This week our objective is to get out and get into the routine of doing some jogging. Stay within your comfort zone, jogging at around 60-70% of your capacity.
Don’t be tempted to put it off for another day or another week. Commit to yourself that you will start today. You want to make best use of the coming 13 weeks.
Don’t start out too hard. It is not about speed or power at this stage of training. If you are feeling pretty good, there is a temptation to push on as hard as possible – NOTE: this is how most injuries occur. Don’t worry; there will be plenty of hard training runs in the weeks to come.
If you start out too hard and too fast, or you start doing a lot of long runs, it is very easy to get a stress related injury. An injury like a calf muscle tear or hip or knee injury at the beginning of your preparation could put you out of action for many weeks or even out of action altogether.
If you start out too hard and physical injuries don’t slow you down, there is a good chance you will reach your peak condition too early. By this I mean, your enthusiastic start will lead you to become physically tired and if you haven’t been this active for awhile, you are more likely to feel fatigued and you will lose your drive to get out and stick to the challenge.
Pay attention to what your body is telling you. Focus on your posture and breathing. Practice a 3/2 breathing rhythm. That is inhale should take 3 steps and exhale should take 2 steps.
I recommend that you do the distances on this schedule even if you have to walk it. (Remember time on your feet builds muscle strength and cardiovascular capacity; whether you are running or not.)
Weekly Routine (21km)
- Sunday: Easy run 8 km
- Monday: Aerobic recovery such as bike, rowing, swimming or a slow 3km jog.
- Tuesday: Recovery day
- Wednesday: Easy run 5 km and gym workout focusing on core and legs.
- Thursday: Jog 5 km on a route with a few hills.
- Friday: Recovery day
- Saturday: Leg recovery day. Upper body and core workout.
Note: Try to stick to the schedule as much as possible. Running two days in a row will help build endurance, even thought the runs are not very long, this is because your body hasn’t had time to fully recover before you run again.
For the more experienced runners
I recommend sticking with the basic principles of the program but this week, add more distance to the runs subject to your current level of fitness. Some members of the group could easily double these distances and there are others in-between.
Alternatively, you may choose to stick to the above distances but add an extra run on Friday for those who prefer a 5 day per week schedule.