Week 1 and 2 of my 5K training plan.
- The plan begins with very short periods of jogging interpolated with periods of cross training such as swimming, stretching, aerobics, walking and gym/core work. The benefits of this is to ensure that you are extending the time you spend exercising without putting 100% strain on your body with running. As we move through the plan, the percentage we spend running vs cross training begins to changeover.
- When starting back, and similarly with much of my winter base training now, my coach would have me focus only on time. Doing 5 minutes rather than a kilometre ensures you are not focusing on how fast you are running, something you do not need to worry about at this stage.
- Nearly all of my early running in this period was on grass. While this can be tricky during the Irish winters, getting on a soft surface as much as possible will result in greatly reduced strain on your legs.
- When stretching, focus on active stretches where you are moving all the time over static stretches where you say stretch for 30 seconds at a time. Active or dynamic stretching best prepares you for the exercise ahead. Static stretching plays a role in recovery session such as in the evening after a session.
- Test Days: Even now I like to break up any period of training longer 3 or 4 weeks with a test day. You will do a test at the end of both 3 and 6 weeks to give yourself a shorter term goal and ensure that the work you are doing is working for you.
Keep up the good work everyone!