Training Plans for Runners — How-to & FAQs

Training Plans for Runners — How-to & FAQs

Strava now supports Training Plans for Runners for the most common race distances: 5K, 10K, Half Marathon, and Marathon. Each plan is 6-12 weeks long and can be tailored based on experience level (beginner, intermediate, and advanced) and desired start date.

  • Tailor your training plan based on race distance, date, and your running experience level

  • Plans feature workouts and long runs each week with the quantity, duration, and intensity varying based on plan levels

  • Training plan content will be delivered directly to your inbox the afternoon prior to the prescribed run

  • View full plans and details on the web

 

How?

How can I participate?

Training plans are free to all Strava Premium members.

  1. Visit Strava.com on the web and log in to your account

  2. Access Training Plans under the Training menu on your dashboard. 

  3. Click “View details” to find out more about each plan and “Start plan” to begin

You will receive email confirmation of your entry into the plan within minutes, and your first workout will be delivered the afternoon prior to the scheduled start date. Please note that these training plans are only available in English at the moment. We'll work to bring this feature to your local language in the coming months.

 

How should I choose a plan?

Choose a plan that best matches your running experience. Beginner plans are ideal for runners who are just getting started with the sport, while advanced plans are geared towards runners with lots of training and racing experience. Plans are also built around how many hours per week you can dedicate to training, so take that into consideration.

Plans are 6-12 weeks long and start dates can be customized based on an upcoming race. Should your race date happen to arrive within the duration of a specific plan we will start you on the appropriate week. For instance, if you choose a 10-week half marathon plan and your race is eight weeks away, we will start you two weeks into the plan.

If you are curious about a term being used in the training plan description, please visit McMillan's term glossary

 

How do I know what pace to run during my training plan?

  1. Go to McMillan's Pace Calculator
  2. Enter recent race time
  3. Enter goal race time
  4. Click "Calculate my paces"
  5. Click on the "Training Paces" section for pace ranges

 

 

FAQs

Why McMillan?

Greg McMillan and his staff at McMillan Running are renown throughout the running community for their coaching success at all levels of the sport. McMillan Running provides leading-edge training advice and coaching utilizing the latest in exercise science combined with time-proven training strategies. Successful with new runners, age groupers, Boston Qualifiers and even Olympians, McMillan Running has helped over 10 million runners train smarter and race faster.

 With Training Plans for Runners, we’re taking the proven strategy from McMillan Running and making it accessible to all Strava Premium members.

 

Where can I find definitions for the terms being used in the training plans?

You can find definitions to these terms on McMillan's glossary page. 

Other terms like "Steady State" and "Tempo" can be found by using the Pace calculator.

 

I didn't get today's email. Can you resend it?

If you're currently part of a plan, you will see two buttons on the Training Plan web page. These buttons will allow you to re-send emails (today's workout and tomorrow's workout) in the event that the one you expected did not appear.

 

Can I pause a plan? Can I restart a plan in the middle?

We do not currently support "pausing" an ongoing plan. If you decide to opt out of a plan, you'll have to re-start that plan from the beginning.

 

What if I miss a workout or need to do a specific workout on a different day?

That's totally fine. The workouts are sent to you on a daily basis and are designed to be done in the order they are received, but we understand that life often gets in the way. Feel free to re-arrange your days or skip days (but not too many!) as you see fit — you'll have everything you need in your inbox and so you can always go back and revisit past days.

 

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Comments

24 comments
  • I dont get workout notification to my email set i n Strava. Wekcome email to Program Mc Millan I got OK.

  • The training plan seems to be really restrictive. The Marathon training plan is fixed at 12 weeks - there is no way I can start sooner. Also, I didn't see the ability to customize it to pick say Saturday as my long run day instead of Sunday. Am I missing something?

  • It would be nice if the definitions and pace calculator were available within Strava...

     

  • It's absurd that you can't choose a specific start date

  • Definitely too restrictive, can't choose start date, somehow it shows I started the plan one week later (currently W2 and it shows W1), no way I can adjust it. Agree with Patrick as well, I have to go to McMillan site to get definitions and other info, can't export the plan to my calendar, once the run is done it shows in Strava as a regular run, not like a run from a plan... Guess this needs more work, both on Strava and McMillan parts...

  • I've been following a plan for the last eight weeks.

    I agree with the previous reviews that there's a serious lack of flexibility.

    Also, the descriptions of the workouts are quite poor. For example, tomorrow I'm supposed to do a 50m-1h10m Fartlek with only 5-6 x 1 minute at 5K-10K effort. This implies either a very long warm-up/cool-down or an error in the time specification/name.

    That's the main reason why I became a premium user and I might reconsider my decision if this features does not improve.

  • Is there any way to create my own plan?

  • I'm trying out strava premium on a free trial to see if it's worth it's almost $80/year price tag.

    I can't really see that many of the features other then the training plans would be of benefit me and am having serious doubts whether this is even worthwhile?
    I prefer to do my long runs on a Saturday.. but the plan has it set on Sundays which means I won't get the email till the day after I need it? Would be nice to have a feature where you can shuffle the days around..

    Thinking I might wait until this is sorted out to continue on premium..

  • Also there are some annoying bugs. If I check the training plan screen on a Sunday, the training plan has already advanced to the next week, so Sunday's run is collapsed and there is no way to expand it to see the details...

     

  • I have been using the Half Marathon plan and have mostly liked it. One big question though is the discrepancy between time listed to run and the number of miles to run in that period. For example, my long run was listed as 1:45 to 2:00 hours. In the description, it said I should run 12-14 miles in that time, but that I should not be too hard of an effort. That is very contradictory for me as my goal for the half marathon is to be under 2:30 hours. It would be nice to know if the time or the mileage is the most important factor. Unfortunately, not everyone runs an 8 or 9 minute mile pace.

  • I have started a McMillan running plan, and was expecting as advertised to get a better personal tailored work plan, but like others find it a pain that it can not be more flexible, but no one is advising either! On one email it suggests to do rehabs in the week, but no other information what its about. I am more amazed that these training's are not part of the app, so you can view with out having to logg in to a separate screen, so feeling a little let down by the promises for premium account offered.

  • Apparently Saturday 19th August is a Sunday this year! Talk about inflexible...

  • I'm on an active plan now - but i can't browse other plans - how can i look at other plans while i'm in an active one without cancelling?

  • Found another bug... The training plan is designed to be 8 weeks, but if your race is in less than 8 weeks, you can input your race date and it says it will shorten the training plan accordingly. In my case, my race was 7 weeks away so it said it would start me on week 2 of the training plan. But now the training plan page says I'm on week 1 of 8, my emails are for workouts from week 1, and my training plan ends 1 week after my race. So it doesn't look like it's starting me on week 2...

  • I guess we all realize that this training plan feature is a joke; very rigid and unable to be customized. If this is a flagship feature of Strava premium membership, they should rethink their marketing strategy. Even some free training plans are far better than this, try myasics app (no I don't work for asics), it is extremely flexible and adapts to your schedule, needs and level. After several weeks of being in the program, the algorithm recognized I'm going slightly faster than the program intended, and it offered to me to adjust the program based on the last few weeks history. Amazing.

  • I am trialing Premium now as I was hoping I could use strava to replace my other training planning app but it appears that you can't do customized training plans here. It seems like if you were serious about training plans, you would allow people to build their own OR select a prebuilt one. I will be turning off the premium before trial period ends. Too much $ to pay the other training app AND premium here and planning my training it way more important than the extra reports I get here.

  • This is my first time trying this training plan. It would be nice if you could easily print the training plan. I had to take a screenshot, paste it into a doc, and then print it.

  • Anyway we can get it personalised? And directly linked to my actual training? Thanks

  • @Patrick R - I signed up for one of the McMillan training plans in January for a race I ran on April 22nd. When I signed up, I input the day of the race. The training plan I got actually finished with a race day of April 29th. I took the info and created my own spreadsheet to follow along. Just wondering if anyone else encountered this error.

  • Still no response from Strava, they just sell you the McMillan training who then try to sell you more info. I think it lacks the ability to create a good plan for you based on your needs and experience. then no direct links from the app to help with the training is just an excuse not to have it. I had a injury because the training it gave was too much for the start phase. better to spend the money on a personal trainer who can give you a more personal plan. I hope Strava is taking note of these posts!

  • I signed up for Premium to gain access to this feature. So far it's disappointing because:
    - No flexibility if I miss a day and want to shift the schedule +- 1 day
    - No mobile reminders of upcoming workouts
    - No integration with Activity Feed (no motivation)
    - There seem to be no training features built into the mobile app
    - No interval training features in the Strava mobile app either (I use RunKeeper for this instead)
    - There is no indication of optimal pace (other than going to McMillan's website)
    - Emails are an inconvenient way to check the next workout.
    - My third run was 1.5 to 2 hours! This is kind of ridiculous and is sure to cause injury (shin splints, etc)
    - The plan seems generic. (See MyAsics, which produces a customized plan with pacing)
    All in all, I can't see what I am paying for here Strava. I expected better.

  • I love Strava for the connectivity of it to my running buddies. But this training plan is a joke. Endomondos training program is awesome and adjust each week based on my performance. Guess I'll be cancelling my premium membership.

  • Thanks Boo. This is interesting. I used to be with adidas micoach train & run and then they migrated to Runtastic. Runtastic plans are nothing compared to adidas micoach train & run. I should look at Endomondos then.

  • Thanks, everyone, for your detailed and explicit feedback on our McMillan training plans. We hear you on the inflexibility of how this Strava feature is designed (from choosing a start data to email deliver) and the difficulties in understanding/following the workouts in the training plans. You've definitely put this on our radar.

    You are always welcome to reach out to us directly by submitting a support ticket at the bottom of this page should you have concerns about the value you are receiving from your Premium membership. We'll always do our best to work with you on a solution.

    As for improving this feature on Strava, no work is currently planned. Unfortunately, our Premium Team is currently working on other projects. We'll do our best however, to revisit this feedback and consider improvements later on this year. I'll keep everyone posted.

    We are working on a mobile Training Log, potentially with the ability to plan workouts in the future, so stay tuned for updates on that too.

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