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Find a Race and Keep Going!

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Your muscles may not be happy right now, but you're looking and feeling great. Keep moving!

Woman Jogging

Runner Mom Vickie Leff: It has been three weeks. You've put in the time, sweat, and aggravation. You've had sore muscles. But you feel good about what you've been able to do in this short time, don't you? Don't give up now. You've created a habit for yourself -- don't break it. Feel good about each time you go out and complete a workout! Now it's time to really kick a**.

Level 3 (Novice): The Three-Mile Marker
You have been doing a walk/run for 1 to 1 ½ miles. Now you are going to map out your next four weeks with the goal of reaching the 3-mile holy grail!

First, week of Jan. 22: Find your 2-mile route. Getting out four times this week, I want you to walk for 10 minutes and jog for 5 minutes until you've completed the 2-mile route. No matter what, finish the 2 miles, even if you have to walk more.

Second, week of Jan. 29: You will walk for 5 minutes and jog for 8-10 minutes for the 2-mile route.

Third, week of Feb. 5: You will need to find a 3-mile route. Use the same walk/jog ratio for the three-mile route. Be sure to complete the route each and every time, three to four times a week.

Long-term goal:
Slowly increase the amount you are jogging, but don't give up the walking all together. Get to a 2-minute walk, 10 minute jog for three miles. Do this until you don't feel it's difficult anymore. Then you are ready to jog the whole three miles!

Level 2 (Intermediate): Training for a 5K Road Race
You've been doing a walk/run for 2 miles. Let's kick it up to 3 miles, still using the walk/run method.

First, week of Jan. 22: Find a 3-mile route. We're going to flip the walk/run ratio. Walk for five minutes and jog for eight until you complete the 3 miles.

Second, week of Jan. 29: Increase the jogging to 10 minutes. Walk for 2 minutes, jog for 10 using your 3-mile route. You will be winded and tired. Don't give up, and always complete the three miles, no matter how much you have to walk. Four times this week.

Third, week of Feb. 5: Jog for 15, walk for 1 minute for the 3-mile route. Four times this week.

Next three weeks: Work up to being able to jog the entire three miles. It should take you about 30 minutes. The goal is to be able to do this fairly easily. You will then be ready for your 5K race, and we can start training for the 10K road race!

Level 3 (Advanced): Training for a 10K Race or a Half Marathon
Ready for training! You have worked up to running for 3 miles without any walk breaks. Congrats! You are now ready to take on the big girl training for a race -- whether 10K or half marathon.

First, week of Jan. 22: Continue to run the 3-mile route four times a week. Start looking for a 10K or half marathon to do in a few months.

Second, week of Jan. 29:
Download the training guide for the race distance you've chosen from or RunInjuryFreewithJeffGalloway. Post the training guide on your fridge. Continue with your 3-mile runs.

Third, week of Feb. 5: Start your race training and stick with it. Don't worry about how fast you are going -- you are building endurance. Make sure to keep a pace that allows you to have a conversation. Slow down if you need to -- it's OK, the RunnerMom police will not come and get you.


Sickness: Don't run if you're sick, it's not worth it. If you are just tired or run down, get the heck out there, but decrease your mileage goals for that day. When re-starting, start from the last mileage that you were able to do comfortably and work up from there using your RunnerMom guide.

Two out of Five Rule: Remember that generally speaking, only two out of five runs are going to feel good. The other runs may be a struggle, tough days, harder than you thought. Don't give up, just adjust your expectations!

Tell Everyone:
Tell your friends and family about your new goals. It will help to make you accountable for your workouts. That's why signing up for a road race is helpful -- it offers a hard and fast deadline for your training!

Now, get out there and move it!!

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2 comments so far | Post a comment now
lisa rance  January 18, 2010, 5:32 AM

This is great article and helpful in keeping with it. The schedule is great and will report on my progress. Thanks runnermom. Lisa

Traci Nachtrab January 19, 2010, 7:51 AM

Great tips, Runnermom! Can I put you on speed-dial for encouragement?

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