Woo hooo here we go! You're on the way to becoming fitter and more comfortable with your running – able to "Run Easy" any time, anywhere!
Your personal pace is entirely up to you. You should, for the most part, be relaxed, steady and able to carry on a conversation during your warm-ups, cool-downs and all steady runs. You can walk to recover between change-of-pace intervals, and you will progress to run your 10-and-ones for the suggested homework sessions on your own.
This program will provide a gradual progression in volume as well as intensity, so that your personal pace will improve because it will feel easier. Running should be fun and social, so that you can run comfortably on your own or with others in a similar place while staying supported by looping in a group that includes faster paced runners.
Pace is personal. If you are running with others there will likely be pace and ability differences. It’s very important you are always well within your limits and never struggling to hold someone else’s personal pace. You can support each other by “looping” to accommodate pace differences while you run together.
Start together, but allow yourselves to naturally separate and run as you feel during the intervals. Midway through (or after the interval is over) the faster runner(s) should turn around (loop!) and regroup with the rest of the group. Then once again you will be together to start the second interval, and so on.
You should mostly keep an upright body carriage with good posture, and a slight lean for avid comfortable runners. Maintain a short swing of the arms and smaller steps with not much knee lift on a nice easy pace.
Your foot needs to be landing near-to-under your hips, which is your base of support. It's important to use your arm swing to increase your cadence and stride length naturally, rather than forcing things with over-striding. Even with brisk intervals, avoid straining and make sure you are not huffin’ and puffin’. You should always feel you could run faster. Allow your efforts to be natural so that your fitness, strength and speed will improve over time. Remember, this is only Week 1!
"Brisk run" means your pace should be quicker, but still reasonably comfortable – just slightly faster than a talking pace. You'll learn to adjust that pace according to the length of the intervals, and that takes time to figure out.
This week you make a start by alternating 1 minute of brisk running with 2 minutes of a walk/run recovery. Try to run a little above a talking pace for those 1 minute brisk intervals, and then take the 2 minute recovery inbetween as you feel. Slow down and walk a bit (maybe for a minute or so) and then shuffle for the 2nd minute.
The idea is that you need to recover and feel ready for your next brisk interval. Remember - if this is your first time trying change-of-pace brisk intervals, take it easy and enjoy the variety. Don't push too hard - "no strain!"
Brisk running intervals will gradually help you become more efficient at your easy comfortable talking pace.
Good stuff! You're all set.
When you've caught up on the detailed advice for this week, you're ready to get running.