WEEK 1 HALF MARATHON 2021 with SAINTS DAYS 5k and 10K Training Plan OFFICIALLY STARTS TODAY!
RUNNERS AND WALKERS are you ready to begin training? If so, commit to performing the pre-run hip girdle mobility (Myrtl’s) and flexibility (pre-run dynamic warm-ups or “DWarm-ups”) routines, post run stretches, and foam rolling work that is incorporated in this plan along with the days of running. Why? To stay heathy by preparing for and recovering from the mechanical stresses of training. Links to descriptions and demonstrations of the routines can be found on the RESOURCES page.
The STRENGTH training, aimed at helping to correct muscular imbalances and prevent injuries, can be simple. Check out the exercises that are available through links on the RESOURCES page. Although only one session is scheduled each week, you can add another, if desired. One lower body and one upper body plus core exercise sessions can be included each week rather than every other week if this is a usual practice or improved strength is a goal.
CROSS TRAINING can be incorporated into your training schedule on days you are not running or walking. The sessions are intended to help maintain base aerobic physical activity capacity and rest the legs to prevent overtraining. The idea of the plan is to focus on building running/walking endurance and some speed with progressively longer distances and HIIT workouts and saving best efforts for these sessions. Cross training should be conducted at moderate intensity levels.
The RESOURCES page has links to suggested routines for these workouts, a few include video demonstrations. Most trainers will say it’s good to mix up or rotate exercises, such that you never quite become comfortable performing them. You can also search online and find versions that differ from the tried and true classic exercises posted by Earned Runs. Many can be made easier or more difficult.
Even though balance exercises are not specifically worked into the program, improving balance is another injury prevention strategy. Any lower body exercise that can be performed with one leg will increase its difficulty level and also test balance, especially if it’s done standing. Variations that incorporate stability balls can also add balance work to many exercises. To avoid falls, especially if you feel unsteady, make sure you have nearby stable support structures while performing any single-leg or balance exercises.
In watching video demonstrations produced by trainers for young and fit athletes, like football players, there are cautions that even sport elites can be a bit unbalanced initially. A good example is walking lunges. If not performed for a couple weeks I notice a tendency to tip to one side when starting them again, especially when adding upper body rotation to this move.
Balance work can improve running and walking efficiency, so don’t shy away from single leg strength routines; you’ll get twice the benefit. A tip given to me by a physical therapist is to perform balance exercises after long runs, on tired legs. She said that being able to maintain proper running/walking form is essential when fatigue sets in; it’s at this point that we need the small steadying muscles of the body to keep us moving in an upright linear direction. Wobbling for miles on rubbery feeling legs because of weak hips or a tired core is a set-up for the development of soft tissue and joint problems.
CLASSIC LOWER BODY exercises that can be performed without extra weights include:
Lunges: forward, reverse, side/lateral, and forward with rotation
Bridges/hip raises: both feet on floor (easier), single leg (harder); on stability ball (harder)
Squats: front and split
Side leg raises: without (easier) or with a resistance band (harder)
Clamshells: without (easier) or with a resistance band (harder)
Resistance bands walks: lateral and “box” stepping
CLASSIC UPPER BODY exercises that can be performed without extra weights include:
Floor “Y’, “T”, “W” and “I” arm raises; done on stability ball (harder)
CLASSIC CORE/STABILITY exercises include:
Planks: prone, side-lying, supine; there are many easier/harder variations
Dead bugs: without (easier) and with a stability ball (harder)
Mountain climbers (variations)
One leg stand: harder on unsteady surfaces (folded towel, pillow, Bosu ball) or with closed eyes
Step downs: front, side, and back
Most other training plans will recommend similar supportive work on mobility, flexibility, balance, and strength, but actual routines WON’T BE LISTED ON THE DAILY/WEEKLY schedules. The importance to running of doing this work, will be included in the notes of these other plans, but mostly the details of when and how to incorporate this work into training regimens is left up to individuals. NOT SO WITH EARNED RUNS PLANS!
EARNED RUNS plans strongly EMPHASIZE the IMPORTANCE of this work to INJURY PREVENTION over the course of the training period by scheduling these components on specific days. However, you can customize the plan and change things up to meet your needs. For example, the "Dead Bug" is a safe and effective (abdominal and back) core exercise scheduled one day every week, but other exercises can be substituted for Dead Bugs and can be performed any on day of the week.
Good luck. Your 2021 training season officially begins.*
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
* If the date of your goal half marathon is a week or more later, start this plan later in the month.
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. In 1978 I began participating in 10K 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 and longevity.
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