In the military, a soldier is continuously being trained and maintained, even though at the time there may be no war to fight. Why? Well, a county must have defenders ready to “jump into action” at any time to protect the country. Some runners, like me, who do not presently have goal race to train for, also want to be “prepared for battle” at any time. You never know, a 5k or 10k race could pop up tomorrow, or a soccer game, or an arm wrestling match with my son, and I want to be ready to participate and do well in all of them. So how does one train for something that he doesn’t know is coming? Here is the training schedule that I use which works very well. It fits into my “family-career-busy-life” schedule and keeps me “head-to-toe” fit.
Monday: To the Track. I just love track work because of the “short term pain – long term gain” aspect. One example track workout I like to do is 4 laps warm-up and then 6 x 400m with a 400m-recovery lap in between each. I then end with 4 laps of cool down. That is 5 miles of running. There are many other track workouts that I do like 800’s, 1200’s, and 1600’s. Track work really improves my VO2 max, speed, and running economy.
Tuesday: Off to the Gym (Day 1). Or if you are like me, you may have a home gym with all of the weights and equipment you need. Because I also want to be ready for more than just running, I have always felt that working the entire body is important. I will typically work chest and back together as well as I will do some squats for my vmo’s and then always end with some abdominal work. The above exercises increase my core strength.
Wednesday: Tempo Run. Around my house I have marked mile markers to make my tempo running much easier to keep track of. I always start with a 1-mile warm-up and then 3 to 4 miles of a quicker pace followed by a 1-mile cool-down. The tempo run is great for increasing my lactate threshold.
Thursday: Cross Training. I have a bike on a magnetic trainer so I will usually do about 20 to 30 min of cycling at a fast pace to increase my leg turnover for faster running.
Friday: Back to the Gym (Day 2). This is identical to Tuesday’s workout but instead of working the chest and back I do my arms and shoulders. I also do some calf exercises as well.
Saturday: Long Run. The length of this run varies anywhere from 6 to 10 miles. The long run is useful in improving my aerobic and leg endurance.
Sunday: Day off.
So this is a typical “training” week for me. It is not always possible to maintain it with a family and a career, but once in a while I am able to complete most of the above in a week. If I don’t, it’s not the end of the world.
It looks like more than it really is. Except for some long runs, I can do every other workout in under one hour. The important thing is, this training schedule is extremely “family-career-busy-life” friendly and keeps me in great shape to be “ready for battle” at any time!
What’s in your weekly fitness schedule that would be valuable to others making a time manageable plan to be fit and “ready?”