Your Perfect 3 Runs A Week Training Plan
The best way to train if you run 3 times a week
The kids are back to school and lockdown restrictions are starting to lift in England.
Many women run 3 times a week – and that’s a perfect amount of running to stay fit, get stronger, and enjoy time to yourself.
If you’re one of them, you might be wondering exactly how to make the most of your 3 weekly runs before post-lockdown life kicks in. Here’s how to structure your weekly running schedule for your mind and body. Enjoy!
Long(er) steady run
Your longer runs will always be the heart of your running schedule. They build fitness and endurance, blow away the cobwebs, and – crucially – give you time to enjoy the outdoor benefits of running.
Your weekly long run should be a joy, so choose a route you’ll love. That might mean exploring your city whilst it’s quiet, or hitting the trails of your local countryside. Hills, beach, or park – use what you’ve got and run where your soul takes you.
Unless you’re training for a race like the Windsor Women’s 10K, there’s no need to push yourself on your longest weekly run. Let the focus be getting the miles in and enjoying the luxury of time to yourself.
Your goal: enjoying free time outside doing what you love
Introduce a tempo run into your week and you’ll soon see the benefits in your fitness and speed. Hey, who wouldn’t like to run 30s per mile faster all the time? Tempo runs are the middle ground between steady paced runs and sprint work. They help you find your “pushing it” pace so you can prevent plateauing over the years.
Tempo runs actually help you get fitter by developing your cardiovascular system so you get more blood and oxygen to the working muscles. And because they’re challenging, they build mental toughness and a real sense of achievement too.
Tempo runs need to be at least 30 minutes long, so choose your mid-length run for this.
Warm up with a mile or so of easy running, then run 15-20 minutes at a harder pace that you can sustain (similar to your 10K race pace). Cool down with ~5 minutes easier running.
Speed or skill run
Really make the most of your 3 weekly running sessions by dedicating one to a specific skill. This might be sprints, hill reps, or even track running if you have access to a track after lockdown.
By setting aside one run a week for a specific purpose, you will get faster, fitter, and make measurable progress with your running. This kind of thing isn’t just for runners who want to do races or set PBs. The skills you’ll gain from these sessions will build muscle and bone density, burn fat, and set you up for a healthier future.
Try warming up with ~10 minutes of steady running, then do 6-10 sprints of 45 seconds with a 2 minute jog recovery. Work as hard as you can to get the most out of this session. You’ll be buzzing afterwards (we promise!)
5 reasons to run 3 x a week
- It will get you fitter – three runs a week is definitely enough to get you fit, especially if you take the tips from this article and mix it up a bit.
- It provides valuable head space – imagine taking three sessions a week (alone or with a running buddy) to clear your head and take time for yourself
- It’s kind to your joints – running three times a week gives your body plenty of time to recover and won’t put too much stress on your knees, hips, and back
- It leaves time for other sport – if you enjoy going to the gym, doing yoga, or any other sport then running three times a week leaves time
- It’s sufficient to train for a 10K race – you can definitely train for a 5K or 10K race on three runs a week if that’s your 2021 goal.
Looking for some focus in your training after a year of lonely lockdown running? We’d love to see you at the Windsor Women’s 10K on September 25th. Click here to enter
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- How to set out your Spring training plan
- Your 8-Week Beginner Training Plan For New Runners