THE ANNUAL ‘ON TO THE NEW YEAR’ 5K TRAINING PLANS FOR 2020-21 ARE NOW AVAILABLE! Turkey Trotters who wish to run or walk a New Year’s Eve 5K or a Resolution 5K event on New Year’s Day and who would like a bit of STRUCTURE to get them pointed in the right direction and ready for another challenge, this post is for you.
The RUN plan is adapted from the Earned Runs “On to the New Year” plans offered in 2017-2019 after the Thanksgiving Day weekend. It is for runners who followed the 10-week plan over the past several months to prepare for a Turkey Trot 5K. The 4+ week program starts at about the level of intensity scheduled a month earlier in the Runners’ Turkey Trot 5k Training Plan. It is posted on the RESOURCES page.
The WALK plan was introduced in 2018, adapted from a VeryWellFit.com beginner 5K plan. Because walkers will have been training since September, the ‘On to the New Year’ 2020-21 plan starts roughly at the level of the Verywellfit.com Week 3 plan. It is for walkers who followed the 10-week plan over the past several months to prepare for a 5k or 10k Turkey Trot. It is also posted on the RESOURCES page.
You will have just a week to recover from a Thanksgiving Day run or walk and to mentally rest up. The general formula applied to recovery is to avoid intense workouts for a length of time determined by the race distance: 1 day for every 1 mile of race. Thus after a Thanksgiving Day 3.1 mile (5K) race you would take 3 days to rest, with only easy short runs, cross-training sessions, or walking. Both plans start Wednesday December 2, 2020.
Neither plan is designed to improve runners’ or walkers’ finish times achieved in the Turkey Trot competition. The purpose of each is to continue running and walking activities that allow comfortable participation in fun events at the end/beginning of this/next year.
Alternatively, you can devise or find another plan to prepare for an event roughly 4-5 weeks after your Thanksgiving Day race. If a better performance is a goal, check online for free plans or advice.
If you haven’t yet thought about competing again, consider using the past several months’ Turkey Trot preparation effort to position yourself for a vigorous end to 2020 or a confidence-boosting beginning to 2021. You need only maintain training activity for a few more weeks.
Take the brief few days of rest, then look ‘On to the New Year’.
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
RUN: EARNED RUNS ‘ON TO THE NEW YEAR’ 2020-21 5K TRAINING PLAN
WALK: EARNED RUNS ‘ON TO THE NEW YEAR’ 2020-21 5K TRAINING PLAN
TRADITIONAL BLACK FRIDAY SHOPPING NO LONGER EXISTS. Rising very early in the morning to get to a mall or downtown retail area for special store openings, to secure amazing money-saving deals on prized items, on the day after the USA Thanksgiving holiday is no longer necessary or perhaps even possible. We can use laptops and mobile devices to purchase rrice-slashed gifts for others (and ourselves) days and now even weeks in advance.
However, where do we start when it comes to identifying what our beloved athletes might wish to receive? Is it possible to surprise these family members and friends with apparel/ gear they may not have known about or realized could improve their sporting lives?
Runnersworld.com recently publish a listicle of 28 “Best Running Products” that had been tested and approved by staff.
The problem I’ve had with such list-articles in the past is that the featured items are often sold out online by the time I read the piece, and I’m not confident I can choose an appropriate substitute.
So, this article is being passed on to readers ASAP in hopes it will spur discussions with intended giftees about wish lists and serve as a guide for Black Friday as well as Small Business Saturday, promoted the weekend day after the USA’s Thanksgiving and the first Saturday in December in the United Kingdom.
The RW article’s links to enable purchase of featured products take readers to the companies and of course to amazon.com., but some products may be carried in nearby stores. This option can be explored if buying small/locally is a priority or online supplies are exhausted. The lines between Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday are totally blurred as every day after Halloween now seems to be an online shopping sale day whether at the corner running store or corporate giant.
In pre-Covid-19 times, small businesses might have relied heavily on foot traffic within their brick-and-mortar stores and skimped on website information and offerings. With protective pandemic restrictions in place globally, which have reduced in-person browsing and spending, many of these same boutique businesses have boosted their online presences and made remote shopping a priority on easier, user-friendly websites.
It may now be less risky to “shop small” if shoppers are more knowledgeable and confident about specific products or brands, especially if small businesses have mitigated risk by instituting procedures assuring on-time deliveries at reasonable shipping rates.
Other notable aspects of this RW list is that it includes products priced in an affordable range and highlights a variety of brands, both famous and lesser-known names not likely to be represented in big-box store offerings.
For me this list is an education. I’ve found new companies and novel gear items that can be further researched. Not only do I have ideas for gifting, but I have ideas for constructing my own wish list. When a loved one asks what I would like to receive, my mind often goes blank if searching for non-budget-busting dream gifts. Even the price of a good pair of merino wool socks can be too high for a tiny wallet. Yes, there’s a pair in this list I would like to investigate, and I found several nearby small stores that carry them.
Rather than waiting after Thanksgiving to blog about shopping, Earned Runs is posting its Turkey Weekend retail therapy story in advance. While watching the re-made Macy’s Parade or spectator-free football games that don’t require close attention, readers can browse this list and prepare to broach the topic of athletic-gear gifting in later video- and phone conversations with family and friends.
Lower-priced items on the RW list that caught my attention:
$14.99 merino wool socks
$24.99 sports face mask (of course this is for Covid19 protection)
$25 sport sunglasses worn by celebrities
$29.96 skin repair spray
$39.99 compression socks
$45 soft tee
$59.99 wireless earbuds
In addition to Thanksgiving Thursday feasting and gatherings, I’ve always happily anticipated brick-and-mortar Black Friday shopping experiences and don’t want to lose this part of the holiday. This year especially traditions are being challenged, so best to evolve and discover new traditions to cherish.
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
TRAINING IS COMPLETE! BOTH RUNNERS’ AND WALKERS’ sessions are of short duration and distance. You most likely will have competing responsibilities to prepare for feasting and other activities associated with upcoming Thursday celebrations. Because both plans are designed to help beginners or those wishing to insure a race finish, rather than set a personal record or aggressively compete, these few easy days will keep you active but not dominate schedules.
It’s time to shop, clean, and decorate in advance of the holiday! Assemble your gear if it’s going to be special or a costume. Plan what and when you will eat before racing, unless you’re confident from past experience at exercising fasted, and do not intend to eat prior to race time.
Although your 5K (or walking 10K) training has been the focus of physical activity for the past couple months, the real USA Thanksgiving is intended to center on the connecting and the sharing of meals with loved ones, in gratitude. Whether from a distance/virtual or in person, preparations for this day’s feasting deserve our attention.
For me, preparation began weeks ago and included efforts to make birthdays for three loved ones special in a difficult year. This week the intensity of my non-running prep is peaking, and training is not the most important item on my to-do list (actually that’s part of the reason this post is a day later than usual!).
Dialing back exercise time and ramping up holiday prep may not be physically easy for some, however. Runners and walkers, if you have come to rely on a higher level of activity for weight control be aware that you might need to cut back a bit on caloric intake when your training slows significantly or stops these few days. Save the calorie splurge for the holiday weekend. Determine in advance that sensible eating and training will resume as soon as possible after this weekend, and enjoy it fully.
If traveling to your Thanksgiving Turkey Trot, double check arrangements and start packing soon, if you haven’t already. Get your costume together if that’s in your race day plans! Remember to pack your Earned Runs bibs too.
Enjoy the building excitement that comes with participating in a goal race.
You've EARNED it.
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
DO YOU WISH TO HELP MEMBERS OF THE RUNNING INDUSTRY plan for future events?
Check out RunningUSA’s Global Running Survey – North American Edition.
Your guidance is especially important for the upcoming few years, since in-person gatherings have mostly been changed to a virtual format. If you decide that these types of competitions should not only be alternatives during the days of Covid-19 restriction but become regular offerings it’s best to weigh in now, for the future.
If you enjoy the flexibility and no-frills aspect of running/walking on a course of your choosing, within a several days long window (virtual), rather than a specific start time at a single course location (traditional/real time), at least in some situations, encourage race directors to preserve this option by indicating you plan to run ‘virtuals’ in the next 6 months to one year.
If you think registration fees are too expensive for ‘virtuals’, considering there are no major site expenses for organizations to contend with (my opinion), your thoughts could benefit many who find the cost of such events prohibitive.
This survey also asks takers to weigh in on the topics of diversity and inclusivity in the running community. There are several questions that deal with how the sport can be more welcoming and an open-ended question to which a written response can be given.
When completing my survey in this area I chose to discuss, in personal terms, the issue of SAFETY. Please consider this aspect of running/walking before simply checking off boxes of pre-prepared responses. My fear is that the industry will focus on making running events/races more welcoming for everyone, but not take on the bigger problem of everyday safety for runners and walkers. The reality is that some runners face danger every day when they take to the streets, neighborhoods, parks, and trails because of race or gender and sexual identity or orientation.
It is possible that, as members have united this year to present a strong front to address industry-wide economic hardships brought on by pandemic infection, they might be also be encouraged to examine the issue of running safety. For all runners and walkers.
Check out RunningUSA’s Global Running Survey – North American Edition soon. There aren’t many days until the survey closes.
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
TRAINING STARTS TODAY.
RUNNERS: The run: walk workouts this week are the longest in total time you will experience. If running at a 10-minute mile training pace*, 15 minutes of running + 1 minute of walking will very nearly mark a 1.5+ mile distance, the halfway point in a 5k (3.1mile) race.
At week’s end, the Saturday schedule calls for three 16-minute run: walk cycles (each 15:1 minutes).
Try MENTALLY moving through Saturday’s training session as if it were race day to gain confidence for the upcoming real race. Consider the first 15:1 cycle (16 minutes) a warm-up. Move at an easy warm-up pace. After that, imagine you are crossing the race ‘start’ line at minute 17 as you begin the second 15:1 cycle.
In your head (not legs), run: walk this next 16 minutes as if taking off after the starter’s signal, beginning the first half of a 5k event. Picture yourself in the company of other participants and practice taking small steps at a reduced pace as you make your way through the ‘crowded’ street. Since your race is likely to be a solo event or one with relatively few other contestants, your real start will be set by you, at a comfortable pace, rather than one forced by other runners.
Finally, mentally run:walk the third 15:1 cycle (in your head, not legs) as if you had passed the 1.55-mile marker, completed half the distance, and were headed at a faster pace to the finish line. Imagine that the crowd had dissipated, and you were able to move freely along the course at will. Visualize passing those who had made a faster start and sped ahead early in the race, fatigued and struggling to continue now. Take regular refreshing breaths. ’Feel’ the energy you saved for this part of the race propelling you forward to the finish line.
Remember, this is a mental practice; you can pace yourself as you plan to during the race (slower start, faster finish) but DO NOT physically move at your anticipated race pace. Save your best for the Turkey Trot race.
Once you have completed that last long 48-minute training run: walk, look back over the past months and recognize the progress made. There’s no need to wait until crossing the finish line to acknowledge your accomplishment. You have demonstrated the perseverance required to arrive at this calendar mark.
WALKERS: YOU HAVE BEEN READY TO COVER A 3.1 MILE DISTANCE since week 5. After that point you’ve been building endurance to be able to cover a longer distance or walk a 5k a bit faster and easier. Because this is a beginner plan the focus has not been on building speed. Read the section that describes how runners might mentally approach this week’s long session to prepare for the event. Use the first third of the time as a warm-up (about 20-25 minutes of the total 80-90minutes), the next 25 minutes like the first 1.55 miles of a 5k race walking with moderate to vigorous intensity, and the next 25 minutes walking vigorously to an imaginary finish line. Use the final 10-20 minutes in a cool-down walk.
As with the runners, imagine starting the ‘race’ with a crowd, enjoying more space and freedom in mid-race, then focusing mental and physical intensity on the way to the finish.
Both runners and walkers, can use the long session this week to mentally practice staying the course, sticking with a strategy, and keeping eyes on the prize of a strong 5k finish.
What a terrific Thanksgiving Day it will be.
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
NOTE: There's still enough time to request Earned Runs competition bibs (set of 4, free) and a free set of Turkey Trot stickers!
Brianna Wiest says, “Tell me what you did today, and I’ll tell you where you’ll be in 10 years” in a titled piece posted on medium.com. If open to a bit of introspection, Wiest’s article may help to: a) confirm you’re squarely on course, b) suggest a slight directional nudge in activities, or c) indicate your daily routine needs a significant overhaul, to guarantee the desired 10 year-future.
She instructs, “Write down exactly what you did today”. Then asks “Did you work? Did you rest? Did you argue? Did you feel fatigued? Did you eat right? Did you chip away at your creative project? Pretend you lived this day every day for the next 10 years. Where would you be? Healthier, more fulfilled? Sad, more complacent? You decide this now.”
Most of the time I read such self-help articles for purpose 'a', to put my mind at ease that I’m kind of doing okay. I give myself a mental thumbs-up or -down after finishing, and that’s it. I close the page and mostly don’t return to the piece again; its message is soon forgotten.
This time my response was slightly different, mostly because Wiest was asking me (readers) to examine every activity in just one day for its future fulfillment value. In this exercise even the smallest of purposeful moves in a 24-hour period could be up for judgement as well bigger attitudes and intentions.
My take on Wiest’s assignment is that I might best use it as a daily tactic in a broader strategy to lead a happy and purposeful life. Each and every day assess what I am doing and hope the answer helps me navigate in real time. And perhaps at day’s end my gratitude list will include being thankful that at least some part of the day was spent getting me closer to where I want to be in 10 years.
RUN AND MOVE HAPPY!
Today is the first day of Week 8 of the nearly 10-week plan that ends the on Thanksgiving.
The longest runs and walks of the plans are scheduled during this week and week 9, your PEAK training effort. After week 9 you will be starting the short easy week before your Thanksgiving Day race. When I am struggling through intervals or hills, the second to last effort always happens to be my best. I know I only have one more after it, so I give it all my concentration, and power through it.
Try to power through this week 8, knowing week 9 will involve your biggest but final training effort before the event. These plans are for beginners, designed to help you cross the finish line of a 3.1 mile running or slightly longer walking event in decent upright form. By completing these training sessions you will have demonstrated success in building sufficient endurance to accomplish this goal.
Walkers will be increasing mileage per the Hal Higdon plan that prepares for a 10K (5 miles). You’ll be able to finish 5K (or even 8K) stronger because the plan pushed you to train for this longer race. If not intending to cover a 10K distance in your TURKEY TROT event, consider these last weeks of extra work as time spent building for the future.
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
MARATHON TRAINING STRATEGY: BUILDING ON 3-WEEK LONG BLOCKS
Most long endurance race training programs involve increasing weekly mileage by adding one or more miles onto the long easy run at each week’s end. Kevin Beck posted a method on
PodiumRunner.com that involves repeating what he calls “blocks” of 3 weeks duration which include lower, then moderate, and then longer mileage runs interspersed with tempo, fast-finish, and speed runs.
I was immediately interested in the concept because I had done something like this, although not so elaborately, to prepare for the one marathon I ran.
Instead of adding a mile or two to the long run each week I began alternating the long runs of greater than 13 miles with those of 10 miles. For example on one week I would run 14 miles, and the next 10, followed by 16 miles and then 10 miles, followed by 18 miles then 10 miles. To save my knees.
Beck says, “Not only is it simple-though not easy- to follow, but based on your current fitness level, you can decide how many ‘blocks’ you need before your goal marathon and plan for that race in a surgical way.”
I’m thinking of trying Beck’s “Blocks” method but adjusting the numbers to fit my abilities and concern for maintaining musculoskeletal health and avoiding injuries. In addition to adding blocks, I will need to adjust the mileage.
Above is a preliminary attempt to translate Beck’s plan for personal use. It’s going to require more tweaking but hopefully will be ready when I am to start training again this winter/spring.
Check it out. The math has not been double-checked and there may be errors in this first go-round. Beck’s exact phasing is in italics.
Beck’s Definitions (in italics and quotes):
“Tempo (T): Running done at anaerobic threshold; this is between about 5 and 7 percent faster than marathon pace for most runners “
Now is the time to plan for 2021. There’s little motivation to do this mental work once fall and winter festivities begin. People are already looking for holiday music on the radio and streaming services!
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
PS: I changed the calendar to start with Sunday and end with Saturday per personal convenience.
TRAINING STARTS: Today is the first day of Week 7 of the nearly 10-week plan that takes trainees to Thanksgiving Weekend. Although the walking and running plans indicate Race Day falls on the Thursday holiday November 26, your race could be competed on any of the 4-6 days of that long weekend. This year Wednesday and Monday are included with Th-F-Sat-Sun fun because, due to work-at-home schedules maintained by many since the Spring due to Covid-19 precautions, a bit more relaxed approach might lead to starting/ending festivities a day early/late.
This Monday you may be recovering from Halloween celebrations of the weekend. If you raided a child’s “trick-or-treat” bag, dipped into the supply you planned to give on October 31, or indulged at a party, enjoy the memory of good times. Try to get back to a normal eating pattern that includes nutritious meals and snacks.
RUNNERS: Those who partied the weekend and who plan to perform the optional track day schedule on MONDAY will have an opportunity to test how a change in diet can affect the way you feel and run!
It’s less than a month until THANKSGIVING DAY but don’t confine yourself to looking ahead fitness-wise only to this date. Potentially you are building a solid base on which to train for other races in 2020 and 2021. When, you begin formulating NEW YEAR RESOLUTIONS, you will already have a strong training foundation for accomplishing other fitness goals.
The challenges you set for yourself in the upcoming year might seem less daunting now that you have begun to train in earnest. What would have seemed nearly impossible on January 1, 2020, now may seem like ‘upping your game’ for 2021. Perhaps you’ll want to run or walk a longer distance race in the spring or finish your next 5K with a faster time. Or take up another activity that requires an improved aerobic capacity.
Regardless, congratulate yourself on your accomplishment thus far, of perseverance…
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
BRIDGE TO PHYSICAL SELF
Running, walking, and fitness activities enable us to experience our physical selves in a world mostly accessed through use of fingers on a mobile device.
EARNED RUNS is edited and authored by me, runner and founder. I began participating in road races before 5Ks were common. I've been a dietitian, practiced and taught clinical pathology, and been involved with research that utilized pathology. I am fascinated with understanding the origins of disease as well as health.
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