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Pick Up Your Off-Season Running Tempo

Updated on January 30, 2011

Off-Season Endurance Conditioning


Deep into the winter with thoughts turning to that first race in the spring, keep on training.  Hopefully you have continued your conditioning from that last Turkey Trot in November completing a good base.  Now it is time to turn up the tempo.  Here is a sixty training program that will build up your endurance in anticipation for that first big road race or competitive race around the oval.


This training program is a modification of a schedule designed by the great Cross Country and Track & Field coach, Del Hessel (ColoradoStateUniversity / University of New Mexico).  It is set-up by alternating weekly run schedules for a period of eight weeks.

Week One Training Schedule


Monday:  At a very comfortable pace, run ten miles.


Tuesday:  You will need to locate a hill with a gentle slope.  Most parks, forest preserves, or streets in your area can easily be found for this purpose.  You will run twenty (20) by 200 meter intervals up the hill.  At the top of the hill complete ten sit-ups.  This will maintain your core.  Afterwards, jog back to the bottom of the hill and start again.


Wednesday:  Run four miles at a comfortable pace.  Complete ten (10) by 100 plus meter intervals at ¾ speed.


Thursday:  Should you have access to a track (that is not covered with snow) in your area you will want to do the following workout there.  An area park or neighborhood block will work just as well.  Alternating ten (10) 400 meter runs with ten (10) 200 meter runs with a 200 meter jog between each.


Friday:  Nice long slow distance run of six to eight miles.


Saturday:  This workout could be considered a long fartlek run.  Run fifteen (15) minutes nice and easy, fifteen (15) minutes fast, fifteen (15) minutes easy, and fifteen (15) minutes fast.  Cool down with a one mile jog.


Sunday:  One hour and thirty (30) minutes of nice easy comfortable running.

Week Two Training Schedule


Monday:  Back to the hill or sloping street for a strong session of twenty (20) by 200 meter interval workout.  Those sit-ups between each run up the hill should be a piece of cake for you now.


Tuesday: Five mile run at a nice comfortable pace.


Wednesday:  Interval workout comprised of ten (10) 400 meters alternating with ten (10) 200 meters along wedge a 200 meter jog between each interval.


Thursday:  This will be your fifteen (15) minute easy, fifteen (15) minute fast, fifteen (15) minute easy, and fifteen (15) minute fast extended fartlek workout.  Cool down one mile afterwards.


Friday:  Back to your sloping hill for a twenty (20) interval workout.


Saturday:  Run six to eight miles at a comfortable pace.


Sunday:  Run at a very pleasant eight to ten mile long slow distance pace.


This exceptionally designed endurance conditioning program will add greatly to the base you have already established this off-season.  Remember to alternate each week as you move forward.  Run for fun and personal bests as you begin your racing season this spring.




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