Training plan: week 6

Recovering from your runs and building your strength

 Thirty minutes of running is within your grasp. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Thirty minutes of running is within your grasp. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

 

Moving to kilometres: For the next three weeks we will measure our long run in kilometers rather than minutes. I want you to start thinking about the distance now, and getting your head around how far a 10k actually is. So this week we are going to run 8km. You may have reached that last week - if you did -lucky you - you will find this week easier, but for most of you, 8k will be the longest run to date.


Fartlek run: This week, build the exercises – wall sitting, step-ups and plank) into the middle of your fartlek run. . As you are running along, vary the speed, stop for an exercise, challenge yourself by bringing in more variety and notice the impact on your run.


Drinking on the run: if you are sufficiently hydrated, I don’t see you needing to drink on your short runs, or on your runs up to an hour long. The one exception to this is a very warm day. We don’t get too many of these, but work it out for yourself; if you feel more comfortable bringing water with you, by all means do. Remember, if you are taking part in an official 10k race at the end of this programme, they will normally have water along the route anyhow, so you won’t need to carry anything yourself.


Looking after your body: As we get into these longer mileages, it’s natural that we feel the strain a bit more on the body. It’s up to you to look after your body. There are a few simple things you can do to take the pressure off the body after your run. Check out this week’s article with my favourite recovery strategies.


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

Monday or Tuesday
Warmup: Take a five-minute brisk walk
Run/walk session: 30-minute run on a new route; think about being tall and relaxed throughout.
Cooldown and stretch: five-minute walk and three stretches


Wednesday or Thursday
Warmup: A five-minute brisk walk
Run/walk session: 30 minute fartlek run. Bring in different speeds and the exercises from the last few weeks into the middle of your run. Have fun with this one.
Cooldown and stretch: five-minute walk and three stretches


Weekend
Warmup: A five-minute brisk walk
Run/walk session: 8k comfortable run; track your distance.
Cooldown and stretch: five-minute walk and three stretches

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