This is week 4! This is the last week of training before race week and taper time. By now maybe you are feeling like you’re in a groove? Maybe the runs are even feeling slightly more comfortable? I always like to say that becoming a runner is a matter of getting comfortable being uncomfortable because, the truth is, as soon as it starts to feel easy we push ourselves harder.
Out & Back Monday:
5K Runners will run easy out for 20-30 minutes (depending on how long of a run you want) and come back the same route only slightly faster. Try going 1-2 minutes longer on the way out than last week. This isn’t a “fast finish” run where you are sprinting at the end. The goal is to run a steady pace on the way back, working sightly harder than the way out. This is a good race strategy and often results in a more pleasant racing experience.
Effort level= Conversational. If you can talk or sing (to yourself), you’re good.
Milers will warm-up for 5-10 minutes with an easy walk or run. Then do 1 x 800 meters on the track (or 4 minutes on the road) at a comfortably-hard effort. Give yourself 3 minutes to recover after. Then do 2 x 400 meters on the track (or 2 x 2 minutes on the road) at moderately-hard effort, slightly harder than the 800 effort. Give yourself 2 minutes recovery between the 400’s. Cool down with a 5-10 minute walk/jog.
5K Runners will warm-up for 10-15 minutes. Then do the following workout:
2 x 800 meters or 2 x 4 minutes. Recovery after each is 400 meters or 2 min.
2 x 400 meters or 2 x 2 minutes. Recovery after each is 200 meters or 1 min.
2 x 200 meters or 2 x 1 minute. Recovery after each is 200 or 1 min.
Cool down with at least 10 minutes of easy running after.
*Enter one of your 400’s in the Running Shop’s Meet Me Downtown 5K Countdown Challenge and get a chance to win a raffle prize.
A good strategy for intervals is to only run as fast as you can recover. This means that if your heart rate or breathing is not calming down before the next interval, you are running too fast. It’s always better to error on the side of caution when doing speedier work.
Effort level: Moderately-hard. Today is the hardest effort of the week, but keep it under control.
Time Trial Friday:
Milers will warm-up with a 10 minute easy walk or run. Then run 1 mile at a comfortably-hard effort. Time your mile. Do a 5-10 minute cool down walk or easy run. This is the last practice mile before your virtual MMD mile next weekend.
5K Runners will warm-up for 10 minutes. Then run a 5K (3.1 miles) at a comfortably-hard effort. Keep track of your time. Do at least a 10 minute cool down run after.
Effort Level: Comfortably-hard effort. You want to be able to hold this effort for the entire distance, so don’t start out too fast. Think of the out & back strategy you practiced on Monday. Go out a little more relaxed so you can finish strong.
It’s a good idea to use the rest of the days of the week as recovery days. Feel free to do any activity you want as long as it is done at an easier effort and not breaking down muscle. Some recovery day activities include: walking, hiking, biking, swimming, easy running, gentle stretching and foam rolling, stability work, Elliptigo.
Remember to eat well and stay hydrated as if it were a workout day. A recovery day is not meant to be a binge day, but a day to give your body what it needs and treat it well.
Effort level: Easy effort. Allow your muscles to rebuild on these days instead of breaking down.