With the inaugural Run for Walk six weeks away, the Northwestern women's cross country program developed a training program for beginning runners to prepare for the 4.1-mile event. The race is being held on Sunday, July 29 in memory of late NU head football coach Randy Walker.
"The Northwestern cross country program is thrilled to join efforts for the inaugural Run for Walk," head coach April Likhite said. "We are excited that this event has now become a 4.1-mile race and will get the Northwestern and Evanston communities involved in what our program is extremely passionate about -- running. It will be wonderful day to remember Coach Walker and support C.A.R.E."
Participants can download a six-week training schedule by clicking HERE. The training program provides a steady increase in mileage, while incorporating cross training (swim or bike) and fartlek techniques.
"A fartlek run is simply a run with varied pace." Likhite said. "The "joy" of a fartlek run is that you control your pace based on how you feel. For the average runner, it's a great way to develop self-awareness with pacing and a good way to add variety within your run. Of course, fartlek training will enhance your anaerobic threshold when done consistently.
"Begin a fartlek at an easy pace. Then choose a distance from 200-400 meters (light pole to light pole, block to block) where you increase the intensity for a short period of time. Follow with a slow to easy jog until you feel you are able to pick up your intensity once again. A more specific example could be one minute of hard effort followed by a two-minute easy jog and repeat for 10-30 minutes depending on your fitness level.
"Running is a great form of exercise. But it's much more fun to run when you have a goal to reach. By picking a race, like the Run for Walk, you will be much more motivated to train. As long as you prepare your body for race day, one can get great satisfaction from finishing a road race. Good luck and go out there and RUN WILD!"
To take part in the Run for Walk, click here. Don't forget, the Run for Walk also features a 5k family walk and the Kids' 'Cat Dash. For an overview of the events, visit the official Run for Walk page.The Run for Walk is part of the City of Evanston's Let's Move Race Series.