This post will be dedicated to my running routine. I don’t work out as much as I’d like to – I’m averaging about two to three gym visits a week and in an ideal world, I’d kick that up to four workouts. I don’t particularly like working out at the gym. It’s dark, dank, and the weight room can be a meat market. Thanks to the Arctic climate I live in, I don’t really have much of a choice during the winter.
What I do love though is running outdoors under the sun! I am counting down the days until it’s warm enough for me to get out there and run along the beautiful Rideau Canal, Dow’s Lake, Arboretum and Stonebridge Trail. In the summer, I will usually run several times a week, and then hit up the gym on the weekends to do ab training, weights at the occasional spin class. I also have a bike which I use frequently too. If I could bike everywhere, I would. I feel free as a bird on my bike…it’s my favourite thing other than gardening and buying make-up I don’t need. LOL! Seriously though, it is such a great way to exercise…mainly because it doesn’t feel like exercise.
Currently, I’m training for the Tamarack Run Ottawa Race Weekend taking place May 23-24, 2015. I will be running the 5K this year. I just don’t have the heart or willpower to train for the 10K like I did last year. Now, I run 5K all the time, so I don’t really need to train. I’m not really interested in achieving a personal best either, so I’m just going to run at an easy pace and enjoy the day! My PB/PR to date for a 5K is 27:36. Part of me really wants to get that under 27 minutes, but we’ll see.
When I train for 5Ks and 10Ks, I start off with running 5s and 2s, meaning five minutes of running with two minutes of walking to catch my breath. I run at an easy pace for me which is 6.0 mph. After about three runs a week at this pace, I work up to 10s and 2s. I will then add some interval training which looks like this:
Over a 10 minute period:
2 minutes of running at 6.0mph
1 minute of walking
2 minutes of running at 6.2 mph
1 minute of walking
2 minutes of running at 6.4 mph
2 minutes of walking
I will add an incline of about “2.0” on the treadmill. Once I feel totally comfortable, I will run 5K without stopping, which usually takes me about 28-29 minutes on the treadmill.
The interval training has greatly increased my speed and endurance! I highly recommend this method of training as it trains you for speed and minimizes injuries. When I go too fast or too long, my hamstrings tighten up and my lower back starts to ache. After an 8K run two years ago, I hurt my knee due to going too long and too fast also. The last thing I want are chronic back and knee problems.
Biking is an excellent complement to running too. Biking is an excellent way to workout out running’s complementary muscles. When you incorporate cycling into your running routine, you’re using muscles in your legs and core that complement the muscles used for running, making you stronger, more efficient, and faster.
Don’t forget deep stretching after your runs too. This reduces soreness, prevents cramping and increases flexibility.
Here are some of my favourite post-run stretches:
What are some of your running tips? What exercises do you prefer? Ever run any races, triathlons, etc? Let me know in the comments!