Why You Should Follow a Running Program

Why You Should Follow a Running Program

The ins and outs of running programs and why you should be following one
By Hannah McKimm

It feels like everyone is sprinting into their running era right now, which makes me very happy. As someone who loves to run, I feel a little hit of joy when I see others getting into it. I’ve been a runner and worked with runners for many years now and one thing I can say to anyone at any stage of their running journey, is that following a program is a complete game-changer. 

What is a running program?

A running program is a plan that outlines your runs each week. This will include the duration (distance or time), pace (speed) and effort required in each run. If you’re just getting started, your runs will include intervals of walking and if you’re more experienced you will be focusing on your pace and distance. Each week and month will be carefully planned to ensure the load is spaced out and increases gradually. 

What is the benefit of following a running program?

Although it may be tempting to just pop your runners on and head off, following a program is beneficial in many ways:

Injury Prevention

Running injuries are incredibly common and are usually a result of poor load management. Running too frequently or increasing the distance and pace too quickly are often the cause of a running injury. By following a program, you can minimise the risk of injury by planning your load appropriately. There are days where you will feel amazing and want to keep running, but the program is there to keep you in check and make sure you don’t overload. You will also have a structure to your week, including planned rest days, shorter and longer runs and an interval run so that your body has time to adapt and recover. This is so important as regardless of how long you have been running for, you need to respect tissue adaptation times. Our muscles and joints don't do too well with sudden changes in load, so a program is the perfect way to keep you consistent, on track and injury-free.


Seeing your runs planned out ahead of time and ticking them off as you go is a great way to stay motivated and keep you accountable. Most runners will go through phases where it feels like a real effort to get out there, but consistency is so important when it comes to running. Print your program off and put it somewhere visible so that you can’t miss it. You’ll get a hit of serotonin each time you tick off a run and this will motivate you to get through the next one. When you start to feel sluggish and tempted to hit the snooze button, just remind yourself why you started running in the first place and how good it feels to get through each run. The variety of runs in a program also helps to prevent boredom and repetition. Rather than just going for the same run each day, you’ll have an ‘easy’ run, an interval run and a long run each week which keeps it interesting and enjoyable.

Hitting your goals

If you have a specific goal in mind, whether it’s a PB, a new distance or hitting your first ever 5km, a program is essential to get you to that goal. By planning out your runs in advance, you can clearly see how important each run is to reach the end point. You can also see realistically how long your program needs to be to reach that goal without cramming in runs at the end. If you have signed up to an event, a program will ensure that you progress gradually throughout the program to get you there safely and to actually enjoy the event on the day. Even if your goal is simply to be able to run without injury, a program is perfect for this. 

So whether you are in the early days or many years into your running era, there are plenty of reasons to follow a program. If you haven’t seen Our Pilates Running Programs, you can find these on our app and website. Our programs include 3 runs per week, 3 Pilates classes and weekly stretching sessions.

If you have any questions about anything related to running, you can contact me via IG @ourpilates or email hello@ourpilates.com.au and I will be happy to help you. 

Han x

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