Just Add A Mile
Go a little further (or faster) to reap big rewards
How to run for a little longer – and a little more
A MILE CAN BE more than just 5,280 feet. For new runners, completing that first mile is a major achievement. More seasoned runners find that logging an extra mile or two per week builds stamina better than any other technique. And adding a mile’s worth of faster running to your weekly routine can help you run more efficiently. Here’s how to get started and keep going. Work up to a mile Spend your first week of activity walking every other day, increasing to a one-mile walk. Next, introduce your body to running – walk for a quarter of a mile, then insert a five-second jog into each minute. If you begin huffing and puffing, walk for a few minutes before reintroducing short run segments. Repeat every other day, adjusting run/walk times as needed, until you can comfortably run most of a mile. ...Then to 30 minutes If you run for 30 minutes every other day you will reach 150 minutes of activity each week (the minimum recommended by health experts). Focus on increasing the distance of one run each week (with shorter runs on other days). Add a quarter of a mile each week, increasing walk breaks as needed. Once the longer run feels comfortable, expand one short run at a time, until 30-minute runs are the norm. ...Then add a longer run The best way to make 30-minute runs feel easy (or at least ‘easier’) is to add a weekly longer run. Start by adding half a mile to a weekend run every other week. Again, remember to slow down – the walk breaks that help you catch your breath can also help you avoid the aches and niggles that can surface when you add mileage. ...Then run a little faster Speedwork can help you run more smoothly at all paces, but the greater impact forces pose an injury risk. Don’t sprint – instead, speed up by increasing your cadence. Try this: on a rolling route, let the power of gravity pull you downhill, then glide up the uphill for a few metres. Walk up a bit more, turn around and run the other way, using momentum to run further back up. Start with two repeats and work up to four and then six.