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How to train for your 20 km race ?

Introduction

Before starting to train for a the 20k, you need to possess a basic fitness level. But assuming no major problems, most healthy people can train themselves to complete this distance within the cut-off time. This guide will tell you how. The following schedule assumes you have the ability to run 5 kilometers, three to four times a week. If that seems difficult, consider the 10k distance for your first race. The terminology used in the training plan are defined below.

Pace

Don’t worry about how fast you run your regular workouts. Run at a comfortable pace, a conversational pace. If you can’t do that, you’re running too fast. (For those wearing heart rate monitors, your target zone should be between 65 and 75 percent of your maximum pulse rate (between Zone 2 and Zone 3).

Distance

The training schedule dictates workouts at distances, from 5 to 16 kilometers. Don’t worry about running precisely those distances, but you should come close. Pick a course through the neighborhood, or in some scenic area. In deciding where to train, talk to other runners or local running communities. GPS watches make measuring courses easy.

Rest

Rest is as important a part of your training as the runs. You will be able to run the long runs on the weekend better if you rest before, and rest after.

Long Runs

The key to the 20k training is the long run, progressively increasing in distance each weekend. Over a period of 12 weeks, your longest run will increase from 6 to 16 kilometers. Then, after a brief taper, you jump to 20k. The schedule below suggests doing your long runs on Saturdays, but you can do them Fridays, or any other convenient day.

Cross Train

On the schedule below, this is identified simply as “cross.” What form of cross-training? Aerobic exercises work best. It could be swimming, cycling, walking (see below), or even some combination that could include strength training. Cross train on Tuesdays and/or Fridays. Cross-training days should be considered easy days that allow you to recover from the running you do the rest of the week.

Walking

Walking is an excellent exercise that a lot of runners overlook in their training. I don’t specify walking breaks, but feel free to walk during your running workouts any time you feel tired.

Strength Training

If you never have lifted weights before, now might not be the best time to start. Wait until after completing this program. If you are an experienced lifter, continue, although you may want to cut back somewhat as the mileage builds near the end. Mondays and Wednesdays after your run would be good days on which to lift.

Juggling

Don’t be afraid to juggle the workouts from day to day and week to week. Be consistent with your training, and the overall details won’t matter.

Conclusion

Running 20k is not easy. If it were easy, there would be little challenge to an event such as the half marathon. Whether you plan your half as a singular accomplishment or as a stepping stone to the even more challenging full marathon, crossing the finish line will give you a feeling of great accomplishment. Good luck with your training.

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