This is a beginner friendly 10 week program that get you ready for your first 15k. Following a running program allows your joints to adapt to the new levels of milage slowly while incorporating recovery days into your routine. Plugging these into your calendar will help keep you on track and fully prepared towards your race!
How to Understand This Guide
This program will have you running three days a week with Saturdays being your long runs. Your long runs should be at a conversational pace, or about 60-70% exertion. Literally meaning you should be able to hold a conversation while jogging. In the running community you’ll hear the word “tapering”, this refers to the week in your running program where you reduce the amount of miles ran from the week before. Our muscles develop and adapt to stimulus faster than our joints; tapering weeks give the joints a chance to catch up without losing out on any progress. Your tapering weeks in this program are week 4 & week 7. Tapering usually occurs every fourth week but can vary depending on the race your training for.
Having a rest day each week allows all the micro tears we’ve made in our muscles to recover and rebuild. That’s why we usually feel stronger or faster after a big rest. Active recovery days are just as important, they allow you to bring blood flow to sore areas and encourages the body to remove any lactic acid (the stuff that makes you feel sore) build up. Active recovery days are two days after your long runs. On these days you should focus on stretching the lower body and incorporating low intensity movements for the upper body; yoga would be perfect. Cross training days help round out your training program by incorporating strength or upper body movements into your routine. Cross training could be anything from swimming to lifting weights but it has to be something you’re already doing- NOT something new.
15k Training Guide
|1||Active Recovery||2 miles||30 min cross training||2 miles||Rest||2 miles||30 min cross training|
|2||Active Recovery||3 miles||30 min cross training||2 miles||Rest||3 miles||30 min cross training|
|3||Active Recovery||3 miles||35 min cross training||2 miles||Rest||4 miles||30 min cross training|
|4||Active Recovery||2 miles||35 min cross training||2 miles||Rest||2 miles||40 min cross training|
|5||Active Recovery||4 miles||40 min cross training||3 miles||Rest||5 miles||40 min cross training|
|6||Active Recovery||4 miles||40 min cross training||3 miles||Rest||6 miles||50 min cross training|
|7||Active Recovery||3 miles||45 min cross training||3 miles||Rest||4 miles||50 min cross training|
|8||Active Recovery||5 miles||45 min cross training||3 miles||Rest||7 miles||60 min cross training|
|9||Active Recovery||5 miles||45 min cross training||3 miles||Rest||8 miles||60 min cross training|
|10||Active Recovery||3 miles||30 min cross training||2 miles||Rest||Rest||15K Race Day|
Adjust it to Your Level
If you’re already comfortable running more than 2 miles then pick a different starting point in the program. If 2 miles is difficult right now then I would give yourself 1-2 weeks extra to get into the habit of running and focus on being able to run .5 mile- 1.5 miles without stopping. Once you’re able to run 2 miles without stopping then begin this program.
If you’re new to running or new to constantly working out (sweating) check out our other articles on the importance of Hydration. If you find you’re not convinced hydration is important, read another post of ours on Electrolytes & Dehydration to prevent cramps!
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Happy trails and good luck on your first race!
This blog post is a recap of key points from multiple sources listed below & personal experience: