This six-week schedule will help prepare you for the New Balance Falmouth Road Race. It was designed by the experts at Runner's World to help intermediate runners - those who have been running for at least a year, have completed some 5Ks and 10Ks, and want to develop the stamina to finish the seven-mile run faster. Each week features two days of rest, two days of easy running, some tempo- runs, and intervals done at race pace or slightly faster. Not the right plan for you? Check out Runner's World's training plans for beginners and advanced runners.
2 miles easy 2 x 10 minutes at tempo pace 2 miles easy Take the first two miles at your conversational pace. Then run for 10 minutes at your tempo pace (about 30 seconds slower than your 10K pace). Jog for three to five minutes, then run 10 minutes at your tempo pace and run two miles easy to finish the run. (Need help finding your pace? Check out the training calculator at runnersworld.com/tools.)
Maintain a comfortable pace that feels easy enough to hold a conversation. If you're huffing and puffing, you're going too hard. You should finish each easy run feeling like you have the energy to run one more mile.
Run at a conversational pace for four miles. Then finish off with four strides. Over 100 meters, gradually accelerate until you reach 90 percent of all-out effort. Hold that effort for five seconds, then smoothly decelerate. Walk to full recovery after each stride. It's important to establish a routine that blends well with everything else in your daily life. Figure out what times of day are most convenient to run, and scout out some safe routes that you can regularly take. If possible, get into the habit of heading out at the same time each day. If it's built into your schedule, you're less likely to skip a run and more likely to look forward to the next day's workout if you do miss a day.
Today is your first long, slow, distance run (LSD). Long runs help you develop the physical endurance you need for the race, but they also help prepare you psychologically for spending hours at a time on your feet. Use these workouts to figure out what strategies help you stay mentally strong. Good music may help you stay psyched up running with others may make the miles roll by faster. Mantras that are short, inspirational, and meaningful can help you stay positive, even as your body fatigues.
Maintain a conversational pace for about six miles. Include hill repeats on the run. Run up a hill that takes 60 seconds or so to climb, then jog back down to recover. Repeat this cycle eight to 10 times. Just over a mile into the Falmouth Road Race, you'll pass the Nobska Point Lighthouse. Built in 1829, it served as a beacon to sailors, whalers, and vessels crossing the Vineyard Sound.
Now is the time to invest in high-quality running gear. Shirts, shorts, and pants that wick away moisture will help protect you from chafing and keep you comfortable no matter what the weather conditions are. These items may seem like extravagant expenses, but the investment you make now will pay off for hundreds of miles. The most important piece of gear is your shoes. Worn-out and ill-fitting shoes are often the cause of injury. Go to a specialty running shop to find a pair that offers the fit and support that your feet need. Shoes should be replaced every 300 to 500 miles.
Maintain a conversational pace for 4.5 miles. Finish off with five strides. For the strides, over 100 meters, gradually accelerate until you reach 90 percent of all-out effort. Hold that effort for five seconds, then smoothly decelerate. Walk to full recovery after each stride. Cramps in the calf are common as you ramp up the mileage, and during a race the pain can stop you dead in your tracks. Here's how to release it when you're on the run. Step to the side of the road and raise the ball of the cramped leg's foot while keeping the heel on the ground. For a deeper stretch, lean forward, keeping the knee of the leg being stretched straight, the opposite knee bent, and both feet flat on the ground. Hold for two seconds; repeat 10 times or more, as necessary.