8-K Training Guide - Novice Program - Week 6
Monday: With five weeks of training behind you, only three weeks remain until your 8-K race. Hopefully by now all the preliminary soreness you felt during the first few weeks has passed and you have begun to notice changes in your body. Regardless, you still need to program periods of rest to be able to improve. Nine total miles are scheduled this week with another 4-miler on the weekend. Begin today with your usual stretching and strengthening routine.
Tuesday: Three miles today, a jump from the 2.5 miles you ran the previous three Tuesdays, but you should be able to handle the extra distance without trouble. Put it on cruise control today. If you're feeling frisky, pick up the pace a bit in the second or third mile--but don't overdo it.
Wednesday: The running mileage increased slightly yesterday, but the time period for the cross-training routine remains the same. Go for 40 minutes. Presumably by now you've figured out the type of alternate training that works best for you.
Thursday: Two miles remains our standard Thursday workout. As on Tuesday, you can vary the pace a bit from your regular routine. By that, I don't necessarily mean you have to go faster. You could go slower, or even throw in some walking breaks. Typically when I'm home in Long Beach and run on the beach after it has been flattened by waves, I run down a mile or so, then walk for 30-60 seconds. Then I do a U-turn and start running again after I reach the point where I shifted into walking. Invariably I find that even this short break refreshes me, and I usually return at least slightly faster than when I came out.
Friday: A day of rest. But don't give away the benefits of the rest by staying out too late partying. You still need to get up tomorrow for your regular routine of cross-training with a long run Sunday. Invariably with my training class for The LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon, I discover that runners start heading to bed a bit early on Fridays, because they don't want to compromise their training. The Shamrock Shuffle is far from being a marathon, but the principle is the same.
Saturday: Fifty minutes of cross-training. How about a bike ride today? Keep your head up high, however, and enjoy the scenery. You don't want to be out on a 10-speed straining to better 20 or 25 mph. Keep your cross-training gentle. Save the extra effort for your runs.
Sunday: Run four miles today. With this Sunday's run, you will have completed six weeks of training, which means that you are only two weeks from your goal. There is one more "hard" week, then you taper for your Big Day. The countdown continues!
Run Fast: Motivation is important for all runners, but particularly so for beginners who have not yet had a chance to recognize the positive values of running, which are not always easy to explain or measure. Before you take your first steps, establish a goal. Do not give up until you reach that goal. Many people start exercising to lose weight. Some people exercise as a means to quit smoking. Others have as their goals relieving stress, or finding some private time for themselves. Establishing mileage goals works for many. Running a mile non-stop for the first time can provide you with your first Runner's High. Running that mile progressively faster can keep you going. Or you can increase the distance you can cover continuously to 2, 3 or more miles. Each new step you take creates another Personal Record.
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.