Definitions of training terms:

Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday are key workout days.  Even if moving training days around, don’t do these workouts back-to-back.  Always have a rest day or a cross training day between these workouts.

Each week includes one easy run/walk.  This is best done on Sunday or Monday.  Experienced athletes may want to add another easy run/walk day on Wednesday instead of cross training.

Cross training

In order to be a stronger, more balanced athlete, cross training is included for 2 days per week.  On these days do something other than run.  You could take a yoga or Pilates class, swim, go for an easy bike ride, go for a walk or hike if you normally run, go paddle boarding, etc….  The goal is to do some type of exercise 6 days a week.  You may want to schedule your core work for your cross training days.

Core work

Strengthening your core will help reduce your risk of several common running and walking injuries.  Start with 1 set and gradually work up to 3 sets.  Consider doing these on your cross training days.

  • Push ups – 10
  • Planks – 30 seconds
  • Squats or Single-leg squats – 10 per side
  • Fire hydrants – 15 per side
  • Side leg lifts – 10 per side
  • Clamshells – 15 per side
  • Glute bridges – 10
  • Lunges – 10 per side
  • Bird dog – 10 per side
  • Single leg deadlifts – 10 per side


Many race courses include hills so it is important to include them in your training. Run or walk a course that includes moderate hills that will take 30-60 seconds to go up. If you only have 1 hill in your area, you could do hill repeats.  After warming up for 15-20 minutes, run up a hill using good form, keeping your body upright, and driving your arms, then jog or walk back down the hill.  Start with 2 repeats and add an additional repeat each week.  


Strides will help fire up your fast twitch muscle fibers and reinforce proper form.  These are 100m accelerations (about 30 seconds – think of the straight-away portion of a track).  Start at a jog and gradually increase your speed to about 95% of your max speed at the mid-point, and then slowly decrease your speed and slow to a stop.  Walk or stand between strides to catch your breath (45-90 seconds).  Start with 4 repeats and gradually work up to 6 repeats.  These should be done prior to speed play and can also be done at the end of an easy run.

Speed play

Speed play is really for experienced runners, meaning you have been running consistently for at least 6 months. These are done to increase your VO2 max.  Always start with a 15-20 minute easy warm up and end with a 10-20 minute easy cool down. These are modified-Billat vVO2 max workouts.  These are done at a pace you could maintain for a mile.  They are NOT all out sprinting!!  A 30/30 means you run at your vVO2 pace for 30 seconds and then jog for 30 seconds.  Repeat this for the number of intervals indicated on the schedule.  


These workouts will make you aerobically stronger by boosting your lactate threshold and will make you mentally stronger.  Always start by doing a 15-20 minute easy warm up.  And finish with a 10-20 minute easy cool down. Tempo workouts should be done at 10-15 seconds per mile slower than 10K race pace or 10-15 seconds faster than marathon or half marathon pace.  This pace should feel comfortably hard (about 85%).  It is done at the upper end of your aerobic zone. You should be able to keep up this pace for about an hour.  Doing tempo workouts at goal pace (GP) the last 2 weeks prior to your race will help you really dial in to your race pace.

There are 3 types:

  • Tempo A is 4×5:00 with a 60-second recovery
  • Tempo B is 2×10:00 with a 90-second recovery
  • Tempo C is 1×20:00

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