There are not many Bible Studies around like this!!! Running is our church… this 12 week series will make that a truth. We encourage you to gather a team, pick a leader for each week (there is a guide to help with each groups study that the leader that week should read in preparation,) pick a weekly group run/study time, and have fun! Take this as a means of evangelism by hosting the group at a local running shop or inviting non-church members to join.
Get the rest of your church involved as well… here are some tips: Sweaty Sheep Guide to Race Evangelism Revised
Now pick your race and start running!!
Here are some workout descriptions and such to get you started on the right foot!!!
Fartlic- So this is a German word for speed play and it makes for a unique and incredibly effective interval workout variation, and it can be done where ever you chose to run. Many enjoy doing fartlic workouts on the trails or open fields because you go off of time instead of distance… but make sure that you are on a surface where your comfortable going fast. Anyway, you should be at a conversational pace during the easy periods of your run and pick it up to your 5k race pace for the hard series. Our goal in this 16-week series is to turn your 5k race pace into your 1/2 marathon pace (I realize that sounds a little ambitious but it will be fun and it is by no means out of the question!) The easy intervals will teach you how to recover while still moving and in turn will really improve your VO2 Max (which is simply-stated your speed of recovery) and the hard intervals will work on your ability to transport and utilize oxygen to your muscles during a high intensity workout. Ideally after training with these workouts, you will be able to back off pace during a race and recover on the run (though ideally these workouts will make it harder to reach a point where you need to back off!)
Tempo- Tempo runs are race simulations of any distance and thats how we are going to use them. In the first week of training we want you to complete a 5k tempo run which we will use as a measuring block for picking paces throughout the training program. After building an adequate endurance base, one can focus more on strategy and speed, but for now the tempo runs will be a great indicator of the programs effectiveness as well as familiarize you as a runner with varying race distances.
Aerobic threshold run- Your Aerobic threshold can be understood as the point in when the lactic acid, which is the bye-product that your body releases when it turns oxygen and/or calories into energy during a workout, in your muscles impedes your activity. As we move through the program your threshold will increase; however, to do that, we are going to need to reach that threshold on occasion and here is how we are going to do it:
With these runs you start off slow and gradually build into your race pace, so that by the time you have completed the run, you really can’t push any further. This is a workout where a heart rate monitor comes in handy as a guide and we recommend working with your doctor who will help you find a safe max heart rate for your age, gender, and weight.
With all three of these main training workouts it is incredibly important to fuel up before and after. If you are hitting your threshold and don’t replenish your muscles right after, you really are wasting a workout and thats no fun:(
Range of Motion: At least once a week, but please don’t limit yourself if you have time and energy, ideally after an easier day when your body hasn’t been strained and you are able to focus on form complete a series of Range of Motion drills. These should be pleasant! Take your shoes off if you want and find a 50 meter field (half a football field) and do several repetitions of side shuffling, crossover side stepping, running backwards, and high-knee running or skipping (getting your quads at least parallel with the ground). Try to stay at or under 75% of your max effort.
Cross training: At least once a week, most weeks twice, you need to do cross training. You can substitute a light run for a cross day or vice versa (but not a long run or specialty run (tempo, fartlick, or threshold.) The goal of cross training is to both train your body what a good running cadence feels like (an ideal running stride is roughly 150 per minute and can be measured most elliptical machines,) and flush out some of the soreness in your legs (the fast stride cadence will help with this.) Cross training is not a chance to sit on a recumbent bike and watch soap operas, it needs to be a moderately solid workout. Aqua jogging, spinning, ellipticals, or stair-masters are all good options as well as group classes such as zumba, pilates, kickboxing, etc.
Weight training: Weight training is going to save you from injury, improve your strength and endurance, and rev up your metabolism. You don’t have to hit the gym daily or lift till the veins pop out of your forehead, but instead make it an extension of your cardio workout and focus on high repetitions of lighter weights. We recommend one day of upper body and one day of lower body per week for beginners during training and twice each when out of training season. On non-lifting days feel free to try to do some planks, push-ups, crunches, etc… If you are uncomfortable with weights, some of the Pilates classes do a good job (but they are not quite the same.) Complete 2 sets of 20 repetitions to start off and then as you are comfortable, add a third set and increase the weight so that you can only complete 15 reps (for example do the leg extension, 20 reps of 80lbs, 20 more at 80lbs, and then if you are comfortable, 15 of 100lbs. You want to get a good number of reps in so do not attempt to lift a weight that will not let you complete the workout; however, you want to know that you pushed yourself enough. EXPECT TO FEEL SORE AFTER YOUR FIRST SEVERAL SESSIONS.
Upper body suggestions: Lat pull down, tricep extension, dumbbell curls, chest fly, upright row, lower back extension, Torso rotation
Lower body suggestions: Glutes, leg extension, hamstring curl, hip abductor and adductor, calf raises
*Schedule an appointment at your local gym and have one of the trainers show you a circuit of machines. Many gyms actually have a circuit set up with 15 or so machines which members can follow for a full body workout.