Since you’ve made your way to our lovely blog, it's probably safe to assume that you are hosting an athletic endurance event. What do all athletic endurance events have in common (other than an abnormally high percentage of people wearing neon knee socks)?
They require training, of course! How do most athletes (especially new athletes) figure out how they need to train?
They follow a training plan!
If you want to build your brand and drive race registrations, then it logically follows that these athletes should be following YOUR training plan. Right?
Training plans are an excellent way to provide value to your athletes, increase your visibility in the market and establish yourself as an expert in your event type. Not too shabby, amiright?
The key to training plans is doing them the right way. Here are some Do’s and Don'ts of Training Plans:
DO: Find a Point of Difference (POD)
If you are creating a training plan for any type of physical activity, there are really only a few proven training methods that are going to be effective (e.g. build your mileage, run/walk, intervals, etc). So unless you’ve found a new way to run that the rest of us don’t know about, the information that you’re presenting isn’t going to reinvent the wheel. What needs to stand out is your delivery.
Figure out what your point of difference is. Maybe your training plan is a bit sarcastic and tongue-in-cheek (not something we would know anything about), or maybe it uses breathing exercises to push through hard training runs, or maybe it caters to people who exclusively want to train to the tunes of Queen Bey (you know who you are).
Whatever floats your boat is a-ok. Just make sure that there’s something about your training plan that makes it stand out as uniquely you.
Defining you and your brand’s POD makes all the difference between a training plan that will reach out and grab an athlete's attention or one that will come across as just another Couch-to-5K ripoff.
DON’T: Use Someone Else’s Work
This might seem like a no-brainer, but it’s worth saying: stealing anyone else’s work and rebranding it as your own is a big no-no. Not only is it just plain wrong, but Google actually penalizes you for a little thing called duplicate content which will mess with your rankings and can even take down your site.
It’s ok to pull inspiration from other places - heck, check out this training program based on the Walking Dead (you never know when the zombie apocalypse is going to hit. It doesn't hurt to be prepared!) - but it’s not ok to pull/copy/steal content.
DO: Promote the HECK Out Of Your Plan
Seriously. If there was ever a time for shameless self-promotion, this would be it.
Once you develop your training plan, you’re going to want to get it into the hands of every athlete, potential athlete and potential athlete’s second cousin twice removed.
More exposure = more race registrations.
Send the training plan to your email list. Include a link to download on your free online event registration. Partner with local running groups and send it out their email lists.
You get the picture.
DON’T: Beat People Over The Head With It
There’s a fine line between heavy self promotion and too heavy self promotion. You want to toe that line, but not cross it.
Send the training plan out to your email list a few times, but if you have a percentage of people that still aren’t downloading, you need to change your approach. Emailing people your training plan every day with “Why aren’t you downloading me? Don’t you like me?” messaging is overkill.
DO: Tie It All Back To Race Registration
The ultimate goal in developing a training plan is to get people to your event, so make sure that you tie it all back to race registration.
Include calls to action throughout the training plan with links to your free online race registration. Get folks signed up so they can put all of that good training to use.
DON’T: Make Your Plan Unmanageable
Remember, you want people to actually use your training plan, so make it something that can easily fit into your athlete’s lives.
Run 3 miles a day? Manageable.
Run 20 miles a day uphill while wearing an elevation training mask and weighted vest, doing high knees and belting out I Believe I Can Fly?
Not so much.
If you do it the right way, creating a Training Plan for your event is an easy way to help build your brand and drive event registrations. Consider these Do’s and Don'ts the jumping off point to get started creating your own Training Plan.
If it’s good, who knows? Maybe we'll train with you.