Are you seeing training gains? As we continue to train we should see progress. We want to continually set and reach bigger training goals.

Stephanieruns Fitness

April 7, 2019 Newsletter

Are You Making Training Gains?

Ideally when we are training we set a goal and create a plan to reach that goal. There will be times when we aren't working towards a goal but just looking to maintain our fitness. When we are looking to maintain our fitness we won't see any training gains. However if you set a goal, maybe to become faster or to run further we should be able to see gains in our training as we progress through our training.

I have talked about goal setting and how to do a fitness assessment to see your current level of fitness in the past. This week on twitter I ran a couple of polls. I asked what distance training plan you're looking for and the price you'd pay for a training plan. Here's what you said:

  • 23% of you are looking for a 5k training plan
  • 23% of you are looking for a 10k training plan
  • 33% of you are looking for a half marathon training plan
  • 21% of you were looking for other types of training plans, mostly specific to you and customized

For the price you'd pay for a training plan you said:

  • 50% said nothing
  • 44% said under $50
  • 3% said $50 to $75
  • 3% said other, it depends on the type/duration of the training plan.

Most of you mentioned that there are a lot of free resources out there that you use for training plans. I agree there's lots of free resources out there. So many that new runners often get confused and make mistakes when they start training that sometimes lead to injury. It's also worth noting not all training plans are the same. As a personal trainer I include strength training workouts in my running plans, however most running plans you find online will just have running workouts.  As a trainer I believe everyone should have a training plan that is customized to them, however I understand that not everyone can afford that. Which is why I do my best to share the knowledge with you on how you can customize your training plan. I did cover customizing your training plan and balancing your training load in past newsletter issues. Knowing how to adjust your training plan gives you more freedom over your training.

There are times I think you should bite the bullet and pay for a customized training plan or one on one coaching. If you are new or newish to running having an expert help you right from the beginning can help make sure you start your running career with healthy habits and learn how to train for future events. If you have a big goal, for example running further than you've run or running faster it's a good idea to pay for coaching or a customized plan. This will ensure that your training plan is customized for you. I always say training plans should meet you where you are and build you up. It's hard, but not impossible to do that with a plan you pull off the internet. Another time I would recommend to pay for a customized training plan or coaching would be if you're stuck with your training. You're not seeing gains or you're having difficulty reaching your goal. Having someone look at your current training and making changes to help you become 'unstuck' is worth the money in my opinion.

Using a training plan alone doesn't promise you'll make gains in your training. You still need to put in the work training. If you're not using the right training plan or not doing the 'right' workouts this can also impede training gains. Ideally when you're training you should set a goal, create a training plan to meet that goal and assess for training gains every four to six weeks. Adding in that assessment every four to six weeks lets you adjust your training accordingly while making sure you're on track. This is one of the reasons I love coaching runners one on one. I provide them their training a week at a time so I can adjust their workouts accordingly. It's also my job to help ensure you're making training gains, provided of course you're doing your workouts.

If you're going to be the master of your own training and manage your own training remember the following:

  • Customize your training so it fits you and your goals
  • Do a fitness assessment when you start your training plan so you can assess your training gains along the way
  • Manage your training load to help avoid injury
  • Ensure you're using a balanced training plan which has cardio, strength training and flexibility workouts
  • Have fun!

If the above list seems to overwhelming I would recommend you speak to a trainer or coach and get some guidance. You don't need to commit to having a trainer or coach long term. I ask my athletes for a three month commitment when I'm working with them one on one. This allows me to help them work towards a goal, share my knowledge and help create healthy and sustainable training habits. If you're not sure if coaching or a customized training plan is right for you send me an e-mail. Yes I'm a coach, but I pride myself in letting you know the best option for you. If I don't think one on one coaching is right for you I will let you know that. At the end of the day I'm happy if all runners and athletes have a training plan that works for them, whatever that may be!

Making Gains

When we are talking about making training gains what is realistic? It can be difficult to know especially if you're following people on social media who are posting all of their training gains. Training gains are relative to your current fitness level and your goals. Not every runner will make the same gains in the same timeframe, which is why it's a good idea to set goals. When you set goals you can then break them down to see if you're making gains as you progress with your training.

When I'm training athletes and runners I'm looking for them to make gains within four to six weeks. If there hasn't been any gains in that time something's not adding up and we need to troubleshoot. This also means that after about six weeks there needs to be changes to your training based on your goals. You might need to increase the weight you're using for strength training or the pace you're using for your tempo run. If you don't make adjustments to your training you won't continue to make gains. You'll see a plateau and you might become stuck.

The best thing you can do for your training is to assess where you are and any gains you've made every four to six weeks. This will help you continue to grow and evolve as an athlete and runner. There's lots of ways you can do this. The key is finding the way that works for you.


Future Topics

Lately I've been getting some fantastic suggestions for future newsletter topics. In fact my mother came over this week with a book called 'The Essential Women's Health Guide 2000.' My mom recommended that I look at this book, and others, and discuss how running and fitness has or hasn't changed over the past twenty years. I think this is a great idea and I will make this into a series. I think it will be really interesting to cover changes in fitness and running trends over the past twenty years.

I also had a suggestion to look at the psychology of running especially bad runs and how to get over them. There are so many different factors that can cause a difficult or bad run I can see this topic becoming a series as well.

I received a lot of great feedback on my newsletter coving fitness as we age. I am also wanting to cover this topic again in more detail. So if you have any questions about fitness or running as you age please send them my way.

I wanted to share the topic suggestions I've received so you can send in any questions you have about the topics  please send them to me. I'm also always looking for your topic suggestions or general questions about fitness or running. If you have a question chances are someone else has it too! You can tweet me @srunsfitness or e-mail me at with any questions or topic suggestions.

You can see the training plans I have for sale in my Training Peak's store. I am also available for one on one coaching, reviewing your current training plan and creating customized training plans. Send me an e-mail to discuss further. (You can reply to this e-mail and I'll get it!)

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Stephanieruns Fitness

461 North Service Rd West
Oakville Ontario,  L6M 2V5 - Canada

Website: Stephanieruns Fitness

Twitter: @srunsfitness

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Disclaimer: Always seek medical advice before starting an exercise program. This newsletter is not medical advice. Medical advice should be sought from a medical professional. Stephanieruns Fitness assumes no liability for any injuries or damages as a result of the above content.