Swap refined processed carbohydrates for healthier choices like sweet potatoes, brown rice, and beans—these complex carbohydrates are efficient energy-producing sources.
Push yourself beyond your preconceived limits: Drop and do 15 push-ups three times during a run.
CELEBRATE SMALL VICTORIES
Write down your small victories this week.
SCHEDULE YOUR WORKOUTS
Mark your calendar for five workouts this week. Make it a morning ritual so that none of the day's events prevent you from accomplishing your goal.—David Kirsch
Warm up every day with circuit training. Choose from the following and be sure to mix it up each day:
1. 15 Squat Thrusts
2. 30 sec. Mountain Climbers
3. 30 sec. Shadow Boxing
4. 15 Walking Lunges
5. 15 One-Legged Squats
6. 15 Jumping Lunges
7. 15-20 Spider-Man Push-ups
8. 15-20 Double Crunches
9. 30 sec. Wall Sit
DAY 1: Do 10 minutes of circuit training and then hit the treadmill or head outside for a run. Run for 15 minutes at an easy pace. Starting at minute 16, run up as many flights of stairs as you can and then walk down. Return to your easy pace for 2 minutes and repeat the stair climb 3 or 4 more times until you've been at it for 40 minutes. (Treadmillers: You can achieve the same effect by increasing the incline every 15 seconds until you reach your max, then reverting to starting pace.)
DAY 2: Do 10 minutes of circuit training and then hop on the treadmill or head outside for a run. Start off on an easy run for 5 minutes. Run minute 6 and 7 at slightly faster than race pace, then revert to your easy pace for 5 minutes. Keep up this rotation until you've been running for 40 minutes.
DAY 3: Do 10 minutes of circuit training and then hop on the treadmill or head outside for a run. Run 15 minutes at an easy pace for the first 15 minutes. At minute 16, do an all-out sprint for about 100 yards or 15 seconds. Return to your easy pace for 2 minutes and repeat this cycle until you've been running for 40 minutes.
DAY 4: Do 10 minutes of circuit training and 30 minutes of cross-training.
DAY 5: Do 10 minutes of circuit training and a 40-minute run at an easy pace.
DAY 6: Do 10 minutes of circuit training and a 40-minute run at an easy pace.
DAY 7: Rest and restore with stretching, walking, or yoga.
MASTER YOUR MECHANICS
Fix your gaze straight ahead. Pick a point in the distance and run toward it. Staying focused on the "finish line" will make running feel effortless and more fulfilling.
Follow your run with a stretching routine to boost recovery and flexibility. Stretch your hamstrings, quads, hips, groin, butt, calves, shoulders, abs, and chest. Use resistance tubing or a towel to increase the intensity. To see videos for all these stretches, click here.
Healthy fats fuel the reserves your muscles need during sustained periods of intense workouts. Load up on omega-3s found in fatty fish and nuts to feed oxygen to your muscles and keep your heart running strong.
Push yourself beyond your preconceived limits. Incorporate more of your circuit training into your run. This will make race day feel like a cakewalk.
CELEBRATE SMALL VICTORIES
You completed a month's training. Nice job! Now go out and celebrate by running your first 5k.