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5k Training: 2 Weeks to Go

April 9, 2012

Guest Blogger Drew Slone, Girls on the Run of Atlanta Board Member and Fitness Instructor

Hooray!  You’ve made it halfway through the 5k training program!  Hopefully your runs are getting easier and you’re able to run for longer periods than you were in week one.  Don’t sweat it if your pace is the same—you’re only just getting started.  As they say, your journey is a marathon not a sprint!

This week’s workouts don’t differ significantly from last week’s in terms of total time.  If you keep track of your distance covered (and why don’t you?) on your runs, try to determine if you’re going more distance during each of your prescribed run times.

In addition to trying to get a little more distance, it’s time to focus on one of the most important parts of running: RECOVERY!  Recovery is one part rest, one part diet, and one part stretching.  As for rest, you’ve already got rest days programmed into this schedule.  However, if you’re feeling run down, sick, or just plain exhausted, it’s okay to skip a workout.  You will derive little training
benefit from training yourself into the ground—and we want you healthy when you toe the line for the Girls on the Run of Atlanta Spring 5K, which is coming up on April 28th at West Stride.

Generally, for workouts under an hour, you do not need to take in any extra nutrition. However, you will need to make sure that you are getting enough fuel and hydration during the day to make sure that you have enough energy to get through your runs.  Some runners experience issues when ingesting too much fiber too close to a run, so be aware of how your body reacts on a run when you ingest certain foods.  After your runs, take in 150-250 calories of protein and carbohydrates within a half hour of finishing.  Your body is primed to access these nutrients and deliver them to your muscles during this time.

Stretching with Zumba Duo Party prior to the 2011 Spring 5K

Speaking of muscles—are yours feeling tight?  Have you been stretching?  Many of the athletes I coach take a lackadaisical approach (at best) to stretching.  We’ve invested our time in working out, but taking those 10-15 minutes to stretch just seems like a burden.  The more you stretch, though, the better all your runs will feel!  Check out this Runner’s World library for great tips on stretches.  Keep in mind that the static stretching of yesteryear may not be the optimal stretch for you.  Some studies have shown that dynamic stretching appears to be a better choice for runners, depending on the athlete’s goals.

Take care of yourself out there!  Here are your workouts for the week:

Week 3:

Monday: Rest Day

Tuesday: Run/Walk at an easy pace for 20-30 minutes

Wednesday: Rest Day

Thursday: Run/Walk at an easy pace for 20-30 minutes

Friday: Run/Walk at an easy pace for 20-30 minutes

Saturday: Rest Day

Sunday: Run/Walk at an easy pace for 30-45 minutes

Sunday is our magic 21st day where running has now become a habit.  Do you feel a little different on the days you don’t run?  Do you miss it?  If so, you’re well on your way to becoming an addict! And hey, why not draft some friends to run with you?  We can’t wait to see you, your daughter and your entire cheering section cross the finish line!

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