8-K Training Guide - Novice Program - Week 2
Monday: Last week you ran a total of 6 miles during the first week of your build-up to the Shamrock Shuffle, or other 8-K of your choice. Your long run yesterday was 2 miles. Today is a day of rest, but only partial rest. Use today for stretching and strengthening.
Tuesday: Today's workout is 2 miles run at an easy pace, similar to last week. Enjoy your run today. Next week I'll ask you to run slightly more on Tuesday, part of the subtle build-up that will get you in shape to complete an 8-K race
Wednesday: Thirty minutes of cross-training, the same as last week. My cross-training exercise of late has been swimming. During the winter, I swim in the (heated) outdoor pool at The Lodge & Club in Ponte Vedra Beach only a block away from our winter home. Duringthe summer, I swim in Lake Michigan, across the street from my regular home in Long Beach, Indiana. While swimming in pools, I don't count laps or how fast I do the laps, but usually swim for 15 minutes or more and couple that with some strength training and soaking in the whirlpool. I enjoy it--and so should you. Don't make this a killer workout.
Thursday: If today is Thursday, you must be running 2 miles and adding some stretching and strength training after you finish the run. Give some thought to the when as well as the how far of this workout. Most runners run in the morning, because that's a convenient time, particularly for those who have a 9-to-5 job. And it insures that you get your run in, since things can interfere if you plan to run at lunch or in the evening. But if you're preparing for the Shamrock Shuffle in March, that means running in the dark. You might want to consider whether or not you can find time mid-day to do this and other mid-week workouts. Even if you have only an hour for lunch, you may be able to run, shower and grab a quick snack at your desk (yogurt, a glass of juice) in the time available. Training for a road race takes discipline, but often the discipline involves activities around the run as well as the run itself.
Friday: Thank God It's Friday. (TGIF) There's even a restaurant chain that uses that name. For many of us who love to run, we don't always want a day off. Nevertheless, it's important to program rest days so that you don't overtrain and set yourself up for injuries. Fridays as rest days works well, because I always ask runners who train using my programs to do a bit more on the weekends when they have more time.
Saturday: Thirty minutes of cross-training--and it should be aerobic! Don't convert what is designed as an "easy" day into a punishing workout, where you thrash in the pool or pump as hard as you can on your bicycle. Stay cool. Swim or cycle or walk or do whatever you choose to do in a relaxed manner. I mainly want you do something that massages your cardiovascular system while allowing you to burn a few calories. The "tough" workout of the week is tomorrow, when you run long--and I'm going to ask you to run a half mile further than your did last week.
Sunday: Today is the day when you run long, and today's long run is 2.5 miles. Think about it: Last week you ran a workout that was slightly less than half the distance of the 8-K you will run on race day. (Remember, those of you who are metrically challenged, that 8-K is nearly 5 miles.) Today, you will run a distance that is about 4-K, or roughly half the 8-K distance. You're making progress. Think you'll have any trouble going the full distance a half dozen weeks from today? Hey, amigo, or amiga, no problema!
Run Fast: If you're a beginner, running fast means merely getting started. If you've never run before, except when you were a child (when running was perceived as fun and not as hard work), simply to jog for a few hundred meters is to move faster than if you were to walk that same distance. Improvement comes easily when you begin from a base of zero fitness. After that, you need to learn how to train properly.
How to Improve: Hal Higdon's best-selling Run Fast covers the type of training that will help you improve your performances at all distances, including the 8-K. To order an autographed copy of this and other books by Runner's World's best writer go to Books by Hal Higdon.