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Running your first 10k – Part 2

In the second part, a detailed training plan is presented by write Coach Pramod Deshpande to help you achieve your dream of running your first 10k.

The Training Phase

Endurance running is more than just “running itself”, as it also comprises of supplementary exercises like core, stretching, plyometrics and strength building exercises. Additionally, sticking to a nutrition plan and having proper time for rest and recovery are critical factors. Let us discuss these aspects a little more in detail.

Training plan

Here is a suggestive plan giving you an idea of how you could gradually increase the intensity of your workouts and mileage, include strength training and gym, stretching and core exercises etc. Following the below schedule will help you complete your 10K. This is more of a generic program and a better way is for you to get a customized program that suits your fitness levels and health parameters.

Week Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
1 Basic warm-up exercises – only walking – finish with stretching and a couple of sets of core exercises
Rest 30 mins walk Rest 30 mins walk Rest 45 mins walk Rest
2 Basic warm-up exercises – only walking – finish with running drills, stretching and a couple of sets of core exercises
Rest 35 mins walk Rest 35 mins walk Rest 55 mins walk Rest
3 Basic warm-up exercises – only walking – finish with dynamic plyometric moves e.g. jumping jacks, one leg hopping, both legs hopping for 10 minutes followed by drills, stretching and a couple of sets of core exercises
Rest 45 mins walk Rest 45 mins walk Rest 60 mins walk Rest
4 Mix jogging and walking. Add one day of the gym for basic strength training. Don’t forget the pre and post run routines. Get a massage to relax.
Rest 45 mins walk & jog GYM 45 mins walk & jog Rest 60 mins walk & jog Massage
5 With each workout gradually reduce walking and increase jogging. Continue with gym and pre and post run routines.
Rest 55 mins Walk & Jog GYM 55 mins Walk & Jog Rest 70 mins Walk & Jog Rest
6 By now you should be able to jog 50% of the time. Focus on jogging continuously. Speed is not important. Continue the gym and the pre and post run routines.
Rest 55 mins Walk & Jog GYM 55 minutes Jog Rest 80 mins Walk & Jog Rest
7 Target to jog 60% of the time. Do not worry about speed, try continuous jogging. On weekends, ensure you complete the time, even if you are completely tired, this will be the longest jog before the race. Do not miss the Gym and the pre and post run exercise routines.
Rest 55 mins Jog GYM 55 mins Jog Rest 90 mins Walk & Jog Rest
8 Repetition workouts, do not walk in a repetition of 10 or 15 minutes, you have a 45 sec rest after each repetition. Do not miss the Gym and the pre and post run exercise routines. Get a full body massage after the workout.
Rest Run 10 mins – 45 sec recovery (Repeat 4 times) GYM Run 15 mins – 45 sec recovery (Repeat 3 times) Rest 80 mins Jog Massage
9 Same as week 8. Last week of gym, strength and plyometric exercise. Continue with stretches.
Rest Run 10 mins – 45 sec recovery (Repeat 4 times) Rest Run 15 mins – 45 sec recovery (Repeat 3 times) Rest 40 mins Jog Rest
10 Workout same as last week, mileage is less. Continue stretches. Get proper rest
Rest 35 minutes jog Rest 35 minutes jog Rest Race

Rest & Recovery

This is the most neglected part of your preparation. Once you start your training, in all anxiety to achieve results, you are likely to push yourself to the maximum and fail to add a rest day. But, unless you recover from the fatigue of your previous workout, starting the next day’s workout is counterproductive. A recovery gap of 24 hours between your workouts is extremely important.

You will see advanced athletes doing workouts daily and elite athletes doing workouts twice a day but they are tuned to take such loads and also manage adequate rest.

Do not do any work out on rest days. Typically, with these types of workloads, you will require additional sleep which is another facet of recovery. A 7-8-hour sleep routine is essential.

Event Day

You will be ready physically and mentally for the event only if you factor in all the aspects of preparation, training, nutrition with sufficient rest and recovery days.

Some key aspects to keep in mind for the race day is to

First, Completion- Do not focus on timing rather push yourself to complete the race as a lot of time and effort has gone into preparing yourself for the race. Factors such as speed, finish time, doing better than the person next to you can be given focus on your next race and you need to prepare for them accordingly.

Second, the golden rule of endurance running, nothing new on race day- Your pace during the race (no matter who overtakes you), running gear, food, and hydration before, during and after the race should be exactly the same as it has been during the training phase.

Lastly, Look Back – once all the euphoria subsides, look back from where you started, how dedicated was your preparation, how many sacrifices you made along the way. Then, consider what you achieved during this time – improvement in fitness parameters, a finisher medal that you have completed your 10K run, the discipline, and patience you learned along the way, the amazing new friends you made …. The list will be very long – savor it and be proud before you start thinking about your next target.

Happy Running!

GUEST COLUMNIST

A reputed coach and mentor for the Jayanagar Jaguars and a technology innovation head with a leading MNC who over the past 4 years has trained more than 2500 athletes complete Half-Marathons, Full-Marathons and Ultra-Marathons

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Running your first 10k – Part 1

Are you considering endurance running as a serious fitness activity? If yes, great decision!, writes Coach Pramod Deshpande. In this two part article learn how you can achieve this dream.

As someone who enjoys running himself, I have to say that endurance running will bring about an extremely positive change in your life while making it an enjoyable and fulfilling journey.

No matter the reason – an influential social media post, well thought out decision to correct some fitness parameters or just the curiosity to try something new, this is an activity for everyone and learning a few aspects of it will help a long way in preparing for it.

Let us start with some basics – the 3 fundamental truths of Endurance running:

  • Current fitness level – Fitness is not like a positive bank balance that you can draw upon at any time. You have to start from the baseline of your current fitness level. All your glory day medals and trophies are of little use if you have not been active in the recent past. We all have that friend who cannot stop talking about his sporting achievements in school and college and we often wonder – if he/she is healthier than I am? Fear, not my dear friends, if he/she has been as inactive as you in the recent past, he/she has very little advantage over you when this journey begins.
  • Patience is name of the game – “The two most powerful warriors are patience and time” – Leo Tolstoy.
    You may be in hurry to post a pic on social media of you taking a bite of the finisher medal of your next big race but your body is going to take its time to prepare itself to cover that distance. So please give enough time for preparation.
  • Perseverance and discipline – You might run fast for the first couple of weeks but that is short lived as your body will start complaining as weeks go by. Do not focus on speed at this juncture but your emphasis should be more on getting out and putting in the mileage day after day as per your training schedule.

Preparation before the start of your journey

Before you get down to training, there are a few things to sort out:

  • Clear your calendar – This is going to be a dedicated preparation and will require changes to your daily routine. Keep aside 90 minutes of your dedicated time (preferably in the mornings) for training minimum thrice a week for the next 10 weeks from the start of this journey.
  • Make a commitment to yourself – You can always find ample reasons to miss that training – but if you stay committed, you can always spare those 90 minutes no matter what the situation might be.
  • Prepare for lifestyle changes: You will see a lot of positive changes in your nutritional discipline, proper sleep and rest patterns – open your arms and embrace it, you’re becoming a healthier version of you!
  • Select a target event – It becomes easier to achieve your goal if you have in mind an event to participate in such as a 10k, to begin with. To give yourself enough time for preparation, choose an event 10 weeks away and always choose a reputed event as the support on the course and other facilities are better.
  • Guidance for preparation – Running is natural to all of us, however, serious preparation for such an event requires proper guidance and monitoring. One of the options where you could receive this guidance would be to join a running club as they have well-designed training modules, the services of an experienced coach and group running is fun. While the other option you have is to select an online program but these programs typically lack personalization, monitoring, and most importantly encouragement when you’re feeling low. A note of caution here, an advice from some runner friend, knowledge nuggets from ‘Google University’ are not really effective ways to prepare and can have serious drawbacks. Be wise in your selection.
  • Running gear – Having the right gear is motivation in itself – always have a dry fit t-shirt, comfortable, light and flexible running shoes, water bottle and exercise mat before you start.
  • Health Checkup – It is always recommended to get a health checkup and get your doctor’s opinion before you start this journey.

Nutrition Discipline

Nutrition planning is more an individual aspect and therefore instead of getting into specific food aspects, let’s talk about ‘Nutrition discipline’, which is essential for endurance running. Doing a lot of trial and error during this training phase will help you find out what suits you best. Here are a few pointers:

Regularity in food intake: Endurance running is a long duration activity and gastric distress (running on an empty stomach) is an important aspect especially during early morning runs. Regular food intake and the right quantity play a major role in setting your body clock for this long duration activity.

  • Fixed time for food intake: Set a timetable for food intake based on your daily routine and stick to it. Have an early dinner so that you digest your food properly and are ready for the morning run.
  • Smaller quantities: Train your body to eat meals every 3 hours as this helps to reduce the quantity of each meal without compromising on nutrition and absorption.

Before the Run: Typically, the training begins in the morning and with an 8-hour gap from your last meal, it is important to eat a snack rich in carbohydrates like a banana or slice of bread with peanut butter as the body will need the energy to run.

During the Run: For workouts that last more than an hour, carry small qualities of some carb-rich snack e.g. couple of groundnut bars, glucose biscuits, dates, jaggery, energy gels etc. It is important to get used to eating during the run.

After the Run: Eating a protein and carb snack within 20 minutes of your exercise gives you the maximum benefit. Carrying your post-run snack with you is best as eating after you get home or after 45 mins is not ideal. You can carry boiled eggs, protein shake, protein bar, an idly with lots of sambar etc.

Hydration: Your general hydration requirement will increase as you will be sweating a lot. Keep a water bottle handy. You can also get hydration from buttermilk, fruit juices, fruits, coconut water etc.

  • Before your run ensure you have water at least half an hour prior to the run.
  • During the run drink whenever you feel thirsty. It is all a matter of practice and you should not worry about the loss of pace due to water stops as dehydration at a later stage will slow you down even more. Adding carbs & salt supplements to the water e.g. Fast & Up, Enerzal, Gatorade or a homemade mix of sugar, salt & lime is a good option.
  • After your run, remember to drink water or water plus supplements immediately after the run. However, you need to continuously hydrate yourself in the first hour of completing the run.

In the next part we have a training plan and much more. Keep reading!

GUEST COLUMNIST

A reputed coach and mentor for the Jayanagar Jaguars and a technology innovation head with a leading MNC who over the past 4 years has trained more than 2500 athletes complete Half-Marathons, Full-Marathons and Ultra-Marathons

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Moving from 10k to a Half Marathon

Our guest columnist, seasoned runner, Anjana Mohan talks about how to transition from 10k to a half marathon

Doubling the distance you run poses similar challenges regardless of whether you’re a first time runner, a regular fitness runner, or an ultra-runner returning after a break. The biggest difference between those who have done 21.2km before and those who haven’t is simply the conviction that they can. Structure your training to slowly increase your endurance from 60-100 mins to 120-200 mins of higher heart rate activity. Those with prior experience in any continuous activity for 2-3 hours will find this jump easier than those who have to train for this in slow increments.

There are 5 major components of incremental training:
1. Learning to run longer
2. Training upper body and core muscles to support the longer runs
3. Understanding & serving your nutritional needs
4. Rest, recovery & life balance
5. Building mental toughness and practicing commitment

Many can and do get away with just the first component, allowing the other 4 to play out haphazardly through their preparation. While the first is a minimum, and with 10k training you may have gotten away with considering nothing else, a half marathon necessitates conscious attention to the other four. Training programs typically address the technical fitness components (muscle fitness, endurance), but the runner must self- address the logistical and mental aspects (Scheduling, prioritization and commitment). Nutrition, rest and recovery may or may not be addressed by technical training and require your maturity and body-attentiveness.

Training to run long distances
Training for longer distances can be achieved by running 3 days a week including a weekend long run (10% distance increments per week). While possible to substitute a cardio workout for 1 of 3 weekly runs for the same duration, it is more beneficial to add 45mins of cross training per week like cycling or swimming. Adding 1 to 2 gym sessions for lower body bulk muscles as well as upper body can yield amazing benefits of strength for any athlete and is highly recommended. And finally building and strengthening core muscles is a basic necessity to maintain positive form & avoid injury. Add 10-15 minutes minimum ab-work to runs or gym days as many times per week as possible. Rest is the most overlooked component of training. Plan this mental and physical recovery and muscle building necessity into your life. With anything less than 7-9hrs of unbroken sleep, you will perform sub-par, feel fatigue and be more prone to injury.

Mindfulness running

Runs longer than an hour need re-fueling en-route, and greater attention to protein and carb intake during the week. You should try, practice and experiment with these during each incrementally longer run and incorporate them into your training. Similarly, practicing positive thinking, and actively training your brain to believe that you can complete your distance and working to do so without quitting for each workout are the reps your brain muscle needs to learn to become familiar with that flex.

Runner’s mind- Understanding the end goal

Most runners find that signing up for an event keeps them focused to train towards that target. However, you may enjoy the longer runs and find yourself training towards a sustained higher base mileage that goes long beyond a single race. A structured program will typically have you peak and taper towards the event but as you get about three quarters of the way into your distance, you should consider what you want your post-race running to look like.

Understanding why you run and what you get from running will help you develop your running maturity and balance it with your life priorities. Seek to develop a sense of conviction for your own reason to run – be it for health and fitness, sense of achievement, recognition, competition or just the endorphin joy of each run.

Moving from ten kilometers to a half marathon isn’t about distance, it is about a new threshold of fitness in your life, learning how you want to sustain and fold that into your new normal, and believing in yourself.

GUEST COLUMNIST

 

Anjana started running in the U.S. in 2007 and has helped mentor many from couch to half marathon. She is passionate about empowering women through running and now runs in Bangalore with Jayanagar Jaguars

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Empowering the Spirit of the Pacer

The all-women pacer group talks to Deepthi Velkur about what it takes to be leading runners at the TCSW10K.

If you are running the TCS World 10k this weekend in Bengaluru, then get ready to be lead by a formidable team of 19 women pacers. A first of its kind in the history of distance running, you will be following an accomplished group of runners as pacers this year. This unique initiative by Procam International for TCSW10K has raised the curiosity of running community and others alike. Vivek Singh, Jt. MD. Procam International says, “Running is empowering. The TCS World 10 K Bengaluru, is a showcase of the spirit of running. For the first time ever, we are delighted, to have an all-female pacer squad. Women from different walks of life are taking on leading roles, inspiring and helping amateur runners, to achieve their personal best.”

 

Each of the 19 pacers, wear multiple hats.  Mentor, motivator, and a role model in their own personal lives, they have the compassion and courage, to bring these qualities to the event. The fastest Bus is 50 mins and the final bus is at the 90 mins slot. So, depending on your running efficiency you can choose to follow any of the 19 pacers. The number 19 is not by accident but more by design. Experts at Procam analysed finish times across the last few editions and on the basis of feedback from amateur runners, KOL’s & running groups, identified the time slots that required more support and estimated improvement in finish times. This resulted in the different slots and the number of pacers that would be assisting runners on race day. Runners need to note that a Pacer BUS is the time at which a pacer will finish her race. All Runners aspiring to finish in that particular time target should follow her. For example, Shailja Sridhar is the 50 Mins Bus Pacer. All participants targeting a 50 mins finish time must join this bus.

Of the 19 pacers, 12 are from Bengaluru, 2 from Kolkata, 2 from Delhi, 2 from Mumbai & 1 from Chennai. Pacers were chosen based on the following criteria

  • Performance in last 12 months in training prior to Race day
  • Average weekly mileage of last 52 weeks, best performance in last 6 months
  • Margin of comfort needed between personal best & bus time
  • Lastly pacers own confidence to bring the bus in ‘ON TIME’

Catching up with a few pacers, we learnt about their thoughts about running, pacing and being part of the all-women pacer group.

How it started

Bindu Juneja, the 60 min BUS, speaks about how the idea germinated, “It was Jayanti Poojari’s dream to have a team of all Women Pacers for the 1st time in the World. I’m very proud to be part of this team.” Adding to this Shikha Rawal, 65 min BUS, says, “I think it is a brilliant idea and all credits to Procam for this. I am proud to be part of the squadron of 19. I couldn’t believe when I first got approached by Procam and I said yes immediately.”

“I have been running the TCS for the last 5yrs. This will be my 6th year. I am a regular runner and I know a lot of people who run, so a friend of mine recommended my name to Procam. They checked my track record and selected me as a pacer. It was Jayanti’s brain child to have come up with this idea. She felt it was something very different and its empowering women to come out and do something unique. Seasoned runners from across the country will be taking part in this run,” adds Sangamitra Guha, 70 mins BUS.

Responsibility of the pacer

Being a pacer is a responsibility that cannot be taken lightly. Shahana Zaberi, 80 min BUS, takes her job as a pacer very seriously. She notes, “Being a Pacer is a very responsible job. We need to get our Bus on time. Irrespective of any odds happen during the route, we must cross the finish line on our target pacing time. Running slow or faster than our pace time will fail the whole purpose of pacer. We must follow the consistent pace and make the strategy well, depending on elevation profiles or other factors during the race.”

The group has a mix of experienced and new pacers but their commitment to pacing is unquestionable. Anjana Mohan, 70 mins BUS, echoes these thoughts, “The window is narrow – 30 seconds on either side of a promised time slot. Timing splits are also key, so a pacer cannot simply run haphazardly and then drag things out or speed things up in the last few yards or even kilometers. There are timing mats throughout the course and the steadiness of the pacer is quantified.”

Why follow a Pacer?

If you are wondering why we need to run with a pacer, then Neelam Talwar (80 mins BUS) an experienced pacer who has paced the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon 2017 and Tata Mumbai Marathon 2018, answers that question, “Running a distance race with a Pacer helps you to focus exclusively on your running without having to spend any mental energy on the pace. A runner just needs to keep an eye on the Pacer, focus on the running. The Pacer motivates the runner, keeps the runner updated on the hydration stops on the route. Running with a Pacer helps think positively and not make an excuse of the weather, fatigue or just turn away from the target.”

Bahar Sinha, 55 min BUS, also adds, “With the pacer you don’t need to have any strategy, just follow the pacer and try to just align yourself with the pacer. When you are running alone then you need to plan and act on your own. Sometimes a mere thought that someone is there for you makes your journey smooth and that’s what pacer are there for!”

Nandini Ashokumar, 85 mins BUS, is a 6 time pacer who has assisted runners in the previous edition of the TCSW10K. She stresses, “Pacer helps the runner to stay on track by maintaining a specific time per km, motivates the runner, shares valuable running tips and stays focused to help the runners in the Bus achieve their dream target. For a beginner, running with a pacer will be of great help and for experienced it would help them achieve their personal best.”

What excites the Pacers about running?

An excited Mahalakshmi Sagar, 60 min BUS, says, “The exciting part of running is with every run you discover a new thing about your body in terms of strength and weakness, and it does surprise you. The greatest lesson running has taught me is “You are stronger than you think”. Also it keeps me fit and has got me so many friends. Catching up with runner friends for a chatty run is my favourite.”

“That I run in the open during the wee hours when it is dawning and that I get to breathe the fresh morning air. Clichéd but true – it completely de-stresses me and makes me positive and have an optimistic outlook towards everything,” says Kavitha Nair, 75 mins BUS.

Avani Vora, 55 mins BUS recalls, “I have been running for almost 8 years now. Although running is something I do as I enjoy it. I feel I can connect to myself while I run, it helps is killing all negative energy within and makes me a better human being mentally and physically I stay fit, am able to look after my kids, husband, parents and friends.”

 Advice to runners from Pacers

“Do not kill yourself following a pacer. Select a pacer who is a little slower than what you want to achieve and if you feel up to it, you can go ahead. Better to go ahead of a pacer rather than lag behind. Choose wisely,” is the sincere advice from Anu Beri, 85 mins BUS.

The fastest pacer, Shailja Sridhar, 50 min BUS, says, “A good pacer will hopefully be helpful at the start and set the pace but it’s good to listen to your body. It’s also good to remember that the pacer is also human and can make mistakes.” Ranjani Ramanujam gives the final word, “Trust the pacers, and stay with them through the 10K.”

For these pacers running is a part of them. It’s a form of meditation for them and the honour of being a pacer is never taken lightly by them. Praising the commitment of the pacers, Vivek Singh adds, “Pacing amateurs is a selfless and challenging task. However, I am confident that at the end of the race, each one of these pacers will feel a sense of accomplishment, that goes beyond the sacrifice of achieving one’s personal best.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

Deepthi Velkur is a former sprinter who is trying her hand at various sports today. A tennis fanatic, who believes that sleep should never be compromised.

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Rest & Recovery during Marathon Training

Runners need to understand the need to rest and recover between training runs. Nandini Reddy talks about the need to rest to avoid injury and over-training syndrome.

There are many different kinds of runners. Everyone has their own schedule of training for marathons. But while most experienced runners do understand the importance of recovery and rest, many of them need to be forced to rest as they tend to be over-enthusiastic to keep training without a break.

Scheduling Rest

When charting out a training plan it is important to have rest days, recovery days, light workout days and heavy workout days. This will help take care of several issues that most runners face including fatigue and injury. Rest should be a scheduled day in a week. Regular and healthy runners need just one day rest in order to recover. New runners might need extra time to recover as their body gets acquainted to the stress of running. Recovery days are different from rest days. Rest days mean doing absolutely no physical workout. Recovery days are days we do alternative workouts that will help stretch and relax the muscles that we have been working. They can include activities like swimming, yoga, static stretches or even a leisure cycle ride. Strength training cannot be counted as recovery day as it required immense effort and does strain the body. But it can be part of your heavy workout day schedule once a week at least.

Refueling on Rest Days

Nutrition is a huge part of training for a marathon. It generally get overlooked by amateur and professional athletes but it should be part of your training plan. Nutrition plays an important role in helping muscles recover faster. Recovery and rest days try an reduce the amount of carbs you have and go for more light meals with fresh food like salads and soups. Hydrate well on rest days also. Don’t leave hydration only for running days. On those days increase your hydration but make it a habit to hydrate well on rest and recovery days as well.

Ice is your friend

Muscle soreness can be recovered to a large extent with ice packs and cold compress treatments. Running can cause inflammation your joints such as ankles, knees, hips and feet. Using ice packs helps in reducing the inflammation and helps in faster recovery.

Massages can be effective

Pro-athletes and newbies all support that massages are a good way to recover. On your rest day you can plan a massage if you are feel you are not able to adequately recover with other methods of rest. There are special muscle relieving massages and it is important to brief your therapist about your reason for it to be more effective.

Following such simple plans can make a huge difference to your endurance as a runner. Whether you choose all or a few rest and recovery methods, you are likely to see the difference. These small changes will have a big effect on your running performance.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

IMG_20171011_095150

 

An irregular runner who has run in dry, wet, high altitude and humid conditions. Loves to write a little more than run so now is the managing editor of Finisher Magazine.

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