Mar 04 2022

About this book The book isn't just about training for a 10K runner. It deals with all aspects of running as a sport. In Part I we describe some of the features of 10k running, why 7 weeks is enough time to reach your goals. This book will help you turn into a happy, healthy and fast runner, whether you are a beginner making your first foray into the world of running or a veteran in need of a few tips to help improve your personal performance.

If Part I is a theoretical introduction, Part II has practical questions. You'll learn everything it takes to get out for a run: how to choose clothes and shoes, set your morale, set goals, and where, why, and how to run. This part is about running in general, running as a way to spend your free time, running as a sport, running as a passion, without the specifics pertaining to a particular distance. Whichever race you're preparing for, you'll find useful information in this part. It even includes some other training plans, so you'll get a comprehensive overview of the different techniques that will get you started and develop as a runner.


In Part III are the training plans. The preparatory level program is designed for beginners or runners who are returning to training after a break or injury - the goal is to get up off the couch and get moving. This program allows you to get into the rhythm of running and put into practice the knowledge you gained in Part II. The Level 1 programme is designed for relatively well-prepared runners who have run shorter distances before or are in decent physical shape. Have you already run 5 km? Start at Level 1, but Level 2 is more intensive and includes speed training, hill running and auxiliary strength and speed-building exercises. This package is designed to help you take your training to the next level, whether it's a 10k personal best or a longer distance. The appendix includes auxiliary training exercises, warm-up and stretching exercises, a training calendar, and a description of a competitive race so you know what to expect.


Why 7 weeks? Many people train year-round, so it is extremely important to modify training programs at times to avoid stagnation, overtraining, and mental and physical fatigue. Even professional athletes devote a good portion of their off-season time to training in other, non-core sports and changing their regimen and sets of classes. And here's the interesting part. Seven weeks is the optimal period for mastering the training program, adapting to new exercises and body requirements, improving technique and testing results (in our case, the final 10K run). Then you can switch to a new program or repeat it, making the necessary changes in the intensity and duration of the exercise. 

WEEK 1. mastering the training program. Everyone has to be a beginner - at first, don't be torn, don't try to run this part faster, or delayed muscle aches will force you off the course. Use this time to master the exercises and the form of their execution. Perform the exercises slowly and carefully. Your efforts will pay off by week 3, trust me. WEEKS 1-3. Mastering the exercises, adapting to the initial muscle pain, getting used to the workouts becoming part of your life. In reality, this process begins with the 1st or 2nd workout. A full cycle can be 10 to 14 days, in some cases 18 to 21 days. During this period, 50 percent of workouts are usually disrupted because athletes don't always manage to reorganize their lives to free up time for exercise. Of course, life is not without problems, but if you miss a workout, you should go back to the program and start over. WEEKS 3-7. Improving your form, basic strength and general physical fitness. This is the most enjoyable time. Now you understand why you trained moderately the first week. You're glad you didn't quit training. These days you feel invincible. However, you should not forget that you are not made of iron and your capabilities are not unlimited. Act accordingly. WEEK 8. Reducing stress before competition. If you plan to compete in a competitive race, you should reduce the intensity of your training and reduce your training mileage to prepare for the competition. You will run half the distance at a low intensity - exactly as much as you need to stay active but rest and recover to be fresh and ready for the feats on race day. If you're not going to compete, but still want to test yourself, take about a week to decrease your intensity, and then run the 10K for a while - alone or against a friend. It is helpful to have a final score that reflects your level of fitness, as you may well return to this program, either immediately or after a week's rest. If you use this program to lose weight, improve your figure, or as part of your athletic training for your sport, you can easily transition from the workouts in this book to any other program in our "7 Weeks" series. Since this program focuses on running and additional developmental exercises, you can continue to run and exercise, but reduce the intensity and allow more time for rest and recovery after training. In fact, this is similar to reducing your training load before a competition, as we discussed above. During the transition week, you will train at a reduced intensity and then you can start a new program or go to level 1 or 2 of that program, depending on your fitness level. The transition week should be at the same intensity as week 1, which means that your distance, number of repetitions, and time will be about 60 percent less than in week 7. This will allow you to maintain your fitness, but at the same time recover, rest and make new plans. 

Where to Start

Running requires an investment of time, physical and mental energy. Running is more than just a recreational option. General fitness and running training is an investment in yourself that will bring you a variety of dividends: a healthy and happy life, the satisfaction of achieving your goals, the experience that comes with overcoming mistakes and obstacles along the way.


So, where does a person who decides to become a runner begin? It all starts with a simple desire to achieve a goal. It can be anything - to run a marathon, to lose weight, to feel better, to change lives, or even just to get off the couch and do something. It's not an easy wish to make come true. What happens to the millions of promises we make on New Year's Eve? They are safely forgotten after a few hours or days. A sincere desire should be supported by a plan of action to turn it into reality, and the actions should be repeated many times so that they become a habit.


Here are some simple tips to help you make a plan and stick to it, start running for the first time in your life, or build better skills that will lead you to an even more successful and enjoyable running career.


START SMALL. You can't go to bed at night sick and wake up in the morning a world champion. That just doesn't happen. It takes time to build strength, athletic skills and endurance. Start with walking, interspersed with light, short-distance running. Be persistent. Don't give up your training. Soon you will be able to increase your distance and speed of walking and running. Allow your body to adapt to the increasing loads.


INTERSPERSE RUNNING WITH WALKING. Intervals in which running is interspersed with walking form a significant part of the training program. They should always be used by novice runners to develop strength and endurance before moving on to continuous running. Short intervals of walking will allow you to recover your breath, drink water and prepare for the next interval of running with a relaxed stride and good technique. START WITH SHORT DISTANCES. A novice runner or an athlete returning to running after an injury runs the risk of being out of shape for a long time if he or she wants to run a long distance right away. Very often runners are inspired by their first successes and try to increase their distance too soon. This should not be done. Let's use the example of strength training. If you did 10-kilogram dumbbells in your last workout, the next day you're not going to take on 35-kilograms right away, are you? Similarly, it takes time to gradually increase your mileage. By rushing, you risk joint pain, shin microfractures, "dead" leg muscles that lack strength and energy, and delayed muscle aches. Any one of these injuries can put you out of action, forcing you to interrupt your workouts. This can be easily avoided by gradually building up your mileage, increasing it little by little day by day. The preparatory program is designed specifically for beginners who are just starting to run.


Relatively experienced runners can use a simple rule of thumb and increase their mileage by 10 percent each week, but I like an even simpler method: choose one run a week and add 1 kilometer to it. Repeat this every week until you get your target distance. You don't need to increase your mileage all the time!


Below is an example similar to what you will see in the programs in this book. It is also an effective and safe way for experienced runners to increase their endurance and strength (i.e., build a base) as they transition to longer distances or return to training after an off-season rest or injury. The preparatory program begins with progressively longer walking and running intervals, while the Basic Level and Level 2 programs use a progressively longer distance method.



Monday: 5 kilometers

Wednesday: 5 kilometers

Friday: 5 kilometers

Total: 15 kilometers


Monday: 6 kilometers

Wednesday: 5 kilometers

Friday: 5 kilometers

Total: 16 kilometers


Monday: 6 kilometers

Wednesday: 6 kilometers

Friday: 5 kilometers

Total: 17 kilometers


Monday: 6 kilometers

Wednesday: 6 kilometers

Friday: 6 kilometers

Total: 18 kilometers

Programs of progressively increasing training load with a fixed increase in distance over time gives an amazing effect. Try it for yourself and refrain from increasing your running distance too quickly.


START WITH A LOW RUNNING SPEED. The speed, as well as the distance, should be increased gradually, because otherwise you can easily injure muscle tissues that are not prepared for sudden acceleration. These injuries can be catastrophic. Recovery from a severe sprain and tear of a muscle or ligament will take weeks, months or years. In many cases, full recovery never occurs. Sprints can only be done at Level 2 of this program and only for limited periods of time.


RUN WITH A FRIEND (BIPED OR QUADRUPED). If you are a novice runner and have a dog, you can consider yourself provided with a running partner. The walking and running intervals will not only please you, but also your four-legged friend. Light, short-distance running is a great way to build basic cardiovascular endurance and training mileage. In this mode, neither you nor your dog will tire too quickly. Since you understand that you will have to walk your dog anyway, it will be easier for you to find time for training, which I am sure will bring joy to you and your dog. Together you will get stronger day by day and gradually build up the running distance between walking intervals. I run with my dog all the time; don't miss the "How Shelby Taught Me to Run" section.


People can be good running partners, too. They usually complain a little more than dogs do, but they don't have the leash you so often get tangled up in when running with your dog. Want to get to know the person better? Go for a run with him or her! Running makes people open up; after a couple of miles, you'll know everything about the person. It probably has something to do with the effects of endorphins. It's an uncontrollable reaction. Also, by the end of an enjoyable run, you'll feel more affection for your running partner.


When you know you have a running partner waiting for you, you will rise to the light and go out for a run on a cold, gloomy morning, just so you don't let them down. Ideally, one of you should be a "lark," meaning you like to wake up early. This will help both of you tremendously! A good running partner will encourage you when you get lazy, slow you down when you get tired, and stay with you when you need rest. It's important to support each other in all circumstances. The golden rule as applied to runners is as follows: "Help your partner the way you want them to help you!"


RUN FAST SO YOU CAN THINK FAST. Studies show that exercise promotes the development of brain cells and the creation of new neural connections. Scientists attribute this phenomenon to increased oxygen consumption by the body and increased nutrient flow to the brain during cardio exercise. In other words, the more you run, the better your brain works! The thought process of most runners can fall into one of three categories.


They think about running while running. This group usually includes beginners who have not yet learned how to relax and enjoy running. By a strange coincidence, these are the types of runners who often complain that running is boring and unpleasant.

While running, they don't think about anything at all. I happen to know several of these types who can literally turn off their brain and run "on autopilot". From my experience, I can tell you that you should be extremely careful when running with such runners on a crowded street, because they tend to completely ignore the surroundings, the movement of cars, pedestrians and even dogs. As Forrest Gump used to say, "These things happen sometimes."

As they run, they think about everything: one minute they are pondering the meaning of life and the existential nature of living things, and the next they are wondering who invented the paper clip or why Benjamin Franklin chose the wild turkey as the national bird of the United States. I fall into exactly that category. I've found that I think particularly well about writing, new book projects, and all sorts of creative ventures while running.


LOSE WEIGHT BY RUNNING, BUT DO NOT RUN TO LOSE WEIGHT. Running is a great way to lose weight, but as a sport it is not ideal, especially for people whose excessive joint stress and limited aerobic capacity due to being overweight prevent them from getting all the cardiovascular and metabolic benefits of running. Not to mention physical fitness, losing weight requires proper nutrition and consuming a certain number of calories. Running will not make you thin if your diet does not support healthy weight loss.


Taking too little time to lose weight is also foolishness, which can lead to depression, low self-esteem and even the use of extremely unhealthy weight loss methods such as fat burning pills, diuretics and laxatives or even something worse. You probably won't reach your goal if you try to lose weight too drastically and too quickly.


Running is one of the most effective ways to burn calories - a person weighing 75 pounds burns about 60 calories if he runs a kilometer in about 6 minutes. Undoubtedly, you will become stronger, more enduring and slimmer if you run, but if you complement running with a proper diet and full-body exercise program, you will get the results you want much faster. A mistake that many people who start running make is overestimating the number of calories that are burned during running, which results in them allowing themselves too many calories after the workout.


Below you will find numbers to help you understand how many calories you burned during your workout and whether you can reward yourself with a brownie. The calculations are for a person weighing 75 pounds, presumably running for 1 hour.


Running at 6 minutes 1 kilometer is about 700 calories.

Running at a speed of 11 minutes to 1 kilometer is about 230 calories.

Sitting on the couch is about 100 calories.

You will burn about 100 calories if you sit still. This energy will go to support the body's vital functions at rest. The concept of basal metabolic rate (BMR) needs to be introduced here. Your BMR is determined by the number of calories your body burns if you stay in bed all day. This number is higher than you might think. Personally, I was amazed when I found out that in my case, my BMI was 1600 calories. I have since used this figure to calculate the number of calories I should be getting each day to keep my weight steady and keep my body vital to my level of physical activity.


The BMI formula for men is: BMI = 66 + (13.7 x BODY WEIGHT IN KG) + (5 x height in CM) - (6.8 x AGE IN YEARS).


The LMP formula for women: LMP = 655 + (9.6 × BODY WEIGHT IN KG) + (1.8 × BODY GROWTH IN SM) - (4.7 × AGE IN YEARS).


Now, using the Harris-Benedict formula, you can calculate the number of calories you need to maintain your body weight and ensure that your body is functioning properly.


Sedentary lifestyle, no or only brief exercise: BMI × 1.2.

Light-intensity exercise, 1-3 days per week: UBM × 1.375.

Moderate-intensity exercise, 3-5 days per week: UBM × 1.55.

High-intensity exercise, 6 to 7 days a week: UBM × 1.725.

Ultra-high intensity exercise, professional sports: UBM × 1.9.

If you are going to use these formulas for weight loss, you should subtract an additional 500 calories for light- and moderate-intensity exercise. If you plan to increase the intensity of your exercise, you can leave the number of calories as you got from the formulas above, and you can still lose weight effectively. We'll talk more about weight loss while exercising in the section "Lose Weight to Start Running."


Progressively increasing your training load over time will give you very serious gains in performance.


COME BACK ALIVE, FOLLOW SAFETY PROCEDURES. Running is not one of the extreme sports. Compared to other physically demanding sports, the number of accidents resulting in serious injury is low, but nevertheless, if you are not confined to the treadmill, there are always situational hazards that require extra attention. Below is a section on running safety that lists many things to keep in mind, as well as safety rules. When running, use common sense and avoid potentially unsafe situations and conditions; run with a friend if possible and always take your cell phone with you if you run alone.


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