The warm up period is made up of two components, walking, and stretching. These two components are crucial when it comes to making sure that you body is prepared for the harder work to come. Never skip this part of the workout.
You will start every workout with a 5 minute walk.The pace of this walk should be similar to one you would do if you were out for a nice, easy stroll. This pace will be discussed in detail in the week one video lecture.
Every warm up will include a period of stretching. This is important when it comes to avoiding running related injuries. You can find a full explanation of how to stretch properly, as well as the stretches that I suggest by following this link: Stretching.
The fast walking portion of the workout is the element that will help to develop your aerobic ability. In time, the development of this ability will enable you to go for longer runs without finding yourself short of breath. This segment of the workout will be done at your fastest walking speed, just short of running. You will find a detailed explanation of this pace in the week one video lecture. As with the warm up portion of the workout, the fast walking can never be skipped. It is crucial to your development as a runner.
The interval segment of the workout is when you will develop your ability to run. You will do this by alternating periods of running with periods of walking. The advantage of learning to run this way is that you will be able to do more total running (with walking breaks mixed in) than you would if you went out and ran non-stop. Learning to run this way is also easier on your body than if you were to run continuously.
The walking portion of the intervals will be done at the same pace you maintained for your warm up walk. The running portion will done at a slow running pace, faster than your fast walking pace, but not by much. Doing this pace correctly is one of the keys to success with this program. You will find a detailed explanation of this pace in the week one video lecture.
We will start with short running periods, which will get progressively longer as the program continues. As the running periods get longer, the walking periods will decrease. Eventually the walking portion of the intervals will disappear all together. This progression will enable you to run nonstop by the end of the program.
Just like the warm up period, the cool down period is made up of two components, walking, and stretching. As with the warm up, this component of the workout should never be skipped.
You will start every cool down period with a five minute walk. This is done to allow your heart rate to slowly come down back to its resting rate. The walking will also help to flush the toxins, generated from your workout, out of your muscles. The pace of this walk should be similar to one do when warming up.
Stretching will be the final part of the workout. Stretching is optimally performed when your muscles are very warm, making the cool down period a great time to stretch. You can find a full explanation of how to stretch properly, as well as the stretches that I suggest by following this link: Stretching.
This indicates the number of minutes of fast walking you will need to do. In this example you would have to fast walk for 30 minutes.
This number indicates the number of times that you will have to repeat the walk/run pattern. In this example, you will need to do so five times.
This number indicates the time you will spend running during each of the intervals. In this example, your runs should last for 2 minutes.
This number indicated the time you will spend walking to recover after the running portion of the interval. In this example, you should walk for one minute.