Runner’s World May 2005
By Jeff Galloway
The Excuse (And How To Beat It)
I don’t run because I’m not built for it.
To rid yourself of the notion that runners must look as thin as
greyhounds, go to the finish line of any major marathon. You’ll
be inspired by the thousands of runners of all shapes and sizes.
Thanks to our hardy ancestors, humans have inherited the ability
to cover long distances. Bigger runners who were once athletes tend
to be most prone to injury because it’s easy for them to run
faster and father than they should when starting to run again.
Try this beginner’s schedule:
1) Build up to 20 minutes of steady walking every other day.
2) Insert 30 seconds of easy jogging every two minutes of walking.
3) After six sessions at this run/walk ratio, decrease the walking
segments to 90 seconds (still jogging 30 seconds at a time).
4) After six sessions, decrease walking segments to 60 seconds for
another six sessions. Then cut walking to 30 seconds.
Q. Are walk breaks something I should phase out of my running as
I get faster?
A. No! My work with more than 150,000 runners has convinced me that
walk breaks help runners - even veterans and speedsters - recover
faster from long runs and reduce injuries.
Walk breaks allow you to manage the fatigue that accumulates during
continuous running. For beginners it’s best to adhere to a
consistent run/walk ratio that will ensure a conservative effort
throughout a workout, such as two minutes of running with one minute
of walking. But as you get in better shape, your ratio can - and
should - change from day to day. You may run some shorter runs continuously.
On other days when you’re trying to increase your endurance,
you may need to walk frequently. When in doubt, take more liberal
walk breaks during the early miles of your runs.
Get Faster Faster: Test Your Speed Once A Week
The only way to run faster is to run faster. Once a week, head to
the local track or a short loop course (one that’s about a
quarter-mile long) and take a speed test. During your first outing,
warm up with 10 minutes of easy jogging, then time yourself as you
run one lap very hard - but not all-out. Once you have your one-lap
time, cool down with 10 minutes of easy jogging. The next week’s
test is to complete two laps, which you should run at about eight
seconds per lap slower than you ran the first week. Finish this
session with your 10-minute cooldown. Over the next few weeks, try
to improve your two-lap time by each week. Ultimately, your goal
is to run the second lap faster than the first.
(Say What?) Running Jargon, Translated
Maximum Heart Rate: The highest heart rate achieved during high-intensity
exercise. Sixty to 80 percent of your maximum heart rate is considered
your training heart rate.
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