With 12 weeks to go, many of us are still working on acclimatising our bodies and our minds to the idea of doing a regular training routine. Early conditioning will help prevent a finish like the bloke in the photo above!

This week we introduce some strength work, which I’ll refer to as ‘gym work,’ although you could do this at home in the form of deep squats, calf raises and various forms of floor exercises such as sit ups and ‘planking’.

It is very important to strengthen the core (that is all the muscles around the stomach and hips). Running requires strong firm hips. If you don’t have a ‘solid base’, you will not be able to capitalise on the power you are capable of using and you could also do some damage to joints and muscles if your hips move around too much.

I believe it is important to start doing longer distances as soon as possible even if you are walking, because the earlier you begin preparing your body for the distance, the sooner you’ll start your overall conditioning for a 10km-15km fun run.

I stress that it is important not to push yourself too hard at this stage of training. We are still only looking for a maximum 75% effort. You’ll need conditioning before you worry about improving your speed.

Don’t forget to breathe on a 3/2 ratio for this weeks training sessions. That is three steps for a breath in and two steps when breathing out.

Weekly Routine (24 km)

  • Sunday: Easy run 9 km at 60-70% effort. Walking a bit if you have to is ok, just do the distance.
  • Monday: Aerobic recovery such as bike, rowing, swimming or a slow 3 km jog.
  • Tuesday: Recovery day.
  • Wednesday: Easy run 5 km and gym workout focusing on core and legs.
  • Thursday: Easy 7 km on a route with a few hills.
  • Friday: Recovery day.
  • Saturday: Leg recovery day. Upper body and core workout.

For the more experienced runners, I suggest either adding more kilometres to the runs or using the 5 day per week training schedule as an alternative.

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