Creating a Training Calendar
Running is one of the easiest and cheapest sports to get into. In theory, you can just throw on an old pair of trainers and off you go. There’s absolutely nothing to stop you diving straight in. However, starting to run from scratch can be intimidating, which is why creating a training calendar that guides you through those all-important first few weeks as a runner is invariably worthwhile.
Week 1: Get out there and have fun
Running, and getting better at running, is a journey that should start with small manageable goals. In this first week, our beginners’ running plan is all about getting out there, getting moving and having fun. If you’re already active, you can start this first week by running, but if you’re not active, we’d advise you to start at walking pace to strengthen your bones, tendons and muscles and create a fitness base you can build on without risking injury.
Running is unlikely to feel natural at first but stick with it. Consistency is the key to finding your rhythm and to feel more comfortable running. The more comfortable you are, the more you’ll be able to enjoy the process. At week 1 of your beginners’ running plan, your pace should be what we call ‘conversational’. That is, it’s at a pace at which you can comfortably maintain a conversation or sing along to music.(TABLE)
Week 2: Building your base
Now that your body knows what it feels like to run, and your strength and fitness is improving, you can start to increase the effort and exertion slightly. In week 2, our beginners’ training plan will help you determine your threshold pace, which is the tipping point between your conversational pace (aerobic) and breathless pace (anaerobic). If you listen to music while you exercise, your threshold pace is the point where you can sing along to a single line of a song, but would have to take a few quick breaths before you can sing any more.(TABLE)
Week 3: Picking up the pace
You now have a relatively good base on which to start improving your pace. You should already have noticed that your comfortable pace on day 10 was faster than it was on day 1. That’s simply the result of running consistently for two weeks. In week 3 of our beginners’ running plan, we focus on gradually building your speed and maintaining it for longer. At this stage, you should also think about taking longer, more powerful strides.(TABLE)
Week 4: Add some distance
Now that you’ve become comfortable running more quickly, we want to create a training calendar for week 4 that incorporates greater distances to build up your physical and mental endurance. This is the last week of your beginners’ running plan, so you can celebrate the fact that you now possess all of the necessary skills to make running a regular part of your life.(TABLE)
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