How do you know when it’s time to replace your running shoes? Following on from last year’s post on the subject, Julia goes more in depth in this video.
(Optional tip - before consigning your ancient shoes to gardening duties, thank them for their faithful service, Marie Kondo style. Hehe!)
Thanks Adriana in Florida for your question! Please keep the questions coming, folks – zap us a line and we’ll tackle it in a future instalment.
We are super excited to introduce our Up & Running Makeover runners for Spring 2015!
We were looking for runners that wanted to re-vamp their current training or needed some guidance towards an intimidating goal. A huge thanks again to everyone who took the time to apply.
Our first runner is Nico from Italy. I chose Nico because she presented a problem that I think is common among many runners: a struggle to train consistently. Here’s the line that grabbed my attention:
“…for the last year I’ve been inconsistent and irregular in my running. For most months I ran just once a week. I got the flu again last month and going back to running is a pain every time. Sometimes I blame it on the lack of time for myself, but I know perfectly that that’s not the reason why I’m not running regularly. I don’t feel like I’m able to stay focused or make running a habit anymore…”
Nico has chosen the Avon 10K race in Milan at the end of May as her main goal.
Our second winner is Jen from Canada. Jen is a consistent runner with a big dream: a 25k trail run. Trail running has really grown around the globe in the last few years as many runners are looking to get off road racing and back into nature.
“…I feel like a big rock trying to run; haven’t found my “wings” this season yet. I am running about 8km right now, three times a week. This will be my first trail run and the longest run I’ve ever done. I’m looking for a new challenge and some inspiration!”
Jen already has a few speedy half marathons under her belt so I feel comfortable guiding her up a mountain trail.
She’s signed up for the Blackfoot “Baby” Ultra 25k at the end of May.
Nico and Jen will each receive a training plan for their respective goals. Over the next few months we’ll be sharing training tips, updates and interviews with our two runners. We hope you’ll feel inspired to create your own makeover!
Yet another reason why running is good for the soul: you and your running buddies can “draw words” with your GPS running app!
Inspired by the excellent woman who drew Space Invaders and penises with her Nike+ app, last summer some of our Up & Running Alumni members collaborated to spell UP & RUNNING ROCKS!
The letters came from Australia, Belgium, Canada, England, Finland, France, Netherlands, Scotland, USA and the United Arab Emirates.
And now for some housekeeping:
One of the most frequent questions we’re asked is, how does your 5K plan differ from Couch to 5K?
Couch to 5K, affectionately known as C25K, was written in 1996 by Josh Clark. In the nineteen years since he first shared it with the world, millions of people have used the plan to kick 5K butt.
At first glance it looks super simple: just walk and run… walk and run.. then voilà… 5K glory!
On the flip side I’ve talked to so many people that didn’t make it past Week 2 of the plan. They call themselves Couch to 5K “failures” or “drop outs”. They berate themselves for being out of shape or lazy or slow.
This brings pain to my heart! You’re not a failure if you didn’t make it through the Couch to 5K. It could just be that it wasn’t the right plan for you.
Even though C25K has helped so many start running, I still think the plan has quite a few flaws. So let’s have a look at how it compares to our Up & Running 5K Beginners plan.
Many young couch-dwelling guys could get out the door and make themselves run in some capacity. They have more muscle mass and often that youthful “go for it until you croak” spirit.
The U&R 5K plan was written specifically with women in mind. I was asked to devise a training program for Italy’s first Avon Running 5K race. I had my non-runner friends in mind when I wrote the plan; the ones that walked loads but didn’t dare run. Today men use it too; we just arm them with a little patience!
You run and walk, with less walking and more running as the weeks go on, until you arrive at the mythical 5K in thirty minutes.
The U&R 5K plan includes running drills from the very first workout. Why? You need more than just plain running if you want to run well and prevent injury. You need to condition your whole body, so we include strengthening exercises right in your workout. Gentle moves like heel lifts and marching in place get those dormant muscles buzzing and help you run and walk with less effort.
The C25K selling point is that you’ll be running either 5k or 30 minutes at the end of the programme. Many runners find that they don’t cover 5k or are able to run for 30 minutes straight in that timeframe.
The U&R 5K plan will have you covering 5 km at the end of eight weeks at whatever pace you feel comfortable with, either running all the way or including a mix of walking and running if that suits you. Everyone’s a winner!
With a simple mix of walking and running intervals, the training can get monotonous. It also doesn’t teach you anything about running style or technique.
The U&R plans are varied each week, with specific exercises to help you learn about pacing yourself and gauging your speed. No boredom involved.
Let’s take a look at Week 1 of both plans so you can compare for yourself.
Couch to 5K – Week 1
Alternate 60 seconds of jogging with 90 seconds of walking for a total of twenty minutes. (That would be 8 minutes of running).
Workout time: 20 minutes
U&R 5K – Week 1
Brisk walk – 5:00
Walk with arm swings – 5:00
Stretch – 3:00
10 x (walk 0:30 / slow run 0:10) – 6:40
1km Free Form Run
Workout time: 40 minutes
There’s a lot of walking in the first week, but the workout ends with what we call “Free Form Running”. This means you cover the given distance in whatever way you feel comfortable doing in that moment. I’ve seen some runners continue with a run/walk pattern and others whip out a 5:00 minute kilometre. You choose the speed, you choose the modality. The key is comfort, both physical and mental.
If you’d like try Week 1 of our 5k plan, head over to the 5K Course page and click the “View Sample Plan” button.
If you’re ready to jump in and start running, join us for our Spring 5K course! It’s the only live course we’re running for 2015 and we begin on Monday.
Your 8 week plan to go from zero – 5k and discover the life changing power of running. Order now »