Training programs to race faster and farther

Exercise and Fitness | Aging Well | August 21, 2019
person walking/running along path outside in evening
If you feel ready to go faster or farther, check out these programs to help you train for a faster 5k or a half-marathon.

Do you want to keep challenging yourself to get or stay fit? Check out these two programs to build on your fitness level, courtesy of Sherri McMillan, MSc, a PeaceHealth race partner. 

6-week program to a faster 5k

The 6-week "faster 5k" training program is designed for people who can run a 5k comfortably. It includes intervals of easy jogs and hard runs of varying distances--from 200 meters to 4-5 miles. You'll also want to do strength training and core work twice a week.

Download the "faster 5k" training program

 

6-week program to a half marathon

The 6-week "half marathon" training program is for people who can run six miles comfortably and want to increase mileage safely and comfortably to finish a half-marathon. It includes intervals of easy jogs and hard runs of varying distances--from 400 meters to 6 miles. You'll also want to do strength training and core work twice a week.

Download the "half marathon" training program

 

Tips for safe training

Regardless of which program you do, here are tips to stay safe throughout your training:

  • Remember to warmup and cooldown with about 5-10 minutes of walking.
  • Stretch your calves, quadriceps, hips/glutes and hamstrings after each workout.
  • Remember to strength train to condition your muscles to be strong enough to absorb the impact of running.
  • Listen to your body – if you need to walk more than the program allocates, do that. For those doing the half-marathon training program, for your long runs, feel free to use the Galloway Method, which involves 10 minutes of running and 1 minute of walking to complete the distance. That 1 minute walk every 10 minutes can really help your body endure the distance and the impact.
  • When we progress weekly, if your body is not tolerating the increase well, go back to the prior week’s program.
  • It’s ok to complete any of these programs as a walker with no running whatsoever – just vary your walking speed so when the program calls for running, just walk faster. That will minimize the impact associated with running and be more tolerable for those more deconditioned, carrying extra weight or with joint issues/pain.