Back to Basics: the importance of building an aerobic base (part 2)
The Long Run
Welcome back to the Westfield Turkey Trot training blog! Hope you had a good training week.
We have already discussed the importance of setting up objectives, wearing the right shoes, keeping a workout log, and consistency of the weekly workouts. And of course, I'm sure you already signed up for the race!!
Today we will talk about the importance of the long run and how to survive them.
The long runs will get you ready for the distance of the race, in this case 5 miles. As frequency of the workouts is important to build up an aerobic base, completing one long workout per week will help your body get ready for the distance of the coming race. These long workouts will overload your system. Overload is another variable of effective training. You have to overload your body to make it respond and adapt to the new demand. In plainer terms: you have to get out of your comfort zone to see results.
The long runs are already challenging in themselves, so if you need to walk part of them, it's absolutely OK. As long as you do one of these long runs a week, all running or a combination of run/ walk, your body will slowly adapt to the extra stress and eventually you will notice the positive changes in response to exercise.
If you think that the race will take you more than one hour to complete, it is a good idea to bring a sport drink with you on the long runs and also to the race. Start by choosing a sport drink, these are better than bringing just water because they have electrolytes and carbohydrates. Investigations in the subject have demonstrated that in exercise as short as one hour, consuming carbohydrates improves performance. The electrolytes will replace the minerals lost in sweating, making rehydration easier and faster, and the carbs will supply fuel to the muscles in action. There are many kinds and makes to choose from. Lately one of my favorites are the Nuun tablets. These tablets dissolve in water and have a mild taste, in case that the most commonly found sport drinks are not of your liking. (You can find Nuun at The Running Company). Start carrying a bottle with isotonic drinks for the long runs to get used to the taste, drinking while running and the weight of the bottle (bring it half-full first and progressively add more fluids to get used to the extra weight).
This week’s training is a bit easier than week 3 (see the downward arrow by week 4?). This is because I follow the training principles of periodization. The key of this method is to give the muscles adequate time to rest, so they can keep adapting to the increased stress. If you just keep on adding stress to the body without rest, the consequences will be hitting a premature plateau and or injury, and we don’t want either of those in our training! Even if you feel that you can keep on increasing the distances and time, trust me, take it easier this week, it will give you an even increased energy to get started all over on week 5 and keep on increasing the stress.
8 Week Training Schedule for the Westfield Turkey Trot 5m - 2012
The numbers are minutes of walk/jog, jog, or run at a pace that will allow you to have a conversation (see why I want you to have a buddy? ;-).
The X means that if you have been racing during the summer, you should do some kind of cross-training exercises, such as swimming, biking, elliptical machine, etc. If you are a complete beginner, you can take those (X) days off.
If you do strength training (ST) exercises and you just started running, do the ST exercises on non-running days.
For more info, check out my book: "RUNNING For Girls Like Us"
Happy training and see you next Sunday, Oct 28 :-)
Next week’s topic: Workout intensity (keep it varied)