Many of you are already training for Niagra Falls. Yay! We are going to have so much fun! And by now you have reached the part of the training plan that calls for speed work. In the plan for this week, it calls for a long run of “4mi with 2*800m”. 800 meters is equivalent to 0.5 miles. So you are going to run or walk a total of 4 miles. And within those 4 miles, you are going to increase your speed for 0.5 miles twice. In other words, one option would be as follows:
- Walk 1.25 miles
- Walk faster for 0.5 miles
- Go back to the normal speed for the next 0.5 miles
- Then walk at the faster pace for another 0.5 miles
- And then back to the normal speed for the remaining 1.25 miles.
Just to check my math: 1.25 + 0.5 + 0.5+ 0.5 +1.25 = 4 miles. But you don’t have to do it *exactly* like that. The first important part is to warm up before you increase the speed (Step 1: walk at the normal pace for 1.25 miles) If you feel warm after 1 mile, it’s OK to start your speed work after only a mile. If you need 1.5 miles to feel ready, that’s OK too. The second important part is to take a break between the 2 speed intervals. The break should be as long as you need to get your heart rate back down. 0.5 miles is just a suggestion, and any distance over 0.1 miles is fine. And the third important part is to finish with a cool down.
If you do not have a way to measure 0.5 miles, that’s OK too. You can walk faster for 1 minute, or 2 minutes, or even just 15 to 30 seconds–whatever works for you. The goal is to increase your heart rate and train you body to go faster than you normally do. However, “faster” isn’t the same as “as fast as you can go before you stop breathing!” It’s just faster than you were going before. So don’t worry; there is no need to go so fast that you drop. To walk faster, just increase the cadence of your steps. You do not have to start jogging (unless you want to).
If you have any challenges or questions, please do not hesitate to reach out. There are no “dumb” questions. We have all had questions along our journey to become more comfortable with running and walking. The only way to find out what you want to know is to ask, so don’t be shy!