Get Running training plan: Week 4

Mix it up with fun and Fartlek, and finish the week with a timed run

Week 4 of the Get Running Stay On Track Programme

 

Getting out the door should be easier as you have completed three weeks of runs. Week 4 has lots of variety and fun: we let you be the boss in your midweek runs and introduce a new type of running called Fartlek. We also add a new Chirunning technique tip to help you when you are feeling a bit tired. Your 5k timed run at the weekend will be the perfect way to end the first half of our programme. It’s a busy week ahead; we have lots of things to experiment with.

Goals for Week 4

Your weekend 5k This is the perfect time for you to take part in a 5k to see how you have progressed since Week 1. You can run in a parkrun, a local race, or else measure the distance closer to home. If this is your first official 5k, please don’t panic. It’s normal to be nervous and the trick is not to start too fast. I have put together a list of all the tips for your first race.

Fartlek running Mix up your run this week with variations of slow minutes followed by fast minutes. Don’t time your run by the clock: instead, use landmarks, such lampposts, other runners or buildings. You could run fast and slow between alternate lampposts, or run slowly until you pass the next red car. You are in charge. Make up the rules as you go along. You can even decide your route as you go and try to vary everything. Your body won’t know what is going to come next and it will be great training. I call this a funrun, but the official term is Fartlek running, which is the Swedish word for speedplay.

Chirunning tip Feel a string pulling from your chest: We all are looking for a secret tip to help our running feel easier. This Chirunning tip works wonders when you are struggling with a run. Imagine a string from your chest pulling you forward. Feel as if you are attached the back of a runner in front of you, or an object in the distance. Keep your gaze on the object and imagine you are being pulled towards it. It really helps with posture, as you cannot be looking at a point in the distance if you are bent over. Keeping tall allows for more space in the lungs which is the best way to help breathing feel easier. I explain this more in the video.

Warmup and Cooldown Be sure to warm up with a brisk five-minute walk before you start running. At the end of your run, I would like you also to walk for five minutes to cool down. After your run, please follow the stretching video from Week 2, which reminds you of all the stretches.

Homework

We will have three runs each week. Spread them out across the week to allow the body to recover.

Monday or Tuesday Warmup: A brisk five-minute walk Run/walk session: A 30-minute Fartlek run, as described above. Have fun and vary everything. Cooldown and stretch: Five-minute walk and stretches

Wednesday or Thursday Warmup: A brisk five-minute brisk walk Run/walk session: A 30-minute Fartlek run, as described above. Have fun and vary everything. Cooldown and stretch: Five-minute walk and stretches

Weekend Warmup: A brisk five-minute walk Run/walk session: Your 5k time trial. Choose a parkrun, a race or a route close to home. Work hard, but don’t start too fast. Keep a track of the time it takes Cooldown and stretch: A five-minute walk and stretches

Best of luck: I’ll be back with you next week to see how you are getting on.

Here are my tips for running your first race. Don’t be alarmed by the references to 10k races; this article is from the Get Running: 10k course but the advice holds true for every race.

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