Be a Better Runner: It Starts with a Plan

A man running outside.

Do you want to become a better runner? One of the most effective ways to improve your running and stay injury free is following a structured run plan. Training without some form of plan often leads to common pitfalls, including: 

  • Doing too much too soon, which leads to a preventable injury.
  • Not enough variation. We’re more likely to fall into a routine of running the same route, for the same distance at the same intensity without a clear path to progression. 

Luckily, with a structured plan, you can avoid these common pitfalls. Here are 3 key reasons why a structured run plan can help you reach your goals and become a better runner.

3 Key Reasons Why Structured Run Plans Work

1) Provides a sense of direction.

As Yogi Berra once said, “If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.”  A well designed run plan sets out both the steps and guiding principles needed to achieve your goals. Having a clear path forward provides focus and reduces distractions, especially for those of us who are tempted to do it all. 

2) Maximizes training time. 

With a good run plan, every workout serves a purpose, with the overarching goal of building the fitness needed for your specific event. By prescribing the right level of intensity for the right period of time, you get the most bang for your training buck. By following a plan, you avoid unnecessary “junk miles”, which consumes precious recovery time without providing a corresponding benefit. Let’s face it – we’re all busy, and you don’t need to be wasting your time! 

3)  Provides adequate rest and recovery. 

Training provides the stress to trigger a change in the body, but the actual change happens during rest and recovery. A proper running plan balances stress with recovery so that you can fully absorb and maximize the effect of your workouts.  

Where to start?

If you’re unsure where to start, a great way to begin is with OA Run Crew. Run Crew follows a structured 16-week plan to help you build a solid foundation, and work your way up to peak performance safely and with the support of a great community. Our group run format is inclusive for all levels, and you have expert Coaches guiding you every step of the way. Though starting at the beginning of the program is optimal – you can join Run Crew at any time!

Learn more about Run Crew here, or by emailing 

If running solo is more your speed or you’re not local to Toronto, a personalized At-Home Run Program may be the best fit for you.

Have more questions about becoming a better runner? Reach out to one of your OA coaches or email

Author: Coach Mike Ma