Training

 

C25K

Life after the famous C25K Program that was developed on Cool Running.

Checkout the C25K app on the iPhone and on  Android

Post C25K

We have developed a small set of fun  training programs (post C25K) based on our association with the Coolrunning.com website over many years. Enjoy the training but make sure it stays as a fun experience.

Enjoy some great tips: A new tip will be displayed when you reload the page.

Overview:

This program will consist of one or more 8-12 week schedules, similar to C25K, with the goal of preparing a recent graduate of C25K, for the next level, to maintain strong enthusiasm for the sport, to act as a foundation block for running as a major part of their lifestyle and possibly preparing them for running distances greater than 5K.

By lifestyle, the intent is to include a pliferer of information on health and fitness, injury prevention, nutrition, diet, stretching, cross training and in general great body awareness. In other words improving your knowledge on how to keep running for the whole of your life.  

At the same time the schedule will allow people to prepare for running events typically beyond 5K, including 5M, 10K distances and Half Marathon distances, on all sorts of terrains including roads, trails of all types and hills. Maybe the runners will even learn to like hills – maybe! Speed training will also be included for anyone interested in that topic.

I expect there will be at least 4 training sessions a week with each session lasting 30-45 minutes. There will also be some optional cross-training opportunities on 1-2 other days. The purpose of the cross training sessions is to strengthen the core,  flexibility, learn new skills, improve balance and reduce injuries. These could include but limited to Yoga, Pilates, Swimming, Paddling and Cycling.

Checklist #1 before proceeding with a new running program:

  • Completion of C25K program – no point being here if didn’t complete C25K. You should be able to run 5K in under 30-40 minutes without feeling too much discomfort and without having to walk.
  • Overall health assessment including feet and knee joints – maybe visit to medical practioner for an assessment, is required. Even consider getting a running gait assessment and/or a stress test from a professional if you suspect problems in this area.
  • Understanding of how fast and how far you can currently run without too much stress
  • Knowledge of resting, average running and max running heart rate
  • Any other running related medical issues including current injuries
  • Comfort level of current running shoes

Additional suggestions before proceeding:

  • Have at least one day, possibly two days complete rest every week
  • Don’t exceed weekly and daily mileage requirements
  • Don’t panic if you miss a day or 3 for whatever legitimate reasons such as work, family, illness or injury
  • The program is not rigid, feel free to substitute some sessions with equivalent levels of effort. For example, a treadmill during foul weather
  • Use technology as aids. This includes stop watches, HRM’s, pedometers and GPS devices that record all sorts of data
  • Try to complete the sessions with running buddies. It can provide great support and encouragement.
  • Include appropriate distance races as part of the overall program
  • Avoid running on hard surfaces as much as possible, especially concrete and bitumen road bases
  • Use the running log to store accomplishments as well aspersonal comments, on a daily basis. Review these logs typically weekly and adjust your next week’s schedule if necessary. Consider enlisting the support of a trainer or virtual trainer at this point.
  • Establish some goals right from the beginning, such as:
    • Running for an hour continuously
    • Running 10K in under an hour
    • Completing at least 3-4 sessions a week
    • Developing and even mastering a cross training skill/program
    • Injury prevention due to running smart
    • How to treat an injury in the most effective manner and resume training in the shortest interval
    • Understanding what a healthy diet means or understanding the nutritional value of everything I eat
  • Really enjoying the program and looking forward to each session.

Communication:

The overall 10-week program is outlined right up front and at a minimum could be followed from a hard copy without online interaction. However, in order to gain full benefit from the program effective use of online communication is recommended. For example the daily schedule can be delivered by sms right to your mobile phone as part of your wake-up alarm. The associated tips could be delivered by emails as they contain a lot more detail than can be contained within a text message. Also these tips could fit within a personalized AT page able to be reviewed at any time. The clever bit is for the links and additional information (including ads) to expand in depth along refined elements within tips that the reader has shown interest in. For example if the reader is specifically interested in injury prevention, then the majority of the tips can be related to injury prevention.

Milestone assessment:

Continuous reviewing of your progress is essential is you want to reach the goals you have established. This assessment of your progress can occur on a weekly or even a daily basis and your schedule adjusted accordingly. Having the ability to adjust the program mid-stream could be what makes the program different from any other on the market. The level of adjustment capability could vary if the program has different offering levels such as “free” and “fee” based. The “free” program could still contain some guidelines for self-assessment and schedule adjustment. Whereas the “fee” based program could contain knowledge-based software that adjust the schedule based on parameters the reader provides. It could also contain access to a virtual coach as another method of micro-adjustments. For example if the reader does not meet the weekly mileage or time related goals then the overall goal might need to be reassessed and the program extended by a week or two. This is preferable to not completing the program or missing an overall goal.

 

Sample Schedule:

Summary of each week’s accomplishments:

Week 1:  (an example of the first week after C25K – call it the major transition week. This could follow immediately after successful completion of the C25K program but should not be left longer than 4 weeks between programs without regular running of 90 to 120 minutes a week)

Running:  4 sessions totalling about 20 kms or 2 hours of running with appropriate warmups and post stretching on top of this time. Run for 5K or 30 minutes – stop and walk if any major discomfort.

X-T: One session of cross training such as 45 minutes swim or bike or a 60 minute Pilates, Yoga  or equivalent core strengthening and stretching session

Tips: Depending on initial assessment, tips could focus on basic nutrition information when a strong interest in nutrition is indicated.  This information might result in you adjusting what you eat on a daily basis, based on its nutrition value.

Summary: At end of week one (including pre-week 1 assessment) the reader has determined their base level for distance and speed. They have also assessed their overall health and in particular the health of their feet and knees. They have decided on the best footwear for themselves and cemented the overall goal(s) for this program.

Week 2: Assuming no major injuries, shoe problems major life dramas, plus the successful completion of week 1 of this program. Do not start week 2 until all of the above have been resolved.

Running: 4 sessions totalling 22 kms or 2.2 hours with appropriate warmups and post run stretching on top of run time. Run for 5.5K or 33 minutes – stop and walk if any major discomfort.

X-T: One session of cross training such as 50 minutes swim or bike or a 60 minute Pilates, Yoga  or equivalent core strengthening and stretching session

Tips: Tips could focus on basic nutrition information, dietary concerns or stretching information.  The TIPS should become more detailed as the weeks progress.

Week 3:  Assuming no major injuries, shoe problems major life dramas, plus the successful completion of week 2 of this program. Do not start week 3 until all of week 2 issues have been resolved.

Running: 4 sessions totalling 25 kms or 2.5 hours with appropriate warmups and post run stretching on top of run time. Run for 6 or 36 minutes – stop and walk if any major discomfort.

X-T: One session of cross training such as 50 minutes swim or bike or a 60 minute Pilates, Yoga  or equivalent core strengthening and stretching session

Tips: Tips could focus on basic nutrition information, dietary concerns or stretching information.  The TIPS should become more detailed as the weeks progress.

Week 4:  Assuming no major injuries, shoe problems major life dramas, plus the successful completion of week 3 of this program. Do not start week 4 until all of week 3 issues have been resolved.

Running: 4 sessions totalling 28 kms or 2.8 hours with appropriate warmups and post run stretching on top of run time. Run for 7 or 42 minutes – stop and walk if any major discomfort.

X-T: One session of cross training such as 50 minutes swim or bike or a 60 minute Pilates, Yoga  or equivalent core strengthening and stretching session

Tips: Tips could focus on basic nutrition information, dietary concerns or stretching information.  The TIPS should become more detailed as the weeks progress.

Week 5:  Assuming no major injuries, shoe problems major life dramas, plus the successful completion of week 4 of this program. Do not start week 5 until all of week 4 issues have been resolved.

Running: 4 sessions totalling 30 kms or 3 hours with appropriate warmups and post run stretching on top of run time. Run for 7.5 or 45 minutes – stop and walk if any major discomfort.

X-T: One or two session of cross training such as 50 minutes swim or bike and/or a 60 minute Pilates, Yoga  or equivalent core strengthening and stretching session

Tips: Tips could focus on basic nutrition information, dietary concerns or stretching information.  The TIPS should become more detailed as the weeks progress.

Week 6:  Assuming no major injuries, shoe problems major life dramas, plus the successful completion of week 5 of this program. Do not start week 6 until all of week 5 issues have been resolved.

Running: 4 sessions totalling 30 kms or 3 hours with appropriate warmups and post run stretching on top of run time. Three of the sessions are standard running at a comfortable pace with the forth session devoted to speed and strength work – details to come

X-T: One or two sessions of cross training such as 50 minutes swim or bike and/or a 60 minute Pilates, Yoga  or equivalent core strengthening and stretching session

Tips: Tips could focus on basic nutrition information, dietary concerns or stretching information.  The TIPS should become more detailed as the weeks progress.

Week 7:  Assuming no major injuries, shoe problems major life dramas, plus the successful completion of week 6 of this program. Do not start week 7 until all of week 6 issues have been resolved.

Running: 4 sessions totalling 32 kms or 3.2 hours with appropriate warmups and post run stretching on top of run time. Three of the sessions are standard running at a comfortable pace with the forth session devoted to hill work – details to come

X-T: One or two sessions of cross training such as 50 minutes swim or bike and/or a 60 minute Pilates, Yoga  or equivalent core strengthening and stretching session

Tips: Tips could focus on basic nutrition information, dietary concerns or stretching information.  The TIPS should become more detailed as the weeks progress.

Week 8:  Assuming no major injuries, shoe problems major life dramas, plus the successful completion of week 7 of this program. Do not start week 8 until all of week 7 issues have been resolved.

Running: 4 sessions totalling 35 kms or 3.5 hours with appropriate warmups and post run stretching on top of run time. Three of the sessions are standard running at a comfortable pace with the forth session devoted to speed and strength work – details to come

X-T: One or two sessions of cross training such as 50 minutes swim or bike and/or a 60 minute Pilates, Yoga  or equivalent core strengthening and stretching session

Tips: Tips could focus on basic nutrition information, dietary concerns or stretching information.  The TIPS should become more detailed as the weeks progress.

Week 9: Assuming no major injuries, shoe problems major life dramas, plus the successful completion of week 8 of this program. Do not start week 9 until all of week 8 issues have been resolved.

Running: 4 sessions totalling 38 kms or 3.8 hours with appropriate warmups and post run stretching on top of run time. Three of the sessions are standard running at a comfortable pace with the forth session devoted to hill work – details to come

X-T: One or two sessions of cross training such as 50 minutes swim or bike and/or a 60 minute Pilates, Yoga  or equivalent core strengthening and stretching session

Tips: Tips could focus on basic nutrition information, dietary concerns or stretching information.  The TIPS should become more detailed as the weeks progress.

Week 10:  Assuming no major injuries, shoe problems major life dramas, plus the successful completion of week 9 of this program. Do not start week 10 until all of week 9 issues have been resolved.

Running: 4 sessions totalling 40 kms or 4 hours with appropriate warmups and post run stretching on top of run time. Three of the sessions are standard running at a comfortable pace with the forth session devoted to speed and strengthening work – details to come

X-T: One or two sessions of cross training such as 50 minutes swim or bike and/or a 60 minute Pilates, Yoga  or equivalent core strengthening and stretching session

Tips: Tips could focus on basic nutrition information, dietary concerns or stretching information.  The TIPS should become more detailed as the weeks progress.

Basic Tips:  (See other more detailed tips section)

Lifestyle choice Running is good for you, go for it
Building blocks Understand the types of workouts available
Stretches Develop a set of pre and post run stretches. Have a standard set especially for legs, core, back and shoulders but throw in some new ones occasionally
Time of day Try to determine what time of day you prefer to run. Some of us are morning runners, some evening and many don’t care
MP3 or smart phone  caution MP3 players and smart phones are great on trails but can be dangerous on roads. They tend to make you less alert to your surroundings and are banned in most events
Heart Rate Monitor Consider using a HRM and learn how to use it properly
Nutrition Consider reducing your meat intake and replace with fresh fish and vegies.
Hydrate properly Learn how much water or sports drink you need on any given day, given the weather and your level of effort
Portion control Be careful with your food intake when training and running – small portions often is much better than big meals
Running safety Be aware of your surroundings, especially after dark and be alert at all times when you run. Light colored reflective clothing is recommended in most conditions. Colors like neon yellow and pink are the most reflective
Running shoes Try and keep 2 pairs of running shoes in rotation. Shoes can take a day or more to fully recover from a run
Sports drinks Try mixing up your own sports drinks – experiment with different strengths
Heart rate Start taking your resting, active and max heart rates. These numbers are great indicators of your state of health
Warmup Always warm up slowly before a run, especially in cooler weather. Walking is a good warmup even if it’s only for 5 minutes
Simple meals Try cooking simple meals, lots of great recipes on Internet. Avoid fried foods as much as possible with exception of a stir fry with olive oil
Your weight Weight yourself on a regular basis, keep a log but do not be obsessed with minor fluctuations. Remember muscle is heavier than fat tissue
Food labels Read labels on all processed foods – typically the more ingredients, the less goodness. What you eat can determine who you are
Running log Besides a daily log, make notes on how you feel before and after each run. You are your own best doctor and a log is a great motivator. There are lots of online logs and route monitoring apps such as Strava. Choose one that works best for you. Here are a list for the iPhone. A similar list is available for Android.
Pre-run stretches Your pre-run stretches should be short and sharp so as to activate the muscles. Any stretch longer than 10 seconds tends to put the muscle to sleep
Listen to your body Listen to your body especialy if you are struggling during your run. If you are just tired and stressed then often a run will refresh you, however look for other symptoms
Weather conditions Record the weather conditions, temp, skies, wind etc. The weather could dicate how you run and how you feel
Weekly mileage Don’t increase your weekly mileage by more than 10% a week otherwise your risk of injury greatly increases
Feet breadth Let your feet breadth as much as possible, even try some short bare-foot running on a grass oval. No more than 100m and go slow to begin with.
Running club See if you have a local running club/group and consider joining. Running with buddies can be a lot of fun and supportive
Pedometer Grab a pedometer and see how much you walk during a typical day at work,  home or anywhere
Favourite courses Mapout and measure at least 3-4 favorite courses of varying surfaces and terrains. That way you can compare your improvement on the same courses
Lifestyle stretches Stretch at anytime during day and night – get into a life-long habit of stretching, even at your desk or watching TV
Leg stretches Stretch your calves, quads, hammies, groin and archilies both before and after running
Cross training Consider cross training. Swimming is a great low-impact alternate to running and helps strengthen the core muscles
Speed is good If your body is up to it, try a little bit of speed running from time to time. An oval is a great place to do this
Trrail Running Experience the joy of running the trails and the associated health benefit
Processed foods Avoid higly processed foods, especially things like processed cheeses and meats
Sports doctor Try and find a sports-oriented doctor, a fit one in particular. Someone who shares your lifestyle goals
Winter runs & clothes layering Try layering clothes during the runs, especially in colder weather. Don’t overdress
Race signup Sign up for a local race – typically a 5K, no need to finish C25K before going in a race and experiencing the fun of an event
Hill running Try and fit in some hill running at least once a week. The hills don’t need to be steep
Heavy shoes Avoid heavy running shoes unless you have a medical requirement. Heavy shoes often mask other problems and can lead to back and leg injuries