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I am a newbie runner and had my first 5mile race on the weekend (47 minutes). According to my running schedule (which I found online) I am ready to run a 10K next weekend. I was wondering if anyone had input for me on how to advance my training scheduled to be able to eventually run a half marathon?
How often is it advised to run races - how many "off-days"/"weeks" (rest) should a beginning runner have between races?
Thanks in advance for all input!
There are a number of good (and free) half marathon training programs available on the Web. Two of the most popular are Runner's World SmartCoach http://www.runnersworld.com and Hal Higdon's, http://www.halhigdon.com among others. Depending on your total training base and conditioning level you may want to do either a beginner's or intermediate level half marathon training plan.
The general rule of thumb is no hard running or workouts (including races) for 1 day per mile raced. So in theory you could race 5K's or even 10K's every weekend, although that would probably burn most people out in a short time, mentally and physically. Racing those distances about once a month would be reasonable.
@ 5K: Ontario Mills Run, Ontario, CA, 25:19
@ 10K: LA Chinatown Firecracker Run, Los Angeles, CA, 51:44
I would think it would be hard to find a 5K or 10K in your area every weekend, except maybe during the Spring and Fall racing seasons. When you're all caught up in the excitement, you might want to sign up for all of them! If nothing else, I'd think that the cost of all the race fees might hold you back (does for me...it can get expensive!) But the community type "fun runs" really are fun. And if you are just running them - as opposed to RACING them - its not gonna hurt you to do one every weekend for a few weeks. If a 5 mile run is on your schedule for Saturday, and you run a 5K or 10K "race" instead, its just going to make your workout more fun. If you are seriously competing in those events, however, you could be on the road to a quick burnout or even injury if you don't allow the proper recovery between races. If you are "racing" these events, the rule of thumb is one day of recovery for each mile of the race (about a week for a 10K, for example). Recovery doesn't necessarily mean no running, but you are in recovery mode and doing easy running, walking or cross training.
There are lots of half marathon training programs including the ones already mentioned. You can try Smart Coach on Runners World, or the Hal Higdon plan. If you don't have a particular HM in mind already, but just want to start training with that as an eventual goal, then work on building up a solid base. Gradually build up your weekly mileage and long distance runs to a point where you can maintain that level until you are ready to start training for a particular event. (Example: maybe you want to build up to a base of 20 mpw and long runs of 8 miles). Since you are in no hurry for a specific race, you can take your time and do this at your own pace and run the 5Ks and 10Ks when you like.
Good luck with your first 10K!
One word dude.. Hills (if you have them)...gotta run some hills to get faster and have the endurance to run the longer races. Thats where I made up my time and was able to maintain my pace. They suck yes... but are necessary. Your hill workouts don't have to be long but try to include 3-5 good steep hills in a run.
All or nothing!!
Hi! I was conservative in my running as a beginner. I am over 40 and want to be sure I can run for the rest of my life. I believe too many races too fast will lead to burn out. I run 4 days per week, mixing it up with intervals, hills, stadiums, easy and long. These runs range from 3 - 5 miles. Always long on Sunday (my favorite) increasing a mile each week until I reached the double digits, then I would increase every other week and kept a "maintenance" long run of 8 miles. I walk on my off days and also lift weights and do yoga at least once a week. I have learned the value of flexibility and my best friend after a hard run is an ice bath! Ha Ha
I recommend checking out Jeff Galloway's website. I love his programs and his philosophy! Happy feet to you!