Starting a Running Program

Week 5

by Patti & Warren Finke, Team Oregon
You've been following the series and doing the suggested 5 week training plan. What now? Let's take a look at your accomplishments. You set a goal to do the plan every week and you're now a runner. You should now be able to complete 5 miles or 8 kilometers comfortably, which was one of the goals for this program. More importantly, you have learned how to train using hard and easy days, easy running, and slowly building your distance up to increase your endurance. By now you should be noticing the difference in your fitness level and your overall energy. You should be enjoying the activity and starting to explore future possibilities for your running.

What Next?

At the end of this 5 week program you should be capable of entering and completing a low key 5k or 8k fun run or race. Don't expect to win, just complete it, have a good time and get the T-shirt. The current level of training will keep you aerobically fit and support an occasional short fun run. Basic fitness is a great running goal. If you want to increase your level of training, first set some new goals that are within your reach in the next 4 to 8 weeks. Increase your training by no more than 5% per week. Remember to maintain a hard/easy schedule always increasing the hard days first and keeping the easy days at less than 10% of your weekly workout total. You could start by doing some running on 1 or 2 of the easy days you have taken off. This should be limited to 800 - 1200 meters. You could start replacing the walking warmup and cooldown with slow running until you can run the entire workout. As you continue with your running we encourage you to periodically go back and revisit the 10 running commandments we have given you in this series.

The 10th Commandment: When in doubt rest.

Consider this the golden commandment. If you want to stay healthy and excited about your running, this is the secret. No one ever got injured or burnt out taking a day off. And no one ever got out of shape in one day either.

It is important to think of resting on a seasonal level as well. If you have been training and racing hard for an extended period, are feeling tired and losing enthusiasm about your running, consider backing off for a six to eight week period. With the competitive runners we have coached we have found this very hard to get them to do the first time. But they have come back from the rest period revitalized and usually run their best races ever the next season.

Week Five Workout

To be done on a 400 meter running track or measured course
Day 1     Day 2     Day 3     Day 4     Day 5     Day 6     Day 7
Easy      Easy      Hard      Easy      Hard      Easy      Hard

  0         0       3.2 km     0        3.2 km     0         8 km

3.2km (2 mi)  workout
Warm up by walking 800 meters (1/2 mi) or 2 laps of the track
Complete  1600 meters (1 mi) or 4 laps of the track by running
continuously , but walking a short distance whenever needed. If 
you have to stop frequently, perhaps you are running too fast. 
Remember you should be running easily enough to carry on a 
conversation.  Try taking your pulse rate and seeing if you are 
keeping it below the numbers we gave you for the week 1 workout.
Cool Down by walking 800 meters, 2 laps of track

8km (5 mi)  workout
Warm up by walking 800 meters, 2 laps of the track
Complete 6400 meters (4 mi) or 16 laps of the track by running
continuously,  but walking a short distance whenever needed.
Cool Down by walking 800 meters, 2 laps of track

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