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A spring running program for absolute beginners.

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Antsy
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A spring running program for absolute beginners.

Postby Antsy » Sun Mar 08, 2015 7:38 pm

It's a Sunday morning in Alberta - minus two at 08:00 and forecast to be plus nine this afternoon. This is perfect running weather and the start of a new season! I found the following beginners running program on the Runner's World web site written by Jenny Hadfield and believe it to be one of the better and more achievable programs that I've come across.

"Mark three months on your calendar and schedule a running workout three times per week, every other day (i.e. Monday, Wednesday, Saturday).

Commit to thirty minutes. No more, no less.

Warm up five minutes. Start every running workout with five minutes of walking to prepare your body for the demands of running. Start out at an easy effort and progress to a purposeful walking pace by the end of the five minutes.

Run and walk by your body. Alternate running until you hear your breath, and walking until you catch your breath for a total of 20 minutes. No formulas or intervals—run by your body and breath. If you’re like me, you may start out with 15 to 20 seconds of running and 2 to 3 minutes of walking until you catch your breath. No worries. That may be where your body is at fitness-wise right now. Go with it, tune into your body, and avoid pushing to go longer.

The next workout may be close to the same as well. But a few weeks down the road, that 15 seconds will grow to 30 or 45 seconds or even a minute, and the time it takes to catch your breath will drop. That’s when it starts to get fun, because you feel the difference as you go.

Stick with 20 minutes. Keep the total time of the running portion of the workout to 20 minutes until you build up to running 20 minutes total. That is, maintain the total time of the workout and allow your body time to adapt to the demands of running until you go farther. You’ll recover faster, enjoy the workout a lot more, and progress to running more efficiently. It may take you several months to run 20 minutes, but once you’re there, you’ll be able to add on more time. (25, 30, 35 minutes…)

Finish happy. Let’s face it: If it hurts, the chance of us repeating the activity again are slim to none. When you stick with a plan that is based on your body and avoid pushing for a certain time or pace, you end up finishing happy. And when you’re happy, you want to do it again and again. Running happiness leads to consistency and develops into habit.

Be the tortoise, not the hare. Keep your running effort easy – this will become habit over time. In other words, don’t try to break the world record out there, keep it easy and one step above your fastest walking pace.

Finish with a five-minute cooldown. Invest five minutes to cooling down and gradually bringing your body back to its resting state. Like the warmup, it bridges the gap between running and reality and aids in the recovery process.

Run to infinity and beyond! As the weeks go by, you’ll notice being able to run longer and cover more distance. Eventually you’ll be able to run all twenty minutes! When that day comes, give yourself a high five, and begin to progress your running time by adding five minutes to your workout every 2-3 weeks. For instance, running 25 minutes three times per week for 2-3 weeks and then progressing to 30 minutes. You can also add five minutes to one or two of the workouts per week and take your time as you progress.

Tune into your body along the way. It’s the best coach you’ll ever have."

Running has been a significant part of my life for the last twenty three years. I did not start running with as thoughtful a program as Ms. Hadfield gives us above (but I had a twenty two year old body that could take the abuse). I personally think running to be one of the most versatile of sports and recreation; excellent for your cardiovascular health, for your core and leg strength, for your mental health, and as a conduit to meet some good folk.
Further, it's the sport you can take with you when you are traveling on business or on holiday with the family. For me, it keeps me fit enough to keep up with my wife when the mountains clear enough for back country camping and hiking.

Spring is coming and it's beautiful out there. Get outside and enjoy it.

Antsy
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thecrownsown
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Re: A spring running program for absolute beginners.

Postby thecrownsown » Mon Mar 09, 2015 2:02 pm

Great post! :)

I always like to see posts on health and fitness. Its a tenet for all of us. And there needs to be more "from the start, easy to slide into the program" posts like this.

(And I have an interval run later today...triathlete here..why be good at one sport...when you can be mediocre at 3!) :D
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Re: A spring running program for absolute beginners.

Postby Syn » Sun Mar 15, 2015 7:56 am

I too think that is an excellant way to ease into things , thank you .
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Re: A spring running program for absolute beginners.

Postby Antsy » Fri Mar 27, 2015 4:02 am

Across Canada there is a cross country running series of fun races called 5 Peaks. The series breaks itself down into geographic areas in the provinces and holds a series of six or seven races each year in each area. The race distances are typically 5km to 8km and 10km to 12km. I've run a number of the races in Southern Alberta and can only speak for this area. The races have been very casual and are mostly focused on the fun of getting out into the woods to do some trail runs.

Something to think about.

Cheers,

Antsy

http://5peaks.com/events/
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Re: A spring running program for absolute beginners.

Postby thecrownsown » Mon Mar 30, 2015 1:55 pm

Some great events where you dont have to be an elite athlete...just ready to have some fun:

https://www.warriordash.com/location/20 ... h-ontario/

http://www.thechocolaterace.com/

http://www.runwaterloo.com
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Re: A spring running program for absolute beginners.

Postby Antsy » Tue Mar 31, 2015 3:13 am

Has anyone run one of the Spartan races? They look like a lot of fun. Basically a confidence course set up for lay people.
I'm told that they are pretty challenging (particularly for traditional runners who don't train their upper bodies), and would
like to try one out.

Cheers,

Antsy
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Re: A spring running program for absolute beginners.

Postby thecrownsown » Tue Mar 31, 2015 2:15 pm

I have two friends who run spartan races along with anything else in SW Ontario...and one did a tough mudder. They are traditional runners and had no problem completing the courses.

The Spartan races are a bit more advanced than the Warrior Dash but the sprint distance is quite doable for the novice including all the obstacles. Tougher obstacles and more intense than the warrior dash...sort of..but still doable :) What Spartan can turn into is the massive 24 hour races if you gain enough points through the season....I dont know the specifics but there are some uber crazy people who love to be punished!

The other big series aside from Warrior Dash and Spartan is the tough mudder races. These are more team oriented as there are obstacles you have to work with others to get through. Warrior Dash and Spartans are more solo exercises. Again, they are tough races, but my buddy who did it with some office mates said its doable with a group including novices.

You get a mix at all these races. From those who are trying there first race with little to no training, right upto crazy hyped up adrenaline addicts. They gear them so that those out of shape dont get frustrated and feel good when the accomplish such a tough course, but also the obstacles and course are a challenge for more advanced athletes who want that something extra.

Obstacle and adventure racing have really taken off in the last decade or so.

http://www.spartan.com

http://www.toughmudder.com

A complete list of all the big obstacle races in Canada for the season, whether from the big 3 or more local events:
http://www.mudrunguide.com/directory/ca/
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Re: A spring running program for absolute beginners.

Postby Turnip Volume » Mon Mar 13, 2017 5:38 am

Wow a 2yr old post,.. Looks like Im right on track! LOL Seriously tho I have been getting geared up to run again after a substantial absence to the fitness game in general. As I get older and maintain my daily work which is quite physical as it is, I have once again come to the realization that I need to get out there and start a mild training regime again. Im just not getting any tougher/resilient from my day to day activities alone. I do have many but spring has been inspiring me as well.

Thanks for the links too as this will give me some local runs to look forward to in my neck of the woods to keep me motivated and committed.
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Re: A spring running program for absolute beginners.

Postby farmgal » Mon Mar 13, 2017 1:51 pm

this is the very way I restart my horses, we start by going for 30 min walks, an I am power walking to keep up with them, we aim for three a week and then work our way up to an hour, we start moving from the easy road, to the trails and it turns into horse hiking and then once we are both out of winter an ice bla's, and have much better muscle tone up, and the ice is melted, we start riding and repeat the whole process, starting with 40 to an hour and working up to three to five hour, ten mile rides..

Last year, I did a hiking plan as well, looking forward to doing it again this year..
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