Coaching Tips

If you have any doubts about the state of your health then please seek advice from your GP before starting any exercise programme.

“First Steps”

The point at which you join this training programme will depend on your current fitness level. If in doubt, choose an easier level and build up. If at any time you are finding it too difficult, go back to the previous weeks schedule and continue with this until you feel confident to move on.

Please make sure that you wear Hi-Vis clothing especially when it is dark or in bad weather conditions so that others can see you.

“Walk to Get Fit 4 Running”

Week 1. Every other day, start by walking easily/steadily for 5 minutes to warm up, increase this to brisk walking for 30 minutes, then reduce to steadily/easily for 5 minutes to warm down. Finish off with some stretches for the leg muscles. Total walking time 40 mins each occasion.

Week 2. Every other day, start by walking easily/steadily for 5 minutes to warm up, increase this to brisk walking for 32 minutes, then reduce to steadily/easily for 5 minutes to warm down.  Finish off with some stretches for the leg muscles. Total walking time 42 mins each occasion.

Week 3. Every other day, start by walking easily/steadily for 5 minutes to warm up, increase this to brisk walking for 34 minutes, then reduce to steadily/easily for 5 minutes to warm down.  Finish off with some stretches for the leg muscles. Total walking time 44 mins each occasion.

Week 4. Every other day, start by walking easily/steadily for 5 minutes to warm up, increase this to brisk walking for 36 minutes, then reduce to steadily/easily for 5 minutes to warm down.  Finish off with some stretches for the leg muscles. Total walking time 46 mins each occasion.

Week 5. Every other day, start by walking easily/steadily for 5 minutes to warm up, increase this to brisk walking for 39 minutes, then reduce to steadily/easily for 5 minutes to warm down.  Finish off with some stretches for the leg muscles. Total walking time 49 mins each occasion.

Week 6. Every other day, start by walking easily/steadily for 5 minutes to warm up, increase this to brisk walking for 42 minutes, then reduce to steadily/easily for 5 minutes to warm down.  Finish off with some stretches for the leg muscles. Total walking time 52 mins each occasion.

Week 7. Every other day, start by walking easily/steadily for 5 minutes to warm up, then alternate 15 minutes of  steady walking with 1 minute of running  and repeat this. Walk steadily/easily for 5 minutes to warm down.  Finish off with some stretches for the leg muscles. Total walking/running time 42 mins each occasion.

Week 8. Every other day, start by walking easily/steadily for 5 minutes to warm up, then alternate 10 minutes of  steady walking with 1 minute of running  and repeat this twice more. Walk steadily/easily for 5 minutes to warm down.  Finish off with some stretches for the leg muscles. Total walking/running time 43 mins each occasion.

Week 9. Every other day, start by walking easily/steadily for 5 minutes to warm up, then alternate 5 minutes of  steady walking with 1 minute of running  and repeat this four times more. Walk steadily/easily for 5 minutes to warm down.  Finish off with some stretches for the leg muscles. Total walking/running time 40 mins each occasion.

Week 10. Every other day, start by walking easily/steadily for 5 minutes to warm up, then alternate 2 minutes of  steady walking with 1 minute of running  and repeat this nine times more. Walk steadily/easily for 5 minutes to warm down.  Finish off with some stretches for the leg muscles. Total walking/running time 40 mins each occasion.

“Beginning Running, o to 5k”

Shoes.
Proper running shoes are a must. There isn’t a decent running shop in High Wycombe but Runner’s Retreat in West Street, Marlow or Apex Sports of Farnham Common will gladly check out your feet and advise you on appropriate models. If you tell them you are a member of Handy Cross Runners (please mention my name if they ask to see your membership card) they will give you a 10% Discount.

Sports Bra.
Female runners will need the support of a good sports bra. These are widely available and I know that Apex Sports and Runner’s Retreat stock them and will give you 10% discount on these and all other purchases.

Clothing.
Hopefully you will be running come rain or come shine so please dress appropriately according to the weather. Don’t worry about buying expensive running gear at this stage. Any loose and comfortable clothes will do. It’s best to wear layers so that you can take some off as you warm up and put them on again when you cool down.

Warm up.
Before running, warm up by doing several minutes of walking, jogging and dynamic stretching exercises to improve mobility and prepare your body for running.

Week 11. Every other day after warming up, walk for 1 minute, run for 1 minute and repeat 14 times more. Warm down and stretch. Total walking/running time 30 minutes each occasion.

Week 12. Every other day after warming up, walk for 1 minute, run for 2 minutes and repeat 9 times more. Warm down and stretch. Total walking/running time 30 minutes each occasion.

Week 13. Every other day after warming up, walk for 1 minute, run for 4 minutes and repeat 5 times more. Warm down and stretch. Total walking/running time 30 minutes each occasion.

Week 14. Every other day after warming up, walk for 1 minute, run for 6 minutes and repeat 3 times more. Warm down and stretch. Total walking/running time 28 minutes each occasion.

Week 15. Every other day after warming up, walk for 1 minute, run for 9 minutes and repeat 2 times more. Warm down and stretch. Total walking/running time 30 minutes each occasion.

Week 16. Every other day after warming up, walk for 2 minutes, run for 12 minutes and repeat once more. Warm down and stretch. Total walking/running time 28 minutes each occasion.

Week 17. Every other day after warming up, walk for 2 minutes, run for 15 minutes and repeat once more. Warm down and stretch. Total walking/running time 34 minutes each occasion.

Week 18. Every other day after warming up, walk for 2 minutes, run for 18 minutes and repeat once more. Warm down and stretch. Total walking/running time 40 minutes each occasion.

Week 19. Every other day after warming up, walk for 2 minutes, run for 22 minutes and repeat once more. Warm down and stretch. Total walking/running time 48 minutes each occasion.

Week 20. Find a route of around 5k distance. Every other day after warming up, try to run  the 5k without stopping. If possible try and do the Cressex Industrial Estate Time Trial circuit (two laps) on one of the days and time yourself doing it. This will give you a good idea of how much you have progressed in such a short period of time. Warm down and stretch afterwards.

Running Form – How you should run.
Above all else you should try to remain as relaxed as possible while you run otherwise fatigue will set in very quickly. Visualisation is a great way of doing this so just try and imagine that you are one of those great athletes you see leading the London Marathon and making it look so easy. We all have our individual style of running but in order to avoid injury try as best as you can to adapt to what is considered to be the perfect form.

Run tall. Imagine that you are suspended from a string attached to the crown of your head but with a very slight forward lean (from the ankles not the waist) so that the effects of gravity propel you forward almost as if falling.

The head should be held still with the eyes looking ahead scanning for hazards and not looking down at your feet. The chin should not jut out in front.

The shoulders should be kept low and relaxed.

The torso should be kept in line but not stiff. Avoid twisting the upper body from side to side as you run as this is wasteful of energy.

Your arms work in conjunction with your legs to drive you forward and the speed of the legs is relative to the speed of the arms, so the faster your arm movements, the faster your pace. They should be held bent at a 90 degree angle and swing backwards and forwards so that the hands then elbows almost brush the outside of the hip. The arms should not swing across the body too much as this will cause the shoulders to rotate.

The hands should be held loosely in a cupped position.

Your hips will naturally fall into alignment if the upper body is held correctly as explained above. Good core stability will make sure that the pelvis does not rock from side to side when running. Practise standing on one leg and do exercices such as the plank, squats and lunges to strengthen.

Your knees should lead the leg stride and the amount of knee lift is determined by the speed of running. Sprinters use a high knee lift to achieve maximum power whilst distance runners employ an economic lower knee lift together with a shorter stride length and fairly quick turnover (cadence) to be as energy efficient as possible. The knee should be slightly flexed as the foot hits the ground and the foot should positioned directly under the knee. If the foot hits the ground in front of the knee the stride is too long and will cause a braking action.

Ideally the feet should point straight ahead. Avoid flicking the heels out after pushing off as this will rotate the knee and may eventually cause injury. The feet should hit the ground lightly landing ideally on the forefoot (not on the toes as this can lead to calf strain) then rolling forward quickly onto your toes for push off. Push forward, not up. Try to imagine that you are running on hot coals or eggs and hit the ground as softly as possible then quickly moving forward so that the foot is in contact with the ground for as little time as possible. Aim for a fairly quick cadence (leg turnover) of 180 steps per minute

The main points to remember are to run tall and stay relaxed.

How fast should you run?
Speed will come naturally as you progress with your running and can be honed at a later date once you have built up a good mileage base and are stronger and fitter. For now concentrate on running at a pace which you feel you can maintain for the whole session. You should not be feeling too uncomfortable and should just be able to converse with others as you run. If you can’t, then slow down. If you have to walk for a while then do so. Remember we are all different so don’t worry what others are doing. You are running for you alone and to improve at your pace but remember to train regularly so that your body adapts to it.

Cool Down and stretch.
At the end of each run walk for 5 minutes to cool down and then stretch thoroughly. (Please remember to do this as it will help you to avoid injury). Examples of stretches can be found online at http://www.runnersworld.co.uk/staying-healthy/the-rw-complete-guide-to-stretching-for-runners/484.html

Goals.
Ask yourself what benefits you hope that running will bring you, and then set yourself some goals to aim for in achieving these. Make short (1month), medium (3 – 6 months) and long term (1 year) goals.

Training Diary.
Keep a simple record of your training by recording the time you spend running/walking (and later on distance), your weight, if weight reduction is your aim and how you felt during your run. This will help you chart your improvements.

Persistence and Patience.
Please persist with your training and don’t give up too easily. It may hurt a little to begin with and improvements make seem take a little while but they will happen. It will help if you draw up a schedule of when you can fit in your running. Even more so if you make the commitment to run with somebody else.

As you improve, reinforce your commitment to running.
Once you can complete the 5k distance you are well on the way to being a dedicated runner, so please think about reinforcing your commitment to running and keeping yourself motivated by buying more running shoes/clothing or perhaps subscribing to a running magazine. You are more likely to stick at it having invested your hard earned money in it.
I hope that you have found this advice helpful. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions. Other useful information can be found on-line at sites such as www.runengland.org and www.runnersworld.co.uk

You can check your progress by regularly taking part in the Wycombe Rye parkrun which is held every Saturday morning at 9 o’clock. This is a free to enter 5k run for all abilities. See www.parkrun.org.uk/wycomberye for details.

Please keep in touch by checking our website www.handycrossrunners.co.uk , the Handy Cross Runners Official Facebook group page, https://www.facebook.com/groups/277196995667911 Run England Bucks Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/pages/Run-England-Bucks/214412421977253 and be sure to visit Run England at www.runengland.org

“Improving, 5k to 10k”

Week 21. Every other day, run 3.5 miles. Start slowly to warm up and cool down and stretch afterwards.

Week 22. Every other day run 3.5 miles and include a hill. Start slowly to warm up and warm down and stretch afterwards.

Week 23. Every other day, run 3.75 miles. Start slowly to warm up and warm down and stretch afterwards

Week 24. Every other day run 3.75 miles and include a hill. Start slowly to warm up and warm down and stretch afterwards.

Week 25. Every other day run 4.00 miles and include some hills. Start slowly to warm up and warm down and stretch afterwards.

Week 26. Every other day run 4.50 miles and include some hills. Start slowly to warm up and warm down and stretch afterwards.

Week 27. Every other day run 5.00 miles and include some hills. Start slowly to warm up and warm down and stretch afterwards.

Week 28. Every other day run 5.5 miles and include some hills. Start slowly to warm up and warm down and stretch afterwards.

Week 29. Every other day run 6 miles miles and include some hills. Start slowly to warm up and warm down and stretch afterwards.

Week 30. Every other day run 6 miles and include some hills. Start slowly to warm up and warm down and stretch afterwards.

“Moving onwards and upwards”
Mike Hickman
Club Coach
Handy Cross Runners