Last week I listed a few things that are important before you begin to try and increase your weekly mileage, so this week I’ll be going into a little more detail while also detailing a few training plan options.
Before you set out on increasing your mileage, it is very important to set goals for yourself. A great example of a goal for someone whose runs max out at three or four miles is to run a 10k (6.2 mile race). If you don’t want to sign up for a race right away, a simple goal of increasing your mileage by a mile a week is easily attainable. Since you will be increasing the number of miles you are running, it is definitely important to check out the shape of your shoes. If they are old or seem to be in bad shape, seriously consider buying new ones.
Once you have that in check you are ready to begin the demanding, but rewarding sport of distance running.
When making up a schedule to fit all of your running and running related activities, you should be aware of how much rest you are giving yourself and how many times to run each week. Below are the different things that you should be doing each week, along with a sample weekly schedule:
Cross Training: (1-2 times per week)
Ab workouts. These strengthen your core for overall better fitness and endurance. A great set of ab exercises for runners can be found on Runner’s World.
Cardio. Other than running, doing other forms of cardio will boost your muscle strength in other areas that are used while running.
- Cycling is a great example because it serves as a great alternative to running. It also has no impact on the legs, so it can easily be done in the recovery stages of injury.
- Swimming does not have as good of benefits in terms of overall running fitness like cycling does, but it can be a great way to differ from usual cross training activities.
- An elliptical machine, or something similar, is a great way to strengthen your legs as well, as it is more focused on that area than anything.
Short Runs: (2-3 times per week)
These runs should be done at a faster pace than longer runs, and should be about the same distance. Try and separate short run days with cross training. Running on the treadmill or a track at the gym are ideal places for this type of run, as you can easily squeeze them in and even monitor your pace.
Long Runs: (once a week)
The long run should be done at a slower pace than your short runs, and should be considerably longer. I believe that in terms of longer runs, the more important thing is time on the road, so the longer time you run the better. Try not to worry about your pace here, as you may be tired from your work during the week. Scheduling these runs on either a Saturday or Sunday make them easier to manage and schedule. Make sure to have plenty of water on hand for long runs, and know exactly where you are going if you run outside.
Sample First Week Training Schedule:
- Monday: 3 mile short run
- Tuesday: Cross Training
- Wednesday: Rest
- Thursday: 3 mile short run
- Friday: Cross Training
- Saturday: 5 mile long run
- Sunday: Rest
This schedule may be an optimistic one for some of you, but you can obviously change it to fit your running level and personal schedule, as long as you stick to the number of days for each workout.
Races this weekend
Saturday November 20
8:30 a.m., 3rd Annual Southgate’s Turkey Trot. Southgate Baptist Church , Springfield, Ohio. Entry form
12 p.m., Mid-East 5K CC Challenge, Kettering, Ohio. Register here
Sunday November 21
Turkey Prediction 1 p.m., Kettering Recreation Complex, 2900 Glengarry Drive, Kettering, OH 45420 *Race day registration only* The 12 people closest to their predicted time will win a frozen turkey!