runDisney: Finding A Training Plan To That Works For You

With their unique locations, and fun on course entertainment, runDisney has helped to inspire thousands of non-runners to lace up their sneakers and give the sport of road running a try. Whether you want to run a 5K, 10K, Half Marathon, or Full Marathon; whether you are just starting out, or you have been running for years, pre-race training is important to help you accomplish your goal.

But where do you start? That's a question I asked myself three months ago when I decided to run the 2018 Princess Half Marathon. So after being cleared by my doctor to start training, she recommended that I find a good training plan and stick to it. So I headed to the Internet (because you can find everything on the internet) with the hope of finding one that could work for me. Honestly, I found hundreds and spent days surfing before I found what I thought would work. So here are just a couple suggestions of where you can start your search to save some time.

Mickey Gives Jeff Galloway A High FourMickey Gives Jeff Galloway A High Four

The first place for would-be-runners to start actually World-class athlete, author, and official runDisney coach Jeff Galloway has created several plans using his proven program to get people across "the finish line, while reducing the chance of injury to almost zero." With only three days a week, and one longer session on the weekend, Jeff's runDisney plans offer a light schedule that can fit into hectic modern lives. Not only will you find a variety of plans for all of the runDisney races, but there is also a page devoted to training tips.

For the Princess Half Marathon (just one of the many runDisney races) Jeff has worked out three different 19 week programs, one for beginner runners, and two for experienced runners who either want to "finish in the upright position" or work on their time improvements. In addition, there are also runDisney plans online for the Princess Enchanted 10K, and the Fairy Tale Challenge.

My training buddy is using Jeff's Princess Half plan for beginners and so far she has been amazed at the progress she is making. The runDisney plans are a great place to start your journey.

Training Plans Can Be Found On runDisney.comTraining Plans Can Be Found On

For me, a three day a week plan just didn't seem like it would get me to the level I needed to be at for the race. I was extremely inactive in my day to day life due to spending the previous year recovering from three broken bones in my leg. I also wanted to start with a walking plan to make sure my leg would be OK before I started running. Hal Higdon, World Masters Running Champion, author, and training consultant was the man who created the plans to meet my criteria.

Hal's programs start with training plans for beginners who want to walk a 5K, and range all the way up through plans for advanced runners who want to do the 48.6 mile Dopey Challenge. No matter what your experience, or current athletic ability, there is probably a plan there just made for you. Hal's programs however take up more time and have you working out a four to five days a week, they include cross training and speed drills to improve your pace.

Who Wouldn't Want To Run With These Guys Cheering For You?Who Wouldn't Want To Run With These Guys Cheering For You?

There are a few important things to remember when picking a training plan.

1) Pick a plan that fits your life. If you only have three days a week available to work out on, don't pick a plan that has you at the gym five days a week. Set yourself up for success from the begining.

2) Pick a plan that matches your current ability. If you've never even walked a mile, chose a plan that starts you out walking. You can switch to run/walk/run down the line. Don't choose an advanced training plan if you are a beginner, pushing your body too quickly can lead to injury.

3) Training plans are flexible. If it says to run Tues, Thursday, Saturday - but the days you have available are Monday, Wednesday, Friday, it's OK. Just shuffle your days around within the week so that it works best for you. Just make sure that you have a rest day before your long run, and a rest day or light day afterwards. Furthermore - if you find that you are advancing beyond your plan easily, or you feel that you need more days at the gym, it's acceptable to adjust your plan in a way that helps you reach your goals.

4) It's OK to repeat. If life gets crazy or you don't feel like you had a good week, it's OK to repeat a week of your plan if you need to. However if you feel like this may be a possibility - be sure that you start your training plan with enough wiggle room before your race. If you have an 18 week training plan, you may want to start it 20 weeks before your race so that you can add in some repeat weeks. When I created the spreadsheet for my princess plan I was sure to look ahead to where the winter holidays would fall, and leave room for a repeat week.

5) Trust in your plan. This is actually a mantra I use while i'm running when I'm feeling like I will never reach my goal. When you first take the time to find a plan that fits your life and your goals, the next step is to trust that it will get you there. I re-evaluate my plan at the start of every month. I'm reaching all the milestones and making advancements, so I continue to trust in the plan.

The runDisney Community Comes From All Walks Of LifeThe runDisney Community Comes From All Walks Of Life

The Internet is full training plan resources for runners and would-be-runners, start with reputable athletes and coaches to find a plan that fits you. For a little extra cheering along the way the runDisney community is uplifting and supportive, find some facebook groups dedicated to your runDisney race and don't be afraid to ask questions and share your achievements. If you're registered for the a Princess Half Marathon Weekend race and you're looking for a great community, don't forget to check out the 2018 Princess Half Marathon Weekend Support Group on our member forums.

Cross That Line In The Upright PositionCross That Line In The Upright Position

Most of all... Happy Running!

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