Planning and follow-up of training sessions
A successful training program is first and foremost systematic, and is guided by defined goals. It is divided into seasonal, monthly and weekly schedules, ending for many active runners in a targeted event like a marathon. Training is based on this target.
The importance of periodization in the program cannot be exaggerated, because the body will need to gradually prepare and adapt to an ever increasing workload. Training in four-week cycles is common practice. Intensity and volume increase steadily during the first three weeks, while the fourth is a recovery week. During base 1 and base 2, training volumes increase every four weeks, and decrease only once you reach the transition period. Correspondingly, intensity levels increase and decrease in four-week cycles. Two or three weeks before the main event, keeping your muscles primed on a daily basis is more important than sticking to your weekly targets.
When planning your training week, remember the delicate balance between training and recovery. Engage in fast-paced intensive training only once your body is well recovered and prepared. Also, leave long aerobic training for the end of the week, and make sure your energy reserves are well-stocked to make the most of the session.
Allow for sudden changes in your schedule. With proper follow-up, you will be able to ensure training success despite small variations.