The majority of runners avoid lifting weights, but strength training for endurance runners can be very beneficial for a number or reasons. One reason that some form of cross training for runners can be so effective is that it has been proven to lead to a decreased number of injuries. Another reason that resistance training for endurance runners is so effective is that it leads to better running times and decreased recovery times after races and training runs. Yet despite these benefits most runners don’t strength train, either because they don’t see the benefit, or they don’t know how.
I recently posted a basic 10k training schedule, which can be found here. Of course, following a training schedule is a lot harder to do than it initially seems. Why? Because it is hard to stay motivated.
If you are new to running, odds are that you think the “runners high” is a joke, and the only “high point” of running is stopping! Well this is understandable, because running is hard, especially at first. The fact that running is hard is precisely the reason why people either quit or never start their running training programs.
But here are 3 tips to help make running more enjoyable!!
Now don’t actually decide to skip your run so that you can catch the latest episode of American Idol. However, if you have a gym membership or a treadmill in your home, you can watch TV while you run. As long as you can safely do these two activities simultaneously, then I say go for it! If running is hard, then distracting yourself from the fact that you are running is a great idea. Speaking of distracting yourself.
2. Listen to something
You can listen to your iPod, or other music device while you run. (Warning, must make sure that you are extra safe and aware of your surroundings if you plan on listening to a personal audio device while running. I recommend listing to an MP3 player only when on a treadmill or a running track) Personally, I think that iPod playlists can get old after you have listed to them so many times, so you can try an arm band radio, or my personal favorite an audio book. If you have never tried it, I highly recommend downloading and listening to an audiobook while you do your runs. It can distract you from the fact that you are running and it will keep you motivated to run so that you can hear the rest of the story. To help with this, only let yourself listen to the audio book during your runs.
3. Just don’t run
If you are really not in a mood to go running at least walk. Who knows, at some point while you are walking you might find that inner desire to break into a jog. Wow! Now you are running and you didn’t even plan on it. On the other hand, you might just walk the entire time and never start running. That is OK also, we all have days where we would rather not do our workout, but at least you can walk it. Walking your workout is infinitely better than skipping it for the simple reason that you don’t break your streak of activity.
These are just three simple ways to stay motivated, I’m sure that there are several more, it you have your own tips or tricks, feel free to share them in the comments below.
When you are going through your 10k training schedule it is important to use good running technique. Much of the new running research on technique is centered around a fairly modern technique called the pose method of running. This method of running is designed to help make running more efficient and to decrease the risk of injury while running.
The pose method essentially is a “controlled fall.” This means that you are letting your body lean forward during your running, in order to let gravity help “pull” you forward. Part of the technique includes landing on the front of your foot or at least landing flat, as opposed to landing on your heel. It also includes pulling your heel up vertically, almost to the point that you are hitting your rear-end with the back of your heel. This admittedly is an oversimplified summary of the pose method and there are entire books on the subject. For this reason, and the fact that it is difficult to describe running technique in words, included below is a video outlining the prose method.
The video above focuses primarily on leg movement and foot placement, but it is important to focus on upper body technique as well. Good upper body running technique consists of good arm movement, shoulder placement, and torso movement. For good arm movement, you should keep your arms bent at the elbows and keep that bent elbow at a consistent angle of about 90 degrees. The most important upper body running technique tip is the arm swing. When swinging your arms, make sure that they are swinging straight forward and backwards, not side to side. There should be little to no horizontal movement of your hands or elbows, they should only be swinging up and down, forwards and back again. Your shoulders should remain relaxed. By this I mean don’t shrug or tense your shoulders by pulling them towards your ears. Relax your shoulders, but do not hunch or arch your back. You should be keeping you back and torso upright and aligned with the rest of your body.
I hope that what is described above doesn’t sound too complicated. There a lot of different aspects of running technique to focus on, but I would advise focusing on improving only one thing at a time. When you have mastered that once thing, such as arm swing or foot placement, it will start to feel like second nature. You will soon be using correct foot placement or arm swing without having to think about it, at this point you can move on to the next aspect of running technique that you wish to master.
That is basically all there is to it for running technique. Now all you have to do is practice! You can practice by incorporating proper technique into your 10k training schedule. If you are looking for a good beginner 10k training schedule you can find one on the previous post (here). And remember when you are practicing the new pose method of running to be safe, and to have FUN getting into great shape!!
Below is a free 10k training schedule that is perfect for beginners. It is easy to follow and challenging, yet it is flexible enough to incorporate into a busy life schedule. The program is 8 weeks in length, so the ideal time to start the program, would be exactly 8 weeks before your 10k event. However, feel free to modify the program to your specific likes and requirements. If you want to repeat one of the weeks that is fine. Or if you already have a strong fitness level and a short amount of time before your 10k race, feel free to jump right in, in the middle of the program.
Please read the previous post (which you can find here) if you are new to running. It touches on a few of the basics of a good training program, such as consistency, safety, and motivation. Remember with a training program that you DON’T want to hurt yourself and you DO want to try to stay as consistent as possible. If you miss one of your running days for whatever reason, don’t feel like you have to double up workouts to make up for it. Just pick up, either where you left off, or where you would have been had you completed the previous running day. Also remember, that you don’t have to run the entire time. If you feel like you are pushing yourself too much for your fitness level, it’s OK to walk, especially if you are new to running. If your goal is to walk a 10k then you should be walking most, if not all, of these workouts.
Without farther delay, here is your 1st 10k training schedule! Good luck, be safe, and have fun!
The 10k is a race that is perfect for any athlete of any skill or experience level . It can be challenging for the most experienced Olympic athlete who is trying to break a world record time or for someone who has never run a race in their whole life, someone who is just trying to “go the distance”. There is one important similarity that can be traced across all of the different spectrums of runners training for a 10k. This is the importance of a training program to help you meet your goals. There is a KEY element, however, that is necessary for success when following you 10K training schedule.
A training program will get you from where you are to where you want to be. Most 10 K (6.2 miles) training programs are about 8-10 weeks in length. Some however are even longer than that, but it is important to remember that with consistency of training you can achieve you running goals for the 10k in two to three months. This might sound like a long time, but with consistent training you will be amazed at the changes that you will see in your running and in your body and health. Your energy levels will improve and maybe you will be able to go through the day without that extra cup of coffee. Again consistency is the KEY to a 10k running program. What is not important in a 10K program (especially for a beginning runner) is intensity or speed. So it doesn’t matter how fast you do the workouts, only that you do them.
Most beginning 10k training programs will have you doing three workouts per week. Again don’t worry if you have never ran a raced in your life or you don’t ever run at all. The most basic programs will start with a combination of running and walking. Over the course of the program the running times will gradually increase and the time spent walking will decrease. However if you feel like at any point in the program you are pushing yourself too hard, remember to slow down. The body will adapt to stresses that are placed on it.
As long as you are doing your workouts you are placing some stress on the body, the body will then adapt to that stress after some rest period. Then you can push your body to a new stress level and and you will adapt and so on. However, if you try to do to much too soon you will often end up injuring yourself. Therefore since consistency is the KEY to success, not getting injured is a vital key to consistency.
Most likely your legs will feel heavy and sore some days during the workout program. But this is normal! Finishing your workouts feeling as if you could do more enables you to get maximum benefits because you won’t be so sore and tired that you will not want to do the next workout. I know I’ve said it before but I can’t over-stress the importance of consistent exercise, not intensity or speed, but consistency.
In the next post I’m going to be writing about why it is so hard to stay consistent in your workouts and what you can to do to help prevent burnout and stay motivated. Like many other endeavors, training for a 10K requires mental endurance. Staying committed isn’t easy but it is possible. Good luck and have fun getting in great shape!