Training plans

By Dubbo Stampede's Coach John Robins

** New 2019 training plans available mid May **

There are 10 training plans designed for the Dubbo Stampede. They will help you train for your particular event. The plans provide a methodical and progressed way of approaching training, that is, slowly increasing the distance and intensity of your running to get you to the starting line ready to achieve your goals.

Most of these plans also incorporate the Mudgee Running Festival, which is often held the week before the Dubbo Stampede. Why not head over to Mudgee as well and get two events for your training efforts?

These are ‘general’ plans that might suit you if you are looking for a good guide to the sort of runs you need to do for your event. They won’t suit everyone. If you need or want a ‘specific’ plan then I would be happy to write one and/or provide coaching for the training period leading up to the Dubbo Stampede. These services are described on my Facebook page or I can provide them if you email me at

Running programs for Dubbo parkrunners

Wow. Dubbo parkrun. What a sensation.

Dubbo parkrun is a free, timed, 5km running event along the Macquarie River every Saturday at 8am. We're proud to be a founding Local Supporter of the Dubbo parkrun during it's development. You'll find our committee members and lots of Dubbo Stampede gear there each and every week.

Coach John has prepared two training programs for Dubbo parkrunners. If you haven't been down yet and want to be more active, why not check it out this weekend?

These training plans are for those without a long experience of running, and who have an irregular or sporadic approach to running, and would like some order and progress towards a goal.

Running programs for completers

The Completer plans are designed for less serious runners who have not completed the race distance before and wish to have the satisfaction of completing the longer distance. They simply want to finish and finish well.

If you, for example, are a walker and wish to run the Dingo Dash, then its plan could be for you. If you have completed the Dingo Dash or a similar distance before and want to complete the Cheetah Chase then the Completer plan could be the one for you. If you want to race the Dingo Dash, then the Competitor plan maybe more suitable.

In your choice of a plan, it will depend on your previous running experience, your current level of running fitness, how much time you have to run, and your desired goal. For example, if you have run several half marathons before and feel ready to run a marathon, but have only time to run three times a week, then the Rhino Ramble Completer program maybe the one for you.

But if you have run a few half marathons and have time to run five times a week, you could be ready for the Rhino Ramble Competitor.

The Completer plans consist of three runs a week, which I think is the bare minimum for a successful completion of the planned distance. This also takes into account the occasional missed run due to resting a niggling pain or recovering from a minor illness.

Running programs for competitors

The Competitor plans are for those runners that really want to push their body to the limit. But remember, that the longer faster plans will increase your chance of injury. Plus you need to be in good health and fitness to do these plans.

These plans are very hard, and I repeat, there is increased risk of injury, so ‘beware the niggle’ as I tell the runners I coach. Skip a session if there is excess fatigue in your body, increasing niggling pain in one leg or you feel as though there is just not enough time in your life!

The Competitor plans consist of five runs a week and include faster running training such as tempo runs, tempo intervals, interval and speed runs. The pace of these runs will be suggested on the basis of your current ability from the 1 km time trials. Further explanation of these terms are provided in each plan.


Whether you do the Completer or Competitor plans, it is assumed that it is medically safe for you to run. If you have had illness or are on prescribed medication, or are no longer in your youth and have not been to the doctor for a while, then it would be a good idea to ask your doctor about whether you are medically ready to begin one of these plans.

The plans all begin in the week starting with Monday the second week of May and finish on the Dubbo Stampede event day. They are all 16 weeks long, which gives enough time to prepare properly for completing or competing. They also allow enough ‘room’ for some illness or times in which you have to miss a run or two. But if you miss too many runs, then it would be wise to reassess your ability to achieve the goal you have set, and maybe reset that goal.

I have not specified which days the runs will be done, but I recommend that with the Completer runs that they not be on consecutive days. This allows for a good recovery to occur and effective soft tissue adaptation. In the Competitor plans, there are two rest days and it is recommended that they be positioned after the two hardest runs of the week.

So, have a good think before choosing the race in which you would like to participate. Be ambitious as well as sensible. We are looking forward to holding the Dubbo Stampede Running Festival and look forward to your participation.

- Coach John.

John Robins
Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist
Accredited Exercise Physiologist
Running Coach
Activate Physiotherapy, Exercise Physiology and Running Coaching Centre
217 Fitzroy Street Dubbo NSW 2830
02 68828617
Online bookings available here