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!
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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