Preparing is an imperative part of being a sprinter. Regardless of whether you are an apprentice and you are hoping to expand your stamina or you’ve been running for some time and need to run quicker or train for an occasion, for example, a long distance race, preparing is something that is a basic piece of the game.
There is a craftsmanship to picking a decent preparing system. The program you pick will rely upon your objectives and your needs. Here is some guidance that will enable you to discover a sprinter training.
Settle on Your Goals
The initial step to picking a sprinter preparing program is to settle on your objectives. In the event that you are an apprentice, your preparation program will look a great deal unique in relation to somebody who is running their third long distance race.
Now and then an objective will be close to home, for example, a longing to run five miles ceaselessly to rest. Different occasions an objective will be centered around an occasion, for example, running a 10K or a long distance race. What’s more, frequently, individuals will raced to enable them to get in shape or to develop their general condition of wellbeing.
When you choose your objectives, record them and place them in spots where you can see them regularly. Transform the objective articulations into confirmations and present them a couple of times every day. For instance, on the off chance that you need to utilize hurrying to enable you to shed ten pounds, your attestation could be: “Running is helping me lose ten pounds.”
Pick a Program
In light of your rundown of objectives, you are prepared to pick or build up a sprinter preparing program that will work for you. In the event that you require help, counsel with somebody who has more involvement than you.
For instance, if you will probably run a long distance race, you will need to pick a preparation plan that will enable you to run an effective race. Yet, there are such huge numbers of projects out there that it very well may be troublesome picking the one that is ideal for you. A starting long distance runner won’t pursue indistinguishable program from somebody who is dashing in their fifth long distance race.
All in all, search for a sprinter preparing program that is a bit of difficult however not out of your range. You don’t need to get debilitated and after that surrender.
Stay With It
You can invest a great deal of energy defining objectives and fining a preparation program, however on the off chance that you don’t stay with it, your endeavors won’t mean anything. Everybody has diverse methods for finding their inspiration. When you find what spurs you, staying with your preparation plan will get a lot less demanding.
It requires a significant stretch of time to build up an everyday practice. Before a routine is set up, you may feel complicated or unmotivated. Give yourself fourteen days to build up a decent daily practice before you begin getting debilitated. Regularly, the standard will make you increasingly propelled.
I think that lately the objective has been lost a bit with the competitions and training because it seems that only interested in looking for things “the longer and harder, the better“, perhaps misinterpreting or misrepresenting the mythical “citius, altius, fortius” (“faster, higher, stronger“) by Barón de Cubertain.
This attitude often leads us to belittle or underestimate things that, within the world of running, can be as satisfying or more than those supposedly superhuman exploits.
A clear example is the five-kilometer (5K) races that represent, along with those of 10K, an almost perfect balance between speed, strength, endurance, effort, … and, taken from the popular or amateur point of view, they do not have as many requirements such as those of greater distances at the level of training, dedication time, material, etc. With this, I am not saying that the 5K is easier than a half marathon, marathon or ultra because, if someone wants to give 100%, whatever the distance, he will have to train a lot and very hard.
So, after this plea in favor of the 5K races, to rogue a little and facilitate the approach to them we propose a simple training plan that can help you improve in that distance and, also tips that we propose some of the shoes that we would value to travel that road until the day of the competition.
It is a very general, simple plan, designed especially for those who already have a habit of running and go out three or four days a week that, why not, could serve as a guide and continuation to which we proposed to start running from scratch.
- This training plan is a “general recipe” in which we have prioritized the facility to visualize, manage and adapt it.
- We have “gridded” so that it can be easily adapted to the week type of each runner. e.g.: There will be those who prefer to rest on Monday because on Sunday they make the long run or whoever wants to take advantage of Sunday to rest and be eating “the Sunday dinner” with the family.
- It is based on a weekly schedule with: four days a week of running (days 1, 3, 5 and 6), one or two days of cross training plus strengthening if possible (days 2 and 4) and one “mandatory” rest day.
- There is no problem in modifying the order within each week (always within a logical minimum, of course). There is also no problem for introducing a second day of rest replacing one of the two days of cross-training / strengthening.
- In the running sessions it is necessary to do a preliminary warm-up and a return to calm at the end and it is also good to introduce at least once a week a bit of running technique.
- We do not specify paces but sensations and percentage of effort according to pulse. Nor do we put distances but times.
Having said that, here is the general plan:
To interpret the general plan, keep in mind this legend:
- Warm up: 10′-15′ minutes that include mobility exercises and a progressive start of the run.
- Cool down: 5′-10′ decreasing the pace and even walking with more mobility exercises and gentle stretching.
- Pulse: Estimated percentages. If a heart rate monitor is not available or the training zones have not been calculated, you can try the “speech test”.
- Intensity: Measure on a scale of 0 to 10.
- Training Progressions: Run at the pace indicated in the plan and introduce 3 or 4 blocks in which we will progressively increase the pace for 30” until we reach our 80% – 85%, keep that pace for 30” and then progressively go down running at the indicated pace for 3′ – 4’.
- Cross Training: Virtually any sports activity other than running: cycling, swimming, mountain, yoga, elliptical … We should not go over an intensity of 70% – 75%.
- Strength Training:
- Varied strength training with machines, free weights, tensors, …
- You should contemplate exercises of the whole body in each session.
- Before the exercises it is convenient to do 10′ of warm up that includes some aerobic activity (elliptical, static bike, …) and mobility exercises.
- For each exercise, you can take as a reference 2-3 blocks of 12-16 repetitions with a weight that allows us to finish the three blocks with a feeling of effort around 70-80% of our capacity.
- Speed training:
Everything ok up to here? If something is not clear or you want us to talk about something, do not hesitate to write in the comments.
But, be careful, we have not finished yet because, as we promised at the beginning, we are also going to propose a few shoes to put all this into practice.
Shoes to improve in the 5K races
As you know, the choice of shoes is something that must be done considering who is going to use them and how they are going to use them, so it is difficult to make generally applicable recommendations, although we will try to give you some guidelines and indicate models that usually give a lot of play for its versatility and versatility.
First of all, although you can live with a single pair of shoes, I am a strong advocate of the convenience of having two pairs. Ideally, one to train and another for competitions and training cane. But I would also have two pairs even if the two were training shoes because I think it’s worth having a bit more reserved than those that we usually crush.
That said, as “base” shoes, for workouts, as we talk about workouts that are not excessively long, I put forward a lot of training shoes in the style of New Balance 1080 v8, Nike Vomero 13, Asics Gel Cumulus 19, Mizuno Wave Ultima 9, Supernova Glide 9, Saucony Ride 10, … or, if you need support, New Balance Fresh Foam Vongo v2, Asics GT-2000 6, Mizuno Wave Inspire 14, Supernova ST, Saucony Guide ISO, …
That is, training shoes, rolling, comfortable, … but that, in general, do not make you averse to the occasional acceleration.
However, if we talk about slightly lighter runners or want things a little faster because they already move in medium or even high rhythms, I would look better among the Mizuno Wave Rider 21, Nike Pegasus 34, Adidas Energy Boost 4, Asics Dynaflyte 2, …
For speed training and for the 5K itself, it depends on what rhythms we talk about, but if you are not going to be less than 4 ‘/ km with ease, ideally mixed shoes, something like New Balance Fresh Foam Zante v4, New Balance 1500v4, Mizuno Wave Shadow, Adidas Adizerto Boston 6, Nike Zoom Elite 10, … that can give you a lot of play.
Although, if you progress and you start running almost like the elves, then do not hesitate to give a touch to some fliers like Adidas Adizero Adios Boost 3, Mizuno Wave Sonic, On Cloudflash, New Balance 1400 v5, …
By the way, in what 5K race are you going to put into practice what we have told you in this article? Do you tell us?
Planning credits: Coach Jenny Hadfield
Do you want to start running? If so, this article will interest you, your muscles and joints will thank you. Not drinking water while running, stepping on the heel or obsessing with the distance traveled are the main mistakes made by beginner runners. Avoid these “sins” of running and go running!
Error 1- Always running at the same pace or by feelings if the goal is to improve (Uniform and limited Intensity / pace):
When it comes to running to improve our performance, above all, it is very important that we know how to separate the different paces (speed at which we run), according to the training phase which we are in. Many runners usually commit a serious and typical error that limits them: running always at the same pace or “by feelings”. This should not always be the case, since we must educate our body, provoking the intensities ourselves.
Error 2 – Not drinking water:
It is very important to drink every time to avoid being thirsty, because this sensation is an indicator of dehydration, which can over saturate the body with fluid, which can cause flatus, discomfort or heaviness. The ideal is to drink every 15′ or 20′, depending on the ambient temperature. One study concluded that dehydrated athletes are significantly slower over longer distances.
Error 3 – Obsessing about the distance associated with improvement:
More is not better. Surely it is not the first time we have heard that, but many runners tend to feel more satisfied at greater distance traveled in training believing that, that way they will improve more. It is very important that we have a structured planning that prioritizes the improvement and objectives with the appropriate loads and paces. Having doing more and more miles as an indirect objective will stall you sooner or later. Another thing is that we run to feel good without any specific goal, in that case, it is irrelevant the number of miles traveled, as long as we do not injure ourselves.
Error 4 – The direct heel tread:
Although there is more and more awareness that you have to run from the metatarsus forward (center of the foot), there are still many runners who keep running attacking the ground with the heel, something very dangerous and injurious to your knees.
Error 5 – Running faster to burn more fat is an urban legend:
If your goal is to lose weight through running, the best thing you can do is run a lot of time at low intensity, this way you will be able to activate your reserve energy (lipids) and burn fat faster. It is advisable to drink water to speed up the process and avoid dehydration.
We are not telling you anything new if we tell you that running may causes injuries. Also, if you are not careful, there are quite a few that may appear.
Therefore, it is important to work on race technique, strengthening the whole body, not training “above our abilities”, etc.
In this post we will see what are the most common injuries among those who run and how we can prevent or treat them.
Patellar tendinitis (jumper’s knee)
One of the most common injuries (and which yours truly suffers from).
It is an inflammation of the patellar tendon, the tissue that joins the patella to the tibia. It occurs mainly due to overloading, repeated movements that end up causing irritation or damage. Due to the rebound that occurs when we run (and to a greater extent when jumping, hence the alternative name) the tendon ends up suffering and can lead to injury.
Although at first it only causes discomfort and does not become painful, it can end up getting worse over time if the right measures are not taken.
- Discomfort or pain below the kneecap when we run
- Pain when flexing the knee (while stretching, for example)
- Daily stretching of the quadriceps, hamstring and calf muscles
- Shorten your stride
- Do not land with the leg completely straight or close to 180º
- Strengthening the lower body, especially quadriceps and hamstrings
- Avoid running on negative slopes
- Temporarily replace running on foot by bicycle or elliptical
- Reduction of weekly mileage if the condition is not very serious
- Ice placement on the knee to relieve pain and inflammation (post-training)
- Consider the use of a infrapatellar band or Chopat band
- Muscle strengthening (quadriceps and hamstrings) with exercises that do not cause rebound
- Surgery (only if the patellar tendon is severely damaged and obviously under medical prescription)
While patellar tendonitis can lead to normal life while not in a very advanced state, Achilles tendonitis can affect daily life.
The Achilles tendon is the one that connects the two large muscles from the back of the leg to the heel. If it becomes inflamed, we are facing Achilles tendinitis.
It usually occurs with high training volumes, if there is a lack of flexibility in the calves and soleus, if you usually run on hard surfaces or if skipping is part of the daily training (yes, running makes mini jumps).
- Discomfort or pain above the heel and lower leg, especially while running or after running
- Crunch or click sound when moving the ankle
- Strengthening the lower body, especially calves and soleus
- Increase the training load gradually
- Daily stretching of calves and soleus
- Always warm up before you start running
- Avoid running on hard surfaces regularly: asphalt and cement
- Avoid the use of high heels in women (or men …) and that of beach flip flops or sandals
- Temporarily replace running on foot by bicycle, elliptical or any other sport that does not involve running, jumping or sudden braking
- Apply ice on the tendon to relieve pain and inflammation
- Intensive daily stretching of the area
- Do strengthening exercises for the soleus and calves
- Review the running technique and the landing of the foot
- Surgery, if the injury is in an advanced state and if you have a medical prescription.
Fibrillar rupture in the hamstrings
The hamstring muscles are those found in the back of the leg, from the thigh to the knee: the biceps femoris, the semi-tendinous and the semi-membranous.
A hamstring strain is usually just a pull, which happens when the muscles stretch too much and begin to tear. They are usually minor injuries and only a short recovery period is needed.
However, when the rupture occurs, surgery may be required.
- Pain in the back of the leg, either when flexing or extending it
- Swelling or bruising
- Always warm up before training, especially in split training (series days)
- Conscious stretching of the hamstrings at the end of training and slightly before the same
- Avoid a sudden increase in training load
- Strengthen the hamstring muscles with exercises, either with rubber bands or in the gym. If not, there is an imbalance between the size of these and the quadriceps.
- Improve running technique
- Go to a doctor or physiotherapist to know the severity of the tear
- Stop any sports activity and apply ice in the area
- Continuous massage by a physiotherapist, checking that the healing process is on the right track
- The recovery time depends on the degree of the tear, but you have to be patient
- After a while, eccentric muscle strengthening exercises
On the sole of the foot there is a thick band of tissue called the plantar fascia. It really is a tendon that connects the calcaneus (the heel bone) with the anterior part of the foot.
If the fascia is irritated, just treading will hurt the sole of the foot. This condition is called plantar fasciitis.
The pain occurs near the heel and not only affects people who run or do sports that require jumping, but also people who are overweight, pregnant women or people who work long hours on their feet.
Improper footwear is usually one of the main causes of fasciitis. It also develops if the training load is suddenly raised. Runners with flat feet or high arched feet are more likely to suffer it, as well as those who are overweight.
- Pain after spending a lot of time standing or after exercising
- It hurts especially when stretching or flexing the foot
- Always use the proper running shoe and size. Runnics can help you with that with our Perfect Match tool
- If your weight is very high, it is better to walk and, when the weight has been reduced, start running
- Stretching of feet and calves after training
- Strengthening and stimulation of the plantar fascia with specific exercises
- Absolute rest. Rest the feet for a while to avoid aggravation
- Apply ice to the sole of the foot to reduce pain and inflammation
- Strengthening the plantar fascia and calves with exercises
- Surgery if the degree of the injury is high
The famous “shin splints” or tibial periostitis, is one of the most common injuries among runners.
It consists of the inflammation of the periosteum of the tibia, that is to say, the outer membrane that covers the bones.
It usually appears when the training load is sharply increased, you change your shoes or training ground to a harder one than usual.
- Pain in the inside of the tibia, between the knee and the ankle.
- “Pellets” inflamed along the tibia (periosteal rosary)
- Avoid hard surfaces such as asphalt and cement
- Increase the volume of training gradually
- Calf and soleus stretches after each workout
- Study of the tread by a podiatrist for the correct choice of shoes
- Strengthening the anterior tibial muscle
- Apply ice in the area after training
- If the pain persists, stop running
- Go to a physiotherapist to assess the degree of the injury
- General strengthening of the lower body
Iliotibial band syndrome (runner’s knee)
It is another of the most common injuries among runners, especially long distance. It is characterized by the intense and sharp pain of the external lateral aspect of the knee, although it can also generate pains in the thigh, even in the hip.
The injury begins gradually, limiting at the beginning the race time. The pain starts at 10 or 15 minutes of starting to run and, from there, does not improve, and makes you stop before you finish the training you had planned.
It hurts more when the training is downhill or the pace is low, since the contact time of friction between the tendon of the iliotibial band and the external epicondyle of the femur is greater.
- Pain in the external lateral aspect of the knee
- Appearance of pain after 10-15 minutes of training
- Gradual increase of training load
- Avoid slopes, especially negative slopes
- Strengthening of the lower train, especially the hip abduction muscles (gluteus medius and tensor of the fascia lata)
- If you run regularly on a running track, change the direction of travel after a few laps
- Shorten the stride and improve the running technique
- Stop running. You cannot cycle, elliptical or swim
- Revise the tread and assess the need to use insoles to correct pronation or dissymmetry, if they exist
- Muscle strengthening of the lower body
- Possibility of taking anti-inflammatory medications recommended by the doctor
- Cryotherapy sessions
- The treatment should be continued until the total discomfort disappears
- Return to the running gradually, with interval training at the beginning and, finally, long runs
Stress fracture of the metatarsals
It is one of the worst injuries that a runner can suffer, since it will leave us in the dry dock for a season.
The metatarsal stress fracture is caused by the continued impact of the foot against the ground or by excessive friction over time.
- Pain in the front of the foot as soon as you start to run
- Pain in the instep area, including swelling
- Avoid a sudden increase in training load
- Cushioned shoe if you have not acquired the right tread technique
- Warm up before training
- Completely stop sports activity. The bone has micro-fractures and, if we keep running, it will end up fracturing completely
- Absolute rest for 6 to 7 weeks. Try to walk as little as possible
- Go to a doctor to assess the state of the fracture
- Surgery (if the fracture has completely occurred)
Chondropathy / Chondromalacia patella
The patellar cartilage, which is several millimeters thick, is responsible for a better sliding of the patella with respect to the femur.
Chondropathy (etymologically “cartilage disease”) or chondromalacia (disused in the medical environment, “softening of the cartilage”) patellae, is produced by trauma, instability or patellar dislocations, muscle weakness or by changes in the patellar position with respect to the femur.
- Pain in the patellar tendon, similar to that of tendonitis
- Gradual increase of training load
- Appropriate shoes
- Running technique exercises and tread review
- Rehabilitation of the strength and balance of the different muscle groups that act on the knee
- Training program supervised by a physiotherapist
- If the pain persists, infiltrations
- Surgery in advanced cartilage injuries
As you can see, the prevention of all of them seems to have a common denominator: doing things carefully and without abruptness.
The body is wise and needs a period of adaptation for everything, for the training volume too. It is necessary to progress little by little, warm up and stretch consciously, strengthen the muscles as we move forward and choose the right footwear for our characteristics.
Stretching is a job, we recognize that. Most of us do not do not do it or not pay enough attention to that, but if we don’t do it in the long term, that results in injuries.
In this article we are going to review the most important concepts and giving examples of stretching.
Stretch before running or after running?
Note the myth: “stretching before running is bad”. It’s not true. For many years it was believed that it was like that, but it is far from being true.
Stretching before training increases the heart rate, increases the production of adrenaline and is a good way to complete the earlier warm-up.
In addition, contrary to what is thought, stretching just after the training is not advantageous. Muscles need energy for stretching, so we need to rehydrate them and regain energy.
Ideally, stretch after two hours after the training is over. A good practice can be to train in the morning and stretch in the afternoon, or vice versa.
How to stretch correctly
- Do not start stretching cold. We have to have previously warmed-up a little
- Leave the muscle elongated for 20-30 seconds (in static stretches)
- Do not feel pain at any time. If it causes discomfort, you are doing it wrong
- Dedicate at least 10 minutes in each training session to stretching
- Accept criticism from a friend if they tell you when you do something wrong
7 basic stretches
There are many stretches and it can paralyze us to see all the options we have.
We have made a selection of the seven most basic or essential stretches that you can start doing today.
1.- Quadriceps and hip extensors
It is a very common stretch in which the flexors of the hip and quadriceps are stretched.
Lean with one hand on a fence or wall and let yourself fall backwards. With the other hand hold the toe of the foot, approaching the gluteus.
It is important to keep the back straight and the knee as close as possible to the knee of the supporting leg. A frequent mistake is to separate them.
A variation of this stretch is to do it lying on one side, but it is more complicated. Doing it like in the image will be a good way to accustom the muscles involved.
2.- Hamstrings and calves
Stretching the hamstrings and the entire posterior cross chain is very important.
Place the heel of the foot of the leg to stretch on top of a fence, wall or bench. The objective is to reach 90º (maximum angle), but in the first sessions it will be normal not to be able to go beyond 45º, hence we need a lower support, such as a bench or the first or second step.
Once the heel is placed, lean the body forward, trying to keep the back straight and touching the toe of the foot with the hand. At the beginning, the normal thing is not to reach the foot, so to stay a few centimeters away is enough.
Although it may not seem like it, the other arm plays an important role. Support it without straining the stretched leg to avoid any rotation of the hip.
Even though you do not pay much attention, the iliopsoas is a muscle that is easily shortened if you run regularly. This shortening can cause lumbar pain.
You have to advance one of the legs and bend the knee at an angle of approximately 90 degrees, trying to keep the knee forward in a slightly forward position with respect to the ankle. The other leg extends behind the trunk and comes in contact with the ground.
The hands rest on the forward knee without force to keep balance. It is important that the forward knee be directed forward and not in any other direction.
4.- Lumbar and back
“Doing the cat” is one of the best stretches to strengthen the lumbar area and back. Intervertebral pressures are reduced and pains that can appear in long runs are minimized.
In quadruped position, with knees and hands spaced a distance from the width of the person, arch the column until it is bent and, without pausing, arch to extend the column down. In this way, the rectus abdominus is also stretched.
Sit on the floor and spread your legs, opening them in a V shape. At first the opening will not be as wide as the image, nothing happens.
Place the outstretched arms in front and slide your hands little by little, flexing the trunk. The knees and legs should remain stretched and stuck to the ground so that the stretch is done correctly.
Stretching the glutes is essential. The most basic stretch is that in the image.
Lie down and bend one knee, bringing the foot to the trunk with both hands. The other leg should remain stretched in extension, without separating from the ground. Then you have to repeat with the other leg.
7.- External hip rotator
To finish, a quite common and easy to do stretch.
Sit on the floor and, with one leg extended, flex the other and place your foot next to the outer side of the extended knee. The arms embrace the flexed knee until you feel some muscle tension (never pain) in the buttock and the outside of the hip.
These stretches are centered, to a greater extent, on the lower body training (minus the back one). That does not mean that it is not important to stretch the rest of the body (head, shoulders, chest,), but they are a good start for the beginner runner.
Of course there are many other stretching exercises you can do and also you have to take into account that stretching have to be adapted to everyone physical characteristics. Always listen to your body!
We all know that, although at first sight running seems like an easy and suitable sport for all audiences, the truth is that injuries in running are more common than usual. How can we prevent them?
1. Good equipment
The choice of suitable shoes is essential when it comes to preventing any type of injury in sports practice and, especially, when running. The shoes must be designed for this activity, so that they adapt to our needs and tread.
To prevent the body from suffering, we must prepare it before starting to run. Therefore, it is important to perform warm-up exercises, based on joint mobility and gentle stretching of the muscles that we use when running, which is practically the whole body. The ideal is to make a series of 50 meters in which you walk:
- On tiptoe
- On heel
- On the instep
- On the heel-gluteus
- In running lifting knees or low skipping
- In running lifting knees or medium skipping
- In running lifting knees or high skipping
3. Running technique
The ideal is for a professional to teach us the basic techniques of running, because the more the technique is mastered, the more control we have over our movements and body and fewer injuries occur. Start with this article with 4 fundamental exercises to improve your running posture.
4. Sports practice time
At the beginning, we must not exceed 30 minutes of exercise, but if our goal is to make a long session, of more than 60 minutes, we must prepare the body for the first 20 minutes. In these first minutes, we should use a tread at a gentle pace to warm up our muscles and increase hyperemia (increase in blood).
5. Visiting professionals
Passing through the hands of a professional in all phases of sports practice is as or more important than any advice cited above. Depending on the amount of exercise we perform, both in activity and intensity, it is essential to visit a massage therapist or physiotherapist, every 15 days, to receive recovery treatments in the legs and back.
6. Stretch after the activity
A frequent mistake is not to stretch after practicing sports, which is just the moment when there is more blood accumulated in the musculature. To avoid fibrillar tears, it is advisable to wait an hour or even two after the shower to perform the stretches, since at that time the muscles have already reduced the blood level after sports.
If we follow these 6 tips, we will be ready for running and avoid any kind of discomfort, consequently increasing our physical capacity and improving in this sport. In that way injuries do not hinder our goals and achievements!
This training plan is a continuation of the plan we published to run an hour without stopping.
Ideally, you can already run 10 kilometers in an hour, or at least you are close. You already have a base of 20 weeks running (around 5 months), so to consider running a half marathon within 3-4 months should not scare you.
Now, many people want to run a marathon as soon as possible, many even in their first year running. Let’s be clear about one thing: a marathon is not a half marathon.
Preparing for a marathon is very hard, you have to do many strengthening sessions, long runs, set days, 5-7 workouts per week… also, you have to have a good base of kilometers behind you to avoid injury. So if you plan to prepare for a marathon before you finish your first 365 days running, we advise against it.
A half marathon is different. You need to strengthen, yes, you need a good mileage to attack the 21,097 meters, but it is a good goal to be marked within this first year running. If you have been running for longer but you never dared to run more than 10-15 kilometers, this plan is also for you.
This plan will be a little longer than the previous ones (we will take 10 to 15 weeks) and we will add one more day per week. Whoever wants something, something costs, and we have to start thinking about adding this fourth day. Does that mean that you cannot run a half if you run 2 or 3 days a week? Not at all, but it is not recommended because you may lack some preparation.
Three tips before you start
Let’s start with two classics and add one more:
- Don’t give up. . We say it again. Like when you started running, you probably see the target as very far and 21 kilometers seem like a mockery. It can take you more or less, but it comes with perseverance and for that you only have to do one thing: don’t give up.
- Don’t do anything stupid. Most importantly, do not try to do things faster than you should. The best way to progress is not to injure yourself. Now the training will be a little longer and the volume of kilometers per week higher, so it is important to warm up, stretch and even go to the physiotherapist every 2 or 3 weeks, if you can afford it.
- Strengthen. If you run occasionally 2 or 3 times a week, it does not take much strengthening, but if you put more kilometers per week and you are running 2 hours, you need to adapt your basic muscles, as the ramps will not appear on the day of the race. In addition, strengthening the entire body (not just the lower body) prevents injuries, so strength sessions will be as important as race sessions.
What do I need to start?
Be able to run non-stop for one hour at a rate of approximately 6:00 – 6:30 / km.
How long to finish the half marathon?
A barrier that many of those who want to finish for the first time are fixed is that of 2 hours. This means going at a rate of 5: 41 / km. It is a good starting point, but perhaps somewhat demanding for some people.
You can think about finishing it at 6: 00 / km (2h06: 35) or, if you do not mind the time (the best in this case) think of 2h30 (7: 06 / km), which is usually the closing time of many races. We will improve the time later.
- Day 1: 50′ SP + strengthening
- Day 2: 15′ SP + 5 x 1000 meters, rec 5′ + 10′ SP
- Day 3: 15′ SP + 30′ MP + 5′ SP + 20′ MP + 5′ SP (total: 75′ running)
- Day 4: 65′ SP + strengthening
SP: slow pace. You can have a conversation while you run.
MP: medium pace. A little more alive than the slow pace. It’s hard to talk while you run, especially at the end of training.
FP: fast pace. You are not sprinting, but you feel alive, fast. You cannot keep this pace for more than 10 minutes.
5 x 1000 rec 5′ = 5 series of 1000 meters with recovery of 5 minutes. The series are performed by running 1000 meters and then resting for 5 minutes. Try not to stop suddenly but jog a little during recovery. The time of the series has to be the same at about 5 minutes. If you are left wanting more when you have finished the last one, adjust series that you do for the next day. At the end you will know what your rhythm is for a day of series.
Strengthening: we propose you do three strengthening routines from foroatletismo.com. Vary them. They are very simple, all of them for beginners and do not require external material (except the TRX, which is very cheap and can be done at home).
- Day 1: 60′ SP + strengthening
- Day 2: 15′ SP + 3 x 2000 meters, rec 5′ + 10′ SP
- Day 3: 70′ SP
- Day 4: 15′ SP + 20′ MP + 5′ FP + 20′ MP + 15′ SP (total: 75′)
- Day 1: 70′ SP + strengthening
- Day 2: 15′ SP + 8 x 500 meters, rec 3′ + 10′ SP
- Day 3: 80′ SP + strengthening
- Day 4: 10′ SP + 25′ MP + 5′ FP + 25′ MP + 10′ SP (total: 75′)
- Day 1: 60′ SP
- Day 2: 15′ SP + 5 x 1000 meters, rec 5′ + 10′ SP
- Day 3: 70′ SP + strengthening
- Day 4: 10′ SP + 40′ MP + 10′ SP (total: 60′)
- Day 1: 75′ SP + strengthening
- Day 2: 15′ SP + 3 x 3000 meters, rec 6′ + 10′ SP
- Day 3: 90′ SP + strengthening
- Day 4: 10′ SP + 30′ MP + 5′ FP + 30′ MP + 10′ SP (total: 85′)
- Day 1: 80′ SP + strengthening
- Day 2: 15′ SP + 10 x 500 meters, rec 3′ + 10′ SP
- Day 3: 100′ SP
- Day 4: 10′ SP + 50′ MP + 10′ SP (total: 70′)
- Day 1: 90′ SP + strengthening
- Day 2: 15′ SP + 8 x 1000 meters, rec 4′ + 10′ SP
- Day 3: 90′ SP + strengthening
- Day 4: 15′ SP + 30′ MP + 5′ FP + 30′ MP + 15′ SP (total: 95′)
- Day 1: 75′ SP + strengthening
- Day 2: 15′ SP + 3 x 2000 meters, rec 5′ + 10′ SP
- Day 3: 90′ SP
- Day 4: 10′ SP + 50′ MP + 10′ SP (total: 70′)
- Day 1: 80′ SP + strengthening
- Day 2: 15′ SP + 4 x 3000 meters, rec 6′ + 10′ SP
- Day 3: 110′ SP
- Day 4: 10′ SP + 30′ MP + 10′ FP + 30′ MP + 10′ SP (total: 90′)
- Day 1: 90′ SP + strengthening
- Day 2: 15′ SP + 10 x 500 meters, rec 2’30″+ 10′ SP
- Day 3: 100′ SP + strengthening
- Day 4: 20′ SP + 60′ MP + 20′ SP (total: 100′)
- Day 1: 100′ SP + strengthening
- Day 2: 15′ SP + 3 x 4000 meters, rec 6′ + 10′ SP
- Day 3: 100′ SP + strengthening
- Day 4: 20′ SP + 30′ MP + 10′ SP (yes, SP, no FP) + 30′ MP + 20′ SP (total: 110′)
- Day 1: 60′ SP + strengthening
- Day 2: 15′ SP + 10 x 800 meters, rec 3′ + 10′ SP
- Day 3: 90′ SP
- Day 4: 10′ SP + 60′ MP + 10′ SP (total: 80′)
- Day 1: 105′ SP + strengthening
- Day 2: 15′ SP + 8 x 1000 meters, rec 4′ + 10′ SP
- Day 3: 120′ SP
- Day 4: 10′ SP + 30′ MP + 5′ SP + 10′ FP + 5′ SP + 30′ MP + 10′ SP (total: 100′)
- Day 1: 120′ SP
- Day 2: 15′ SP + 5 x 2000 meters, rec 4′ + 10′ SP
- Day 3: 105′ SP + strengthening
- Day 4: 10′ SP + 75′ MP + 10′ SP (total: 95′)
- Day 1: 75′ SP + strengthening
- Day 2: 15′ SP + 10 x 500 meters, rec 3′ + 10′ SP
- Day 3: 60′ SP
- Day 4: Finish a half marathon
The plan may be more or less suitable for some people, it is only a guide for you to see how the progress is week by week.
Final recommendations and frequently asked questions
- What exactly is SP, MP and FP? It’s slow pace, medium pace and fast pace. We have already defined them before, but we go over them again:
– Slow pace is basically as slow as you can run without being uncomfortable. You can have a conversation with another person when you start running at this pace. Maybe at the beginning after 15 minutes at this pace you cannot. If you use heart rate monitor, around 65-75% of your maximum frequency.
– Medium pace is a pace that takes a little more, that is demanding, that the first times you try it you will think “I cannot reach the minutes marked by the plan”, but it is achieved. 75-85% of your maximum heart rate.
– Fast pace we will use it little, but it is a fast pace for you, in which you feel fast and you will not be able to keep it for long. In the plan, the maximum time that is used is 10 minutes. You can put yourself at 85-95% of your maximum frequency.
- You have to devote 5 minutes to warm up, at least. Warm up means running a little, letting go of the legs, very light leg stretches (without forcing a minimum), about 10 star jumps, 2 minutes at a very slow pace and some joint mobility (ankle movements, knee movements, of hips, arms …). The warm-up is especially important on the day of series, that’s why we also put 15 minutes at a slow pace.
- Stretches play an important role. Dedicate 10 minutes after what you finish to stretch. If you do not even know what they are, this article and video from foroatletismo can be a good start. If you do not feel like doing them after running (you never really want to …), do them during the rest of the day. But do them. This point is very important.
- It is a good time to get a medical checkup if you have not already done it. In some workouts we will put the heart to work a little more and we must be aware that not everyone can run. Do a stress test to see if you are able to run 2 hours continuously.
- Do not injure yourself. I will not tire of saying it, but it is the most important thing. We continue to progress only by going out running and with a little strengthening, and for that you have to be able and not be injured. Take the appropriate measures: do the stretches, train slowly, do not over-exert, let your body adapt and choose the right shoes.
- Choose some shoes that are right for you.
- A suitable footwear will help us to progress and, above all, avoid injuries. In Runnics we have created Perfect Match™ to help any runner find the best shoes for their characteristics. Just try it, it will take you less than a minute to find out which are the best running sneakers for you.
All right, you’re able to run 30 minutes in a row. 10 weeks ago you were on the couch but with the training plan to start running from scratch you have charged your batteries. It may have taken you more or less, but you are at that point. You notice you have more vitality but also more tiredness, it’s normal.
The next logical step is to want to run for an hour without stopping. One hour?!! Yes, it’s not crazy. We are also going to want to give a little more rhythm to the training so a very good objective to consider yourself already minimally fit is to be able to run 10km in less than 60 minutes, that is, at 6 minutes per kilometer.
Two tips before you start
- Do not stop. We have repeated the advice of the last time. Like when you started running, you probably see the target as being very far away, but it’s there. It can take you more or less, but it comes with perseverance and for that you only have to do one thing: not leave it.
- Don’t do anything stupid.We also say this again. Now you may have more confidence in yourself, but the best way to progress is not to injure yourself. For that, warming up and subsequent stretching, which are part of training and are as important as running itself, will be more important.
What do I need to start?
Be able to run 30 minutes continuously, no matter how long it takes you. This is the starting point.
- Day 1: 30′ running, pace is as slow as possible (from now on SP)
- Day 2: 15′ running (SP), 1′ running, 5′ running (medium pace, a little more active, which takes its toll – RM), 1′ walking, 5′ running (SP)
- Day 3: 20′ running (SP), 1′ walking, 10′ running (MP)
- Day 1: 6′ MP + 5′ SP + 4′ MP + 3′ SP + 2′ MP + 1′ SP + 1′ MP + 6′ SP (total: 28′ running)
- Day 2: Running 35′ (SP)
- Day 3: 25′ running starting in SP and ending in RM
- Day 1: 35′ running (SP)
- Day 2: 30′ running starting in SP and ending in RM
- Day 3: 7′ MP + 6′ SP + 5′ MP + 4′ SP + 3′ MP + 2′ SP + 1′ MP + 7′ SP (total: 35′ running)
- Day 1: 40′ running (SP)
- Day 2: 20′ running (SP) + 10′ running (MP) + 2′ walking + 2′ running (fast pace, not sprinting, but you feel for the first time that you are in a race – FP)
- Day 3: 8′ MP + 7′ SP + 6′ MP + 5′ SP + 4′ MP + 3′ SP + 2′ MP + 1′ FP (total: 36′ running)
- Day 1: 45′ running (SP)
- Day 2: 9′ MP + 8′ SP + 7′ MP + 6′ SP + 5′ MP + 4′ SP + 3′ MP + 2′ FP + 1′ SP (total: 45′ running)
- Day 3: 50′ running (SP)
- Day 1: 30′ running (SP) + 1′ walking + 10′ (MP) + 2′ walking + 5′ FP (total: 45′ running)
- Day 2: 60′ running (SP)
- Day 3: 10′ running (SP) + 25′ MP + 10′ SP (total: 45′ running)
- Day 1: 10 km running, as slow as it takes. If it takes 70-80′, then then that’s what it takes. Try not to walk at any time.
- Day 2: 10′ running (SP) + 20′ MP + 5′ FP + 10′ SP (total: 45′ running)
- Day 3: 65′ running (SP)
- Day 1: 10 km running, as slow as it takes. Do not walk
- Day 2: 5′ running (SP) + 30′ MP + 5′ FP + 10′ SP (total: 50′ running)
- Day 3: 70’ running (SP)
- Day 1: 10′ running (SP) + 20′ MP + 10′ FP + 20′ SP (total: 60′ running)
- Day 2: 75′ running (SP)
- Day 3: 10′ running (SP) + 15′ MP + 5′ FP + 15′ MP + 10′ SP (total: 55′ running)
- Day 1: 80′ running (SP)
- Day 2: 30′ running (SP) + 10′ MP + 5′ FP + 15′ SP (total: 60′ running)
- Day 3: 10 kilometers in 60 minutes
We again play with the recovery times, with the volume of each session and with the total weekly volume. The plan may be more or less suitable for some people, it is only a guide for you to see how the progress is week by week.
Final recommendations and frequently asked questions
- What exactly is SP, MP and FP? It’s slow pace, medium pace and fast pace.
- Slow rhythm is basically as slow as you can run without being uncomfortable. You can have a conversation with another person when you start running at this pace. Maybe at the beginning after 15 minutes at this pace you cannot. If you use a heart rate monitor, around 65-75% of your maximum frequency.
- Medium rhythm is a rhythm that takes a little more, that is demanding, that the first times you try it you will think “I cannot reach the minutes marked by the plan”, but it is achieved. 75-85% of your maximum heart rate.
- Fast rhythm is used very little, but it is a rhythm below 6:00 / km, in which you feel fast and you will not be able to keep it going for long. In the plan, the maximum time that is used is 10 minutes, but it starts with only one. You can put yourself at 85-95% of your maximum frequency.
- You have to dedicate 5 minutes to warm up. Warming up to this level is nothing more or less than stretching the legs, some very light leg stretches (without forcing or a minimum), about 10 star jumps, 2 minutes at a very slow pace or even walking fast for the first few days and some joint mobility (ankle movements, knee movements, hips, arms…).
- Stretches already play an important role. Dedicate 10 minutes after what you mark up to stretch. If you do not even know what they are, this article and video from an athletics forum can be a good start. If you do not feel like doing them after running (well, you never want to …), do them during the rest of the day. But do them. It’s very important.
- This is a good time to get a medical checkup if you have not already done it. In some training we will put the heart to work a little more and we must be aware that not everyone can run. A stress test would not hurt.
- Do not get injured. I will not get tired of saying it, but it’s the most important thing. At these levels you continue to progress only by going out to run and for that you have to be willing and not be injured. Take the appropriate measures: do the stretches, train slowly, do not overdo speed, let your body adapt and choose the right footwear.
- Choose some footwear that is right for you. Suitable footwear will help us to progress and, above all, avoid injuries. At Runnics we have created Perfect Match™ to help any runner find the best footwear for their characteristics. Just try it will take less than one minute to find out which is the perfect running sneaker for you.
It is complicated to make a list with “the toughest races in the world” because when evaluating them there is a very important subjective component that can make, what for one is a hell, for another it can be little less than paradise.
In addition, the amount of options that currently exist for races that lead the human body and mind to their limits or even beyond is immense, so if it could be done, it would be a list that is practically endless.
Yes, oddly enough, it seems that the term “ultra marathon”, coined to call all the distance races over the legendary 42 kilometers, is almost too short because, what would we call a race of almost 5,000 kilometers, a 6-day run around an athletic track, …? Yes, “bestiality” is a term we usually use but, be careful, always say it with affection because there are many who dare with this type of race and feel offended.
Therefore, what we have done in this article has been to compile some races that, whether or not “the hardest”, deserve by right to be candidates for that award and that also have some added value, essence or particularity that can draw attention and stand out from the rest.
Surely you miss some of the ones that are usually named in this type of list (e.g. the Ultra Trail of Montblanc) but I hope that, after going through the list of ten proposals, some of them have surprised you and that, even if it’s something less media-oriented, it has caught your attention and that, who knows, encourages you to plate them.
The Spartathlon is one of those races in which everything is special and stands out not only for its toughness and its spectacular route but also for its particular philosophy based on the classic values of classic Olympism since, for example, they do not allow certain types of advertising as it is done in the Olympic Games.
It has been carried out since 1983 and tries to recall the mythical story about the marathon and Philypides that most of us know wrongly because the above-mentioned Athenian did not travel 42 kilometers but the 246 kilometers between Athens and Sparta and, not only that, but it seems that he did it in just a day and a half.
Taking this story (or legend?) as a reference, the last Friday of September, a maximum of 390 participants (selected by country quotas and with previous classification by own sporting merits) leave at seven in the morning with the aim of arriving to Sparta before in less than 36 hours. But there is not the thing because there are 75 points of control with times out of control, very demanding, which force you to go at a sustained pace throughout the race.
However, no matter how hard it is, you can run through Eleusis, Megara, Cineta, the Corinth Canal, Nemea, climb Mount Partenio with illumination reminiscent of those ancient times and, if you’re lucky, get to Sparta and get to kiss the feet of Leonidas’ statue, which is what marks the finish line, must be something indescribable.
Official site: Spartathlon
It is possible that your name does not ring a bell with you first but I tell you to remember that race that at the end of March or the beginning of April appears in the news for being a bit mysterious, with courses and conditions that are not revealed until shortly before the exit, which does not have an official website. Extremely hard in spite of being “only” 100 miles approximately and that is also characterized because, since it began to be celebrated back in 1986, only 15 runners have been able to finish it (two of them have been able to repeat more than one completion and 55% of the editions have not had any finisher).
The mystery that surrounds this race is incredible, everything is peculiar and, for those of us who do not know it closely, it seems almost impossible to be five laps that theoretically makes it easier to finish because you get to know the route, so few finishers in fact, this could be one of the races that yes that would justify that phrase of “the important thing is to finish“.
It takes place in Frozen Head State Park, near Wartburg (Tennessee), is inspired by the escape of Martin Luther King Jr. assassin, allows 60 hours to finish them and the participation quota is very restricted, only 40 participants. The dates and details for the entries are secret and, in fact, applicants must write an essay stating why they should deserve the honor of participating in the Barkley and pay the symbolic amount of $ 1.60 (there are more requirements but these they are frankly private).
The route is not marked, there are no refreshments except water in two points, two of the five loops are made in the opposite direction, 16,500 meters of altitude are accumulated, … the said thing: it lasts like few but, above all, peculiar, special, mysterious, … suitable only for the most intrepid adventurers.
Official site: It does not have an official website.
Self-Transcendence 3100 Mile Race
The Self-Transcendence 3100 Mile Race is the longest certified race in the world. It was initially created in 1996 as a 2,700-mile race but at the end they decided to extend it and round the figure to the current 3,100 miles that equate to almost 5,000 kilometers.
It takes place in Queens (New York) between June and August and the good thing is not only the brutality of the distance but the one that must be done by giving 5,649 laps to an urban circuit of 883 meters. There is a maximum of 52 days, which means traveling almost 100 kilometers every day.
Official site: Self-Transcendence 3100 Mile Race
6 Jours de France
Although there are “enough” six-day events the best known and most established, is probably the 6 Jours de France that take place in Privas, with a participation of around 140 runners in the middle- At the end of August they begin to run around a 1,025 meter homologated circuit around an athletics track to see who is capable of traveling the most distance in those six days.
You have free rein to run, walk, sleep, … and at certain pre-established hours they serve you breakfast, lunch and dinner, a luxury, right?
Official site: 6 Jours de France
Marathon des Sables
Also known as the Marathon of the Sands, it is a race that runs through the deserts of Morocco, in almost total self-sufficiency since you have to charge from the first day with everything you will need to run 250 kilometers in six stages.
Its similarity with the Dakar Rally is very great because, despite its harshness, it is tremendously mediatic and, in fact, it is increasingly crowded and the 800 available seats that fill up year after year without exception, since it began to be done back in 1986.
Official site: Marathon des Sables
4 Deserts is not a race but a circuit or annual series of races made up of four races of 255 kilometers through four of the best known and most demanding deserts in the world.
You start in the Gobi Desert with the Gobi March, the second is the Atacama Desert in Chile, complete the triplet with the mythical Sahara desert in Egypt and the fourth and last, hence its name of “The Last Desert” is made in Antarctica. To participate in the latter, at least two of the other three must have been completed.
Official site: 4 Deserts
Tor des Geants
For lovers of the mountainous mountain, the Tor des Geants is nothing short of an object of desire and a dream that is simply known as “El Tor“.
330 kilometers to travel in less than 150 hours, passing through 43 refreshment points and 7 base camps that become little more than essential to overcome that distance and the no less than 24,000 meters of accumulated altitude. The probability of finishing, according to the statistics, is 50%.
The first edition took place in 2010 and, although it has suffered several cancellations and suspensions and now has given the odd lurch, it is not expected to disappear.
Official site: Tor des Geants
Dragon’s Back Race
The Dragon’s Back Race had a first edition in 1992 but they considered it so hard that it took 20 years until in 2012 it was carried out again.
300 kilometers with 15,000 meters of altitude difference, typical British weather while traveling through its mountains, guided simply by compass and map, by an unmarked route, … pure adventure worthy of authentic explorers.
It is not just a race or competition but it has a lot of legend, spiritual as many of those who have participated in some of its editions stand out.
Official site: Dragon’s Back Race
The Grand Union Canal Race
Possibly the least known of this list but I find it extremely curious and peculiar because it travels the 233 kilometers that go from Birmingham to central London running through the Grand Union Canal that we have seen so many times in movies and that allows us to go on a somewhat peculiar sightseeing tour.
It must be completed in less than 45 hours, obviously, the entire route is marked and only 90 participants are allowed. It is a seemingly simple test, without great fuss, not too well known but it has its own and, as I heard him say to a colleague, it is “the British Spartathlon”.
Official site: The Grand Union Canal Race
It is the long-distance race for couples par excellence and just that “two” requirement is what most fall in love with, as is not surprising, the landscape that is covered as it passes through some of the most beautiful areas of the Alps.
It began to be realized in 2005, varies the sense of its route and some parts of this one every year but, in essence they are 7 days, almost 260 kilometers through three countries with more than 16,000 meters of unevenness to cross in the first / second week of September.
By the way, that of couples is literal and it is not only about finishing as two but it is not possible to reach a certain distance or time between the two participants. The end of day stays in the camp are mythical. It is a whole experience that marks those who participate in it forever.
Official site: Transalpine Run
One of the things you can do to achieve a healthier body and positive aura is to spend time running or jogging. This cardiovascular activity turns into a regular workout if you are willing to do so. If running becomes your regular workout activity, it can also lead to joining marathons and other outdoor activities like hiking.
Still not convince that running will be good for your health and outlook in life? Listed below are the reasons why you should start running today and continue it in the future:
Running allows you to eat more.
Do you love eating most of the time?
If yes, then there is no excuse not to eat because running, especially the intense training, will help you lose the fat and weight you have gained from eating them. When you decide to join a marathon, this kind of food may fuel your body in order to attain the distance desired in the marathon. Our body needs food, nourishing each body part. So, don’t be afraid to eat next time.
Running helps in gaining new friends.
When running, there is a big possibility that you may encounter new set of people especially when you take a break on a certain place and there are others as well in the area. Or, you can join online communities which are dedicated for people who love to run. You have another option of meeting new people when you decided to start running.
Running is good for your cardiovascular system.
Running is a great way to improve the heart and lung function. It also lowers cholesterol, triglycerides and lipids, helping the body to become more insulin sensitive. Study shows that running may also prevent learned helplessness/behavioral depression.
Running increases self-esteem.
Seeing the outside and observing the nature when running helps in improving one’s self-esteem. Nature helps in clearing our minds and taking away the stress. When running try to choose the area where you can appreciate the beauty of your place. Running is also a great way of exploring the area where you already live or discover new and beautiful places.
Running improve one’s appetite.
If you are suffering from a poor appetite, running will help you in improving your appetite. The longer distance you run, it will be the start to eating more to fuel your body. If you develop the habit of running you will be ensuring that you are eating well.
Running develops a good sleeping pattern.
When you run, you know you’ll sleep well. Your body is tired in a good way. One could say “freshly tired”. Sleeping comes much easier when you maintain this running habit. An adequate sleep can be achieved by getting fit, proper diet and good exercise.
Running increases the stamina.
Regular running enhances your stamina, making your workouts more enjoyable and productive. Developing your aerobic capability can be useful in any type of training including strength or resistance.
Running is considered one of the simplest and most effective forms of exercise, getting fit more achievable. If you want to improve your overall health, then choose running as a means of getting healthy. Don’t make any excuses, start running today to lose weight and get fit.
Today we are going to discuss a classic theme, a training plan to start running. This plan is basically addressed to sedentary people, who do not practice any physical activity but have decided to start treating their body and health as it deserves. So we will not take into account those who football three times a week with friends and have begun participating in popular races, because the main objective of this post is to run for 30 minutes in one session.
The starting point for a sedentary person can vary a lot, especially depending on their genetics and sporting past. The body has memory, so those who have done sports until they are 18 years old, even if they left it for a while and have put on a few extra pounds, will have it much easier than those who have never done anything sports related. Genetics also plays a very important role. There will be people who, even without doing anything in their lives, will be able to run 30 minutes at a time on their first attempt and at a good pace, but they are the exception.
Fundamental tips before you start running
- Don’t stop trying. The beginning is hard if you are not used to it, but the good thing is that the progression is quite fast and in just one month you will notice the results. The stiffness is a thing in the first week, it will not always be there.
- Don’t do anything stupid! Maybe the plan makes you bored because you want to get to run those 30 minutes immediately, or you’re ashamed that everyone passes you by and you want to keep up with them. Do not do it. The body needs a period of adaptation and the best way to progress is not to injure oneself.
Here we go with the plan. It is just a guide, not a bible, so feel free to modify it if you see that the starting point is not for you.
- Day 1: 1′ running (no matter the pace), 2′ walking. 5 times. Preferably Monday, which is when we all have better intentions.
- Day 2: 1′ running, 2′ walking. 5 times. Same training. Let three days pass because the two days after day 1 will cause stiffness.
- Day 3: 1′ running, 2′ walking. 6 times.
- Day 1: 1’30” running, 2′ walking. 5 times
- Day 2: 2′ running, 2′ walking. 4 times
- Day 3: 2′ running, 2′ walking. 5 times
- Day 1: 2’30” running, 2′ walking. 4 times. So far, the training has never lasted more than 20 minutes. Who can say they do not have that time to kill…
- Day 2: 3′ running, 2′ walking. 5 times
- Day 3: 3’30 running, 2′ walking. 4 times
- Day 1: 3’30 running, 2′ walking. 5 times
- Day 2: 4′ running, 2′ walking. 5 times
- Day 3: 4′ running, 1’30” walking. 5 times
- Day 1: 4′ running, 1′ walking. 4 times
- Day 2: 4′ running, 1′ walking. 5 times
- Day 3: 4′ running, 1′ walking. 6 times
- Day 1: 10′ running, 3′ walking. 2 times You will see that you are able to spend 10 minutes running continuously. If not, nothing happens, you’ll be there in a few weeks.
- Day 2: 5′ running, 1′ walking. 4 times
- Day 3: 5′ running, 1′ walking. 5 times.
- Day 1: 8′ running, 2′ walking. 3 times
- Day 2: 8′ running, 1’30” walking. 3 times
- Day 3: 8′ running, 1′ walking. 3 times
- Day 1: 10′ running, 2′ walking. 2 times
- Day 2: 10′ running, 1’30” walking. 2 times
- Day 3: 10′ running, 1′ walking. 2 times
- Day 1: 20′ running, 2′ walking, 10′ running
- Day 2: 15′ running, 2′ walking, 15′ running
- Day 3: 10′ running, 1′ walking, 3 times
- Day 1: 20′ running, 2′ walking, 15′ running
- Day 2: 20′ running, 1′ walking, 10′ running
- Day 3: 30 minutes running
The plan will be more or less suitable for all individuals, but it is a good guide to see what we have to do progressively, playing with the recovery time, the time we run every day and the total time we run.
- The rhythm has to be one that is comfortable for you. The best recommendation is that during the first days of any training plan for starting running, go as slow as possible and proceed by regulating from there. Do not finish the workouts exhausted because in addition to it meaning that you are giving everything and that your body is not ready for it, you can end up hurting yourself.
- After running, stretch for 5 or 10 minutes. If you do not even know what they are, this article and video from an athletics forum can be a good start. If you do not feel like doing them after running (well, you may never want to …), do them during the rest of the day. But it is important that you do them.
- If you have a health problem, it is best to get a medical checkup to see if you can really run, or a stress test. Not everyone can run. In that case, walking can be a good solution.
- Do not get injured. Yes, I’ve said it before, but it’s the most important thing because then you’ll think that sports are bad. Take the appropriate measures: do the stretches, train slowly, let your body adapt and… choose your footwear well (and yes, Runnics can help you a lot with this 🙂 ).
- Choose footwear that is right for you. A suitable footwear will help us to progress and above all to avoid injuries. At Runnics we have created Perfect Match™ to help any runner find the best running shoes for their characteristics. It is free, and takes you only 1 min to to find which running shoes are the best for you. Try it!
NEW BALANCE VAZEE PRISM V2
By the way, if you still do not have running shoes, we recommend that you take a look at the article we have developed with a set of proposals for footwear to start running, those shoes that prioritize value for money, which are versatile in as to the user profile and that right now they have a very high level and are almost as good as their “older” sisters. Many of them can be obtained below € 100 and they do not stop being known because, as you can see in the article, there are names like the Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 34, Asics Gel Zaraca 4, Adidas Questar Boost, … Asics Gel Fuji Trabuco 5 if you’re thinking about trail running. The shoes will no longer be a barrier for you to start running
What is next?
Once the 10 weeks are over, you can continue with this plan to run an hour without stopping: 10-kilometer training plan. Ready for the next running challenge?
People tend to jump to quick conclusions; there is no denying about that. One of the prime examples of such behavior would be how both involved parties look upon the question of combining running with strength training. To be honest, they do seem as two diametrically opposed activities that can only take away something from each other, at the first glance. But only at the first glance. If you take another look you will get much clearer picture of the complex relationship lifting and running can and should have.
Fears and Misconceptions
A common fear behind combined strength and running regimen lies in the fact that human body can take only so much pressure. No matter what your priorities may be, you simply cannot pull off both of these activities on the top level. Bodybuilders consider lifting nothing else than improving the intensity of the stimulus your muscles receive. Exhaustion that happens as a natural result of long runs reduces this intensity.
Passionate runners, on the other side, see running as a self-sustainable activity without ever thinking that strength training can enrich their experience, without diminishing results.
How Strength Training Can Enhance Running
While previous statements hold some truth, taking them for granted would mean ignoring of all the benefits mixing these activities can bring, especially to runners. First and foremost, strength training covers various groups of muscles, including legs, and strengthening the legs leads to better performance. Furthermore, lifting helps you to correct muscle imbalances, strengthen the core muscles, and augment all the blank spaces running cannot cover. So, the real question is not whether you should add strength training to your running regimen, but how you should do that. Let us ask the science for the help.
How Strength and Speed Training Interact
In a recent research conducted in Australia, fifteen runners of different abilities participated in different strength training sessions on three occasions. Six hours after each of those sessions, participants did a 20 minute treadmill test (10 minutes running at 70% of threshold pace, 10 minutes at 90% of threshold pace). The final result was that after each of the high-intensity strength sessions, participants ability to sustain fast running was decreased for at least six hours.
Solution to a Problem
With the things as they are, we can find several ways out of this unpleasant scenario:
- First opinion is shared by the lead researcher of the mentioned study, Kenji Doma, Ph. D., of James Cook University. According to him, hard running workout should not be scheduled later in the day of the weight session. Runners need at least 24 hours of rest in order to recover, so interchanging running and lifting on daily basis seems like a good solution. Such schedule is also best suited for all the people starting to run from scratch. In this case, running schedule should serve as a basis, while the strength training and the proper nutrition should serve as the necessary addition.
- The second option is to combine both types of exercise in the same day. Because strength training has stronger impact on running than vice-versa, running should be dealt with in the morning. Lifting should be left for the evening. Now, such pace may prove to be very challenging and compromise running results, but only temporarily. Running at low intensities should help your body adapt to this new situation easier.
- Third option would be to completely abandon the long runs and integrate your running sessions with strength-building routine. Although combined training can be extremely exhausting, Creatine is known for enabling you to train faster, harder, and more often, so it should be efficient in helping you to bridge the transition period. If the running is your priority, you should put running at the beginning of the session, especially if the legs are strength-trained later.
As we can see, although they look nothing alike, strength training and running can work together. As a matter of fact, they can complement each other rather well. Yes, some sacrifices have to be made, and if you want to continue running at the top level you will have to prolong the resting period, but once the benefits of the strength training start to kick-in, reward will be more than satisfying.