Running: Step 9 ... This Month: Finally, It’s Spring! (Time to work)

by Mike Naylor

(continued from home page)

Back in the day … warmer weather meant putting on a lighter t-shirt, pulling out last year’s nylon running shorts, buying a new pair of running shoes, and most importantly, picking up a painter’s hat (usually, you could get one free from your local hardware store). Carrying water was not an option, and distance running was the mainstay of a runner’s workout schedule. Speed was accomplished by running in short races.

Today, you have multiple options to becoming totally fit, which include weight training and joining a fitness club where fitness experts can help and guide you. In addition, you can become a member of a local running club, and you can also participate in mud runs and other crazy events.

If you are novice or beginner, spring can get you very excited and you might take on too much at one time, which can lead to discouragement and possibly injuries.

So try to follow this simple plan for March.

Monday, Wednesday, Friday: Go out for a timed run (20-40 minutes).

Tuesday, (to satisfy the youth in us who wants to run, run, run): Run easy for 12 minutes, then do some pickups (start slow, finish fast) on a football field or open grassy area. If you are on a football field, do ten pickups of 50 yards (half the length of the football field). Rest by walking the last half of the football field. If you are on an open field, do ten 15-20 second pickups with a 15-20 second rest in between each rep.

Thursday: Find a hill (50-100 yards long), and run up it in an easy-medium-hard rotation. Do 3 sets of easy, medium, and hard runs up the hill for a total of 9. Increase the number of rotations as your fitness level increases. Finish with a 12 minute easy jog or walk.

Saturday or Sunday: Find a nice local race of 3 to 6 miles (5k - 10k) and have a great time! Take the other day off to relax. (I’ll take about race day preparation in a future column.)

If you are an intermediate runner, and have some experience running and racing, then it is time for you to prepare yourself for the spring and summer racing seasons.

Monday: 30-40 minute medium paced run; with 10x40 second pickups (remember a pickup is start slow and finish fast) with a minute walk between reps.

Tuesday: 30 to 40 minute run; run hard for 1 minute and easy for 3 minutes; continue until you have completed the time.

Wednesday: 40-60 minute run at a conversational pace.

Thursday: Run for 12 minutes easy; then do 9 hill repeats in an easy-medium-hard rotation. The hill should be at least a quarter mile long. Rest by walking back down the hill. (I love hill work.)

Friday: Rest

Saturday: 12 minute easy run; 10 x 50 yard pickups; then do 6-12 pickups of 60 seconds with a 60 second rest; finish with an 8 minute easy run.

Sunday: Same as Wednesday.

If you plan on racing over the weekend, then exchange the race for the Saturday workout.

Finally, for those out there who are or think they are a local leader, then consider these options for the spring.

Monday: Morning run of 5-7 miles; for the evening run do a 40 minute fartlek run, with 8x200 meter sprints with a 100 meter rest between reps, followed by a 20 minute cool down run.

Tuesday: Morning run of 5-7 miles; in the evening, do a 2 mile warm up run, 10 x 100 meter pickups, 2 sets of 4 x 400 meters. For the first 400 meter set, cut down each one by 2 seconds. For the second set, run them at your goal race pace for a 5k or 10k.

Wednesday: Morning run of 5-7 miles; evening run 10-14 miles at a comfortable pace.

Thursday: Morning run of 5-7 miles; in the evening do 9 miles of hill running (run up hills hard, and flats easy).

Friday: Morning run of 5 miles; evening 5 miles.

Saturday: 12 minute warm up run, 10x100 pickups, 4x800 meters at race pace for a mile, 2x 1 mile at race pace for 5k/10k, 1x400 all out, 12 minute cool down.

Sunday: 60-120 minute run.

I hope these plans are helpful, and if you need more specific plans for a future race, let me know by emailing me at mnaylor@nycap.rr.com.

Love you all, Coach Mike

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