Editor's note: The Independence Blue Cross Broad Street Run is the country's largest 10-mile race. On May 6, 40,000 runners will toe the starting line at North Broad Street, then race to the Navy Yard in South Philly. For the first 4-week training calendar, click here. Stay on track with this new 5-week installment to begin on Feb. 19. (Find month 3 here.)
For a printable PDF of the calendar, click here.
We'll make judicious use of brisk walking in this program as it helps boost endurance in a more gentle way, allowing longer training while minimizing risk of injury. It's important to walk at a brisk pace, not a stroll. Think: "Walk with a purpose." During these walks, stay loose and allow the arms to swing, the rib cage to rotate, the hips to move side to side. Bonus: Going for a brisk walk the day after a hard session, especially the long run, will speed recovery. Try it!
Run at a relaxed pace, slowly enough that you could run with your mouth closed, breathing only through your nose. You don't have to run with your mouth closed, but you should be able to if you tried. If you rated your exertion level on a scale of 1-10, with 1 being a slow walk and 10 being a maximal-effort run, an easy run would be about a 4 or 5.
When you are truly running at an easy-effort level, breathing usually works out to a count of approximately "in" for three or four steps and "out" for three or four steps. For me, it's in-2-3-4, out-2-3-4. Focusing on that rhythm can help keep your pace in the right range and keep you relaxed and present, rather than worrying about how much farther you may have to run.
Preparing for a 10-mile race requires more than just running. A stronger body is a more resilient body, and endurance comes from strength. The stronger you are, the easier running is on your body.
The strength sessions described in this program are designed for runners who are new to strength training, and the goal is to keep these sessions short, but effective. Hey, I know, runners just want to run. But strength-train anyway. Here are three tips to keep in mind:
Here are the four exercises that make up this month's strength circuit: