2 February, 2015

RUN for the KIDS – Sunday 22nd March 2015

There are many charity events that come up in our yearly calendar, they can be challenging, fun and team orientated and importantly help to bring awareness to all the different charity causes we can contribute to. This is the year to get involved with the Run for Kids, held on Sunday March 22; it is the 10th annual event contributing to the Royal Children’s Hospital Good Friday Appeal. With tens of thousands of participants this is an event you don’t want to miss.

Run for Kids is a fun filled event that everyone can take part in; with two main options of a 15.5km course or a family friendly 5.4km course. Before you start training for this event, consider which course you want to do and set that as your goal; without having a goal your training will be all over the place and you can start to lose motivation.

Now that you have set your course goal, where do you start?

With 4 weeks to go, we need to get moving to make our run as successful as possible. It doesn’t matter which course you have chosen, the aim is to be able to get to the full distance of the course (if not more) by a week prior to the event date; this way we can taper our training and be ready for the big day.

Firstly, you need to consider the overall course – Are there any hills? How high? How long? This will determine your training and the amount of intervals and hill climbs added into your program. Both courses for Run for Kids only have small sections of hills that are varied in height but no major climbs. It will be ideal for you to have access to local hills in your area so you can vary your runs and not get used to flat ground.

When you commence your training look to break your week into four main categories –

  • Long Slow Distance
  • Hill Climbs
  • Weights
  • Sprints

Over the training period these will change as you will reduce your weight sessions and add more Long Slow Distance training.

Why do we use each of the four training styles?

Long Slow Distance Training is used by all runners as it allows your body to adapt to endurance training and improves your cardiovascular system by strengthening the heart walls and increasing the stroke volume. With long slow distance you want to build up a comfortable steady pace and maintain this for as long as you can. A great way to manage your run is timing how long it takes you to get a certain distance, and by week 3 you should comfortably complete your full run at a steady pace.

Hill Climbs are important as a lot of runners lose control of their legs whenever a hill or decent come into play in a course. A good runner has the ability to control movement and perform at all heights. Look at integrating hill climbs into short runs, long sheer hill or a short steep hill, and try to incorporate 3-5 different hills into a short 30 minute run.

Weights are used at the beginning of a running program to develop strength in the legs giving you more power in your runs; we limit weights towards the event as weight training creates a heavy concrete feeling in the legs weighing you down and affecting your performance. Weight training can combine body weight exercises or resistance training, don’t just focus on your legs make sure you include upper body exercises as well.

Lastly, Sprint Training enhances your energy production in the muscle and combined with long slow distance training will allow for better management of lactate levels in the muscle. Very similar to weights we want to taper off sprinting for the last week as this can create hydrogen ions and that ‘heavy’ feeling.


Periodising your program into 4 one week blocks

Week One – 2 x Weight Sessions, 2 x LSD, 1 x Hill, 1 x Sprint, 1 x Rest

Week Two – 1 x Weight Session, 2 x LSD, 1 x Hill, 2 x Sprint, 1 x Rest

Week Three – 2 x LSD, 2 x Hill, 1 x Sprint, 2 x Rest

Week Four – 2 x LSD (Start of week) 3 x Rest (consecutively before the event)


Make sure you have enough adequate rest during each week and, if needed, train at a lower intensity. Break up your training sessions and remember you are increasing your training therefore you need to make sure you have a sufficient nutritional intake.

This is a great event to have a goal towards and an extremely fun day, make sure you are well rested and ready to smash out a great run for the kids!!!


Article written by Sarah Cantle, AFA Student Support Officer

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