Running: Step 3 ... Level of Competition Workouts

by Mike Naylor

Since the 1970’s, the biggest changes which I have noticed are the many fitness organizations and businesses, along with the modifications made to what we wear and run in when we are exercising. In addition, a not so good change has been the cost involved with exercising and entering road races and other events, such as mud racing and triathlons.

Being an old guy, I can remember when long distance runners were drinking sugar and water as a supplement during long runs. In high school, my coach used to give us Hershey bars and salt tablets during our two-a-day workouts. And our footwear back then was usually a name brand and had a bit of weight to it. In addition, the same make of a name brand shoe would change year after year, and it came to a point that guys (not many women running back then) would purchase several pairs of the same running shoe, so they would be sure of having the same make and model that was working for them.

Back then, road race fees were so low I can’t even remember how much they cost, and almost every race gave out free T-shirts and some included an after-race barbeque. My first major race was the Falmouth Road Race. I took my entire family, and we camped out in a tent for four days and had a great time! Years later, a runner I coached would win the race, and my whole family again took the trek to Falmouth, but this time we opted for a nice air conditioned hotel with a shower…ahhhh!

See, I told you I was an old guy, drifting off course and into my memories, kind of like talking to your grandfather at Thanksgiving Day dinner.

Let’s get back on track, and get going with the winter (December, January, February) season of training.

Your guess is as good as mine as to which winter will show up this year. Let’s just call it the winter time, a time to rest, recover, and to evaluate your past year’s performances. Also, it is the time to set new goals, to develop new workout plans, and to fill in a new life calendar.

Ok. First I will begin with beginner runners, and included in this group are those folks who are returning to running after a time off. If you fit in this group, then you should, if you haven’t already, read my first two articles in this series.

Let us begin!!! First of all, I use running time, and not mileage distances. I have found that running time eliminates the need to be anxious about how many miles you have to do, and also makes it unnecessary to measure out running courses in your neighborhood.

Here is an example you can use or modify it to fit your own action plan. I always start workout plans on Monday and finish on the following Sunday.

Monday: Walk for 5 minutes and jog/run for 1 minute. Repeat this pattern 5 times.

Tuesday: Walk for 4 minutes and jog/run for 1 minute. Repeat this pattern 6 times.

Wednesday: Jog/run for 5 minutes and walk for 1 minute. Repeat this pattern 3 times.

Thursday: Find a short hill or road with an upgrade (no more than a ½ block long) and then go up it 9 times. Walk up it the first time. Jog/run up it the second time. Walk up it the third time. Repeat this pattern 3 times. Alternative workout: walk for an hour.

Friday: Take the day off.

Saturday: Walk / jog for an hour.

Sunday: Off or make-up day.

Note: Every other day do the following, if you do not belong to a fitness gym and are already working with a fitness instructor.

Step 1. Get on the floor on your back with your legs straight out. Raise one leg up about 6-12 inches and slowly return it to the floor. Repeat with the other leg. Continue this pattern for 15 reps., and do 3 sets of these repetitions. Take a minute rest between sets.

Step 2. While still on the floor on your back, slide your feet back toward your butt. Then slowly raise up off the floor till your shoulders have lifted from the floor. Slowly return to the floor, and repeat 10 times. Do 3 sets of these 10 repetitions. Take a minute rest between sets.

Step 3. Roll over on your stomach, with your hands palm down and shoulder width apart. Push up with your hands, until you feel your stomach leave the floor (knees stay on the floor) and then slowly return back down to the floor. Do this ten times, and do 3 sets. Take a minute rest between sets.

Finish by slowly standing up and going to get a large drink of water. (Each week increase the number of sets, not reps).

Next, here is a workout plan for intermediate and advanced athletes.

Monday: a.m. 30-40 minutes of easy running (optional) p.m.. 40-60 minutes easy. Some form of strength and conditioning workout, either on your own, or join a fitness center to work with a fitness instructor.

Tuesday: a.m. 30-40 minutes of easy running (optional) p.m. 40-60 minutes of running with a 2 minute pick-up (70-80% effort) every 5 minutes. Alternative: 60 minutes of easy running.

Wednesday: Same as Monday. (Note: As an option you can incorporate swimming, spinning, shooting some hoops, or any other activity such as volleyball during this time.)

Thursday: a.m. 30-40 minutes of easy running (optional) p.m. Find an area where there are hills, and run in that area for 60 minutes, pushing the up the hills and easy on the downhill and level sections. Be sure to push it a bit after you crest the hill, for about 50 meters. The University at Albany has a great loop for this workout.

Friday: no a.m. activity. p.m. 40-60 minute run plus the strength and conditioning workout option.

Saturday: a.m. 60 minutes of easy running.

Sunday: a.m. Build up weekly to 120 minutes of easy running. Example: First week, 60minutes. Second week, 70 minutes. And so on weekly until reaching 120 minutes.

If you are interested in a schedule for elite athletes, contact me. I will help to modify and make changes to your plan if you like. I have never charged for my services and I will guarantee you will improve and rise in the rankings of the elite.

In conclusion, you can use these above workout plans as templates for your own designed plans. Contact me at, if you have any questions or would like additional suggestions that haven’t been noted above.

Next month: Spring Season Workouts.

Have a great month – Fight Hate with Love - Coach Mike

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