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Friday, March 9, 2012

Easy peasy 10K preppy

This the time of the year, folks. Time to prepare for Bluenose marathon!

Since there are 10 weeks remaining until the Bluenose, and since most of my running friends are planning to do the 10K, I decided to put together a 10K program.

(Please keep in mind that I am merely sharing my running plan and tips; this should NOT be considered as professional advice!)

This program supposes you can already jog for 20-30 minutes comfortably. If that's not the case, I suggest you start with the Couch to 5K program. If you're ahead of that, start where you're at in the plan, then build-up from there. And if you're already top shape and planning a half or a full marathon, please go ahead and surf the net: there are tons of running programs out there!

Although running programs vary a little bit, they tend to follow the same basic principles. Most of us are already familiar with them... but a little refresher never hurts. I know I often need to remind myself of these no brainers! So here are some of the "rules of thumb" of running:

10 training principles

1) Start at a level that's slightly challenging, but that you're comfortable with. If that means alternating jogging 5 minutes and walking 2 minutes, do exactly that. Even if you used to be a runner. After a long break, you can't get off to a flying start. (I know, it's tempting.)

2) Increase gradually. Listen to your body. Do not increase your total distance by much more than 10% every week. Take at least one day of full rest each week. It's easy to get carried away when running feels good, but injuries are too common and can wreck the best of plans. A pain in the b***... literally.

3) To improve, you'll need to run at least 3 times a week. 4 or 5 will obviously yield even better results. If you are prone to injuries and/or boredom, you can do some cross-training instead of workouts 4 and 5. Swimming, cycling, hiking and elliptical machines are all good for cardio if you keep a good pace. You can also do some weight lifting and core training. Strong muscles = less injuries.

Of the 3 weekly runs:

A - make one your long run: jog comfortably for a long duration, either non-stop or using the 10 min run - 1 min walk pattern. Intensity can be up to 75% perceived effort; having a conversation should still be possible. What I love about long runs is the repetitive nature of the movement, of the breathing, and of the sounds (footsteps on the ground). Once you've found your cruising speed, generally after the first kilometer or two, the rythm is soothing. Those long runs are akin to a meditation session.

B - make one your tempo run: medium length intervals at 75-85% intensity, around race pace or slightly faster (or the fastest pace you can withstand for the duration specified... this will depend on a lot of factors). Tempo runs prepare you to sustain a good pace on race day. Taking your pulse or using the treadmill helps monitor the increase and decrease in intensity. Here I will confide that tempo runs are my pet peeve... and this is probably the main reason why, to this day, I remain a slowish runner when it comes to races!

C- make one your short, intense interval run: short intervals at 90% - 100% intensity, 100% being an all-out sprint that's impossible to hold for more than 20 seconds. Bring the pulse back to a slow jog rate between repetitions for best results. Running very fast improves cardio and forces you to adopt an efficient running form. I personally find it fun, too! Hill repeats, if the hill is steep and takes less than 1 minute to climb, can replace speed work once in a while. Fear not the hills. Hills are your friends. Races are so much easier when you've gotten used to run uphill! (Especially if a bridge will be part of the route... ahem!)

4) Always start with a warm up and finish with a cool down (brisk walk/slow jog). Afterwards, stretch aplenty. Yes, there IS time for that. Stretching the muscles also allows to stretch the duration of the runner's high. And runner's high is GOOD. (Do I sound like a junkie or what?)

5) Whatever you do, each workout should have a specific goal (and only one goal!)

6) Breathe properly. All of us remember to inhale, but a lot neglect the exhaling part. Practice emptying your lungs slowly before you catch the next breath. Being an asthmatic runner, I find this helps tremendously, and I'm sure it's beneficial to every type of runner. At first, you might want to turn off your music in order to pay full attention to your breathing.

7) Dress properly. There will be some trial and error. I've been too cold and too hot while running. You have to adapt to your own internal thermometer - and they are all unique! - keeping in mind that it feels about 10 degrees warmer than the actual temperature when you run. More importantly, get good shoes!

8) Eat well. Your body might tolerate junk when you're sedentary, but it will make you pay if you try to run on low-quality fuel (and alcohol, even in small amounts)! Test and try what works for you. Some people eat very little before and after running. Personally, I need a good amount of fuel. But it has to be easily digestible. And of course, stay hydrated. Watch your hydration for at least 24 hours before the race.

9) The last week before the race is a "taper" week. Decrease the total distance and slow down.

10) Keep the motivation up. You might need to run with someone or in a group. You might need to run with music. You might need to vary the route. You might need to get your kids to hold a sign that says "Run! There's a bear behind you!" (Yes, my kids did that.) Do whatever it takes to remain motivated. Personally, I always "treat" myself to a long "cool down walk" after my runs. This is when I can fully enjoy the runner's high while listening to my music. Those "after-run walks" simply are blissful.

10 weeks to 10K

(Remember: The %s relate to your perceived level of exertion. Heart rate can be useful for gauging level of intensity, but general calculations don’t work for all of us. Get used to your own numbers and adjust accordingly. Some seasoned runners can instinctively deduct their heart rate from their perceived levels of exertion. Also: Please do adapt this plan to your needs! It is NOT a perfect plan. We'll discover it as we try it. Do let me know if you find mistakes in it. And have a great workout!)




Fast Run - Monday
Tempo Run - Thursday

Long Slow Distance - Saturday
10
March 11-17
2 min brisk walk
10 min jog
4 x (20 sec 90%+1:40 rec jog)
5 min jog
2 min brisk walk
T 27 min
2 min brisk walk
4 min jog
6 x (2 min tempo+1 min rec jog)
4 min jog
2 min brisk walk
T 30 min
5 min brisk walk
4K or 25 min
5 min brisk walk
T 35 min

9
March 18-24
2 min brisk walk
10 min jog
4 x (30 sec 90%+1:30 rec jog)
5 min jog
2 min brisk walk
T 27 min
2 min brisk walk
5 min jog
5 x (3 min tempo+1 min rec jog)
5 min jog
2 min brisk walk
T 32 min
5 min brisk walk
5K or 30 min
5 min brisk walk
T 40 min

8
March 25-31
Pattern
2 min brisk walk
8 min jog
30 sec 90%
15 sec 100%
30 sec 90%
15 sec 100%
30 sec 90%
15 sec 100%
3-4 min rec jog after each
2 min brisk walk
T 34 min
2 min brisk walk
5 min jog
6 x (3 min tempo+1 min rec jog)
5 min jog
2 min brisk walk
T 38 min
5 min brisk walk
6K or 35-40 min
5 min brisk walk
T 45-50 min

April 1-7
Pyramid
2 min brisk walk
10 min jog
45 sec 90%
30 sec 95%
15 sec 100%
15 sec 100%
30 sec 95%
45 sec 90%
3-4 min rec jog after each
2 min brisk walk
T 38 min
2 min brisk walk
5 min jog
5 x (4 min tempo+1 min rec jog)
5 min jog
2 min brisk walk
T 39 min
5 min brisk walk
7K or 40-45 min
5 min brisk walk
T 50-55 min

April 8-14
2 min brisk walk
10 min jog
6 x 20 sec 100%
3-4 min rec jog after each
3 min jog
2 min brisk walk
T 40 min

Acceleration
2 min brisk walk
8 min jog
5 min 75%
4 min 75%
3 min 80%
2 min 85 %
1 min 85%
2 min rec after each
5 min jog
2 min brisk walk
T 42 min
5 min brisk walk
6K or 35-40 min
5 min brisk walk
T 45-50 min

5
April 15-21
Pattern
2 min brisk walk
10 min jog
20 sec 100%
30 sec 95%
20 sec 100%
30 sec 95%
20 sec 100%
30 sec 95%
3-4 min rec jog after each
5 min jog
2 min brisk walk
T 43 min
2 min brisk walk
5 min jog
5 x (5 min tempo+1 min rec jog)
5 min jog
2 min brisk walk
T 44 min
5 min brisk walk
8K or 50 min
5 min brisk walk
T 60 min

4
April 22-28
Pyramid
2 min brisk walk
10 min jog
45 sec 90%
30 sec 95%
15 sec 100%
15 sec 100%
15 sec 100%
15 sec 100%
30 sec 95%
45 sec 90%
3-4 min rec jog after each
2 min brisk walk
T 46 min
2 min brisk walk
5 min jog
5 x (6 min tempo+1 min rec jog)
5 min  jog
2 min brisk walk
T 49 min
5 min brisk walk
9K or 55 min
5 min brisk walk
T 1:05

3
April 29- May 5
2 min brisk walk
10 min jog
8 x 20 sec 100%
3-4 min rec jog after each
3 min jog
2 min brisk walk
T 48 min
2 min brisk walk
5 min jog
4 x (8 min tempo+1 min rec jog)
5 min jog
2 min brisk walk
T 50 min
5 min brisk walk
10K or 60-65 min
5 min brisk walk
T 1:10-1:15

2
May 6-12
2 min brisk walk
8 min jog
10 x 20 sec 100%
3-4 min rec jog after each
2 min brisk walk
T 50 min
2 min brisk walk
5 min jog
3 x (10 min tempo+3 min rec jog)
5 min jog
2 min brisk walk
T 53 min
5 min brisk walk
11K or 65-70 min
5 min brisk walk
T 1:15-1:20

1
May 13-19
2 min brisk walk
10 min jog
4 x 30 sec 90%
3-4 min rec jog after each
5 min jog
2 min brisk walk
T 35 min

Acceleration
2 min brisk walk
5 min jog
8 min 75%, 1 min rec jog
4 min 80%, 2 min rec jog
2 min 85 %, 3 min rec jog
1 min 90%, 4 min rec jog
30 sec 95%, 5 min rec jog
2:30 min brisk walk
T 40 min
5 min brisk walk
4K or 25 min
5 min brisk walk
T 35 min

0
May 20
RACE DAY!!! Sleep well, eat well, and warm up.

Reminders:


Week 6 is a plateau before going on to longer distances.
Week 1 is a taper week in preparation for the race.

2 comments:

  1. Tip #1 was exactly geared to me :) Run 2 / Walk 1 is what I was doing after an 8 month hiatus. Awesome tips and reminders. I have the John Stanton Running Book and you've pretty much touched on all the important ones. The only other thing I would say is that you have to have a really good running foundation before you start incorporating speed work to your routine. It's not recommended for those who are just starting off or returning after a long break.

    Enjoy your training and stay injury free! :))

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    Replies
    1. Same to you my friend! Happy running times! :-)

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