The Running Dead Zombie 5k is nothing like your typical 5 kilometer marathon. The run itself requires more then just being able to run 5k on a road or flat surface. In this race one must be be able to run 5 killometers on a flat surface, be capable of running on trails, run up and down steep hills and lastly be able to outrun zombies trying to take your life (flag)!
Talk about literally running for your life! But fear not, we here at Gym Flow 100 have you covered on completing this challenging 5k. We will give you tips on training for each quintessential component of this unique and fun 5k.
Running a 5K is an excellent goal for new runners. You’ll get lots of motivation, as well as enjoyment, from participating in a race, and 5K (3.1 miles) is the perfect distance for first-timers. Even if you’re a newbie to fitness, you can be ready for a 5K in just a few months
Below we have an 8-week 5K training schedule to help you finish your first 5k. This schedule is based on that you can already run at least a mile.
5K Training Schedule:
Mondays and Fridays: Mondays and Fridays are going to be your quintessential rest days. Rest days are very important for your recovery and preventing injury, so don’t skip your rest days.
Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays: After you warm up, run at a comfortable speed at the set mileage. Be sure to cool down and stretch after your run.
You will be increase your runs by a quarter mile each week, which is about a lap on most outdoor tracks. If you usually run on roads and you’re not sure how far you run, you can figure out the mileage by using a running app on your phone or ipod touch.
Wednesdays: Do a cross training exercises like swimming, biking or any other cardio activity for about 30 to 40 minutes at a moderate pace. Also take note that strength training is very beneficial for runners.
Sundays: This shall be an active recovery day. Your run should be at a comfortable pace.
5K Training Schedule for 1st Time Runners
|1||Rest||1 mi run||CT or Rest||1 mi run||Rest||1.5 mi run||20-30 min run or CT|
|2||Rest||1.5 mi run||CT or Rest||1.5 mi run||Rest||1.75 mi run||20-30 min run or CT|
|3||Rest||2 mi run||CT or Rest||1.5 mi run||Rest||2 mi run||20-30 min run or CT|
|4||Rest||2.25 mi run||CT or Rest||1.5 mi run||Rest||2.25 mi run||25-35 min run or CT|
|5||Rest||2.5 mi run||CT or Rest||2 mi run||Rest||2.5 mi run||25-35 min run or CT|
|6||Rest||2.75 mi run||CT||2 mi run||Rest||2.75 mi run||35-40 min run or CT|
|7||Rest||3 mi run||CT||2 mi run||Rest||3 mi run||35-40 min run or CT|
|8||Rest||3 mi run||CT or Rest||2 mi run||Rest||Rest||5K Race!|
Trail Running Tips
Next portion of training for The Zombie 5k is trail running. Trail running is a sport which consists of running and hiking over trails. It differs from road running and track running in that generally takes place on hiking trails, often in mountainous terrain, where there can be much larger ascends and descends.
Trail Running Shoes— Do You Need Them?
Well it all depends on the trail itself. Trails are specific—trails with lots of jagged rocks may require a trail shoe with a forefoot rockplate. Soft dirt roads may not require trail shoes at all or even a hybrid shoe. Trails that are wet and muddy can be run better with trail shoes that have superior grip and sticky rubber bottoms for better grip.
Trail Running and Road Running Go Hand and Hand
Trail running will make your legs stronger because most trails require running hills. Many trails are in the mountains so running at altitude can make you more efficient as well. Trail running also causes a runner to modify their running form witch in turns changes the impact zones. This is different from road running and in a way its “cross-training” from traditional road running.
Uphill and Downhill Running Training
Last part of your Zombie 5k training is preparing for uphill and downhill running. If you’ve ever run a race with long or steep hills, you know what hill running can do to your legs. Even though running uphill seems harder, it’s the downhills that cause the biggest problems.
Downhills are so tough because of all the gravity-induced eccentric muscle contractions, during which your muscle fibers are forced to lengthen, causing them to tear. The muscle damage decreases your muscles’ ability to produce force, which slows your pace on the flat and uphill portions of the race and leads to delayed-onset muscle soreness, which includes an inflammatory response and lasts for a few days following the race as your muscle fibers heal.
Eccentric contractions are also unique in that fewer muscle fibers are active compared to other types of muscle contractions, causing the force generated to be distributed over a smaller area of muscle. A greater force over a smaller area equals greater tension, which causes even more damage. Downhill running also affects running economy, the amount of oxygen you consume to maintain a given pace. A number of studies have shown a significant decrease in running economy for up to one week following a 30-minute downhill run on a 10 to 15 percent grade.
Damaging muscle fibers with eccentric contractions makes them heal back stronger, protecting them from future damage. A study published in the Journal of Applied Physiologyin 1985 found that just a single 30-minute run downhill at 10 percent grade had a prophylactic effect on muscle damage and soreness for up to six weeks. Therefore, while you can expect your muscles to be sore after the first time running downhill, subsequent downhill workouts will cause less soreness. Add downhills to your training a little at a time. Start with a short, gradual slope of about two to three percent grade, and progress to steeper and longer descents.
Treat downhill workouts as hard sessions, and make sure you recover before your next hard workout since your legs need recovery from the stress of going downhill, just like they do from any hard workout. Time has the greatest effect on healing your muscle fibers from the eccentric contractions of downhill running. So make sure you back off of the hills in the final few weeks before a race.
One thing to be aware of when training downhill is your mechanics, since it’s easy to overstride when running downhill. Instead of focusing on reaching forward for a longer stride — which already happens from the pull of gravity — emphasize a quicker leg turnover, which will keep your momentum going forward. Running on trails requires even greater caution, since you won’t have as much time to decide where to place your feet with the faster speeds attained on the downhill portions, so look ahead a few steps so you can prepare since the footing on trails is often unreliable.
Trashed quads and faster than usual speeds during downhill races require a keen sense of pace, confidence to stick to your plan when others have taken the pace out too fast, and a good dose of self-restraint. Ideally, you want to race downhill with the same feeling that you use when you’re racing on flat ground.
Practice holding your goal race pace while you’re heading downhill so you can duplicate the effort during the race. Because momentum will make your goal pace feel much easier than it does on flat ground, it’s important to understand how to hold that intensity so you don’t run the downhill portions too fast and trash your quads.
The best downhill running skill to develop during training is the ability to run with different exertion levels. For example, learn to simulate 10K race pace intensity, rather than 10K pace, while running downhill. While your pace will be faster than 10K pace, you’ll develop the awareness and control to differentiate between different paces for different downhill environments. When racing downhill, focus on running at 10K intensity, given that the pace will fluctuate depending on the nature of the course.
Next time you train for a downhill race, prepare beforehand and get plenty of recovery. If you train smart enough, you’ll be able to charge up the other side of the hills while your competitors are laboring from the downhill damage.
|For complete downhill races: |
For races with both downhill and uphill: