Friday, November 12, 2010

Newbie Runner Advice

EVERY NOW and then someone beginning runner asks a question on runningahead.com which elicits some helpful, fundamentals-type advice. Here is a response to a beginner, posted there by Jeff, author of The Logic of Long Distance blog. I'm saving it here for myself, but it's a helpful read for any new runner.
Don't try to push the mileage too high too fast. I think weekly mileage goals are good, but maybe it's better to focus on going every day, or if you have time, doubling 3 or 4 or 5 times a week. Then the mileage will follow. The general idea though is just to run frequently, train the body to be a running machine.

You should also do strides or hill charges 2-3 times a week. Start with 4-5 x 60m and work from there to 8-10 by 100m. The idea here is to run fast and relaxed.

For "workouts" I think that it would be best to go by feel. Keep the pace easy on most of your runs, but two or three times a week it's okay to let the pace go. Run strong, open your stride, feel your strength, finish fast. You could do more formal work than this: 90s hill repeats or some fartlek work like 1min - 2min - 5min - 3min fast running w/4 min easy jogging in between. These are just guidelines. Experiment with ways to work your fast running into your runs in ways that make you feel strong and in ways that are sustainable.

Finally, [the] point about races is important. You should do some time trials every now and then if you can't find a race. Maybe every three weeks? Just to practice the feel of racing. Maybe you can find some other runners? ...It will be extremely helpful to run with other folks--some faster, some slower.

Good luck! You've already taken the most important step in training, which is committing to getting faster. Don't forget to have fun along the way!

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