Lockdown enforcements in the UK have been tightened this week and unless you’re a key worker you’ll probably be staying home. The gyms are closed, but we are still allowed outside for daily exercise.
If you’ve now adopted running into your weekly training but are unsure how to structure your running week, then we are here to help you get the best out of your new found cardio gains.
Other than structuring your day around when to eat your isolation snacks, it's worth trying to keep some sort of structure to your training week. And although you may be following a home programme for your strength training it's helpful to try and do the same for your running if you want to see some improvements.
Almost all running based training plans for any sort of distance from 5k to Marathon, will usually work around 3 key sessions each week:
The Speed Session
Whatever your goals, it's always good to try and bring some speed into your training. It will take you out of your comfort zone and help improve your technique and efficiency. Some examples of this could be:
Running reps of a set time or distance with a rest in between. For example 5x3 minutes with a 90 second rest at around 5k pace or faster.
Fartlek training - Swedish for Speedplay, fartlek is similar to interval training but less structured. With fartlek training you'll vary your pace throughout the run with periods easy running with periods of fast running. You could run easy for 3 lamp posts then hard for 2.
The Mid Distance Session
Usually around 5k-10k, this session should be done at a fast but comfortable pace. You may have heard the term "tempo run" or "threshold run" either of those terms could be applied here. Ideally you want to be running at a pace where you could say 1-2 words at a time, if you can have a conversation you're going too slow, if you can't speak you're going too fast.
The Long Run
How far is a long run? Usually a long run can be anything from 5-20 miles depending on what you're training for. Unless you're marathon training maybe try and aim for 45-90mins depending on your current fitness levels. The idea of this run is that it's an extended effort which will help work on your endurance. This run should be at an easy, relaxed pace where you feel like you could have a conversation.
What about the rest of the week?
If you're planning to run more than 3 times a week, the rest of your running should be at an easy, recovery pace. Avoid running too many hard sessions back to back, try and have a rest day in between the tougher sessions. Give your body time to recover and adapt to the training, Ready to go again next week.