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8-K Training Guide - Novice Program - Week 4

Monday: Today's Monday workout of stretching and strengthening remains the same, but this week I will ask you run a total of 8 miles with a long run on the weekend of 3.5 miles. By the way, how is your stretching and strengthening program going? If you have any questions concerning what to do, visit the Stretch and Strengthen section of this Web site. Sometimes it's a good idea to remind yourself of what you know you're supposed to do.

Tuesday: For today's workout run 2.5 miles, the same as last week. You will hold at this Tuesday distance one more week before moving ahead to 3.0 miles. That's how a progressive training program works, progressively and gradually increasing the distance of each run. We're on track. Trust in me--and in yourself.

Wednesday: Today's cross-training workout is 35 minutes, the same as last week. How are you doing? For many people who lead "Normal Lives" and work during the week, the toughest thing about this type of training is finding time to do it. Thirty-five minutes? No sweat. In fact, you don't have to sweat during this workout. Given an hour for lunch, there's no reason why you simply can't head out the door of your office and walk for 35 minutes, then come back and grab a light lunch. Nobody said training has to be difficult. Be easy on yourself!

Thursday: Are you getting bored running the same old 2 miles every Thursday, since this is the day in the training program leading to the Shamrock Shuffle that never changes? Sorry, but that's the way the program works. I can't ask you to increase the difficulty of every workout during the week, otherwise I might be sued for malpractice. This program is designed to get you to the starting line healthy. So stick with me. If you want a break in your routine, consider selecting a different course for your Thursday 2-miler.

Friday: Today is a rest day. Did you hear what I said? Today is a rest day! Do I need to repeat myself? Today is a rest day! This weekend, I'm going to ask you to run further (3.5 miles) than you may ever have run before (or at least further than we have run so far in this program). You'll be better prepared for Sunday's long run if you are well-rested.

Saturday: Forty minutes of cross-training. Tomorrow offers a jump in mileage, so make this an easy workout. A 40-minute walk would be appropriate, and if you feel like interspersing some jogging steps, that's all right too. Incidentally, if Saturday is a better day for doing your long runs, don't hesitate to flip-flop workouts. Do the long run on Saturdays and the cross-training on Sundays.

Sunday: Three-point-five miles of running. Keep the pace conversational; that is, so that you can hold a conversation with a running companion. If you get out of breath and can't talk--particularly in the early miles--you're running too fast. This is your farthest workout so far and only a mile-and-a-half short of the distance you will run in the Shamrock Shuffle itself.

Run Fast: The term "PR" is part of the running jargon; it means "Personal Record." Few of us will ever set a world or national record, but anybody can establish a PR. Any time you've recorded a time over any distance (even odd distances in training), it becomes your PR. Every time you run that course or distance, you will have an opportunity to better that PR. Going after PRs can be fun; most important, it can be motivational.

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.

Novice Training Program: Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5 | Week 6 | Week 7 | Week 8