OK, hopefully you know the race you want to run in and have been starting to gear up for this whole training thing. You should have read Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 by now and have implemented some efforts towards the big day of the race. You really need to plan ahead and take about two months to get ready.
Don’t make the mistake of just deciding the week before the race to do it. You could seriously injure your tendons, ligaments, and muscles. You’ll have a much better experience if you have taken the time to train.
The Mayo Clinic offers some awesome advice for beginners to set up an effective 7-week training schedule. The important thing to remember here is to vary your efforts. Have a day where you alternate running and walking, a day to just walk, a day for moderate efforts, and a day to rest.
The Mayo Clinic gives medical, tried and true advice, in the link above, based on research and studies to give you the best way to train without injuring yourself and suffering stress to the body. The variations in effort will help you to stay interested and assist your body in the adjustments.
For example, Monday and Wednesday are the days to run and walk, while Tuesday and Thursday are the days to just walk. Be careful to pace yourself. If you can’t have a conversation while exercising, you are overworking your heart.
Take a break on Friday and Sunday with no running or walking. This allows your legs to recuperate and rebuild for stronger days ahead. On Saturday, you can do a run/walk session like Monday and Wednesday. The only difference is that you will do it for distance and not just a set amount of time. They call this the magic mile.
It will be good if you can invest a little money in a stop watch. Some people have figured out how to use the tools section on their cell phones to keep track of times.
If the weather is rainy or you just don’t feel like dressing up to go out, then run indoors. Figure out your plan of action and stick with it.