Starting a Running Program

Week 4

by Patti & Warren Finke, Team Oregon
What is the best exercise?. We have a stock answer: The one you like to do. Only 20% of the people who start exercise programs stick with them. The predominant reason for their failure is lack of motivation. If you don't like the exercise, if you don't have fun doing it, you won't.

When we suggest exercise, we tell individuals to pick something they enjoy and can picture themselves doing for the rest of their lives. The beauty of running is that it has many dimensions and endless variety. Thus, even though you may get tired of running around a track, you might enjoy running on a trail or in a race.

The Eighth Commandment: Add Variety

Varying a number of aspects of your training avoids injury and keeps you mentally interested. You should vary pace, distance, courses, terrain, shoes, running partners or anything you can. As you run more, you should add some supplemental or cross training to vaey your exercise routine. These things will not directly improve your running. But, they will increase your overall fitness and resistance to injury and burnout allowing you to train consistently for long periods. This consistency is what will improve your running more than anything else.

In your beginning program we have started you out on a track where the terrain is flat and you know exactly how far you are going. Eventually, you can migrate to the roads or trails where there is an endless variety of terrain, surface and things to experience. If you like, you can start this week by doing some of the warmup and cooldown parts of your workouts off of the track. To do this, time how long it takes you to do a warmup or cooldown on the track. For the next workout session, warm up and cool down by walking through the park, schoolgrounds or neighborhood adjacent to the track for the same amount of time. An easy way to do this is to start at the track walk for half of the time and then return the same way you came. You can use this same technique to move the other parts of your workout off the track a little at a time whenever you feel like you want more variety.

The Ninth Commandment: Make Your Training Enjoyable

If you are not enjoying the training, you will not be able to maintain your commitment. Variety, mentioned above, will help. Also consider things like a once a week "adventure" run where you run somewhere you have never gone before. Join a training group with a local running club or a run for fun group like the Hash House Harriers.

Even when you are just starting out, it helps to have someone to run with. You can run and then go out for coffee afterwards. Plan some rewards for completing your goals. Of course, slowing down helps keep the running enjoyable. Start checking out the clubs, favoite running spots and upcoming running events in your area. Soon you will be ready to join in the social and competitive aspects of the sport.

Week Four Workout

To be done on a 400 meter or 1/4 mi running track to quantify the actual distance covered.
Day 1   Day 2   Day 3   Day 4   Day 5   Day 6   Day 7
Easy    Easy    Hard    Easy    Hard    Easy    Hard

  0       0     3.2 km    0     3.2 km    0     6.4km

3.2 km workout
Warm up by walking  800 meters or  2 laps of  the track
Complete 1600 meters or 4 laps of the track by running
400 meters (one lap of the track) walking a short
distance and then running the remainder of the lap.
Repeat walking a short distance and running the remainder
of the lap until 4 laps are completed. 
Cool Down by walking 800 meters, 2 laps of track

6.4 km workout
Warm up by walking  800 meters or  2 laps of  the track
Complete 4800 meters or 12 laps of the track by running
400 meters (one lap of the track) walking a short
distance and then running the remainder of the lap.
Repeat walking a short distance and running the remainder
of the lap until 12 laps are completed. 
Cool Down by walking 800 meters, 2 laps of track

Team Oregon Running Tips are Copyrighted by wY'east Consulting and Team Oregon which reserve all commercial rights to republication.