Louise Heraghty outlines the challenges facing followers of all three training plans in week 2
Congratulations on reaching week 2 of your Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon training plan. It is a big achievement to have the first week out of the way and now you are hopefully getting into the rhythm of regular jogs/walks.
This week’s plans are based on continuing to gradually increase your fitness and slightly increasing the duration of each workout. It is important to remember that it is only early days so please make sure to stick to the plan as best you can and try not to miss a session. Don’t be discouraged if you cannot reach the target set for the run/walk on each day but give it all you can, there’s still a long way to go.
For the walkers plan you will be adding 5 minutes on each session so you are walking for up to 20 minutes on 3 days and 25 minutes on your last day. By now you will have developed a habit of walking regularly and will have found a pace that you are comfortable with. Remember, you should be able to hold a conversation comfortably, but at the same time feel like you have worked out and have built up a bit of a sweat by the end. It would be extremely beneficial if you had a walking partner or group for these first few weeks as it usually takes around 21 days for something to become a habit and if you are committed to a group you are less likely to quit.
The Beginners programme sees an introduction of a 3 minute run so by the end of the week you will be doing 5 of these, a total of a 15 minute run including recovery! The warm up is the same and bearing in mind the cold weather we have been getting recently it is particularly important to loosen out and warm up the muscles and joints before each session.
On the Improvers plan, 2 of the runs include speed sessions. Don’t get put off by the word ‘speed’, it’s really just a short burst where you up your pace to almost maximum effort around 5 times in the run. You will see on the plan it specifies 5 x 100 metres but unless you are running on a track you may not know the distance so I prefer to run ‘lampost to lampost’ and recover every second one – Do this around 5 times in your session or up to 10 if you can manage it and it will certainly help improve with your overall pace. Be careful though as a sudden increase in heart rate could be dangerous so please make sure you are warmed up and are at least 10 minutes into your workout before you do the sprints.
To access the full Walkers, Beginners and Improvers training programme for week 2 download the free Vhi WMM 2015 App from App and Play Stores. The App will allow to access you weekly training and nutrition plans on the go, keep a record of your runs and progress over the weeks, as well as receiving updates on the 2015 Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon in the run up to race day.