This week has been full of a couple running firsts for me and it’s really exciting!!!
If any of you read about my first 5K, you know how poorly I prepared. My heart was in the right place, but I didn’t really know enough and was following some advice that just didn’t work for me. Even still, I finished and felt great! So at the end of my last race, I committed to start a proper training plan and follow the advice of Coaches Jeremy & Glenn from Rockstar Runners.
One of the first things I did was buy a runner’s log. This was something that Coach Jeremy recommended in one of his posts on the Rockstar Runners website. I picked this up at Fleet Feet in Brentwood for about $10 bucks. It contains training advice from several experts, namely Jeff Galloway who coaches interval training & running. I chart out my training for the week following the strict guidelines of increasing mileage & pace. There is a method to the madness that helps you prevent injury and slowly build to meet your goals. This is what I did not do the first time and my right knee suffered because of it.
I also picked up some great advice on diet and running from Krissy Thomas, a fellow Rockstar. She was very helpful and support on offering some girl to girl advice. And I also threw some newbie questions to Coach Glenn. He gave his input and it helped clarify some things for me. I seemed like most everything I read was geared toward longer distances for training 1/2 & full marathons. So I threw out these questions and here’s what he had to say…
Should someone like me who is starting out training & not that interested in setting records be concerned with Interval (Track) Workouts (i.e. 20x – 440) that focus on speed?
There are benefits to the speed training for sure. But if you are still just working on running continuously then I wouldn’t worry about speed. For a beginning runner Jeff Galloway usually has the best advice. Most runners we know have used his plan to start training with great success. He also has a couple of books which may be helpful to you.
When it comes to REST, for a beginner whose focus is 5k, is it necessary to take a day off running completely even if you are only running 1 mile? If yes, what exercise do you recommend on days off to help continue to build endurance?
This is a great question and I think you may be the best one to answer it. Rest days are quite important to building your strength. Some experts say it’s just as important as the running days! Since you are still early in your running career you need to have 2-3 days off per week from running. Partly to give your body time to rebuild and also to keep you from getting tired of running. Things to do on days off would include a good long walk (one of the best things) also riding a bike or using an eliptical machine at the local gym would be great! You know your body & how you feel. If you know you can handle more get on out there & do it, just don’t overdo it!
A trainer at the Y is offering to help me with strength training to improve my runs. Is strength training necessary? Are there some basics I can do on my own?
Strength training is definitely beneficial. From my experience I would suggest improving your core strength, abdomen, lower back. This improves the transfer of energy from upper to lower body and vice versa. I noticed an improvement in my running fairly quickly after a couple of weeks of core strength training. The runner’s world web site has some videos demonstrating some good workouts. I’d give you the link but I’m on a plane typing this and it’s pretty easy to find once you get in there. (What dedication… Coach Glenn replying to questions from the plane. )
All of this information and coaching and following directions paid off for me big time!!! Keep in mind, I had been running & training at a 12 min/mile pace. My first race on 3/29, I ran in 36:10 and my pace improved to 11:40. This week, I had a great training run on Wed night, setting a new PR for Mile 1 & Mile 2 at 10:12 and 10:33 respectively. Then I took Thursday and Friday off to rest.
Saturday’s 5K Results.. 29:41 !!!!!! 9:19 min/mile pace.
That’s almost a 20% improvement in 3 wks. (6 minutes and 29 seconds elminated since my first race)
Thank you to all fellow Rockstars!!! Hopefully, I’ll see you this week at some Rockstar event!