Hard part is done – now we up our game a little bit
Louise Hegarty explains the next steps that walkers, beginners and improvers should be looking at
It’s week three and you’re doing great!
The first two weeks will have been the hardest adjustment for your body but in week three you should find yourself settling into the new training routine.
This week’s plans will see slight increases in the duration of each workout, which aims to improve and increase your fitness levels by challenging your body with a new goal. It is important to remember that there is no need to be discouraged if you cannot reach the target set for the run/walk on each day. Give every session your best effort and you are sure to see great improvements in how you feel and train in the weeks to come.
For week 3 of the Walker’s Plan, you will be adding five minutes a day to your workout. You will now be aiming to walk for up to 25 minutes, four days a week including a mileage building day on your last day when you will walk for 30 minutes.
Now that you’ve been walking regularly for a few weeks, consider whether you are wearing a the correct pair of runners to prevent blisters or injury. It would be wise to invest in a comfortable pair at this point and break them in.
On the Beginner’s Programme, you will be working out for up to 30 minutes or slightly on each session at this stage (including the warm up). We are still working in 3-minute running intervals but gradually increasing the number of runs in each session.
While we are aiming to run for longer it is equally important to allow the correct amount of time for your recovery walks as there is still a long way to go until June 1 and a sudden increase in duration could cause an injury or put you off.
Again on a cross-training day you should try to incorporate another form of cardio vascular exercise such as cycling, swimming or walking.
The Improver’s Plan aims to have you running for 30 minutes comfortably by the end of the week. You may have already been able to do this before starting the plan but the aim of the programme to date has been to get you used to running consistently.
Continue with a 5 minute warm-up before each session or a very slow-paced jog if you are able for it. Aim to include 5 x 100 metre sprints during one of your runs (or lampost to lampost). Remember that the suggested speed sessions are intended for those who have already run 10km but who would like to improve their time. If your goal is to increase your mileage and run a 10km race for the first time, I’d suggest leaving out the sprint sessions for the time being.
To access my full walker’s, beginner’s and improver’s training programmes for week three, download the free Vhi WMM 2015 App from App and Play Stores - then access your training and nutrition plans on the go.