Today my friend John had his latest training run with me. John is a new runner, normal weight and in his mid thirties. Along with our mutual friend Nettie and her daughter, he's booked himself in on one of those army style obstacle course races lined up next year and is gradually getting ready for it. So far we've had about 5 or 6 runs with a bit of of walking interspersed with normal sped running.
We do about 30 - 40 minutes, normally on a Wednesday evening, in the dark and head along the busway cycle track. Today we both had a day off work (actually, I have a week off!) and we ran in glorious sunshine. The air was cool, clean and clear, we could see for miles. It was good, very good.
Last time John's ruthless, relentless and mean trainer introduced a bit of interval training i.e. a few short bursts of faster running. Today we did that by running up a hill and then up / down a couple of undulations. I had already explained to John this is good training to do - raising the heart rate for a brief period and then walking afterwards to allow the heart rate to settle back down to normal.
Afterwards we got back to my house and I took John through a few stretches, which went okay.
Just to summarise where I think John, as a new runner, is and maybe this might be helpful for others:
- So far John has been running once a week with me and has the opportunity to walk most days on his way to work. This involves getting off the bus at an earlier stop and then has a brisk walk. I think he could do with running more often,perhaps two or three times a week.
- Concentrate on developing a regular routine in possibly becoming a life-long runner.
- Don't worry about speed, this will come later. This is a mistake many new runners make (I remember I did).
- So far John hasn't reported any problems or injuries, although his upper leg / quad muscles have ached a little on the day after a run. John needs to monitor this; chances are it'll go of its own accord
- When John is gets tired and he walks instead of running. This is okay but could try jogging instead of walking
- Try stretching after a run, not before. I took you through some stretches: hold them for 10-20 seconds and its important to back off if anything hurts
- Don't run on consecutive days, resting is important
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