Did you know that running strengthens the heart by keeping the arteries open and the blood flowing smoothly, which also helps lower blood pressure? Running also influences the lung’s potential, which is done by forcing the lungs to take deeper breaths and this way forcing them to use more tissue. Some doctors claim that even smokers can sometimes recover full lung potential through running. Besides physical benefits there are also psychological advantages of running: because of endorphins release, running is often used to treat clinical depression and other psychological disorders (Steadyhealth.com). Getting into running can be a daunting task, so we have created a simple 8 week plan to help motivate you to dust off those running shoes by gradually increasing strength and endurance!
The plan requires seven days each week of dedicated workouts, with one day of rest. Day one, three and five of each week are dedicated to strength training. This can be done by using one of our two strength circuits.
Circuit #1 uses your own body weight resistanace so there is no need for any equipment.
Circuit #2 incorporates the use of dumbells and a fitness ball. Each circuit focuses on building strength in the core muscle
groups of your body encouraging strength and lean muscle development. You can choose to stick to one circuit or switch off between them on different strength training days. You can also choose to substitute a yoga/pilates session as your workout on a strength training day.
Each strength training day will gradually increase in length and intensity as you progress. There are three intensity levels, beginning at level GREEN, the beginners level. In the green level your workout will last about 30 minutes and will include 10 reps of each workout in the circuit, repeating the circuit 2-3 times. You will progress to level BLUE, the intermediate level where your workout will last about 45 minutes and includes 15-20 reps of each workout in the circuit, repeating the circuit 2-3 times. Finally, you will move into the RED, or high intensity level where your workout will last for 50-60 minutes and will include 20-30 repetitions of each workout in the circuit, repeating the circuit 2-3 times.
Days two, four and six are dedicated to building endurance and lung capacity through walking and running intervals, with a slowly increasing duration and intensity over the 8 week span.
* This article was first published in our Spring 2015 Issue.
download the 8 week plan here >> Running for Beginners 8wk plan