The Essentials of ANY Running Program (and how to incorporate Fit Radio!)

By Bianca M,

Feeling inspired watching the Boston Marathon? Thinking about lacing up the shoes and training for one yourself? Or maybe you want to start smaller, perhaps beginning with a 5K and working your way up. Whatever the decision, you’re ready to get moving! But where do you even start? We get questions all the time as to how to incorporate Fit Radio workouts into training for a race. First and foremost, know that there are a million ways to get from point A to point B when it comes to training. That’s why it’s usually pretty overwhelming for a newbie to google “Marathon Training Plan” – only 3,600,000 results! Easy. But even if you’re a veteran and looking to drop some time on your next race, there ARE common themes amongst these programs that lend themselves well to integrating Fit Radio into the equation along the way!


Let’s start with the 4 components of any running training program (5K & Up) almost universally:

  1. Speedwork
  2. Tempo/Endurance Workout
  3. The Long Run
  4. Easy Days and/or Crosstraining


Why speed? Well, to quote “The bottom line is: you have to run fast to run fast.” Simple as that! Speedwork adds that extra secret sauce into a training program. It helps you prepare to run at your goal race pace, helps you work on your form by putting the body in a more efficient position to run fast, and also is incredibly helpful with the mental game of running. Fit Radio offers HIIT workouts each and every week for both Outdoor Run & Treadmill. These workouts are designed with short, fast intervals, that will certainly push you outside your comfort zone, but also give you that pep in your step!


Newbies & Speed : Get comfortable running 1-2mi without stopping before incorporating speedwork into your routine, and always give yourself the option to walk between intervals until you’re stronger.


Tempo/Endurance Workout

Oh tempo runs. If you are a veteran runner, you know them, and likely hate them, but Tempo Runs are arguably one of the most beneficial workouts you can do – particularly for longer distance training. From Runner’s World, “A tempo run is a faster-paced workout also known as a lactate-threshold, LT, or threshold run. Tempo pace is often described as “comfortably hard.” Tempo running improves a crucial physiological variable for running success: our metabolic fitness.”

With Fit Radio, our “Tempo Pace” is what we describe as “Fit Pace” – comfortably uncomfortable, I like to say. Pushing you slightly outside your comfort zone, but not by much. That being said, a TRUE Tempo Run is one that is sustained for longer periods of time over the course of your run or workout. The Tempo Run feature on Fit Radio is perfect for keeping you on pace by matching your stride to the beat of the music for the entire duration of your run!


For example:

  • Your GOAL pace in a 10K is a 9:45/mile
  • On average, you run between a 11:00 & 11:15 on your easy days

You would want to select 10:00/mi or 150bpm for your tempo run pace, then plan your workout to do 2-4mi at this pace, working your way up over several weeks. As long as you match your feet to the beat, you’re on pace!


The Long Run

The dreaded long run: the arch nemesis of the newbie, the escape of the veteran, the crippler of the ego! The long run is just that : a long run, the longest run of your week. Every program will incorporate a longer run into the equation once a week. Depending on what your training for and where you’re at in your training cycle, this could be a 6mi run, this could be a 22mi run.

This run is a sustained effort, ideally pretty steady in pace, and more about simply getting the miles in the legs than it is about speeding through it. There is, however, a time and a place for a little speed within though, depending on your experience. Don’t let the long run scare you!


Here are a few great ways to incorporate Fit Radio into your Long Run:

  • Music (duh!) – Every genre you could possibly imagine, at your fingertips
  • Tempo Run – If you find yourself having trouble sticking to a pace, find it in the Tempo Run tab and let the beat guide your feet
  • Workouts – For my veterans out there, a great way to break up the monotony of a long run, and help increase your fitness to boot, is to throw on a workout mid run! Use your first few miles as an extended warm up, then crank out a 30-40min workout, then finish with an extended cooldown


Easy Days/Cross Training

Now this is a weird one for people…so we’ve got 3 days of your week covered : Speedwork, Tempo Day, and Long Run – what do you do the leftover days? Hmmm – run easy or cross train! Your body needs to RECOVER. These days are just as, if not more important than the work. If you don’t allow your body to recover, you will never be able to see it’s full potential and are likely to feel terrible on the daily. Some like to do “junk miles” by running slow and easy, others like to incorporate cross training or, in other words, anything BUT running – elliptical, bike, swimming, etc. Switching it up is important for the body to avoid injury and non-impact activities like those just listed are a great way to maintain fitness, without the pounding on the joints you get from running!

We’re always ready and waiting with killer tunes for your session. & on days you’re feeling frisky? Throw on a Fit Radio workout for the elliptical or bike and have at it! This is a great way to get a third hard session in without sacrificing your running legs.


So there you have it! Easy, fun ways to mix up your routine and start training for that race! We’re here for you each and every step and wish you happy miles ahead 🙂


About Coach B:

Bianca is a runner-turned-cyclist who ran track collegiately at The University of New Mexico and Portland State. She’s done everything from run a 4:44 mile to walking a marathon and has coached hundreds of people throughout her career. You can find her coaching every section in Fit Radio and @runthisb on IG.

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