Congratulations on signing up for the 5km or 10km Toronto Island Race. It will be a race experience you will enjoy and remember. Longboat Road Runners have designed a 10-week training program to assist you to train for your event in a safe, consistent and progressive manner to ensure you do your best on the big day. We will also arrange for several group runs within the 10-week program that you can benefit from, should you wish to do so.
Before you begin the process of training toward your 5 or 10 km Island race, be realistic and honest in assessing your own capabilities. Another experienced runner can help you with this process. To a large degree, your present fitness level should be your guide and give you some insight into what can reasonably be expected. If you haven’t raced before it is always prudent to begin with a moderate approach. The old adage, “know thyself” is very important.
You must also consider all of the factors that will influence your training – current situation (lifestyle, family, school, work, volunteer and social commitments, current physical and mental health etc.) These factors are all dynamic and subject to change, so you have to be flexible and adaptable.
The 5 km and 10 km programs have been set up to assist you to approach your training in a consistent and progressive manner. Everyone is different and some may require or prefer to add more cross training instead of runs. Two-thirds of injuries are related to training error. It’s usually a case of too much, too soon, without enough rest. The goal is to arrive on race day healthy, energized and ready to enjoy the experience.
Adaptation to training will allow you to be prepared and be ready. By following this program your body is gradually introduced to new and/or higher level of workload. This requires a period of adaptation. “Use, don’t abuse your body” is a worn truism. Injecting periods of active rest between harder days is a must. This can vary greatly from one runner to the next. Always err on the side of rest if in doubt.
All the training cannot totally emulate race conditions, but this program does attempt to include the components that systematically and progressively replicate the demands, pace and stresses of your race to some degree.
While cross training has many benefits it should not replace running as the main activity. You must run, if you wish to maximize your running potential. Training should always be event specific, as much as possible.
Stretching/Strength: Any training program should include a component of event specific stretching, strength and core exercises wherever possible. Stretching is important particularly on days you plan to do faster workouts and of course before your race. There are many good examples on line to assist you chose these specific races. Of course, during the group runs we can demonstrate some of these first hand.
Rest is an important component of training, equally as working hard. It is during these off days or days of active rest and cross training that will have you ready and rested to do the harder and longer runs. The programs that have been designed include periods of rest.
Tempo runs lie within the program. All runs should begin with a warm-up slower pace for at least 3 kilometres. You will then begin to increase the pace to a level that can best be describes as “comfortably hard” For many that will mean maybe 10-15 seconds per kilometre slower than your intended 5 or 10 goal pace. However for fitter runners it can be closer to your race goal pace but not exceed it. The time period for doing these tempo runs will get longer as your fitness level rises.
Faster Sections: Once a week the programs have included some faster interval paced sections by time with defined timed rest of walking or slow jog recovery. These sections should be run a bit faster than your race goal pace (so for example if your goal is to run 5.45 km pace for your 10km you might do these timed sections at 5.30 km pace with a specified 2 minute rest). The intent here is to challenge your cardio-vascular system and key muscle groups to work harder and engage your energy systems to work in a manner more efficient and specific to the demands you will face in your race.