Design your own Running Program

How to be your own running coach

Jogging is a great way to improve cardiovascular fitness whilst enjoying the great outdoors.  All you need is a pair of sneakers and you can get a workout in anywhere.  A common question we get asked is “How do I structure my own running program each week?”


Here is a general guideline for a three times per week running program…


Run #1 – Tempo
A tempo run is a short duration, moderate – hard paced run.  It should be a challenging but sustainable pace where you can hold the pace for the entire run.  Finding your tempo pace will take practice, if you get really puffed and need to stop you’ll have to slow it down for next time.  After a warm up, aim for a 15-25 min tempo run.  15 for the less experienced and 25 or 30 mins for our seasoned runners.  Don’t forget to finish with a cool down and a stretch!



Run # 2  – Intervals
After a warm up, spend 20 – 40 mins (depending on your level of experience) alternating between moderate-hard pace and a recovery pace.  There are endless ways to design an interval workout and you can play around with the ratio of workload to rest.

Try workload to recovery 1:1
eg. 2 mins hard pace, 2 mins easy paced for 20 mins

Try workload to recovery 3:2
eg. 3 mins hard pace, 2 mins recovery pace

Try workload to recovery 2:1
eg. 4 mins hard pace, 2 mins recovery pace  repeat for 20  mins

Try a track workout – at an oval do one lap hard, one lap easy, two laps hard, two laps easy, etc.

There are no rules!  Experiment, get creative and mix it up each week.  Don’t forget to finish with a cool down and a stretch!



Run # 3 – Long Slow Distance
This is a longer distance run that is all about endurance rather than speed.  Pick a nice easy pace where you could hold a conversation and maintain this comfortable speed.  This should feel comfortable, you should not be puffing hard!  Start with a distance that is right for you and then gradually build it up week by week.  Don’t pick a 10 km long run if the furthest you now run is 3km!  Avoid injury by avoiding huge jumps in training intensity and duration.  Always start with a gradual warm up and finish with a cool down and stretch.




  • Remember not to suddenly throw yourself into running no matter what level you are.  If you are not currently a jogger, start with some jogging and walking intervals and slowly decrease the walking and increase the running periods over the weeks.  For those of you who are currently jogging, never increase the total kilometers you run per week suddenly.  Aim to slowly and gradually add to your distance and pace over time.  A 10% increase in distance per week is usually recommended.
  • Start with a warm up walk and easy jog before going harder
  • Stretch after every session
  • Try to spread out your running days and do some other kind of activity (cycling/swimming etc) in between



We have Running Programs for all levels including complete beginners.  Find out about our upcoming courses here.  Whether you’re trying to improve your distance or time or just starting out, we have a class for you.


Want an affordable way to have your own running coach?  Join our Online Running Program!