This is the third week devoted to establishing a 'base' of discipline and getting some miles into the legs. This week includes our longest run so far. Next week we commence specific endurance and anaerobic threshold sessions. For next week's sessions, find a measured one kilometre (1000 m) flat course, either a track or measured section of road or cycle path; and a not-too-steep '1-minute' hill, that is a hill or part of a hill which takes about 1 minute to run up at an honest effort. Be sure to remember to stretch every day. Many stretching techniques recommend breathing in time with the stretches. This is extremely helpful, not only as it helps relax muscles, but also focuses the mind in the activity. We derive much more benefit when we apply full concentration to an activity. Because stretching can be considered 'boring,' very often we don't fully concentrate on what we're doing, so effectively waste our time. Dedicate even stretching to a higher Force, and find your mind and heart becoming 'stretched' and soothed along with the muscles.
Monday June 13 - standard recovery run, 3 km (2 miles). Just because we're not constantly harping on about stretching doesn't mean it can be ignored! Stretch EVERY DAY, whether you run hard or easy. Stretching is generally considered more important after running than before, as it's after running that the muscles cool down and 'stiffen up,' so they need to be 'reminded' into a relaxed and springy stasis.
Tuesday June 14 - do something other than running today.
Wednesday June 15 - longer mid-week run, 8 km (5 miles), preferably over a hilly course at moderate pace, working the final 1 km (.6 miles) as though finishing a race. Always push harder up hills. Look for new courses, or try running your usual courses in reverse direction, or add or subtract sections. Standard running courses are very useful, but
newness is essential.
Thursday June 16 - easy day, recovery 'conversational' run of 3 km (2 miles). Include alternate exercise for at least 20 minutes.
Friday June 17 - medium-intensity run, 7 km (4 miles), include 4 x 100 m 'strides.' Fully recover in between each series of 'strides.' Feel that you are flying, or at least about to take off during the strides.
Saturday June 18 - day off running.
Sunday June 19 - long run of 19 km (12 miles). This is the longest run so far in the program, and the longest for the next 3 weeks. Choose an especially scenic route, preferably one that passes some good cafes, gather a few friends, stock up with energy bars and isotonic drinks and enjoy the time out. Don't worry about the clock, right now the distance is more important, and time on your feet. It's all going into the bank, to be withdrawn on Wednesday August 25!