You don't have to wonder anymore what to do each day! This book will organize your Running life, telling you what to run (with other optional exercises) throughout the year to prepare for the goal of your choice - even if you want to be a more consistent runner. With each week's workouts, you'll receive a motivational tip, with suggestions about how to increase your Running enjoyment.
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British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data
A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library
Running – A Year Round Plan
Oxford: Meyer & Meyer Sport (UK) Ltd., 2006
ISBN 13: 978-1-84126-894-1
All rights reserved, especially the right to copy and distribute, including the translation rights. No part of this work may be reproduced—including by photocopy, microfilm or any other means—processed, stored electronically, copied or distributed in any form whatsoever without the written permission of the publisher.
© 2006 by Meyer & Meyer Sport (UK) Ltd.
Aachen, Adelaide, Auckland, Budapest, Graz, Johannesburg,
New York, Olten (CH), Oxford, Singapore, Toronto
Member of the World
Sports Publishers’ Association (WSPA)
Printed and bound by: TZ Verlag, Germany
ISBN 13: 978-1-84126-169-0
E-Mail: [email protected]
Why a Year-round Plan?
Defining Your Goal
Primary and Secondary Goals
The Galloway Run-Walk-Run Method
Predicting Race Performance
Preparing for the Plan
Building a Conditioning Base for Performance
Hill Training Builds Strength – and More
Speed Training Prepares You for Top Performance
How Speed Training Works
Prime Training Elements
Your Journal – Your Planning and Evaluation Tool
The Drills to Make Running Faster and Easier
The Principles of Great Running Form
Cross Training: Getting Better as You Rest the Legs
Toys: Heart Monitors and GPS Devices
Dealing with the Heat
Problems & Solutions
The Clothing Thermometer
Products that Enhance Running
Most runners like to know where they’re going. For example, when running in a strange city, you’ll feel more secure having a map of the route, knowing where the hills are located, with distances marked, etc. In a similar way, you’ll take charge of your running destiny when you have a training plan that charts your course for the next 52 weeks.
As you schedule workouts toward your goals, you develop a growing confidence in your ability to improve. As you adjust to the training, you will head directly toward your potential and the finish line. As you schedule each running week, you become the captain of your running ship.
This book has more than the framework of a very successful strategy. First, you’ll learn what is a realistic goal for you, right now. Then you will have the opportunity to train for 5K, 10K, half marathon, and marathon in one year. You may choose any of these goals or all of the above. Each week you’ll have workouts that will prepare you for the next phase.
This book is written as one runner to another and is the result of about 50 years of running, several decades of speed training, and having been the “coach” to more than 150,000 runners in one way or another. None of the advice inside is offered as medical advice. To get help in this area, see a doctor or appropriate medical expert.
Just having a plan will bestow a sense of confidence that is lacking in those who just get out there. Thousands of runners have told me that their plan kept them going when they hit a motivational lull. Even after sickness or other interruptions, the framework of your plan will give you direction. Overall, it is very motivating to become part of the process of improvement.
Each run has a purpose. Like pieces of a puzzle, the completion of the daily workout gradually fills in the overall vision of your running life. The early workouts stimulate the muscles to make gentle adaptations which prepare the body to work harder weeks or months later.
The non running days are as important as the hard workouts, providing time for the muscles, etc., to rebuild and improve internal engineering. As you look over your plan for the next few months, you’ll realize that you are moving forward, while connected with your running past, heading for the future.
You’re more likely to achieve your potential if you use a plan. I’ve talked to thousands of runners who trained for years and couldn’t seem to improve on a consistent basis. They had done the long runs and speed sessions—but without writing anything down or ensuring regularity. Then, during one season with a plan they improved 10, 20, even 30 minutes in a marathon.
The primary reason runners improve is that they stay injury free. By balancing stress with rest, you can control the gradual increases—and prevent injury. By making adjustments at the first signs of possible injury, you’ll avoid a much greater period of down time, later.
As you go through the first “campaign” toward a goal, you’ll help yourself greatly by tracking the adjustments (writing in the margins, etc.). As you embark on another goal in future years, you’ll have a better blueprint, because you’ve improved the original plan through adjustments to your reality.
I believe that a great deal of the satisfaction we receive emerges from what we do on a regular basis. I’ve seen many people improve their outlook on life when they use a proven plan to improve their running. Following and adjusting the plan to running success is almost always a life-changing experience, for the better.
As you start the setup of your plan, you’ll find lots of choices. The training components listed later in this book are like an “all you can eat” buffet. Before you choose which to put on your plate, you’ll need to come up with your primary and secondary goals. Following are the ones I’ve found to be most productive for the runners I’ve worked with.
At the end of this chapter I will ask you to write, in pencil, your list of goals. You will probably adjust them several times as you go through the process. My advice is to keep using a pencil—and look at the goals (your bottom line) every week.
Find a way to enjoy parts of every run—even the speed training. Most of your runs should be….mostly enjoyable. You increase the pleasure by ensuring that there are social or scenic runs every week. Too often, these are the ones that are left out. Take control of your running enjoyment by scheduling the fun sessions first.
When injured runners review their journal, they often find the causes of aches and pains. Make a list of past problems, and problems that pop up, and after reading the injury section of this book, make the needed adjustments. As you eliminate the injury stress, you can eliminate most of your injuries.
All of us get the warning signs of over-training. Unfortunately, we often ignore these or don’t know what they are. Your training journal is a wonderful tool for noting any possible ache, pain, loss of desire, unusual fatigue that lingers, etc. If you develop an injury, you can review your journal and often find the reasons. This helps you to become more sensitive to possible problems and make conservative adjustments in the plan to reduce injury risk.
Those who have not finished a race of any distance, would be best advised to Choose the “A” program during the first training cycle. After finishing one marathon, for example, it would be fine to run faster in the next one. There is a steep learning curve during the initial campaign, so make it as easy on yourself as possible.
The next chapters will answer this question. You’ll be introduced to a test that can tell you what you’re capable of running in several events. Then, you’ll learn how to choose the amount of improvement you want to shoot for.
Ok, it’s your turn: List your current running goals, in order of their importance
Your first mission is to decide upon a primary goal for the year. Much of the year will build toward this, your final exam. The secondary goals can be just as important, and just as challenging. They will also prepare you for the prime goal.
A high percentage of the runners I’ve worked with start the year with one primary goal. But once they get into a coordinated schedule of workouts and races for other goals, the benefits speak for themselves. Running becomes more interesting.
Many discover that they have more talent in races that were new to them. Even if the primary goal remains supreme, the conditioning and form improvements gained from other events prepare for the “main event.”
The 52 week plan has such variety that it is hard to get bored. Each week you’ll know exactly how many weeks you have left toward the current race goal, and when you will shift toward the following one. If one goal doesn’t pan out, there are several others to come.
Some runners just want a plan to follow, every week, and like to have regular feedback on how they are running. The 52 week plan does this. If this is your choice, I suggest that you select one or two of the goal race options and focus on these to add structure to your year. Many runners in this category start the year without a goal but by week 20, are into the quest for time improvement on several fronts. You don’t have to make many goal decisions in the beginning. Just start the plan, and make the choice later.
Once you have decided on your primary goal (and secondary goals) for this year, copy the 52 week plan and note the goals on the appropriate weeks. For example, top priority is often time improvement in the marathon. But look at the other goal race options on the plan and pick one or more. Next, take your journal and write down the important workouts leading up to the primary goal.
These are scheduled in the 52 week plan. It helps to have a chart on your wall or refrigerator to track how you are doing. You’ll be using the prediction formulas in the next chapter.
I doubt that you will find any training component that will help you in more ways than my run-walk-run™ method. I continue to be amazed, every week, at the reports of how these strategic walks helped runners have a wonderful experience as they improve their finish time. When placed appropriately for the individual, fatigue is erased, motivation improves, running enjoyment is enhanced, and the runner feels confident of finishing with strength. Here’s how it works.
Most of us, even when untrained, can walk for several miles before fatigue sets in, because walking is an activity that we are bio-engineered to do for hours. Running is more work, because you have to lift your body off the ground and then absorb the shock of the landing, over and over.
This is why the continuous use of the running muscles will produce fatigue, aches, and pains much more quickly. If you walk before your running muscles start to get tired, you allow the muscle to recover instantly—increasing your capacity for exercise while reducing the chance of next-day soreness.
The “method” part involves having a strategy. By using a ratio of running and walking you will manage your fatigue. Using this fatigue-reduction tool early gives you the muscle resources and the mental confidence to cope with any challenges that can come later. Even when you don’t need the extra strength and resiliency bestowed by the method, you will feel better during and after your run, and finish knowing that you could have gone further.
“The run-walk method is very simple: you run for a short segment and then take a walk break, and keep repeating this pattern.”
Walk breaks allow you to take control over fatigue, in advance, so that you can enjoy every run. By taking them early and often you can feel strong, even after a run that is very long for you. Beginners will alternate very short run segments with short walks. Even elite runners find that walk breaks on long runs allow them to recover faster. There is no need to be exhausted at the end of a run—even a 30 miler.
Give you control over the way you feel at the end
Push back your fatigue wall
Allow for endorphins to collect during each walk break—you feel good!
Break up the distance into manageable units. (“two more minutes”)
Reduce the chance of aches, pains and injury
Allow you to feel good afterward—carrying on the rest of your day without debilitating fatigue
Give you all of the endurance of the distance of each session—without the pain
Allow older runners or heavier runners to recover fast, and feel as good or better than the younger (slimmer) days
It’s better to walk slowly, with a short stride. There has been some irritation of the shins, when runners or walkers maintain a stride that is too long. Relax and enjoy the walk.
Some beginners assume that they must work toward the day when they don’t have to take any walk breaks at all. This is up to the individual, but is not recommended. Remember that you decide what ratio of run-walk-run to use. There is no rule that requires you to hold to any ratio on a given day. As you adjust the run-walk to how you feel, you gain control over your fatigue.
I’ve run for about 50 years, and I enjoy running more than ever because of walk breaks. Each run I take energizes my day. I would not be able to run almost every day if I didn’t insert the walk breaks early and often. I start most runs taking a short walk break every minute. By 2 miles I am usually walking every 3-4 minutes. By 5 miles the ratio often goes to every 7-10 minutes. But there are days every year when I stay at 3 minutes and even a few days at 1 min.
There are several watches which can be set to beep when it’s time to walk, and then beep again when it’s time to start up again. Check our website (www.jeffgalloway.com) or a good running store for advice in this area.
In this chapter you’ll learn what goals are realistic for you, how much improvement can be expected, and whether you are on track for the goal at various points. At the end of the program these scheduled tests will predict the performance you can expect on a good day, and how to make adjustments for temperature.
Regular testing takes the guesswork out of goal setting. This often involves putting reins on your ego, which will often try to talk you into goals that are not within your current capabilities. The tests allow you to adjust your workouts, and to avoid disappointment from pursuing unrealistic goals.
During my competitive years, and the first decade that I worked with other runners, I found a very beneficial prediction tool in Computerized Running Training Programs by Gerry Purdy and James Gardner. This book has been revised and re-published in print and software as Running Trax, by Track and Field News. This is a great resource and I highly recommend it.
You have done the training necessary for the goal—according to the training programs in this book
You are not injured
You run with an even-paced effort
The weather on goal race day is not adverse (above 60°F, strong headwinds, heavy rain or snow, etc.)
The one mile test is our evaluation tool, and has been very accurate. After over 30 years of coaching over 150,000 runners, I’ve come up with formulas that allow you to predict even a marathon time, from running a fast one mile—for you. Here’s how:
Go to a track, or other accurately measured course.
Warm up by walking for 5 minutes, then running a minute and walking a minute, then jogging an easy 800 meter (half mile or two laps around a track).
Do 4 acceleration-gliders. These are listed in the “Drills” chapter.
Walk for 3-4 minutes.
Run the one mile test—a hard effort—follow the walk break suggestions in this chapter.
On your first race, don’t run all-out from the start—ease into your pace after the first half (2 laps).
Warm down by reversing the warm-up.
A school track is the best venue. Don’t use a treadmill because they tend to be notoriously un-calibrated, and often tell you that you ran farther or faster than you really did.
On each successive test, try to adjust pace in order to run a faster time on the test.
Use the formula below to see what time is predicted in the goal races.
Run the first lap slightly slower than you think you can average. Take a short walk break as noted in the walk break suggestions in this chapter. If you aren’t huffing and puffing you can pick up the pace a bit on second lap. If you are huffing after the first lap, then just hold your pace on lap two.
Most runners benefit from taking a walk break after the second lap. At the end of lap 3, the walk break is optional. It is OK to be breathing hard on the last lap. If you are slowing down on the last lap, start a little slower on the next test. When you finish, you should feel like you couldn’t run more than about half a lap further at that pace (if that). You may find that you don’t need many walk breaks during the test—experiment and adjust.
To predict your per mile pace in longer distances from a 1 mile: (4 laps around the track)
Take your one mile time and add 33 seconds
Take your one mile time and multiply by 1.15
Take your one mile time and multiply by 1.2
Take your one mile time and multiply by 1.3
Mile time: 9:30 (or 9.5 minutes)
For 5K time, add 33 seconds: 10:03 is predicted mile pace for a 5K (31:10 predicted time)
It is OK to choose a time for your goal race which is faster than is predicted by your pre-test. As you do the speed training, the long runs and your test races, you should improve. For prediction purposes, as you take this “leap” to a goal, I suggest no more than a 3-5% improvement in a 3 month training program.
Run the one mile test
Use the formulas above to predict what you could run now, if you were trained for the goal distance
Choose the amount of improvement during the 52 week program (3-5%)
Subtract this from # 2—this is your goal time
The key to goal setting is keeping your ego in check. From my experience, I have found that a 3% improvement is realistic. This means that if your 5K time is predicted to be 30 minutes, that it is realistic to assume that you could lower it by 54 seconds if you do the speed training and the long runs as noted on my training schedules, during the 52 week plan. Those who have been running longer (two years or more) and have not been doing speed training for more than a year, could try for a more aggressive, 5% improvement: 1 minute off a 20 minute 5K.
In all of these situations, however, everything must come together to produce the predicted result. Even runners who shoot for a 3% improvement, do all the training as described, achieve their goal slightly more than 50% of the time during a racing season. There are many factors that determine a time goal in a marathon that are outside of your control: weather, terrain, etc.
Test races are noted on the year-round schedule, every few weeks. These will help you chart your progress.
Follow the same format as listed in the pre-test, above.
By doing this as noted, you will learn how to pace yourself.
Hint: it’s better to start a bit more slowly than you think that you can run.
Walk breaks will be helpful for most runners. Read the section in this book for suggested ratios.
Note whether you are speeding up or slowing down at the end, and adjust in the next test.
If you are not making progress then look for reasons and adjust.
Take the last 4 tests, and eliminate the slowest time. Average the 3 remaining times get a good prediction in your goal race. If the tests are predicting a time that is slower than the goal you’ve been training for, adjust your race goal accordingly. It is strongly recommended that you run the first one-third of your goal race a few seconds a mile slower than the pace predicted by the test average.
Read the chapter on using a journal. Your chance of reaching your goal increases greatly with this very important instrument. Psychologically, you start taking responsibility for the fulfillment of your mission when you use a journal.
There are a number of running products in the next chapter which make running easier. More important than these helpful tools is your mental preparation. Be sure to read carefully the chapter above on “Primary And Secondary Goals” Above all, focus on the enjoyment of running. Virtually everyone can feel great after and during a run, and that becomes a greater reward than anything you can buy for yourself.
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