate experience.
In addition I decided to listen the advice from Finnish runner: Joonas Laurila. He recommends that instead of building a plan that is tightly pre-set for specific days of the week, you should rather decide the exercises based on your other schedule and feelings. Naturally this doesn’t mean that you should do what ever you want, not at all. You should still try to do your best to split the trainings smartly to the week so that you don’t end up running 3 consecutive days in a row at the end of the week. Argument from Joonas to this thinking was that it’s better to listen to your body when doing the planning instead of just doing what’s written on a paper few weeks ago. For example you might have long travel day and due to that having taken most of your free time you end up running 15km late in the evening just to get it done. At the end of the day this might be more harmful to you than actually give the targeted benefit. Thus it’s better that you allow some freedom to your program so that you can with good consciousness plan you exercises smartly according to your other schedules.
Other findings I made was that some programs were very precise and they gave you exact day and week specific instructions what to do. Where as others were more general and just gave one-week-plan and by repeating that X weeks you will be able to rung the targeted kilometers. Also some programs included strength training where as other skipped that completely. As it’s known that strength training gives important support for running, I think it’s important to include that as official part of the program in order to not forget/ignore it. The program I decided to build to myself is something in between these programs: I don’t want to have too exact program as I like to maintain some kind of illusion on having freedom and spontaneity when exercising ; ) But then again I do want to have some variety and progression on my program in order to keep developing myself further. Thus I decided to plan specific types of exercises to my week, but keep the details open so I can choose the actual exercise myself. In addition I’m going to add some challenge to the plan in the beginning of every sprint based on how well I managed to perform during the previous sprint. This means that the program will develop further every 4 weeks (if it seems that I’m ready for it!).