How to Train for Your Best Blue Cross Broad Street Run
Lottery results are in and so are you. Now, the hard part: Training for the 2017 Blue Cross Broad Street Run. May might feel like it’s far away, but before you know it you’ll be lining up at the starting line ready to hit Broad Street running.
Prep yourself for race day success with these bi-weekly tips to guide you through the next 12 weeks of training — an ideal amount of training time according to most run coaches. Lace up and get started with tips from certified run coach and Philly-native Kristy Campbell.
Week one and two: Craft a game plan
Sketch out daily workouts that include three days of running alternating with three days of cross training (swimming, biking, or elliptical work), and one day of rest or yoga.
“This frequency allows your runs to be spaced out nicely throughout the week (without too much time off in between runs) and maximizes recovery,” says Campbell.
Week three and four: Go the extra mile
Long runs are key to building your stamina for race day but push too far too fast and you’ll be sitting on the sidelines halfway through training.
“A gradual build up allows your body to adapt and get stronger to the stress of running longer distances,” says Campbell.
Start with a base of six miles for weeks one through three, then add about two miles per week through the rest of your plan. Aim to do your longest run (eight to 10 miles) two weeks from race day.
Week five and six: Speed up
Distance running doesn’t mean you need to log half a dozen miles every time you go for a run. Mix in a day of speed work to help prepare your legs for the faster pace you’ll carry on race day and build your confidence, says Campbell. A few of her favorites are:
Hill Sprints and Long Hill Repeats
“Not only are hill repeats a great way to build speed, they also build leg strength,” says Campbell.
After a one-mile warm-up, sprint for 8 to 15-seconds up a steep hill. Long hill repeats can be anywhere from 60 to 90-seconds of solid effort (not a full sprint) up a hill with a more gradual grade. For both workouts, run or walk slowly back down the hill and allow for full recovery before beginning another repeat.
Start with a one-mile warm up at a maintenance pace. Then, start your fartleks. Each round should be two minutes fast and one minute slow. Complete 4 rounds and finish your workout with a one-mile cooldown.
Working on lengthening your step and increasing your speed to cover more ground will help train your muscles to push those last few crucial miles on Broad Street.
“Strides are a great way to sneak in speed work without it being over taxing,” says Campbell.
She recommends working on strides in 20 to 30-second surges at the end of an easy run. Aim to start with 5 rounds and increase the amount of rounds as you approach race day.
Week seven and eight: Book it!
Nearly 36,000 runners overtook the city for the 2016 Broad Street Run. If you haven’t already, it’s time to book your room and grab your tokens for race day.
Since the race ends at the Navy Yard finding a hotel near the finish line might be the best way to ensure you can shower before heading out for a post-race victory brunch. However, any hotel close to a Broad Street Line station will help streamline your travels on race day.
Week nine and ten: Stay steady
“Consistency in training trumps everything,” says Campbell.
That’s why it’s important to maintain your training plan without amping up too fast. Maintain your balance of run days and cross training. Stick with what’s worked in your training so far and don’t try anything new.
Week eleven and twelve: Rest up
In the last two weeks before race day you’ll be logging 20-30 miles per week! With the extra mileage, you’ll also want to include active recovery to help repair your muscles between workouts. Try a foam rolling routine like this one, or stop in for a yoga class at one of these top spots to stretch and strengthen before your big day.
Race Day: Focus
Running in a large race with a lot of spectators on the sidelines can make it easy to get caught in the excitement and go out too fast, says Campbell. Take the starting line with a clear mind and focus on remaining steady throughout your run.
“You will have a far more enjoyable race and have enough gas in the bank to speed up toward the finish,” says Campbell.
Take in the view of the city, laugh at clever race signs, and, most importantly, have fun!This post is a sponsored collaboration between Independence Blue Cross and Philadelphia magazine's advertising department.