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Couch to 10K Training Plan - Week 4

 

Take on New Activities as Training Increases

As we progress into week 4 of the Couch to Central Health Derby 10K plan, our coach Andy recommends adding new exercise into your routine. The race takes place in 10 weeks, on April 9th, and it is important to improve all-round body strength to gain the best training.

Week 4: 30th January – 5th February

The plan for this week continues the pattern of three sessions of running with walking breaks, but we also recommend introducing another activity as part of your routine from now on – strengthening key muscles. This will particularly benefit those of you that do non-manual work and spend a lot of time sitting at a desk or driving.

For beginners the strength in many of the muscles involved in running will improve purely through running itself, especially those in your legs. However, there are other muscles that are also important because they help you maintain good posture and balance, but need something more than just running to strengthen them. These include your abdominal muscles and the gluteal muscles, i.e. your buttocks.

A small amount of regular strength work on these and other such muscles will improve your running and reduce the risk of injury. To start with we recommend spending 10-15 mins 2 or 3 times per week on this. This could be either before your running sessions, or on the days in-between. Some simple exercises to start you off are illustrated below.

Week 4 Recommended Training Sessions

  • Session 1

Warm Up

5 minutes brisk walking

Main Session

Run 3 mins, walk 2 mins: twice

Run 5 mins, walk 3 mins: three times

Total running time = 21 mins

Cool Down

5 minutes walking, gradually reducing pace

Total Time – 41 minutes

  • Session 2

Warm Up

5 minutes brisk walking

Main Session

Run 3 mins, walk 2 mins: twice

Run 5 mins, walk 3 mins: twice

Total running time = 16 mins

Cool Down

5 minutes walking, gradually reducing pace

Total Time – 33 mins

  • Session 3

Warm Up

10 minutes brisk walking

Main Session

Run 3 mins, walk 1½ mins

Run 4 mins, walk 2 mins: four times

Run 8 mins

Total running time = 27 mins

Cool Down

10 minutes walking, gradually reducing pace

Total Time – 56.5 mins

Additional activity – Strengthening Exercises

For each of the following exercises, build up the amount that you do gradually. They should be done in a slow and controlled way to get the maximum benefit.

To start with we suggest doing two sets of 5 for each exercise, with a minute or so to recover in between. As with the running sessions, it’s fine to do a few more if you feel able, but don’t overstretch yourself to the extent you can’t maintain good form.

1.Table top

Lie flat on your back with arms at your side.

Bend 90 degrees at hips and knees as shown.

Engage core muscles (try to draw your belly button down toward spine).

Slowly lower one leg until your heel is almost touching the floor and then bring back to starting position. Repeat with other leg.

Keep your back as flat as possible, do not arch it.

2. Bridge

Lie flat on your back with arms at your side.

Raise your hips off the ground as shown, engaging your glutes (buttocks) and pushing down through your heels.

Hold the position at the highest point for 1-2 seconds and then slowly lower your hips back to the ground.

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