At the GVWC, we want to help you acheive your race goals, whatever they are. Maybe you're training to complete your first race or improve on your best race time. Perhaps you're ready to jump to the next race distance or you need help with better fueling and hydration. We are here for you.
You are not alone. We all started at the same place once. We want to help you avoid some of the mistakes that we made. Although those mistakes make for some great stories!
Below is a quick tutorial and outlines the basic formula for any racing schedule, from novice to veteran, from 5K to marathon.
Training Schedules - It's Not Rocket Science
Training schedules are not complicated; once you learn a little training vocabulary and the magic formula. Generally, every training schedule involves 4 or 5 types of training walks. The distance of each walk and the duration of the overall training period depends on the length of the race. Work on establishing a starting pace, and you are ready to give it a go.
Refer to the glossary of terms and let's get started with the general WEEKLY formula:
Complete one to two hard training days per week. Choose from Tempo, LSD, or Interval. Focus on the purpose of that day's training. It is hard day. Go hard.
Never schedule 2 hard training walks on consecutive days.
All other days are Easy, Recovery, or Cross Training.
LSD is the most important walk of the week.
Do not increase weekly mileage by more than 10% from the previous week. (Increasing mileage too quickly is a sure-fire recipe for plantar fasciitis or shin splints.)
Every four weeks,include a "fall back" week, where weekly mileage is cut about 30%. This allows for recovery, helps prevent over-training, and ultimately prepares you to advance to the next level of your training.
Training Schedule Duration:
5K - 6 to 8 weeks
10K - 6 to 10 weeks
Half Marathon 8 - 12 weeks
Marathon - 16 - 20 weeks
But, what is the pace you start traing with, you ask? That can be tricky, particularly if you are first starting out. You need to build up slowly, and through trial and error, establish a starting pace during the first few weeks of training, or even before you start your training schedule. We can help you with that, as well as developing your personalized schedule.
Below is MY actual (real time) fitness calendar, and is a very good general plan for maintaining fitness between races. My purpose is to establish and maintain base mileage for any distance race so that I do not need to "start from scratch" when it comes to training for a half or full marathon. It is essentially my year round fitness calendar. Please feel free to check out what I will be doing any day of the week.
In addition, this schedule will give a walker a really strong base for entering a 5K or 10K. You will be ready!
Cross Training. noun [(krôstrān] To undergo or provide training in different tasks or skills. Used to promote use and range of motion of other muscles than those used for race walking. Increase strength and flexibility of other muscles.
Easy Day. noun [ee-zee dey] A slower-than-race-pace day by about 1 to 2 minutes per mile.
Fall Back Week. noun [fôl bak wēk] Reduction in the number of miles walked in a week, whose purpose is to promote a period of muscle and emotional recovery during training.
Interval Day. noun [in-ter-vul dey] Workouts incorporating fast, short distances with intervals of rest (i.e., six 1/2-mile "sprints" or "repeats" with a two minute rest period between each interval.) Often done on a track. Purpose is to build speed. NOTE: Interval workouts are intended to be hard, and should be reserved for advanced walkers.
Hard Day. noun [härd dey] Hard days are days where workouts are taxing and require significant effort. Avoid performing hard workouts on consecutive days. Examples are long slow day, tempo and interval days.
Long Slow Day. noun [lawng sloh dey] The longest distance walk of training week and, arguably, the most important among all the weekly workouts. Should be 1 to 2 minutes slower than race pace. Builds strength and endurance; time on your feet. Considered hard day. Also known as LSD.
P.R. Abbreviation for personal record or personal best. The best time accomplished for a particular distance, as in, "I hope to get a PR in my next 10K."
Race Pace. noun [reys peys ] The per-mile pace for the race being training for. Race pace will vary by distance (i.e., pace for a 5K should be significantly faster than a half marathon, which will be faster than a marathon).
Recovery Day. noun [ri-kuhv-uh-ree dey] A day off from working out or day to cross train (and use different muscles). Especially when marathon training, recovery days are important and should not be skipped.
Tempo. noun [tem-poh] A faster-than-race-pace day by 30 to 60 seconds. Builds speed. Considered a hard day.