Health Tips for Runners

Last Updated: May 23, 2019
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Training for the Army Ten-Miler starts with incorporating the Performance Triad (P3) of Sleep, Activity, and Nutrition into your training routine. The three P3 tenets are intertwined to enhance your performance.


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How to Prepare with the Performance Triad​

​                     
SLEEP
person sleeping
Sleep is critical for performance
and needed for rejuvenation. 
Sleep 7-8 hours each night. Keep a regular sleep schedule with a consistent bed and wake-up time.
​                     
ACTIVITY
man running
Activity is the next tenet of the P3. Find more specifics in the recommendations below.
​                    NUTRITION
photo depicting foods from all the food groups
Nutrition is the third tenet of the triad with target goals of building a healthy plate with lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and dairy at each meal. Aim to make half of your plate fruits and vegetables each meal and choose water over sugary beverages.
​                     


Performance Basic Training Tips to Get YOU Started!​

First, start training wisely. Three to five months is enough time for a 10-mile run. To help with motivation, think about signing up with a local running group or convince a friend to join you.

  • Frequency. Plan for approximately 3-4 runs per week: A "long" run, a "medium" run, and interval training. See below for more details on how these runs work.
  • Long Run. The bedrock (or core) of training will be the long run. Start training with a long run every weekend. How long is "long"? That depends on how far you typically run without stopping!  See below for two options to help you train for the race: a 20-week program and a 10-week program. On your long run day, this should be a slower pace to build up your endurance. Your long-run pace should be one to two minutes per mile slower than your short-run pace. Even if you are walking up hills and running on the flats and downhills. In two weeks, add a half mile to a mile for the next long run. If you notice on the chart below, every 4th week of training requires you to slightly decrease your mileage for your long run. This gives your body a chance to recover before increasing your distance again.
  • Interval training. During the week, plan one day of speed work or high intensity running. Interval training is running fast for one to four minutes, then recover at a light jog for an equal amount of time. You can use mailboxes or telephone poles as your intervals. Ideally, add one or two days of strength training to your training plan and one or two additional runs per week in between, with an easy pace and at low distances.
  • Tempo runs. A tempo run is a pace you can maintain for an hour. It is not your fastest pace, but it will help with your speed for the race day. Start with a warm up for 5 minutes and then transition to a faster run for five to ten minutes and slow down for 5 minutes. Gradually increase up to 25 to 30 minutes at the faster pace.
  • Fueling. Eat breakfast before your long run. Focus on mostly carbs and some protein about 30 minutes before you run. Pick foods that are easily digestible. Some examples of good pre-long run fuel include a bagel with peanut butter, a banana, and an energy bar, or a bowl of cold cereal or oatmeal with a cup of milk. If you'll be out for more than an hour or so, have a sweet snack (e.g. a few jelly beans) of 30-40 kcals every two miles. This will top up your muscles' glycogen stores. Don't try anything new on race day.

  • Hydration. The right balance of hydration can truly make a difference. Try not to overhydrate the morning of your long run, so you don't have to look for a pit stop along the way. The recommendation is to drink 16 to 24 ounces of fluid before your workout or race. On long-run days, plan to either carry water with you in a water bottle or plan a route that you can loop back to your car or home so you can pick up water and snacks. Make sure you are drinking water along the way.
  • Warm-up. It is important to perform a good, dynamic warm-up before your work-outs so that all your joints and muscles are ready to go. What is a dynamic warm-up? It means slow, controlled movements that increase blood flow to the muscles and joints you will be using during your work-out. For instance: jogging in place, slow squats, lunges, or Army PRT preparation drills. Your warm-up does not need to last more than 5-10 minutes.
  • Recovery. For the cool down, walk for 10 minutes to slow down your heart rate and help prevent soreness. Now that your muscles are nice and warm, this is a good time to gently perform some stretches.  Hold your stretches for about 30 seconds each. You should feel gentle tension while stretching, no need to push through anything stronger. After you have finished your run, make sure to eat and drink for recovery. Plan to have a snack of about 250 calories containing carbohydrates and protein within 30 minutes after finishing your run. It's important to replenish your glycogen stores. Low fat chocolate milk is always a good choice as it has protein and carbohydrates. If your muscles are sore, then a hot bath might also help. 
  • Clothing. Plan the right clothing by thinking ahead. Having the right running shoes is a must. Ideally your shoes should be worn in for a couple of months before the race. Practice wearing the right amount of clothes during training. Many runners heat up more when racing and will wear less clothing on race day. It also depends on the weather conditions, so check the weather forecast before training and on race day.


Try these training schedule options to help you plan for the Army Ten-Miler.​

20-Week Schedule
Week
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
Sunday
1
2 mi TR
Strength
10 min int
X-train
X-train
2 mi
Rest
2
2 mi TR
Strength
10 min int
X-train
X-train
2 mi
Rest
3
2 mi TR
Strength
15 min int
X-train
X-train
3 mi
Rest
4
2 mi TR
Strength
15 min int
X-train
X-train
3 mi
Rest
5
2 mi TR
Strength
15 min int
X-train
X-train
4 mi
Rest
6
2 mi TR
Strength
15 min int
X-train
X-train
4 mi
Rest
7
3 mi TR
Strength
20 min int
X-train
X-train
3 mi
Rest
8
3 mi TR
Strength
20 min int
X-train
X-train
3 mi
Rest
9
3 mi TR
Strength
20 min int
X-train
X-train
3 mi
Rest
10
3 mi TR
Strength
20 min int
X-train
X-train
5 mi
Rest
11
3 mi TR
Strength
20 min int
X-train
X-train
3 mi
Rest
12
3 mi TR
Strength
20 min int
X-train
X-train
6 mi
Rest
13
4 mi TR
Strength
20 min int
X-train
X-train
3 mi
Rest
14
4 mi TR
Strength
20 min int
X-train
X-train
7 mi
Rest
15
4 mi TR
Strength
20 min int
X-train
X-train
3 mi
Rest
16
4 mi TR
Strength
20 min int
X-train
X-train
5 mi
Rest
17
4 mi TR
Strength
20 min int
X-train
X-train
3 mi
Rest
18
3 mi TR
Strength
20 min int
X-train
X-train
8 mi
Rest
19
3 mi TR
Strength
20 min int
X-train
X-train
3 mi
Rest
20
3 mi TR
Strength
2 mi Easy R
X-train
X-train
Rest!
Race Day!
Legend: TR=Tempo Run, Int=Interval training, Easy R= Easy run, mi=miles

10-Week Schedule
Week Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
1 2 mi TR Strength 10 min int X-train X-train 2 mi Rest
2 2 mi TR Strength 10 min int X-train X-train 3 mi Rest
3 2 mi TR Strength 15 min int X-train X-train 4 mi Rest
4 2 mi TR Strength 15 min int X-train X-train 3 mi Rest
5 3 mi TR Strength 20 min int X-train X-train 5 mi Rest
6 3 mi TR Strength 20 min int X-train X-train 6 mi Rest
7 3 mi TR Strength 20 min int X-train X-train 7 mi Rest
8 3 mi TR Strength 20 min int X-train X-train 3 mi Rest
9 3 mi TR Strength 20 min int X-train X-train 8 mi Rest
10 3 mi TR Strength 2 mi Easy R X-train X-train Rest Race Day!


Legend: TR=Tempo Run, Int=Interval training, Easy R= Easy run, mi=miles.

Note: this training schedule was adapted from Van Allen, J., Yasso, B., & Burfoot, A. (2012). The Runner's World Big Book of Marathon and Half-marathon Training: Winning Strategies, Inspiring Stories, and the Ultimate Training Tools. Rodale Books

Good luck with your training!

For more information, check out the Performance Triad website: http://p3.amedd.army.mil/.


SLEEP
person sleeping
ACTIVITY
man running
NUTRITION
photo depicting foods from all the food groups