Thursday, 28 April 2011

Introduction & Programming

Redcar Half Marathon – 6 weeks to go...Don’t Panic!
Welcome to the first of 6 weekly blogs leading up to Race Day on June 12th.   These are intended to help out those of you who might be first timers or to generate some interest or discussion in the build up to what we hope will be a super day out at the Redcar Half Marathon.
If this is your first half marathon (13.1 miles) then hopefully you are on track to complete it comfortably and you may even have a target time in mind.     By this time in your training you may not have completed the race distance before but you are hopefully progressing well and building up your general fitness and the number of miles that you are running.
In this short article I will outline a basic weekly schedule with a few suggestions as to how you might want to progress.   Assuming you are already running two or three times per week I would be looking at trying to get a minimum of three runs per week established or ideally five or six runs with at least one rest day.
A typical weekly programme might look like this:
Sunday – traditionally a long run.  Aim to use this run to build up to the race distance.  You might want to Increase by one mile per week up to 10 or 12 miles.   I don’t think it is necessary for beginners to run 13.1 miles in training as the other training you are doing will help you round the race on the day.  Pace doesn’t really matter on this run but what is more important is covering the distance (or time on your feet!)
Monday – you might use this as a rest day or an easy day.   Alternatively a walk, swim or bike ride might help you recover from the Sunday long run.
Tuesday – this might be a shorter run.   If you have a race pace in mind it might be an idea to practice this.  For example if you wanted to run the half marathon at 8 minutes per mile then why not (after an easy 1 mile warm up) do a three or four mile run at your preferred race pace.  Follow this with a mile or so of easy running.   This will help with your general endurance.  As you get fitter you may try and increase the distance or increase the pace to quicker than half marathon pace.
Wednesday – same as Monday.
Thursday – try a little faster running.   Choose a traffic free route up to 1 mile in distance.  After a warm up run the 1 mile (or whatever distance you decide) at a speed quicker than your expected half marathon pace.   After this rest, jog, walk for 3 to 4 minutes then repeat again.   You could repeat this up to 3, 4 or 5 times.  This is the basis of what runners call interval training.   You should feel like this session is challenging but it is not a flat out sprint!   You can make big fitness gains using this type of training...  Remember the saying:  “If you train the same you will stay the same”
Friday – REST DAY.   A good chance to enjoy a treat or two as a reward for the hard work you have put in!
Saturday – A steady run of 5 or 6 miles keeping the pace relatively comfortable or aerobic.  Use the talk test...if you can comfortably keep up a conversation then that is about the right pace for you.

Finally – if you have not yet sorted out a decent pair of running shoes (and don’t forget socks!) then check out the Gait Analysis night on the 4th May at Redcar Leisure Centre.  Experienced staff from Cleveland Runner will be on hand to help you out and suggest suitable shoes that will suit your running style.   Bookings are being taken on 01642 480636