You’ve scoured the internet for the perfect half marathon training plan and found an endless number of options available. Now, before you start running, it’s just a matter of muscling all the clicking through and trying to decipher which plan would work best for you.
And then, you find it. You’re thinking: “This is it! This plan will do what I need it to do.” You can’t wait to start running.
So, what’s the next step? Lace up your shoes and get out on the road?
The challenge: putting your plan into action
Before you start running, take a moment to think about how to put your plan into action so that everything goes smoothly and you can get the best out of your running workouts.
A plan is one thing (although a key thing to achieve your goals and keep your training structured), but carrying out your plan is another thing entirely.
How do you keep track of what you should be doing and what you actually do? What’s an easy run really like? What about a long run or a tempo run – how do you really know you’re getting them right?
And, do you carry your running plan with you on your runs? Maybe on your phone? How do you remember from start to end, in the heat of the moment, what you were supposed to do in each workout?
Luckily, you don’t have to rely on your memory – these tools can help you follow your running plan.
Tool #1: running program
First, let’s take a look at the easy, but smart, solution: The Polar Running Program that you can use to create a 5K, 10K, half marathon or marathon plan. Just choose your target distance and start following the plan.
Before you start running, you can create your Running Program quickly with a few clicks on Polar Flow and as it’s based on your individual physical info and stats, it will be spot on for you. The Running Program adapts along the way according to the training data you record and sync.
To get an idea of what the Running Program includes, take a look at these example running plans for intermediate and advanced runners.
Tool #2: training targets
If you want to and know how to create a personalized running plan for yourself, you can create and sync your own training targets on Polar Flow. It’s not a plug-and play kind of solution so it will take some patience and stamina, but a nifty shortcut you can take is to save your targets in ‘Favorites’ and you’ll be able to reuse them.
Basically, you can take any running plan you have and turn the workouts into training targets that you’ll then see on your Polar Flow training diary and on your Polar watch. Your Polar watch will give you real-time guidance when you’re doing a training target workout and you can create distance or pace targets, to mention a few possibilities.
Tool #3: season planner
The Polar Flow Season Planner is a brilliant planning tool for experienced runners. If you already have years of running under your belt, you can use the Season Planner to plan your race strategy and off seasons. You can plan your whole year at one go or break it into smaller periods, and again, you can use your ‘Favorites’ to make it easier.
By the way – completing one or more Polar Running Programs will teach you how to build your training schedule so that you’ll make progress but don’t train too hard. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll be able to build an even more personalized training plan with the Season Planner.
Running program vs. season planner: what’s the difference?
These are two completely different animals, although on the surface they may seem similar.
The Polar Running Program does all the thinking for you based on your individual physical info and possible training data you already have, whereas the Season Planner is a tool for those already in the know: experienced athletes (and coaches) can use it to create annual training plans.
Still, the Season planner is a gift with no strings attached. We won’t be knocking on your door and asking to see your coach certificate if you decide to use it.
What’s the biggest benefit of the polar running program?
It’s designed by professionals and based on science. It’s easy to create and use, and yet, it’s personalized to you and only you – your heart rate zones are the guiding principle. You won’t be wasting your time training too hard, or too easy for that matter.
The Running Program also equips you with supportive exercises: strength, core and mobility are important but often overlooked elements of running training. The Running Program will make sure you don’t skip them.
Wearable tech at your service
The best of the best is the real-time guidance provided by your Polar watch during each and every running workout. When you go out for a run and start the day’s target workout, your watch will tell you if your heart rate is too high or too low and show you the phases in every training session.
When you’re supposed to do an easy run, your watch will help you keep your heart rate low enough and when doing a tempo run, you’ll know whether you’re working as hard as you need to.
The ultimate beauty of planning
Whichever solution you decide to use, when push comes to shove, planning your training is the stairway to heaven.
When you’ve got your plan thought out before you start running, all you need to do is get out on the road and do the workouts. If you have a Polar watch, you’ll always have a running buddy to help you do to the best possible workout every time.
After training with a well-structured running plan, you’ll feel confident on the starting line and and you’ll be able to perform at your best.
There’s a lovely ring of success to that.