Congratulations to all that finished the dreaded long run.  They had a voice of confidence after accomplishing this long run. I recommend trying one this weekend if you were unable to get one in. It will make a big difference in your performance and attitude towards the 10K distance.

With all the training you have put in, you should now concentrate on the logistics of the race so there are no surprises race morning.

What you should know before race day:

  1. Where to park
  2. Where it starts
  3. What time is starts
  4. Which race you are in
  5. Where you are going to meet your family and friends at the finish.

I recommend wearing your own watch and starting it when you cross the start line and stop it when you cross the finish line, it may take you a few minutes to get to the start line.

Take the time to plan out what time to leave so you have plenty of time to park, get to the start and get a good position at the start.   Pay attention to the details so you have a relaxing race with no logistical nightmares.

Week 12 Walkers First Timers Runners
Tuesday 30 minute walk 30 minute steady run 30 minute steady run
Wednesday 30 min recovery walk 45 min recovery walk/jog 45 min recovery run
Thursday 30 min easy walk 30 min steady run 30 minute steady run
Friday 45 minute of (5 min easy/5 min hard) walk 45 minute of (5 min easy/5 min hard) run 45 minute of (5 min easy/5 min hard) run
Saturday Rest rest rest
Sunday 4 mile steady walk 4 miles steady 4 Miles steady
Monday 45 minute easy walk 30 min recovery jog/walk 30 min recovery run


The 5K/10K is fast approaching and now that your body has become used to running and your aerobic system is working well, it is time to do your over-distance weekend. The best way to gain strength and confidence is to run farther than your race distance then follow it up the next day with a shorter run. The short run gets the kinks out and extends the training into another day. You will feel like you are running the last 3 miles of the long run again.

When you go for a long run, it’s a different mind set than running a steady state run or intervals. It is very much like a recovery run. It is very important to keep the pace very easy and rhythmic. In a normal training run, you start easy and try to improve the pace. In over-distance runs you want to keep the effort the same and let the pace change based on how you feel and your heart rate. There are no penalties for walking and sometimes walking can actually improve your overall time by keeping you aerobic.

You will want to have your own water or electrolyte drink on a waist pack. Fluid replacement drinks like cytomax or powerade work well. You can also try energy sources like GU or Power Gel, which help get you through the long run/walk without hitting the wall. It is necessary to drink early and often because it takes 30 minutes to get fluids and energy replacements into your system. Don’t wait until you feel you need it.

On Sunday when you do your 3 miler, make sure to take it easy. You will feel very stiff at the first, so you will either start very slow or walking and you will be amazed how well your body will loosen up and you will get into a normal stride. Avoid sprinting at the end. Keep your pace all the way to the end. Then eat and drink all you want. Be sure to give your body plenty of protein to help it rebuild from the long run.

Take two days off before the long run to ensure your body is hydrated, fueled and rested. After the weekend you will take the first part of the next week easy. From there, we will go back to normal training.

Week 11 Walkers First Timers Runners
Tuesday 60 minute walk on HILLY COURSE 45 minute run on HILLY COURSE 45 minute run on HILLY COURSE
Wednesday 30 min easy walk 45 min recovery run 45 min recovery run
Thursday 30 min easy walk or rest 30 min easy run or rest 30 minute easy run or rest
Friday rest Rest rest
Saturday 3 hour walk 2 ½ hour run/walk 2 hour easy run
Sunday 3 mile walk 3 miles easy 3 Miles easy
Monday 45 minute easy walk 30 min recovery jog/walk 30 min recovery run


When you get into a distance running program, you are lucky to stick with it. Now that you have made it through 2 months, it is time to become an expert in how to stay with it long term. Distance running is very repetitive and works your muscle groups in a limited range of motion, which creates tightness and imbalances between opposing muscle groups and joints. Muscles work in two ways, eccentrically and concentrically. While running, the backside of your legs work concentrically to propel you along and the frontside of your legs work eccentrically to allow you to land smoothly. This causes the back of your body to gain strength faster than the front and then you get imbalances at the hips, knees and lower leg. To keep balanced in you need to stretch, lift weights, do technique drills and sprint( a relative term).

The more you run, the more you will realize the importance of stretching. I don’t concentrate on it early in a training program because of information overload and stretching can be detrimental if done too much or when you are sore. You spend a lot of time sore and adjusting to new workouts when you start a program. When you are sore and tight, it is very important not to try to stretch before you are warmed up.

After you finish running you should sit down and spend ten to fifteen minutes stretching out your muscles. This should be very relaxed and without pain. I always concentrate on the lower back, hamstrings, calf muscles and then the hip area. You should be able to stretch without breathing hard and be able to hold each position for 30-60 seconds. Do your stretching in intervals like your running. Stretch for 30 seconds, rest, repeat and notice how your flexibility increases with each repetition.

Lifting weights is also helpful. As we all age, we all need to lift weights to maintain muscle mass. We all face the "use it or lose it" syndrome. Weight lifting doesn’t have to be high intensity or take all your time. You don’t even have to use weights. The idea is to work the postural muscles. This can be done with step ups, pull ups, push ups, sit ups, bar dips, etc… It should take a total of 20 minutes to keep your muscles strong. Remember, if you are active running, you need to concentrate on your upper body. Not that weights for your legs aren’t beneficial, just if you are short on time, worry about your upper body first.

Technique drills and sprints are very helpful to keep your running injury free. By doing the well established drills; sideways slides, over-and-under’s, butt kicks, skips, high knees, backwards and strides, you will help train your body the proper stride. By running at a faster pace, you prepare yourself to be smooth at an easier pace. You must train fast once a week. It should always be under control with proper technique. It is as simple as running six lengths of the football field, one length at a time at a pace that you can maintain good form, but run fast. You will notice that after a month of this, you will start looking forward to this type of training. This should be done with a one mile jog warm-up followed by the above drills. To learn the drills, visit to our free workout groups.  You can also view a short video with our technique and form drills here. After the strides, jog easy for a mile and then sit down and stretch.

This sounds like a lot to do just to be a runner. If you properly balance your workouts, you will have less injuries, run smoother and enjoy your varied training. Too many people give up running due to injury or boredom with what I call the "Townlake Shuffle" made up of 3 miles, 3 days a week which is much better than not exercising, but not even close to what running could be for you.

Week 10 Walkers First Timers Runners
Tuesday 60 minute walk on HILLY COURSE 45 minute run on HILLY COURSE running the up hills hard resting at top 45 minute run on HILLY COURSE running the up hills hard resting at the top
Wednesday 30 min easy walk 45 min recovery run 45 min recovery run
Thursday 15 min warm up, 10 min hard, 15 min cool down walk 10 min warm up
3 min hard/1 min easy x 4

10 min cool down

15 min warm up

(3min hard/1 min easy) X 6, 10 min cool down

Friday rest rest rest
Saturday 3 mile walk or 5K 3 mile Steady State or  5K 3 mile Steady State or  5K
Sunday Posted in 5K / 10K Program, News, Training | Leave a reply


When you are running and walking the only thing that hits the ground is your feet. Your feet are designed to absorb shock, stabilize your legs and create power for the next stride. Your foot type determines whether you are a better shock absorber or a better stabilizer. If your foot is better at absorbing shock, by being flexible, it will tend to have problems with stability. Also, if your foot is better at being stable, it will be more rigid and not absorb shock as well. If you are lucky, your foot will be a good blend of the two.

How can you tell, and what does this mean to me? There are a couple of ways to tell if your feet are rigid, neutral, or flexible. One of the easiest ways to tell is to measure your feet while you are sitting and then when you are standing and note the difference, if any, in the length of your foot. While sitting on a chair, put your foot on a ruler and measure from your heel to the tip of your toes. Then stand up on your foot and see if your foot changes length or not. If your foot remains the same length, it is a rigid foot. If it grows by 1/8 of an inch, it is neutral (a good blend of cushioning and stability), and if it grows by more than ¼ of an inch, it is flexible (absorbs shock well but not stable).

Shoes are designed with these three foot types in mind and it is important to get into the right type of shoe. All running shoes have cushioning. The difference is in the softness of the midsole and the thickness of the foam. If you are a runner with rigid feet, you will need to concentrate on shoes that have the softest foams. For you to run for any distance, you will need to get shoes that absorb shock very well. If you have a neutral foot, you can get shoes that blend cushioning and stability. Your shoes will have a soft midsole, but will have a wider base and a second density on the medial side (arch area). If you have a flexible foot, your shoes should have a slightly firmer midsole and thinner midsole to stabilize your foot. You are already good at absorbing shock and will need less cushioning and mores support. The higher you lift a flexible foot off the ground, the more unstable it becomes.

Another element of footwear is insoles. The manufactures insoles are not the best available. For the rigid foot, a soft shock absorbing insole can do wonders to make running fun. And for the extra flexible foot, a supportive insole can add to your running.

It is very important to understand your foot and body type so that you can be a successful runner. So many people fail because they are in the wrong shoes or the wrong sized shoe. Take the time to understand your foot and then make sure your footwear is right. If you are having any trouble with pain and injury from your lower back down to your feet, you should check into your footwear.

Week 9 Walkers First Timers Runners
Tuesday 60 minute walk on HILLY COURSE 45 minute run on HILLY COURSE 45 minute run on HILLY COURSE
Wednesday 30 min easy walk 45 min recovery run 45 min recovery run
Thursday 15 min warm up, 15 min hard, 15 min cool down walk 10 min warm up
2 min hard/1 min easy x 5
10 min cool down
15 min warm up (2min hard/1 min easy) X 10, 10 min cool down
Friday rest rest rest
Saturday 6 mile walk or 10K Race 6 mile run or 10K Race  6 mile run or 10K Race
Sunday rest rest rest
Monday 45 minute easy walk 30 min recovery jog/walk 30 min recovery run


It is very important for long term success in running that you don’t train too hard. Even though running hard is the best way to improve, it isn’t realistic for most people who have a life, job and family. Training hard leaves you without the energy to maintain your normal schedule.

How do you know if you are training to hard?

  1. You dread your next run
  2. You can’t carry on a conversation while you run
  3. You are always sore
  4. The run seems to last forever
  5. You are out of breath
  6. You use your arms too much
  7. You don’t settle into a rhythm
  8. The person you run with is talking and you can’t listen
  9. You constantly want a drink
  10. You’d give $100 if you could walk

The great thing about running is there’s no penalty for walking, it actually can make your overall time better. You need to throw your ego out the window and listen to your body. Kids are great examples of how to run. They run until they feel like walking, then walk until they feel like running, and so on. Pretty soon, they are able to sustain a moderate pace.

When you decide it is time to run hard, make it for a short distance or time. Make sure you know the difference between the interval days when the whole intent is to improve your pace and your easy days that are working on your aerobic base.

It is very important now that you are used to the impact of running that you spend your time running easy for longer periods of time to help develop your aerobic base. With a good aerobic base, you will be able to deliver oxygen better, making distance running more comfortable. Also, a side benefit, as you run longer and easier you will be able to burn fat, and who doesn’t want to do that.

The first thing that happens when you run too hard is you feel uncomfortable and time stops. Because distance running is aerobic and rhythmic, you need to stay in a comfortable pace while training. As your body gets better at running, you will speed up naturally. This isn’t a NO PAIN, NO GAIN program. A good running program is one you stick with.

Week 8 Walkers First Timers Runners
Tuesday 60 minute walk with 2 min hard/2min easy pattern after a 10 minute warm-up. 10 min warm up,(2 min run at date pace / 2 min rest) x 5, 10 minute cooldown 10 min easy warm up then (2 min @ date pace/2 min rest)x8

10 min cool down jog

Wednesday 30 min easy walk 45 min walk or easy jog 45 min recovery run
Thursday 10 min warm up, 20 min hard, 10 min cool down walk rest rest
Friday 30 minutes easy walk 10 min warm up

1 min hard/1 min easy x 10

10 min cooldown

15 min warm up

(1 min hard/1 min easy) X 15, 10 min cooldown

Saturday rest rest rest
Sunday 6 mile walk or  10K 7 mile run or  10K 8 mile run or 10K
Monday 45 minute easy walk 30 min recovery jog/walk 30 min recovery run



It is important to run a few of the local 5K’s and 10K’s as you prepare for the your event. You can’t expect to do your best if you haven’t had a few practice races. Athletes have their best runs at the end of the season, because there is so much to be learned and experienced before you are comfortable with running in races. Also, races are going to be one of your best workouts. They are a great steady state run. The following is a list of things that you need to know and do to run your best:

  1. Eating right the day before and the morning of
  2. Getting up early enough race morning to feel alert at race time
  3. Resting enough to feel good race morning
  4. Getting used to the asphalt roads
  5. Getting used to the crowds at the start
  6. Using a port-a-potty
  7. Remembering your race number
  8. What to do with your extra clothes after you have heated up
  9. Knowing your own pace as the race starts
  10. Practicing drinking water on the run
  11. Getting to know your mile splits to determine if you are on pace
  12. Finding out if you went out to fast
  13. Figuring out how to correct it if you did

It is exciting to see new runners go into events with the excitement and fear of the unknown and have it turn into confidence as they become experienced. I would recommend that you participate in two 5k runs and one 10k run before your goal race.

Make sure you keep the flyer or brochure to the event when you register so have all the pertinent information when you start driving to the event bright and early on a Saturday or Sunday Morning.
Get to the race about an hour before start time. When you get to the race site, look for the bathrooms right away, don’t wait for the long lines to form. This can be very stressful, as you can imagine. You will need to have your race number pinned on the front of your shirt. Make sure you get a drink of water before the start. Double tie your shoe laces. Go for an easy 1 mile jog, possibly on the first part of the course then come back and stretch easy.

Make sure that you look at a course map so you are comfortable where you are running. Don’t line up in the front of the pack, get somewhere in the middle to back. This will help you start at an easy pace. In a large race you may have to stand around for about 5 -10 minutes before you actually start running so you will want to use the first half mile to loosen up again.

If you have a running watch, make sure you start it when the horn blows. Then get your mile splits so you can see if you ran a consistent pace or not. When you finish, stop your watch. When you get back home, put your splits and overall time in your running log.

Take time to get water on the course and don’t be concerned if you stop and walk while getting your drink. This will ensure you get enough water and the rest will do you good. Also, pinch the cup before you drink it, you will spill less. As the race goes along, expect to have to try harder to keep the same pace. So, if you have gone out too fast, walk or run easy long enough to get comfortable, then get back into your goal pace.

At the finish line, you will expect someone to be reaching at you. Don’t be concerned, they are just trying to get your race number’s tear tag off of you to give you an official time. If you can think about it, tear it off as you are walking down the chute. After you have finished getting out of the chutes, walk around for about 10 minutes, or jog if you feel good enough then sit down and stretch. This will reduce your soreness the next day. Also, if they are offering massage at the finish line, take them up on it.

I promise you that these events are a lot of fun and you will feel like a true champion if you participate. The biggest benefit will be your experience going into the goal event which is the biggest event of them all. Get good at smaller events so you will be prepared for the big one.

Week 7 Walkers First Timers Runners
Tuesday (4min easy/4 min @ date pace) X 5 10 min warm up, (5 min run at date pace / 2 min rest) x 3 10 min easy warm up then (5 min @ date pace/2 min rest)x4 10 min cool down jog
Wednesday 45 min easy walk 45 min walk or easy jog 45 min recovery runt
Thursday 10 min warm up, 10 min hard, 10 min cool down walk 10 min warm up 2 min hard/2 min easy x 5 10 min cooldown 15 min warm up

(2 min hard/2 min easy) X 6

Friday rest rest rest
Saturday 45 min steady state or 5K event 30 minute steady state or 5K event 5K event or 30 min steady state
Sunday rest


As I think back through all the workouts and races I have run, the one thing that has ruined a potentially great run was what I ate before the run. This is not about nutrition, but about when to eat and drink. As you get more experienced in running and walking you will start becoming your own expert on what works for you. I am not going to tell you what to eat, just when to eat. Every once in a while I still give in to those last minute hunger pains and eat something too close to a workout and always regret it. You want to run on an empty stomach because your body can only use what is already digested and stored in your muscles, liver and blood. Any food in your stomach is only going to compete for blood for digestion and leave you feeling horrible.

When you are digesting food your blood supply is in great demand. If you are digesting food when it is time to exercise, the competition for blood is between the internal organs and your muscles. If you exercise on a full stomach, your digestive process will suffer and your performance will suffer. The worst part of it is how uncomfortable you feel. You will be dead legged, light headed, with a side ache and sick to your stomach. Does this sound like a good way to train? To avoid this, I recommend not eating within 3 hours of exercise. By the time you start feeling hungry, it will be time to run and the hunger pains will go away when you are running. It is okay to drink within an hour of your run and the drinking can help keep the hunger pains away.

You will find that certain foods are best eaten after a workout, not before. Heavy and rich foods are hard to digest and are better eaten after the run. It is important to eat simple foods prior to running, like fruits, breads, and cereals. Eat your big meals after you run or walk as a reward. If you workout in the morning, Have a good meal the night before. If you run at lunch, eat a simple breakfast and avoid meat and greasy foods. If you run in the evening, eat a good breakfast and a light lunch.

Drinking has some of the same rules. Your goal should be to stay hydrated all day long. Drink all day long so when you go run you don’t have to tank up. You can get a bad side stitch from having fluids sloshing around in your stomach and they won’t absorb in time to help on a run under an hour. When you are done with your run, start drinking right away. This is the best time to hydrate.

Most 5K/10K are in the morning, so it is important to run in the mornings when you can. This will give you a chance to determine what foods you prefer the night before. Eat a big meal at night so you can limit what you eat in the morning before you run. Most people like a little something in their stomach in the morning, but avoid over eating. If you feel you need to eat in the morning before you run, get up early. People have different tolerances to an empty stomach so you need to experiment with this for yourself. Afterwards eat whatever you want.

Week 6 Walkers First Timers Runners
Tuesday  (3min easy/3 min @ date pace) X 6 30 min alternating
2min walk/3 min run at date pace
10 min easy warm up then (4 min @ date pace/2 min rest) x5 15 min cooldown jog
Wednesday 45 min easy walk 45 min walk or easy jog rest
Thursday rest rest 45 min recovery run
Friday 30 min flat walk 30 min steady state run 10 min warm up then(2 min @ goal pace/2min easy)x6
Saturday 60 min steady state 60 minute jog rest
Sunday rest rest 75 min steady run
Monday 30 minute easy walk 30 min recovery jog/walk 30 min recovery run


Variety is the spice of life and the key to running success. Too many people run 3 miles, 3 times a week. If this describes your running program, you are missing out on the finer points of running. Their are different types of running workouts that if added to your schedule will keep your running interesting and fun. If you run at different paces, distances and elevations you will use your muscles in different ways. Everyone talks about cross training. If you vary your running workouts, you will be cross training. When you begin these new workouts you will feel like a new runner.

There are many types of workouts but the main ones are hill repeats, overdistance, intervals (date pace and goal pace), steady state, technique and form drills. Each of these help you become a better runner. While many runners are only concerned with their mileage, adding quality and maintenance workouts to your schedule will give you the balance you need to keep progressing and reduce your chance of injury and burnout.

Hills are often avoided. I say charge them. Find your most feared hill and run up it 3-5 times. Running up hill places you on your forefoot, works your hamstrings, butt and calves and increases your vertical lift which lengthens your stride. Be sure to listen to your lungs to avoid hurting your legs. The dangerous part of running hills is the stress on the back of the heel and lower legs. Hill repeats are considered resistance training. When you start hills only do a few and do them slow. A proper hill workout consists of an easy warm-up, light stretching, then run up the hill and jog or walk down. You should do 2 hill workouts a month, and one should be long gradual hills and the other short steep hills.

Overdistance builds endurance. In this program, overdistance will be 8-10 miles. By running farther than your race distance, you will have a mental and physical edge. Overdistance runs shouldn’t be fast, they should be easy and relaxed. We will gradually increase your long run so don’t worry. It may seem overwhelming now but will be easily done in 4-6 weeks. When getting ready for an overdistance run, you will need to rest an extra couple of days before and after the run. By doing this, you will be strong when you start and will take the time to recover after. This keeps you from increasing your overall mileage too much.

Intervals are necessary to introduce faster pace training into your program.  We discussed last week the difference between goal pace and date pace. You need to "push the pace" to help you learn to relax at your your date pace.

Steady state runs are simply 2-3 miles at your best effort (date pace). This prepares you for the reality of race day, and gives you a good idea of what pace is realistic for the goal event. Your steady state runs will become more frequent and faster as the race approaches. This run isn’t long but it will feel long. This is the run where you do everything wrong. You go out too fast, feel uncomfortable, and try to sustain it. You will be very happy to finish and very proud of yourself for enduring.

Paul Carrozza Drills VideoTechnique and Form Drills are your preventative medicine. Like any sport, there is technique involved. These drills will get you on your toes and strengthen your lower legs and feet. You need to practice your technique and form to improve it. I highly recommend a visit to our free workout groups to learn the technique and form drills.  You can also view a short video with our technique and form drills here.   Strides are running the length of a football field 4-6 times at a quality pace (not a sprint). Strides help your muscles and joints become able to handle a faster pace. Drills consist of lateral slides, over-and-unders, butt kicks, skips, quick feet and running backwards. These are hard to get unless you are coached through them.

Your running schedule should have a good balance of the above runs as well as nice relaxing recovery runs. Advance runners will be able to do these types of workouts in a one week rotation, while others will do them on a monthly cycle, depending on your fitness, history and goals. Since these types of workouts are new to most runners it is very important understand them before you start them.

Week 5 Walkers First Time runner or Getting back in shape Runners wanting improvement
Tuesday  (5min easy/5 min @ date pace on hills) X 4 45 min alternating 3min walk/3 min run on hills 10 min easy warm up then (2 min @ date pace/2 min rest)x10 on hilly course
Wednesday 30 min easy walk 30 min walk or easy jog rest
Thursday rest rest 45 min recovery run
Friday 45 min flat walk 30 min easy run/walk combo as needed 10 min warm up then 4 min @ goal pace/2min easy x5
Saturday 30 min steady state


If you are training for the 5K or 10K your goal has been set, finish the distance without pain, run a certain time, or beat the competition. This program is designed to accomplish any or all of the above. Training for the 5K/10K is more than just running around townlake three times a week. We are going to make running and walking fun by giving you a variety of workouts that will maximize your potential given the amount of time we have to prepare. If you continue this type of training year around, how fast or far you go is only limited by your willingness to train.

Intervals are vital to a running/walking program. There are two types of interval workouts, date pace and goal pace. Date pace is the pace you can sustain now for your goal distance, aerobically. Goal pace is the pace you hope to attain in the future. The difference between these two paces will be dependant on how much time you have to reach your goal. You can’t work miracles. To make large improvements it takes consistent training over a long period of time.

Date pace is running hard, but staying aerobic. This means the aerobic energy system, which is painless, is adequate. It is a pace that could be sustained and repeated. The amount of work at date pace is dependant on your race distance. For the 10K it is important to do 3 miles of intervals at your date pace once a week. The rest between intervals is usually 1-2 minutes. The length of the interval is usually 1/4 mile to 1 mile. Date pace workouts don’t take as much mental energy and don’t breakdown the body as much so they can be done more often.

Goal pace, on the other hand, is more strenuous and cannot be sustained for long in the beginning of your program. This type of workout is bound to be anaerobic which means the amount of energy needed can’t be produced by the aerobic system. The anaerobic system leaves you feeling uncomfortable. Your goal pace should be specific to the 5k/10k. When you first attempt goal pace, you will need to keep the repeats short enough to keep the pace. Longer rest is necessary with the increased intensity. If you can’t sustain the pace for a 1/4 mile, 4-6 times, it is too fast.

If you are trying to beat the distance, you will need one date pace workout a week. If you want to beat the clock, you will need to add a goal pace workout as well. If you hope to beat your competition, you will need to do two goal pace workouts and one date pace workout per week.

This program with rotate these two types of workouts with overdistance, steady states, hilly, and recovery runs/walks. We will describe these other types next week.

Week 4 Walkers First Time runner or Getting back in shape Runners wanting improvement
Tuesday (4 min easy/6 min hard walk) X 4  45 min alternating 5 min walk/5 min run 10 min easy warm-up then(5 min at date pace/2min rest) X 5
Wednesday 45 min easy walk 30 min walk or jog rest
Thursday rest
rest 45 min easy run
Friday 40 min flat walk
30 min easy run/walk combo as needed
10 min warm up then (2 min at goal pace /2 min easy)x5
Saturday 45 min hilly walk 10 min walk/15 min jog/10 min walk rest
Sunday rest rest 45 minute hilly run
Monday 50 min easy walk 30 min alternating 1 min walk/4 min at date pace 50 min easy run


Am I injured or is this normal soreness? And if this is normal, why does anybody run? These are the thoughts that cross your mind every morning you get out of bed and take those first few painful steps. Soreness occurs when you begin a running program and when you are trying to increase your speed or distance too fast. If you don’t pay attention to your soreness it will turn into injury.

Listen to your body and adjust your training to keep your soreness from turning into injury. The difference between soreness and injury is soreness goes away when you warm up. If your soreness persists after you have warmed up you will favor that part of your body and you will inflame another muscle or joint. This is called compensation injuries and can be worse than the original injury.

If you wake up in the morning and can barely walk, you are either over training or in the wrong shoes, or both. You can expect some soreness because your feet are the only part of your body hitting the ground. However, the foot is well designed for running and if it is being stressed properly, you will experience very little soreness. Your early morning pains are an indicator of over training and you should adjust to avoid injury.

Because we are all human and will overdue it occasionally it is important to know how to get rid of soreness more quickly. The best ways to accomplish this are hydrotherapy, massage therapy, stretching, and alternative exercise. A good hot shower, bath, hot tub, or a session of hot and cold water will bring in blood flow without stress on your muscles and joints. Massage relaxes the muscles and helps rid the muscles of the "junk" that cause the soreness. Stretching your sore muscles gently will not only help remove soreness, but will increase your flexibility.

Alternate forms of exercise will help you get rid of soreness and increase your overall fitness. Cross training will keep your muscles balanced and decrease your chance of injury. Swimming, bicycling, and walking are good alternates for your rest days. I don’t recommend trying two new sports at once. If you weren’t active before this program, use water, massage and stretching on your rest days.

Bottom line is, you can’t expect to improve your fitness without getting sore. The secret is to learn how to minimize and recover from the soreness. If your soreness is excessive, your program is too aggressive or if there is a problem with your footwear, nutrition or rest. Your soreness should go away as you get use to your training. If you are the type to keep adding more to your program, you can expect continued soreness. You need to find your best method of soreness management and stick with it.

Week 3 Walkers First Time runner or Getting back in shape Runners wanting improvement
Tuesday  (5 min easy/5 min hard walk) X 4  30 min alternating 2 min walk/5 min run  (10 min easy/10 min hard) X 3
Wednesday 40 min easy walk 25 min walk or jog rest
Thursday rest rest 45 min easy run
Friday 35 min flat walk 40 min easy run/walk combo as needed 30 min alternating 2 min easy/2min hard
Saturday 60 min hilly walk 20 min jog/10 min walk/10 min jog rest
Sunday rest rest 60 minute hilly run
Monday 45 min easy walk 30 min alternating 2 min walk/3 min jog 45 min easy run