Apr 202010
 

Happy Spring-time to you derbies! If you are like me, you are eager to enjoy the wonderful sunshine, flowers, and warmer temperatures that the month of April brings. It is the perfect time to cross train outside the skating rink and improve your cardiovascular fitness and endurance for any roller derby position. Running is an excellent sport for developing leg muscle strength and endurance. The more you can run, the greater your endurance becomes. I have been running long distance races for 7 years – including a variety of half marathons, full marathons, and Ironman triathlons. The strength I have achieved through training to compete in long distances (at times over 6 hours of continuous cardiovascular exercise) helps me feel minimally fatigued during roller derby practices and bouts. In this installment, I’ll suggest programs and training techniques for a variety of fitness levels: beginning, intermediate, and advancing runners.

Beginners:  A Program for Those Who Are New to Running

When I started running, I could not even complete one half a mile without becoming winded or feeling side pains. I found the prospect of becoming a runner to be very intimidating, perhaps even an impossible task. Then, I learned a helpful technique: running with walk breaks. I started out with a very small goal: running and finishing a 5K race. I used the following program concepts to get started:

• Find a running path to match my desired distance. I tried to select a path that included convenient parking and ample interesting scenery – such as a park or neighborhood with a variety of architecture, flowers, felines, etc.
• Wear a watch with “seconds” as a featured display.
• Plan to exercise for 30 minutes.

If you have been skating, you likely have some level of cardiovascular endurance. I recommend the following for your first run.

• Start jogging, but go at a light pace (i.e. no sprinting). Time your run, and ensure you have completed for 3 minutes.
• Take a timed walk break for 2 minutes.
• Complete three cycles of 3-2 such that you’ve exercised for 15 minutes. Turn around.
• Complete three more cycles of 3 minutes of running, two minutes of walking. You’ll be back to your starting point.
• Stretch your hamstrings, quadriceps, and calf muscles thoroughly. Drink water to replenish your fluids.
• Run this program 3 times in one week.

Then, find a goal race. You can search on links such as: Home | Running Journal. Then, increase your minutes of jogging and reduce your minutes walking during your next week of training. For example, the next week, you could try running 4 minutes with a 1 minute walk break. The following week, try running 7 minutes with a 1 minute walk break, etc. In no time, you’ll be able to run 30 minutes with no walking breaks necessary.

Intermediates: A Program for Those Who Want to Run a 10K

After finishing my first 5K, I became addicted to the sport. I finished more 5K races the next year, and started setting my sights on a 10K. This is the training program that I used.

• Find a running path to match my desired distance. I tried to select a path that included convenient parking and ample interesting scenery and water fountains. Schools or parks often have these. Planning refreshment breaks during walking will help you use your time efficiently and stay hydrated.
• Wear a watch with “seconds” as a featured display.
• Plan to exercise for 45 minutes.

I recommend the following to increase your running endurance, in training for a 10K race.

• Start jogging, but go at a medium pace (i.e. no sprinting). Time your run, and ensure you have completed 9 minutes.
• Take a timed walk break for 1 minutes.
• Complete two cycles such that you’ve exercised for 20 minutes. Turn around after running 2 ½ more minutes.
• Complete running/walking cycles until you are back to your starting location point.
• Stretch your hamstrings, quadriceps, and calf muscles thoroughly. Drink water to replenish your fluids.
• Run this program 3 times in one week.

Then, increase your total minutes of jogging and walking, but do not change your cycle length. For example, the next week, try running for 50 minutes (5 cycles of 9 minutes running; 1 minute of walking). Increase the time of running by five minutes each week until you’ve been able to run one mile further than your desired distance (hint: use your car odometer to measure your distance). Overshooting your target distance with help you be able to run the full 10K without breaks on race day.

Advancing: A Program for Those with Half/Full Marathon Goals

If you’re ready to tackle long distance running, you’re on your way to developing high endurance levels. This is the training program that I use to training for a long race.

• Find a running path to match my desired distance. I like to use a loop for longer distances, to ensure I don’t repeat scenery and become bored or discouraged with my running environment. It is also great to include locations that have water fountains (schools or parks often have these) or plant bottles of diet sports drinks along the route so that you can obtain refreshment during your walking without having to carry water.
• Wear a watch with “seconds” as a featured display.
• Plan to exercise for an hour and 20 minutes.

I recommend the following to increase your running endurance, in training for a half marathon or full marathon race.

• Start jogging, but go at a medium pace (i.e. no sprinting). Time your run, and ensure you have completed 10 minutes.
• Take a timed walk break for 1 minute.
• Complete 5 cycles such that you’ve exercised for 55 minutes. Turn around after running 5 more minutes.
• Complete running/walking cycles until you are back to your starting location point.
• Stretch your hamstrings, quadriceps, and calf muscles thoroughly. Drink water with electrolytes to replenish your fluids.
• Run this long program 1 time per one week.
• Supplement long program with 2 shorter runs or other heavy cardiovascular training exercise during the same week (i.e. one hour of running or hour long spin classes on 2 other days).

Increase your total minutes of jogging and walking each week, but do not change your cycle length. For example, the next week, try running for 90 minutes (8 + cycles of 10 minutes running; 1 minute of walking). Increase the time of running by ten minutes each week until you’ve been able to run one mile further than your desired distance. Overshooting your target distance with help you be able to run the full half marathon or full without breaks on race day.

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  3 Responses to “Add Running to Your Regimen”

  1. This is a very helpful article. I like how your instructions are step-by-step and fairly specific, it makes gaining endurance seem less intimidating. I’ve realized that I have a long way to go in this area, and my lack of a real plan to improve my endurance made me dread even trying. Thanks for breaking it down.

  2. Awesome article, chica! I can definitely vouch for how useful marathon training was for me, derby-wise. These are great guidelines for anyone looking to gain an endurance boost.

  3. Oh, God, I wish I had the mental capacity to run, I think I am seriously lacking there

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