Friday 25 May 2018

We’ll get you to the finish line at any speed you like

Louise Hegarty
Louise Hegarty
Louise Heraghty prepares for the Women's Mini-Marathon at Montrose
RTÉ 2fm's Louise Heraghty prepare for the Women's Mini-Marthon at Montrose yesterday.

There’s lots of time to get in shape for summer. 2fm’s Louise Heraghty takes you to race day, one step at a time

Walker Training Plan

This programme is aimed at those who want to be able to walk the 10k Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon and feel energised rather than exhausted at the finish line. Although time is not the most important factor, it would be nice to know you can do it in two hours or less and improve your walking form and posture.

This plan is for beginners who may or may not already be active but who have got doctor’s clearance to exercise. If you find any week difficult, repeat that week rather than adding more time until you are able to progress comfortably. Once you have completed this programme you will be ready to progress to the Beginner programme.

There are four walks this week which will help build habit, so consistency is important. If you are involved in any other form of exercise like swimming or fitness classes continue to do these – they will improve your overall fitness levels and won’t have a negative impact on your walking goals.

The aim is to have reached 60 or 70 minutes in total by the end of the week. Easy pace means you are able to hold a conversation but should build up a sweat by the end of the walk (more brisk than slow).

Walker Week 1

Day 1.  15-minute walk easy pace

Day 2.  Rest day

Day 3.  15-minute walk easy pace

Day 4.  Rest day

Day 5.  15-minute walk easy pace

Day 6.  Rest or cross train

Day 7.  20-minute walk easy pace


Beginner Training Plan

This programme is aimed at anyone who has just started to run, or may not even be a runner just yet, and wants to set a goal to complete 10k in 16 weeks’ time. It may seem a little overwhelming but it is certainly an achievable task if you follow the plan and commit to running at least three times a week. The key is to start off slow and steady, and by taking each step as it comes you will be ready for the big day on June 1.

For the first few weeks we will concentrate on running duration rather than distance. Note that you should be able to walk comfortably for 60 minutes before starting this programme.

Warm Up: Start each workout with a five-minute walk to warm up your muscles and help prevent injury. The total exercise time on each day on the plan excludes the warm-up. I have included an option to do any other form of exercise on the Sunday or on any day that you are not running. Walk or cycle to work, take the dog to the beach, take a yoga or pilates class – the choices are endless.

Pace: The run pace can be as slow as you need it to be – just get into the rhythm of jogging and you will soon find your pace. You should be able to hold a conversation comfortably, so not too out of breath. Some beginners find it tough to control their breathing, so try not to think about it too much. I would recommend breathing in through nose and out through mouth but this technique is not for everyone. If you feel out of breath then try taking deep breaths in and out through your mouth.

Cross Training The cross-training day can involve anything from cycling to walking or even hill climbing – anything that will help improve your overall fitness and increase your cardio vascular capability. It would be advisable to include one or more flexibility workouts such as yoga or pilates.

Beginner Week 1

Day 1.  Run 30 seconds, walk 2 mins x 8. Total 20 mins

Day 2.  Rest day

Day 3.  Run 30 seconds, walk 2 mins x 8. Total 20 mins

Day 4.  Rest day

Day 5.  Run 1 min, walk 2 min x 8. Total 24 mins

Day 6. Cycle/swim/walk

Day 7. Rest day


Improver Training Plan

The improver plan is aimed at those who can comfortably run for 20 to 30 minutes and would like to improve their speed and endurance to achieve a personal best at the Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon. The plan will include steady race pace jogs and sprints as well as hill sprints. The first week will be based on duration rather than distance. Start with a five-minute warm-up and, as before, the cross training at the weekend is optional.

Remember on Day 1 you should run your 15 minutes easy – you should be able to hold a conversation while jogging and not be too out of breath. At this stage you may know what your average pace per kilometre is, so I would advise to stick to this or go just a bit under this – six-minute kilometres (10k in one hour).

Improver Week 1

Day 1.  Run 15 minutes easy

Day 2.  Rest day

Day 3.  Run 15 minutes easy

Day 4.  Rest day

Day 5.  Run 20 minutes

Day 6.  Cycle/swim/walk

Day 7.  Rest day

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