Five Mile Journey in 8 Weeks – Week 1

The Race Before Us celebrates our physical journey as well as the spiritual.  In the early chapters of The Race Before Us I talk about being unable to run even one mile, but I finally adopt a routine that eventually got me through my first 10K – its all about taking it step-by-step as Coach Gan will do over the next eight weeks.

With this post, Coach Dan offers a program for first time and novice runners (and walkers) to “get off the coach” and start walking or running – just in time for many New Year’s resolutions.  Commit now and run your first mile and your second mile and continue on with this program and complete five miles in just eight weeks.  Begin here with Week # 1.

Steamtown-Marathon_2

Week 1

This 8 week walk/run program is designed to gradually take you from the couch to walking or running  5 miles. The program is designed for 3 different levels: Walker, Walk/Runner, or Beginning Runner (I will call a Jogger here).   It is important that you follow the schedule for your level once you start the program.    Our goal is to help you be successful in completing your first 5 miles.   Make the commitment now, then lace up and let’s hit the roads together.

Before heading out for your walk or run, it is important that you warm-up the major muscle groups used in running and walking first.  Let’s start with a low intensity jog or walk for 5 to 10 minutes to warm your muscles.  It is important to warm up progressively using a limited range of motion to increase muscle and body temperature gradually to minimize the risk of injury.  (Note: cold muscles work less efficiently and are more easily injured).  Once your muscles are warm, then move into your pre-training stretching exercises that focus on stretching your calves, hamstring, Iliotibial band (IT band), quadriceps, hips, lower back, and shoulders.  The rule with stretching, before, during or after exercising is to listen to your body.  If it hurts, you have stretched too far.

Link to basic stretching:  http://www.coolrunning.com/engine/2/2_1/126.shtml

Day 1

  • Walker – Walk for 24 minutes
    • 3 minute brisk walk, followed by 2 minute slow or easy walk; repeat.  2 min brisk walk, followed by 2 minute slow or easy walk, repeat.  1 minute brisk walk, followed by 2 minute slow or easy walk, repeat
  • Walk/Run  – Walk/Run for 18 minutes
    • 2 minute easy run, followed by 2 minute brisk walk, repeat.   2 minute easy run, followed by 1 minute brisk walk, repeat.  1 minute easy run, followed by 1 minute brisk walk.
  • Jogger – Run easy for 12 minutes.

Day 2

  • REST

Day 3 (same as Day 1 schedule)

  • Walker – Walk for 24 minutes
    • 3 minute brisk walk, followed by 2 minute slow or easy walk; repeat.  2 minute brisk walk, followed by 2 minute slow or easy walk, repeat.  1 minute brisk walk, followed by 2 minute slow or easy walk, repeat
  • Walk/Run  – Walk/Run for 18 minutes
    • 2 minute easy run, followed by 2 minute brisk walk, repeat.   2 minute easy run, followed by 1 minute brisk walk, repeat.  1 minute easy run, followed by 1 minute brisk walk.
  • Jogger – Run easy for 12 minutes.

Day 4

  • REST

Day 5

  • Walker – Walk for 30 minutes
    • 4 minute brisk walk, followed by 2 minute slow or easy walk; repeat.  3 min brisk walk, followed by 2 minute slow or easy walk, repeat.  2 minute brisk walk, followed by 2 minute slow or easy walk, repeat
  • Walk/Run  – Walk/Run for 20 minutes
    • 3 minute easy run, followed by 2 minute brisk walk, repeat.   2 minute easy run, followed by 1 minute brisk walk, repeat.  1 minute easy run, followed by 1 minute brisk walk.
  • Jogger – Run easy for 15 minutes.

Day 6

  • Walker – Walk for 15 minutes
  • Walk/Run  – Walk/Run for 20 minutes
  • Jogger – Run easy for 15 minutes.

Day 7

  • REST

Notice that this program starts gradually for each level.   Be patient and don’t do more than what is listed in the schedule.  Remember, our goal is to help you complete 5 miles in 8 weeks so it is important to stay true to the schedule.  If you miss a day, that is okay.  Just try to get back on schedule as quickly as possible.  In the following weeks we will mix in some core training and we’ll be setting distances to achieve so you can measure your progress.  A sports watch can help you time the walk or run segments and mapping out your walk / runs in distance will help beginning in week 2.

Stretching after your workout:  It is a good idea to get in the practice of cooling down your muscles after a workout.  Lite stretching of the same muscle groups you did in your warm up for 15 to 30 seconds and repeating two to three times will help keep you flexible.  Muscles tend to tighten during exercise and stretching afterwards is probably more important than stretching before your workout.   If you have to skip one of your stretching routines, don’t skip the post- exercise stretch.

See you on the streets,

Coach Dan

Coach Dan Blankenship

Coach Dan Blankenship

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  1. #1 by Barbara Tucci on January 13, 2014 - 2:23 pm

    Thanks for sharing this plan. Week 1, here I come!

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