Pace is Personal
The bulk of any middle distance/distance running program is rhythm running at a comfortable conversational pace. That personal pace is entirely up to you, and that means you should –for the most part – be relaxed, steady and able to carry on a conversation. You’ll learn to bump up that personal talking pace during your brisk change-of-pace intervals, and it’s those faster intervals that help you learn to run more efficiently at your easy talking pace. This program will provide a gradual progression in volume as well as intensity, so that your personal pace will improve, because with consistency and confidence it will feel easier.
If you’ve completed the Run Easy program, you’ll notice that some workouts are similar to what you’ve already completed – that’s because running is cyclical. The patterns will now be familiar, and it feels good to know you can complete the sessions because you’ve done them before. It’s the volume (the “amount” of running) you will be doing that will be different, and the “quality” in your efforts will improve because your starting point is much different than it was back during the Learn to Run or Run Easy programs.
If you’re new to running intervals, then you have everything to learn and improve… You’ll enjoy the variety – it’s always fun to try something new!
Running should be fun and social always. It feels good to feel one’s fitness and strength improve, and I know every day I manage to get outside for a run (or walk) it’s just simply a better day than if I hadn’t managed to fit it in. My passion is to provide workouts that allow you to feel that way too, while providing enough challenge and variety to keep things interesting for you.
Remember, some days are bound to feel better than others, and you will continue to learn to listen to your body and adjust your pace as you feel.
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.
"Talking pace" is a comfortable pace, such that you could carry out a conversation with someone. "Brisk running pace" means your pace should be quicker, but still reasonably comfortable – just slightly faster than a talking pace. You are not huffing and puffing and could string a few sentences together, but not much more. It takes practice to find this rhythm and pace, and depends on the length of your intervals. Over time I will get more specific about pacing for intervals, but for right now let’s concentrate on developing your rhythm independent of measurement. 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.
Rhythm comes from within according to your fitness and experience. We’ll work on that over time. Be honest with your personal fitness and the amount of running you are doing. If you are not running steady 3 times a week for 30 minutes or alternating Magical 10-and-1s (10 minutes of running alternated with 1 minute of walking), please consider choosing the Run Easy program. It will help you build your minutes up safely and enjoyably while avoiding the risk of injury.Warm-ups and Cool-downs: It is important for your warm-up pace to be slow and easy. The goal of a warm-up is to simply “ready yourself for exercise” by increasing circulation. The goal of a cool-down is to center yourself and relax the body after the workout. There are suggested running times, but you can vary that according to how you feel. In this program you should be able to comfortably run the suggested warm-ups and cool-downs. Be sure to include your dynamic movements in every warm-up and static stretches after every cool-down!Well DONE! You made it through all my advice. I promise next week won't be as long.
Good stuff! You're all set.
When you've caught up on the detailed advice for this week, you're ready to get running.