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If your barrier is not knowing how to train effectively to hit a PB or PR (for our American friends), are too time strapped to even contemplate such a feat, if it is that you lack the self belief and confidence to take on the 3.1 miles or 5 kilometres that separate you from can't to can, then this blog is for you.
But...I can't do it... Absolute nonsense. Yes you can.
Well I don't have a Personal Best / Record (PB/PR) I can't even run 5km... Absolute nonsense. Yes you can (barring any genuine medical or life issues of course).
What if you could start a training plan that is simple, takes less than 4.5 out of your 168 available hours in a week, and helps you to realise your potential.
Let's keep it simple, you need 3-4 runs in a week which will stimulate the different energy systems to run a solid 5km time.
The Easy Run - If you are a beginner include 2 of these in your run schedule and exclude the tempo run below (unless you have a good base level of fitness). If you are improving it will depend on your current training schedule but for now lets presume you run 3-4 times per week already, 1 of these runs should be a long easy run anywhere up to 90 minutes and 1 a shorter run up to 45 minutes. The aim is to deplete the body of glycogen (carbohydrates) stored in the muscles. The body then learns to store more which means you are less likely to run out and fatigue. Easy Long runs are good for all distances whether you are a 5k runner or are planning on tackling something longer. It will help you to develop stamina!
The Tempo Run - If you are a beginner and starting from scratch for now forget this run, and focus on 2 easy runs a week with an intervals session - see below. For those of you who are looking to improve your times, if you are not already doing this session you definitely should be. It is a 7/10 effort which is designed to help you hit and stay at your aerobic threshold, i.e. the point before lactic acid floods your muscles and causes you to feel that sensation where you simply can't run anymore. This run if included once a week in your training plan will help you to delay that response, so that when you race you can hold a quicker pace for longer.
High-End Intervals - These sessions are used to push the top end of your energy system (anerobic threshold), and get your body and mind used to harder efforts. The idea is to teach yourself to deal with different circumstances such as surging mid-race to overtake a fellow runner, to deal with changes in terrain - e.g. hills, and to cope with running hard when it hurts.
So what does this look like on paper?
Well below... I have included a generic 5km, 9 week plan so you can hit your PB. If you are a beginner I have supplied a link to the couch to 5k plan, although there is the option for something more personalised if you are already fairly fit.
Photo by Quino Al, unsplash.
Beginners: click here https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/get-running-with-couch-to-5k/. This app will talk you through an effective and safe way to get running and achieve your first 5k!
If you would like something more personalised drop us a message and we can book in a quick chat to help tailor a plan suited to your schedule, ability and confidence levels.