Week 7: Train Your Brain 

Preparing for a race isn't just about optimizing your heart, lungs, and muscles. New research shows you also need to train your brain for optimal performance. It turns out that what slows you down in a race isn't always purely physical limitations; it's how your brain interprets those signals. In other words, your perceived physical limits are often set by your mind, not your body.

How can you push past these mental barriers? One way is to curb negative thinking. Each time you notice yourself thinking negative thoughts or dwelling on the feeling of fatigue, redirect your thoughts to more positive ones. It can help to physically cue yourself each time with a snap of the fingers or clap of the hands. Think of your brain as a muscle - you need to start training it now to be in tip-top shape come race time!


REVIEW THIS WEEK'S TRAINING


Week 6 Walker

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: 35 min (stroll)

Wednesday: 25 min (stroll)

Thursday: 35 min (easy)

Friday: Rest

Saturday: 40 min (stroll)

Sunday: 6 miles (brisk)

Week 6 Novice 

Monday: 50 min cross or strength train

Tuesday: 2.5 mile run 

Wednesday: 35 min cross or strength train 

Thursday: 2.5 mile run

Friday: Rest

Saturday: 3.5 mile run

Sunday: Rest 

Week 6 Intermediate 

Monday: 3 mile run & strength train 

Tuesday: 4 mile run 

Wednesday: 30 min cross train or 35 min tempo run

Thursday: 2 mile run & strength train 

Friday: Rest

Saturday: 9 mile run 

Sunday: 60 min cross train

Week 6 Advanced 

Monday: 3 mile run & strength train 

Tuesday: 30 min tempo run 

Wednesday: 30 min cross train or 4x800 mile pace

Thursday: 3 mile run & strength train 

Friday: Rest

Saturday: 3 mile pace run

Sunday: 5 mile run 


DEFINING THE FITNESS STRATEGY


Cross Training: Another form of physical activity to work your muscles in a different way.

Examples: Swimming cycling, stair-climbing, the elliptical and speed-walking. 

Pace run (AKA speed work): Train at a fast pace and you will run at a fast pace! This interval workout will take you to a fast run and alternate it with walking or jogging. You will perform 800-meter repeats every other week (Intermediate + Advanced runners) and 400-meter repeats on even numbered weeks (Advanced runners only). Run these at about a 5-K pace, walking/ jogging between each repeat. Best done on a 400 meter track but can be done on the road or trail.

For walkers: use the following to set your pace and build endurance.

  • Stroll: normal breathing, enjoy your walk.
  • Easy: slightly quicker pace, slightly harder breathing.
  • Brisk: walking with purpose, harder breathing but can still hold a conversation.

Tempo run: A tempo run of 30 to 40 minutes begins with 10-15 minutes of easy running, building up to 10-20 minutes of faster running near the middle, and ending with 5-10 minutes easy running. The pace build-up should be gradual. You can do tempo runs almost anywhere: on the road, on the trails or even on the track.