|Preparing for the race|
|Tuesday, 26 July 2011 11:29|
Put Your (Mt) Best Foot Forward
There are around eight weeks to go until the Prom Country. For those that have thought about running the 30km from Toora to Mt Best in previous years but not committed, or just watched with curiosity as the competitors have arrived back in Stanley St, wondering whether you could do the same, the time has come to commit to the Challenge. Eight weeks is a little short of the perfect preparation period for an event like this, but it is long enough. Assuming you have a general fitness base, you have just enough time to become a race ready running machine. And there is little chance that you fall into the monotonous slavery of endless miles over an eight week build up.
Ok, so I have lost some of you already with the distance. Hopefully those that do not read on with intrigue will keep up with their regular walking and jogging for the next eight weeks, making sure that they get three or more 30min sessions in each week. We want to see you return from the 6km fun run (or walk) having had exactly that - fun running (or walking). If you are still with me below is an outline of the training required to get you from being able to jog 5-10km regularly to the point of being able to take on the Challenge.
Weeks One to Three
The idea of these first three weeks is to prepare your body for the regular training sessions ahead, particularly the longer sessions. In these weeks you will need to be doing four to five runs, with all but one of those runs being 40min to 1hr. The final run should be between 1hr 20min and 1hr 30min. This run will not just be a run it will be a run/walk. The run/walk method allows you to more safely increase the distance of your longer session through reducing cumulative fatigue. It means that you are able to prepare for the event without unnecessarily increasing the risk of injury. You will need to pick a ratio of running and walking. I would suggest starting with five minutes:one minute. After each five minutes of running, walk for a minute, and then run again for five etc. If you are able to get through the first two weeks of this longer session with 5min:1min of running and walking comfortably, then try increasing to 6min:1min.
Weeks Four to Six
These weeks are similar to the first three, except we include some hills in one of our 40min to 1hr runs. The idea of this training is that it is low stress. It is not a structured program that requires you to do set intervals or laps of the oval at certain paces. So if you don't have easy access to some undulating terrain from your front door (shouldn't be a problem for most in South Gippsland) - don't sweat it. You may just sweat a little more come race day.
During these weeks, you should inspect your running shoes and attire. Make sure your shoes will get through the next three weeks and that you have appropriate clothing for the race.
Ok, now is the time to start getting ready to race. Follow the same principle as weeks five to nine with an additional 20min added to your longest run. This will take that session to a total of 2hrs. Once these long sessions start to get over an hour and a half, it is worthwhile thinking about where you might be able to get some water from while running. Maybe you will need a sports gel or some snakes/lollies to keep you going. You shouldn't need much, but it is worth having some insurance on those long runs. One of your 1hr runs could be bumped up to 1hr 20min if you are feeling strong. And the longer sessions could be tried with a straight run rather than the run/walk method. You might find that you prefer the run/walk method. It works surprisingly well during races and you tend to not lose much time by the end of the run.
Make sure that you test out your planned race outfit on these longer training sessions. Race day is not the day to learn that a little bit of Vaseline would have saved you a whole lot of chaffing!
Week Eight: Race Week
Time to bring it home. By bring it home, I mean do three runs of no more than 40min with at least one day rest in the last three days. Put your feet up and grab a couple of running dvds. Search the internet for some old Prefontaine clips or classic Boston Marathon finishes. You are ready for the Challenge.
The Prom Country Challenge takes place on Sunday 14 August and includes 6km and 30km events. Information is available at www.promcountrychallenge.org.au