Adding Non-Running Exercises to Your Training Program
The best way to incorporate this type of exercise within a training schedule is undoubtedly unique to each runner; however, like veteran runners with extensive athletic backgrounds, volume should be added gradually with planned rest weeks.
As the body begins to adapt to increased workloads and you see some fitness gains, more of an emphasis can be placed on running. The below sample schedules include three separate weeks of training done by Dr. Robert Sutton of West Hartford, Connecticut, during his 2006 introduction to the sport of long-distance running.
Sunday: Longer running effort of the week; relaxed 55-60 minutes of running followed by 30 minutes of lap swimming.
Monday: Recovery (off day); 60 minutes of walking.
Tuesday: 45 minutes of running with the final 15 minutes at moderate intensity.
Wednesday: Non-running day; 30 minutes of elliptical followed by 30 minutes of lap swimming.
Thursday: 30 minutes of running.
Friday: Repeat Thursday.
Saturday: 45 minutes of stationary cycling or swimming.
Totals: 2 hours, 45 minutes of running/3 hours, 15 minutes of non-running.
Sunday: 70-75 minutes of easy running in the a.m.; 20 minutes of walking in the p.m.
Monday: Non-running day; 50 minutes of elliptical training.
Tuesday: 50 minutes of running with light fartlek workout of 1-2-3-2-1 (minutes) pick-ups in the final 30 minutes.
Wednesday: 50 minutes of yoga/pilates.
Thursday: 40 minutes of running.
Friday: Repeat Thursday with 6 x 100m hill repeats (form work).
Saturday: 30 minutes of lap swimming.
Totals: 3 hours, 25 minutes running/2 hours, 30 minutes non-running.
Sunday: 85 minutes of relaxed running in the a.m., 25-30 minutes of stationary cycling, short walk in the p.m.
Monday: Non-running day; 45 minutes of non-running exercise of your choice.
Tuesday: 55 minutes of running with 5 x 5-minute surges of moderate intensity (3-minute walk/jog between each 5-minute surge) in the final 40 minutes.
Wednesday: 45 minutes of yoga.
Thursday: 45 minutes of easy running.
Friday: Repeat Thursday.
Saturday: Complete rest.
Totals: 3 hours, 45 minutes running/2 hours non-running.
You will notice that as Dr Sutton's body began to adapt to slightly higher volumes of running, we cut back the non-running a hair. Additionally, walking—another low level aerobic exercise—is a proven method of not only recovering from some of the longer and more intense running sessions, but adding some light impact work to supplement your week.
It is also important to note that any running schedule, no matter how introductory, should include planned rest. Here at ZAP Fitness, we typically pull back our overall volume of training 10 to 15 percent every 3 to 4 weeks to allow the body to manifest the hard work of the previous weeks. Not planning rest is a common mistake, made particularly (and somewhat ironically) by newer runners.
As you make your way into your fitness goals this year, do so with an eye on a variety of different exercise options to improve your running.
- Why Beginning Runners Need Cross-Training
- 7 Cross-Training Exercises for Runners
- Resistance Band Exercises for Runners
Find your next race.