Let’s get ready to train for our 5K & 10K races!
1. What should I be working on prior to starting the official training plan?
Prior to the start of the official training plan, it is important to start moving. The goal should be to exercise 3-4 days a week. You can either walk, walk/run, or run. If you have never exercised before, you should aim to move for 10-15 minutes per session. If you want to walk the entire time, that is great. If you are interested in a run/walk, you can run for 2 minutes and then walk for 1 minute- you should follow this pattern for the entire time that you are exercising. By the time you start working off of the actual training plan, your goal will be to exercise for at least 20 minutes without stopping, a few days each week.
2. Should I be doing any exercises to strengthen my legs?
Absolutely. If you are comfortable with exercising and are able to get out there 3-4 times a week for your cardio workout, you can consider following a routine to strengthen your leg muscles. These exercises will help you when you transition to the training plan. Aim to follow this routine 2 times a week. If you have any questions as to how to perform a particular exercise, please contact your coach.
- Squats- aim to do 2 sets of 20
- Front lunges- Alternate legs. Aim for 2 sets of 15 lunges per leg
- Skips- Skip for 30 meters on grass or soft surface. Walk back to starting line
- Single leg hops- Hop 10 steps on right leg and then 10 steps on left leg. Walk back
3. Should I work on my core?
A strong core is an integral part of a good training plan. If you are comfortable with exercising and are able to get out there 3-4 times a week for cardio, you can include the following core workout after your cardio session two times a week. If you have any questions as to how to perform a particular move, please contact your coach.
- Plank- hold for 20- 30 seconds. Do 3 sets
- Bird Dog- 10 reps each leg- 3 sets.
- Crunches- 20 reps- 2 sets
4. Should I stretch when I perform my cardio exercise? If so, when?
Stretching is an important part of training for your event. Although your friends and family may advise that you stretch before you start your work out, that advice is actually incorrect. It is not a good idea to stretch a “cold” muscle, which is what your muscles are prior to a workout. The better procedure is to ease into the cardio workout, starting slowly and allow the muscles to warm up; once your muscles are warm, you can move into the pace that you are shooting for in that workout.
The best time to stretch is either after the cardio workout or after the strength training exercises on the days that you perform same in conjunction with the cardio workout. Never bounce when you are performing a stretch and never stretch so far that it is painful. The stretch should be a gentle stretch that feels good to the tight muscles.
Areas that you should aim to stretch are as follows:
- Hamstrings- large group of muscles at the back of your legs. You can do something as simple as touching your toes
- Quads- large group of muscles in the front of your legs. You can stretch by bending your leg and gently pulling your foot up and back towards your glute muscles
- Calves- lower leg muscles. You can either gently push against a wall with your legs straight behind you
If you have any questions regarding these stretches or stretching in general, please contact your coach.