We’re getting close to the end of our workout plan, so here’s where we ratchet up the intensity a little bit. Remember last Saturday’s time trial? This is the basis for the rest of our workouts during these last few weeks of training before taking part in a fun run.
I advise making a little chart on your personal computer to help keep track of your time trial results, but even a new note or text message conversation to your own phone number will achieve the desired result.
There are a few things we need to measure: Time it takes to complete the time trial, number of times you stopped to walk and about how many seconds you stopped for.
Remember, unless you’re a professional athlete — which no one following this program is — it doesn’t matter how fast or slow you move, just as long as you’re moving: no one outside your skull will truly care if you achieve the goals you’ve set for yourself; if your goal is to walk a 5k, no one will mind if you withdraw at 2.8 miles; if your goal is to walk, no one will mind if you do; if you’ve set a time goal, no one will mind if you miss it.
But let’s avoid those what-if scenarios.
Warm up well with a light five-minute jog followed by dynamic stretches like butt-kicks, high-knees, slow lunges, etc. Pick a new spot on the map 3.5 miles away and run to it. You shouldn’t need to walk at all anymore, but this is a long run for us — take a good-sized water break once you hit the spot. Run back, again without walking, and stretch well after a light five-minute cool-down jog.
To recover from yesterday’s long workout, run for 15 minutes on whatever route you prefer. Be sure to warm up and cool down on either side of the workout.
Repeat yesterday’s workout, but increase the running time to 20 minutes. Like yesterday, this should be a nice recovery pace.
Let’s get used to the idea of running a 5k. Remember our run last Saturday? We’re doing that again. Pick the same spot on the map 3.107 miles away — the exact conversion of a 5k. As always, proper warmup is critical to avoid injury. You may need to walk during some point of this workout, and that’s just fine. Compared to last Saturday’s workout, the idea is to beat our time by stopping to walk fewer times. This is a hard workout, so it may be a good idea to ice your legs tonight.
Repeat Tuesday’s recovery run of 15 minutes easy. Don’t worry about going a particular distance, just remind your legs that running isn’t awful 100 percent of the time. Be sure to warm up and cool down.
We’re going to take a long run again. Pick a spot on the map four miles away and run to it. Since the distance is long for us, don’t set out at a break-neck pace. Rather, this should be a mix of jogging and slow running. You may need to stop and walk several times, and that’s just fine for today’s workout. Be sure you warm up and cool down like normal, and start getting excited for the race.
Thank goodness for rest day.
Tavin Stucki is the head coach of the Copperview Rec Center’s youth track and field team, which sported two champions at the All-County Championship. Send any questions to email@example.com.