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Training routine will help you to stick the pace

Jennifer's training has been going really well so far and she is very motivated. She is getting out for a jog an average of three times per week but hopes to increase it to four.

Three runs per week is actually enough to prepare for a 10k run but, if you have more time to work out, perhaps you could do a different form of exercise such as swimming, kettlebells or the cross-trainer – just to mix it up a bit and reduce the impact on legs.

So far, Jennifer can jog for up to 25 minutes at a time and is aiming to increase the duration and distance each time she goes out as she feels she can do more. In order to do this in a way that will feel like she is improving her stamina and getting fitter, we have set out a nine-week plan beginning next Monday, March 31, and taking us right up to race day.

The plan is based on running three times per week but, of course, if you want to you can repeat one of the days if you are getting out four times. With busy schedules you don't have to follow it by the book, but the main thing is to spread the workouts and make sure you have rest days.

Jennifer has a regular route at the Curragh which helps her to map out her distance, and the scenery adds to the whole experience.

One of the toughest tasks she is facing at the moment is braving the cold, wintry showers we have been getting. I know it is tough to get out in the Irish weather but, as I always say, once you are out you will definitely not regret it and you will warm up in no time.

Also with the clocks going forward at the weekend, the evenings will be brighter and will give us a boost.

push

Jennifer is jogging with her sister who will push her a little bit further as she is more experienced. It would be a good idea if you could get out with someone who is fitter, but make sure they do not overdo it or you could end up fatigued.

One of the main hang-ups of the slow jogger is worrying about how slow they are going and what other people might think.

Well, do not worry. Once you are moving you are doing great and, trust me, everybody is too caught up in their own training to be bothered looking at others.

We have touched on breathing techniques in previous weeks and it's something that comes up time and time again. If you are still having difficulty, just remember to take big deep breaths, slow and controlled, and if you have to, stop and walk. If you are experiencing soreness in calves, hamstrings or feet at this stage in training, there is a number of things you could be doing wrong.

Make sure you are stretching properly after each run. Make sure you are wearing the correct shoes. I encounter so many women whose runners are either rock hard or don't have enough support at all. You need to invest in a good pair of runners, or go into Elverys and get the gait analysis.

As Jennifer is aiming for a time of 1hr 10min to 1hr 15min she will be aiming for seven-minute kilometres.

Work out what time you would like to do and divide it by the 10k to see what your pace should be. Don't get too caught up with this – most of us just want to finish the race, and that is a great goal.


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