Training for Beginner Runners

Running is perhaps the simplest of sports, requiring no teaching or thought, just movement and effort. That said, if you’re starting to make running a regular habit or are looking to improve, a little guidance can lessen the learning curve. We hope these articles help you along with your journey.

iRunFar Editors Bryon Powell and Meghan Hicks have also shared a primer on run training in the context of trail running directly from their book (indeed, the full book Where the Road Ends: A Guide to Trail Running is being published serially on iRunFar), but it’s just as applicable for all runners:

  1. Easy Runs and Recovery Runs
  2. Long Runs
  3. Speedwork
  4. Hill Workouts

Through the years, coach Ian Torrence has write some great basics on the fundamental types of workouts a runner might do:

Another coach, David Laney adds to that wealth of knowledge on fundamental running workouts with Faster and Stronger: The Basics of Trail Workouts.

Now, how do you put all these runs and workouts and recovery together? Hmmm… well, you put together a training schedule as laid out in Laney’s How to Build Your Own Training Schedule and The Basics of Creating a Training Plan from Where the Road Ends. For a bit more detail on how three or four week stretches of training might fit together, there’s Ian Torrence’s Periodization Isn’t Rocket Science.

If you’re a new or aspiring ultrarunner, you can’t go wrong in reading coach Torrence’s A Newbie’s Guide to Ultramarathons or Bryon Powell’s Ultramarathon Training: A Guide to Everything collection of ultramarathon training resources. For further reading, look at Joe Uhan’s Surviving Your First 100 Miler – Part 1: Preparation. The first year of Ian Torrence’s Your Ultra-Training Bag of Tricks is a phenomenal collection of articles for getting started with ultrarunning. Wherever you start, iRunFar’s got many hours worth of basic (and advanced) ultramarathon training resources!

While targeted at ultrarunners, Torrence’s Ultramarathon Training for Busy People is a great look at how to get the most out our training while leading a busy life.

If you’re looking to improve your fundamental trail running skills, check out our resource pages dedicated to:

Related Articles

Speed-Based Workouts for Ultramarathon Training

Why and how to use speed-based workouts in your ultramarathon training.

Stamina-Based Workouts for Ultramarathon Training

How to use stamina-based workouts, such as steady state runs, tempo intervals, and thirds...

Endurance-Based Workouts for Ultramarathon Training

The role of endurance-based workouts – long runs, easy runs, and recovery runs –...

Training for the Trail, Part 4: Hill Workouts

How hill workouts can help new trail runners grow strong, fast, and confident on...

Tips for Busy Ultrarunners

Robbie Britton, ultrarunner and author of "1001 Running Tips," shares some tips for busy...

Training for the Trail, Part 3: Speedwork

A basic how-to on speedwork for runners just getting into trail running.

Training for the Trail, Part 2: Long Runs

An introduction to long runs and how to execute them in your trail running...

Training for the Trail, Part 1: Easy Runs and Recovery Runs

How easy runs and recovery runs are part of a balanced training program for...

Into the Night: An Introduction to Running at Night

Read this introductory how-to for to running at night.

The Basics of Running Safely in Hot Weather

Read this introductory how-to for to running safely in hot weather.

Fuel Up: An Introduction to Fueling for Trail Running

Read this introduction to trail running fueling to learn about when and how to...

The Power of Running with Friends

Five benefits of running with friends: more fun, accountability, collective effort, endless enthusiasm, and...