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I am running in a 5 mile race in 7 weeks. I ran 4 miles 3 days this week and walked the other 2 days. I increase my distance by 1/2 mile weekly then run this distance 3-4 times and increase again. Should I be running on my off days or is walking okay. Is 1/2 mile increase okay? I read about people running less 2-3 time a week and then twice that 1 day a week. I am not really sure what I should be doing. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!
It depends on how long you have been running. How long have you been running? I think that if you are a fairly new runner, then you have a decent plan already: four mile runs, three times a week. Just make sure you sandwich those running days in between your walking days. Also remember to stretch out good on your walking (recovery) days. The best time to stretch would be when you come home from your walk.
What I did for my first six months was to run every other day, walking and stretching (yoga) on my recovery (in-between) days. After you have been running six months, I would suggest switching to a 1-mile recovery (slow) run instead of walking. You might try this now, but depending on your age and condition, it might work to your benefit or cause an over-use injury.
As far as increasing 1/2 mile every week goes.., I'd cut that back to a quarter mile. Since you are already running 4 miles, if you increase your run by 1/4 mile per week, you will be at your race distance in 4 weeks, which should be fine. Keep it at the same distance (whichever distance you are running) and focus on speed for the last 2-3 weeks before the race.
Thanks a lot Paul - you answered my question EXACTLY! I actually have been running for about a year - mostly for exercise and weight loss. I had trouble over the winter with keeping up. I recently ran in my first 5K so I decided that since i was running in another one that is further I would ask what I should be doing. I started this week with the 1 mile rather than my walking on my off days. Thanks again, I appreciate the help!
You're welcome, Cara. Those one-mile recovery runs should help. Just remember to keep them slow. Also, make sure you warm up before each run, even before the recovery runs. (I walk around the parking lot and do a couple of slow, fifty-foot jogs). That's not really much of a warm-up, but I'd at least double that in cold weather.
Are you timing your runs?