You guys, I’m excited. You’ve nearly done it!
Now, there are two approaches to take to this final week of training:
- If this ‘final week’ is the week right before your race, please omit one of the running days and give yourself an extra rest day (it can be an active rest day, where you do a yoga class or have a long walk).
- If this is just another week of training and your race is still a few weeks away, then try to commit to the whole week of training.
Because this week’s schedule is free of yoga, free of weight training, free of intervals – it’s just running.
There’s nothing wrong with yoga, or weight training, or intervals – they’re fabulous and should be a part of your regular fitness routine. But to get you prepped and ready for that race we’re going to use all the muscles, flexibility and breath work (see Spotlight On for more on your breathing) that we’ve learned from doing those gym workouts and those yoga classes, and we’re going to put them to use in our runs.
So here we go!
DISCLAIMER: Please note I am NOT a doctor or an expert in this field so you will need to consult a doctor before trying a new exercise plan. Please just be smart and listen to your body and rest when it asks for it!
Day 1: Rest. Complete rest if possible.
Day 2: Run #1 this week – at least 30 minutes, give yourself five minutes of warm-up walking first. Keep a steady pace, use your heart rate monitor. STRETCH afterwards!
Day 3: Active rest. Go for a long walk.
Day 4: Run #2 this week – again, run for at least 30 minutes. You can challenge your time in this run if you want. This is the only run this week, though, where I recommend pushing yourself on time if your race is coming up shortly.
Day 5: Rest. Can be active or complete – go with how you’re feeling.
Day 6: Run #3. Your final run. Again, if your race is coming up, just do this as another steady 30-minute run, or omit completely depending how soon your race is. If it’s not for a while, then do this run as if it was a race – keep the pace you want to keep on race day and make sure to keep track of your stats on your heart rate monitor. Stretch!
Day 7: Rest, or if you’re not racing anytime soon you can do some abs or a light gym workout. Really, honestly, as with this entire training plan, go with how your body feels!
You guys, I SO wish I was an expert on breath work, so I could write a fantastically informative and knowledgeable post about this all on its own. It really deserves it. Unfortunately, I’m not an expert and I don’t want to make myself look foolish, misinform you or risk offending anyone who IS an expert on this subject by trying to talk about it.
All I can say, from the perspective of someone who has studied breath work in yoga, sports and other training clinics and classes, is that it makes a HUGE difference in how you work out.
My dad was the first one to teach me about breathing. He was a brilliant road cyclist and when I started to train for my first duathlon, and was doing a lot of road cycling, he told me the importance of emptying your lungs completely to enable you to take bigger breaths in.
I don’t always keep myself in check with breathing, but I always notice the difference when I let it slide. On race days, when you’re feeling pretty pumped up and the adrenaline is running, your heart rate will naturally be faster anyway so you might be breathing quicker before you even start running. For this reason, doing some breathing warm-ups and some breath work can be super helpful and really change your performance come race day.
As I said, I am not an expert but if you are interested in reading more on this subject – and I REALLY think you should! – check out the video at this link, or the video I embedded below. Both are about breathing properly when running. Both guys’ tips are basic but brilliant, and if you weren’t breathing like this before then making this change will really impact your running. Best of luck on race day!