Running in Thailand: Part 1, Training

Olivia McGeever, 128 TCCS

Living abroad, particularly abroad and alone, has been the best thing for my running. While being tested mentally and emotionally, running has helped me realize the ways I’ve grown. Being able to extend my runs, increase my pace, and sometimes just get out of bed to jog for 30 minutes all serve as little reminders that I’m stronger, in all senses of the word. When I first got to site, I ran to explore my surroundings and made it a habit for the sake of exploring my community. Keeping a physical routine has also helped keep me sane the past year and a half.

Olivia - training pics.JPG

We all work a Thai schedule which means remaining flexible, and we are all different types of runners so I asked for insight from volunteers. I received great feedback from Bethany, Jena, Natalie, Danyal, and Mckenzie. (THANKS GUYS). Here is the collective advice from these incredible runners.

  1. Find a training plan. Even if you aren’t running a race, having a goal and following a schedule can help you stay on track and observe your own progress. Hal Higdon offers great training programs that range from 5ks and fast mile plans to marathons and ultra-runs.
  2. Figure out your schedule. We typically work 8 hour days. Are you more likely to run after work, or is it better for you to get it in first thing in the morning? Know what’s best for you then stick to it!
  3. Don’t make running your only form of exercise! If I’m exclusively running, I’m likely to get burnt out and/or injured. Include strength, yoga, and rest days too.
  4. This is most important, HAVE FUN! Danyal reminded me of this when I talked to him, he beautifully said, “Running provides an opportunity to expand yourself in a lot of ways and works as a catalyst for self-discovery.” Yes, Danyal yes!

Suggested plans from our seasoned runners:

natalie running


When training, I usually run 4-5 days/ week, with 2 of those days being long runs. I also do a full hour-long yoga practice once a week and a yin yoga practice once a week to work into my joints.


McKenzie runningMcKenzie

This is the schedule I like the go off of. From my understanding, it’s best to start your weeks with your shorter and easier runs and end strong.

  • Day 1 – Recovery: Shorter run at progressive pace
  • Days 2 – Speed: Shorter run at tempo pace
  • Day 3 – HIIT: Any intervals, use hills if available
    • 20-30 minute runs with 30-second pickups
    • 30-40 minute runs with 60-second pickups
    • 5 cycles of 30 seconds of all-out running with 90 seconds jogging
    • 10 cycles alternating one minute super hard and one minute easy
    • A pyramid workout (example: 15 sprints, 14 jogs, 13 springs, etc.)
  • Day 4 – Endurance: Long run at progressive pace

olivia running.jpg


  • Monday – Strength workout, and a long bike ride or walk (I try to get in at least 10,000 steps every day)
  • Tuesday – Short strength workout and run (30-60 minutes)
  • Wednesday – Strength workout and yoga
  • Thursday – Run (45-60 minutes)
  • Friday – Strength/yoga or rest day
  • Saturday/Sunday- Long run and Yoga/Strength

There is no wrong way to train! Find what works for you and just do your best!


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