When selecting a training program to help you best reach your running goals there are lots of options available. These options include online programs, training programs in books, recommendations from friends, family, and other “experts”, etc.! When selecting a training program to help you best achieve your running goals, I would recommend that you consider the following:
1. Is the program appropriate designed to allow you to reach my goals?
2. Is the program flexible, so that it will fit your schedule, especially if your schedule should change during a given week?
3. Does the program appropriately address your strengths and weaknesses?
4. Depending on your running goals and training experience, is the program appropriately periodized to focus on such things as endurance, running economy, strength, lactate threshold, speed, power, peaking?
5. Depending on your running goals and training experience, does the program follow an appropriate progression to build endurance, running economy, strength, lactate threshold, speed, power, etc.
6. Does the program allow you to provide feedback on how your workouts are going, so that necessary adjustments may be made?
7. Does the program allow for adequate recovery?
8. Does the program allow you access to a coach on at least a weekly or bi-weekly basis?
9. Is there an opportunity to have your running form/stride assessed?
10. Does the program include warm-up/cool-down, cross-training, and strength training workouts?
11. Do the strength training workouts include exercises that are functional or involve movement similar to running and use of muscles that involved in running?
12. Does the program include guidelines/recommendations for hydration and nutrition?
13. Does the program include an appropriate taper before your goal event?
14. Does the program include the opportunity to run some other event(s) while training to break up the potential monotony of training and remind you why you are training for your goal event?
15. What is the experience and credentials of the coach who is developing the program and what have other runners said about this coach?
Although this is not a complete list of factors to consider, I feel it is a good place to start when evaluating which training program is going to be most successful and enjoyable for you.
Good luck and please let me know if you have any questions regarding selection of an appropriate training program. I would appreciate hearing from you.
See you on the road or trail,