On September 23, Healthy Hollywood intends to hit the pavement and run a 10K.
Women's Health magazine invited me to be part of their Run10Feed10 charity run, which raises money to fight domestic hunger. It's an awesome cause and I am psyched to be a part of it.
However, at 6.2miles, just the thought of making it to the finish line has me huffing and puffing. The problem is I am not runner. In fact, I'd label myself a running-phobe. It's always been a goal of mine to enjoy the natural high I see so many folks in New York City capture, but I haven't motivated myself to lace up and go - that is until now!
Healthy Hollywood has just over four week to prepare. Yes, I should have started two weeks ago when I signed up, but, well, I can list an onslaught of excuses - but no more.
I recruited the big gun in the training world to help me out - Equinox's power trainer, Ben Hart. I have known Ben for little over a year and if anybody can help me transform into a runner - well, he can do it!
"I believe one of the best ways for anybody to train for either a marathon or mini marathon would be to cross train combined with interval training. I do not advise trying long runs to train, especially if you're a beginner! Your knees will not appreciate all of the heavy impact in preparation for an upcoming run," is Ben's first words of training wisdom.
Ben agreed to meet with Healthy Hollywood once a week and hopefully his advice will help out any aspiring runners. I will write up his weekly suggestions every Tuesday for the next four weeks.
"If you have a little over four weeks you need to have particular goals in preparation. Your goals should be to strengthen, increase endurance, and increase your lactic threshold. You want to increase lactic threshold so your body can withstand higher intensity struggles."
Ready. Set. Go! Let's train - Here is Ben's first week plan -
Day 1: Interval training. Use low impact training to start off, such as biking, rowing, swimming, or even the elliptical. Start with a couple minutes warm-up and then go for a minute at about 70-80% your maximum effort. Follow this by a rest period of low intensity for a minute and a half. Your intense minute should be hard enough that you cannot talk a sentence to the person next to you. Repeat this 10 times.
Day 2: Time for long endurance run. Running is a great cardio workout, when done correctly. Try not to heel strike the ground, instead land on the mid to ball of your foot. Make strides a bit longer when practicing, extend the hip by kicking your foot back farther. Finally, use your core and arms. Don't let core turn too far to either side while in motion. Use your arms to progress stride and gain momentum. I would suggest 4 miles max for week one.
Day 3: Strength training. Do full body, but target single leg strength movements, such as single leg squats, deadlifts and lunges. Using a single leg is going to turn on your hip stabilizer muscles, such as your gluteus medius, while helping to make your balance more agile and powerful. Do 2 different exercises of 3 to 4 sets; reps of 12 to 15. Also, work in a few core exercises.
Day 4: Rest
Day 5: Hit the high intensity intervals. This is your choice on type of workout but make it challenging. 10 - 12 sets at 1 minute intervals with 90-second rest periods.
Day 6: Go for a longer endurance run. Keep it light. Focus on extending the hips and using your hamstrings and glutes to move you forward.
Day 7: Rest. Phew! Think I will need it!
For more awesome fitness tips, check out Equinox's Q blog, at www.equinox.com.
-- Terri MacLeod
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