Runner’s World December 2003
By Jeff Galloway
Holiday Survival Guide
Stay fit and fast this season by running just 3 days a week.
Somewhere amid the 12 days of Christmas, the 8 days of Hanukkah,
and the 6 weeks of bowl games, you’re supposed to find the
time to run- other than to the store for more egg nog. So with the
time at a premium, we’ve come up with 3 different running
programs based on a 3-day running schedule. Why 3 days? Because
the key to maintaining fitness is to avoid going more than 2 days
in a row without running. Even very short runs every other day can
maintain most of your basic conditioning. Whether you simply want
to maintain your running habit or stay at the peak level of fitness
you achieved in the fall, we have a plan for you.
PLAN 1: MAINTAIN THE HABIT
This plan requires only three 20-minute runs spaced throughout the
week. All three runs should be done at your normal training pace.
This minimal amount of running will keep you from losing the muscle
strength and aerobic conditioning you gained during the year. And
anyone can carve out the time for three 20-minute runs. Borrow 20
minutes from a lunch hour, sneak in 20 minutes before leaving work
another day, and give up one evening sitcom. That’s all you
need to get your three runs in for the week.
PLAN 2: ADD A LITTLE QUALITY
With this plan, your include at least 1 day of rest between your
three workouts, each of which lasts 30 to 40 minutes For the week,
complete either the speed session or the tempo run, along with two
fun runs, and you’ll maintain much of your leg speed and turnover
from the fall racing season. If you’re up for it, do the speedwork
and the tempo run, plus one fun run to get double the quality for
Speed Session: Start with 10 minutes of easy running, followed by
400-meter repeats at your 5-K race pace. Recover after each by jogging
200 meters. Do six repeats, then cool down with 10 minutes of easy
running. If you don’t have access to a track, run at 5-K pace
for as long as it should take you to cover about a quarter-mile,
then recover for half that amount of time.
Tempo Run: Start and end this workout with 10 minutes of easy running.
The tempo portion of the workout is 20 minutes of running at about
30 seconds per mile slower than your 5-K race pace. (This pace should
feel “comfortably hard.”) The 20-minute tempo segment
can be done as a continuous run, or you can break it up into 5-
or 10-minute segments at tempo pace with 1-minute jog breaks between.
Fun Run: Head out with friends for about 40 minutes; keep the pace
PLAN 3: MAKE EVERY RUN COUNT
With Plan 3, you do three quality runs of about an hour each with
at least 1 day between each workout. This simple-but-intense running
week will help you maintain your speed, power, and endurance.
Long Run: We’re not talking about marathon-training long runs
here. Instead, this is simply 1 solid hour of running. Begin and
end this run at a steady, sustainable effort. Pick up the pace for
the middle 20 minutes by 10 to 15 seconds per mile.
Speed Session: You have two options. Option one is to complete the
speed workout described in Plan 2. The only difference is to work
up to 10 repeats and extend the warmup and cooldown to 15 minutes
each. Option two is to continue with the same speed workouts you
did throughout the fall.
Tempo or Hill Run: Follow the tempo-run workout described in Plan
2, but extend your warmup and cooldown to 15 minutes each, and extend
the tempo portion of the run to 30 minutes. If you’d rather
run hills, find a hilly course and run the uphills at tempo pace,
the downhills at slightly faster than tempo pace, an the flats at
regular training pace. Stay out there for about 1 hour.
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