In weeks 2 & 3 you should be following a similar structure to last week, but increasing the length of time you spend running slightly.

This week we show you a typical training diary, which we recommend you start keeping if you haven’t done so already.  As you’ll see, it’s very simple and serves as a reference for you in the future, as well as keeping you motivated and inspired by your training.

I’ll also show you a few basic stretches that can produce great results.  Stretching and self-maintenance is particularly important for our Urban Athletes members because of the variety of movements we train, and also because as the muscles become more conditioned, they tend to really tighten up.

To prevent injury, stretching is crucial!  It’s not an option, and it should be done every day.

Goals for weeks 2 & 3

By the end of this week you should have achieved the following:

  • Continued to focus on correct “barefoot” running technique
  • Introduced a stretching regime
  • Bought and started to use a foam roller
  • Done at least one 5k run

The Foam Roller

I consider a foam roller to be mandatory for anyone vaguely serious about improving their posture, which should be everyone!  I won’t discuss it too much this week, except to say that if you want a long, happy and injury-free training life, buy one immediately.

Here’s a link to one on Amazon

Weekly Running Program: Weeks 2-3

If you have one focal point during your runs for these weeks, make it your footfall cadence.  Remember, you want your feet to hit the floor at a speed of 180bpm.

That’s much faster than you think it is!

RUN 1: Run club / week day run

Goals:

  • Do some ankle warm-ups – like foot circles, mini bunny hops, heels-up squats, like we show you in our classes.  We’ll get a bit more in-depth with these next week.
  • Do 8 intervals of approx 100-150m in week 2
  • Do 8 intervals of approx 200-300m in week 3.
  • Push yourself a little bit past your comfort zone, then slow down to run back to the start line.
  • Don’t stop moving once you’ve started.
  • Keep your breathing even, and continually go over the three points in your head: posture, rhythm, relax.

RUN 2: Two days later, easy technique focus run

  • Follow a planned route for a short run, about 10-15mins, focusing on technique as follows
  • Think about your feet moving in large circles behind you.
  • You don’t want your feet to ever move further forward than your knees.  Once they do, that’s when you get into heel-striking zone!  Don’t lead your strides with a heel strike unless you want sore knees, hips and lower back.

RUN 3: Long Sunday run

  • Plan a route, ideally varied between soft and hard surfaces (i.e. grass and tarmac), that is between 4 and 5k
  • Run the route and stay relaxed.
  • If you feel sprightly, work up to 6 or 7k, but only if you think your calves can handle it!

 Simon’s Training Diary

Monday.

Intervals at athletics track. 400 m with walk recovery. 6 rounds.

I ran with a high intensity but really felt my form start to fail in the 4th, 5th, and 6th round but pushed on. My hamstrings were tight when I got home so rolled for a long time and stretched.

Tuesday.

Urban Athletes KIT session!

Wednesday.

Hammies a little sore but ran at a good pace for 6km.

Thursday

Stretch & roll.

Friday

Metabolic circuit. KBs and Bulgarian Bag

Saturday

Stretch

Sunday

Longest run I have done for a while but felt really good. I ran the whole 10 miles in my vivo barefoots so I could really feel the ground and as a result didn’t slip into any bad habits like heel striking. I did struggle a little bit with tempo at times but all in all felt pretty good.

My calves and achilles tendon are in much better condition in terms of elasticity and strength than what they were even 3 months ago. I put that down to being consistent with my running with good form, and also working on my ‘toega’ which are drills we will pick up on again this week. Post run is also hugely important and spending regular time on the roller and doing thorough stretching definitely aids in my recovery.

That being said I still felt my calves afterwards but I wouldn’t describe them as the ‘rocks’ that they used to feel like after and often during a run. I would say that I am still very aware of my calves when I run but not in a uncomfortable way and I know if I get my recovery right then I wont be stiff or too sore in the following days. A big part of that has been getting my “heel-kiss” right and on Sunday everything came together pretty well for me.

Thanks for that Si!  What an inspiring man he is.

Stretches!

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… and of course the most important stretch… The calf muscles!

Here’s Kelly Starrett of Mobilitywod.com teaching a nice basic calf stretch and encouraging you to ‘collect 10 minutes’ of stretches on them throughout the day.  Great advice… I love this guy.

I recommend a 15-minute stretching routine every morning consisting of the above stretches and maybe a few others too, depending on your individual issues.

Hope you enjoyed this one, see you soon!