Running: Step 5 ... Spring Season of Training plus!

by Mike Naylor

First, let’s start with the Spring Season of Training. As mentioned in previous articles, there are various levels of fitness, as well as competition.

In the Spring, if you are a beginner or novice level runner, you should evaluate what you had done during the winter months in order to be sure you are ready for a change to your regular daily activity. One way to determine this is to take your resting heart rate by placing your right two fingers to the spot next to the right side of your Adam’s Apple, and then when you feel your pulse, count for 10 seconds and record the number of beats. Now go for a 6 minute light run to elevate your heart rate. Then, count your heart rate again. See what the difference is between your resting heart rate and activity heart rate. For an adult your resting heart rate should be between 60-100 beats per minute. The maximum heart rate after or during exercise should be 220 minus your age. These are just estimates, but they will align you with what you should expect for yourself.

So, say you are 35 years old, and you take your resting heart rate, and it came out to be 80 beats per minute. Then you exercise for 6-8 minutes; your activity heart rate should be no more than 185 beats per minute. If it is more than 185 beats per minute, you should consider slowing down your activity. After a week of adjustment, retake your heart rate and see how it registers. If you find that you are now within the suggested ranges, you can now increase the workout intensity. It is a trial and error sort of thing, but, within a few short weeks, you will be good to go and you’ll be looking forward to some more challenging workouts.

A solid novice and beginner’s Spring workout would look something like this:

Monday: 20 minute easy run with some hills. Follow with some 50 yard dashes (5-20) at an 85 percent effort. Be sure to cool down by walking for 6-8 minutes.

Tuesday: 20-40 minute easy run.

Wednesday: Same as Monday.

Thursday: 16 minute warmup. Stretch (head to toe) and then do some 50 yard pickups (start slow, finish fast); followed by 9 uphill runs in an easy-medium-hard rotation. The hill should be at least be 20 yards up to 100 yards.

Friday: Off

Saturday: same as Tuesday.

Sunday: nice long 45-60 minute easy run around your neighborhood.

Note: everyday try to do the following: 10 pushups, 15 crunches, 5x30 second wall sits, then on the floor, lay flat on your back and raise one leg up about 6-12 inches off the floor and slowly place it back on the ground to the next leg, and continue for a 15 count for each leg.

For you modified and major level runners you can begin looking forward to increasing your leg speed and aerobic capacity, while improving your all around fitness levels.

Monday: 30-40 minutes of fartlek training (run easy for 4 minutes; hard for 1minute); then do 10 - 200 meter runs at 85 percent effort with a 200 rest between. You will increase the effort as you feel your fitness level rising.

Tuesday: 6-8 minute warm up. Stretch. 10-50 yard pickups. Then do the following ladder: 400meter/300meter/200meter/100meter by 4-8 sets. You should be picking a starting time that is comfortable (400- 90sec/300- 60sec/200-30sec/100-15sec as an example). Again as your fitness levels rise, so will the times drop. Do 6-8 minutes cool down run.

Wednesday: 30-60 minute easy run.

Thursday: 6-8 minute easy run. Find a steep hill and go up it 9 times in an easy-medium-hard rotation. Do another 6-8 minute cool down.

Friday: Off.

Saturday: Work on leg turnover speed. Start with high knee quick step drill. You do this by starting with 50 meters of high knee strides; followed by 50 meters of quick steps (pick up and put down your feet as quick as you can)continue for 200 meters. Rest. Do it again. Keep going till you can’t do any more.

Sunday: 45-90 minute easy run with friends if you can.

Finally, it is time for you national level runners to get some work in.

Before I start, I wanted to talk about how you should develop a ladder of success. It all starts with getting your mile time down. Go to a track or a mile stretch and after warming up and stretching and doing some pickups, run it as hard as you can. Record your time and match it to your average per mile pace for a race. How close are the times? ( 5 minute pace vs. 4:50 minute mile time). As you might discover, these two times might not differ that much. This is your base times. Now start working on getting the mile time down. This can be done in various ways, but for the most part it will take a lot of work.

Monday: AM 10 miles fast. PM 2miles easy.

Tuesday: AM 8 miles of hills. PM 6x200 in sub 30 seconds.

Wednesday: AM 8 miles fast. PM 6x400 meters in sub 60 seconds.

Thursday: AM 8 miles. PM 2x1mile in sub 4:30 or better, and 3 miles in sub 14:30 or better.

Friday: AM 8 miles. PM 8x150 yards fast. (150 = half a turn and a straight away).

Satruday: Time Trial 800 to a mile you pick. Or. 15x400’s sub 65 or better.

Sunday: 18 miles at a solid pace (sub 2:00 hours).

Note: make adjustments as you see fit.

Finally, as you can see in the Spring, you will be concentrating on leg turnover, and speed development. Get out and start running to prepare yourself for the above.

You are always welcome to submit any questions that you might have. Email me at

Fighting Hate with Love.

Coach Mike.

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