Training Plan and Nutrition Plan

Whether you are a walker or runner, new to exercise or a seasoned competitor, the keys to performing to your potential, and HAVING FUN, are having a workable training plan, and optimising your diet on race day.

Prepared by Burnie runner and pharmacist Brian Hanafin.

The old adage you are what you eat is totally relevant as what you eat affects your

  • Weight and energy
  • Performance and recovery

The following sections cover

  1. A suggested training plan for those who are new to running, and simply want to complete the course, with minimal pain or injury.
  2. A suggested training plan for regular runners who want to improve their race time, and deliver a new PB
  3. Healthy eating tips. What foods to eat and what to avoid to help achieve optimum health and sports performance
  4. Nutrition tips for exercise, to help you run to your best, recover well and avoid injury.

Training plan building up to a 10km race

Note: this plan is general in nature – if you would like a personalised plan, please see Brian at Burnie's Terry White Pharmacy.


  • Listen to your body – if things don’t feel right, ease off and seek advice
  • Invest in good footwear – your feet need looking after.  Check your shoes for uneven wear, and seek expert advice to correct this.
  • When exercising on the road, avoid any camber if possible. If not possible, constantly swap sides of the road, or from roadside to footpath etc.
  • If running downhill, try to avoid long strides, as this is a real injury risk.
  • Do not overtrain.
  • You can mix cycling with your running for more complete training.
  • If you exercise with a heart rate monitor, ask Brian for HR guidelines.

New to running:

  1. Start by walking 4-5 times a week for 1 hour at your natural pace. Gradually increase your pace as you are able.
  2. Once comfortable doing so, try jogging for approx 100m every now and then.
  3. Gradually increase the distance you jog, and reduce the walking distance in between jogs.
  4. Once or twice a week try jogging continuously for 30 minutes or more
  5. By 6-8 weeks before the event try to jog for one hour twice a week, and 30 minutes 2-3 times a week.
  6. If you are happy to remain at this level, continue with step 5. You may want to replace 1 run a week with a bike session.
  7. However, if you want to improve your speed, try to follow the plan.

Regular runner after an improved best time:
( ie: you can already run at least 6km )

The following plan is designed to improve your distance and speed, using a program of long slow runs (to increase endurance) combined with intense sessions and interval training to increase speed. It also provides for adequate recovery sessions and 1-2 rest days a week.

Your program should start easy then increase the workload each month to a peak a couple of weeks before the event, then taper off in preparation for race day. Three months out from the event distances will range from 3k for the short intense work to 6k on the long slow run. Month two will be 4 and 8k, month three: 5 and 10k. The week before the event will be a very easy week.

Day 1: (Short Intense speed work) Warm up, then run as fast as you are able to maintain for the distance
Day 2: (Intervals) Warm up first. Alternate easy for 5-600m, hard for 2-300m or if training on hills, Easy downhill and flats, attack the uphills (max 2-300m)
Day 3: (Recovery) Easy jog ( easy conversation pace)
Day 4: (long slow) Slightly faster than Day 3 (this will become your race pace)
Day 5: Recovery or rest day
Day 6: (Intervals) Warm up first. Alternate easy for 5-600m, hard for 2-300m or if training on hills, Easy downhill and flats, attack the uphills (max 2-300m)
Day 7: Recovery or rest

Healthy eating tips

The average Australian walks at least 8km a day LESS than we did 50 years ago, yet eats more energy. This is the main cause of heart disease, diabetes, obesity etc. The high levels of refined sugars in our diet can also contribute to increased stress and many other diseases.

Whether active or not, good nutrition can help you live longer, work better, and enjoy better health, with more energy.

A healthy diet will comprise at least half complex carbohydrates, with moderate protein and fats, and low sugars and or salt.

  • Eat mostly: Grains, cereals, bread (wholegrain), Vegetables and fruit
  • Eat moderately: dairy, lean meat, fish, legumes (peas, beans etc) nuts and eggs
  • Eat little: margarine, sugar
  • Drink: plenty of water, less tea/coffee and little or no sugary or alcoholic drinks

Carbohydrate: (Carbs) The preferred fuel for muscles and the only fuel for the brain. Best sources are grains, cereals, bread (wholegrain), fleshy vegetables, fruit (esp Bananas) wholegrain rice and pasta.
Protein: The building blocks for tissue, esp muscle. Ideal sources include lean meat, dairy, fish, legumes (peas, beans etc) nuts and eggs
Fat: Unsaturated fats are needed for important nutrients. Best sources are fish & vegetable oils, moderate animal fats, nuts, seeds, avocados

Runners' nutrition and training plan

  • Always have a light carbohydrate snack before training. Toast or a banana are ideal. Many athletes prefer an energy gel such as Endura Sports Gels.
  • Always carry a drink bottle with you, and consume around 100ml every 15 minutes (a balanced energy drink such as Endura Hydration is ideal – ask for advice). Any loss of body fluids reduces your performance and increases the risk of injury.
  • Approx every 30 minutes consume around 25g carbohydrates, preferably an energy gel (wash down with your drink) to maintain muscle energy levels.
  • Immediately after training, consume plenty of carbs and protein. The sooner the carbs and protein get in the muscles, the faster the recovery. A proper recovery formula is best here, especially after longer or harder days – such as Optimizer
  • Remember, the harder the workout, the more you need to sort out your nutrition.

Race day nutrition

Never do anything on race day that you have not done in training.

Eat a light breakfast approx 2-3 hours before race – toast or a light cereal, fruit & yoghurt etc.

By the time you are at the start line your energy levels will have dropped, so approx 30 minutes before the start, eat a banana or energy gel, and drink around 250ml fluid

There are water stations along the course. If you are happy to use these, make sure that you do. However, with the crowds, it may be easier to carry your own drink. Sip at least 250-500ml during the run. (more if the day is hot).

At the halfway turn, consume an energy gel (and drink).

Remember your recovery formula at the finish line.

© Brian Hanafin, pharmacist & sports nutritionist.

For more information, friendly advice, and savings on your sports nutritionals, visit or call
Terry White Chemmart
54 Bass Highway, Cooee
Ph 6408 0250
Hours: M-F 8:30am to 9pm
Sat 10am-6pm, Sun 2-6pm
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