How to Train for a Specific Event
Thinking of training for a 5K or 10K race, half-marathon, century bike ride, or triathlon? Use the following general guidelines when planning for the event.
Ideally, you want to spend at least 16 weeks (about 4 months) preparing for your event.
Take the first six to ten weeks just getting used to running, cycling, swimming, and so on, slowly building your weekly mileage by increasing it around 10 percent each week.
Starting at about 9 to 11 weeks, begin using techniques such as interval training, Fartlek workouts, uphill training, and tempo workouts, mixing them into your routine.
For example, one week, you might do uphill training one day; the next week, you might try a tempo workout on a Monday and a Fartlek workout on a Thursday. In between, you run, cycle, or swim at a more moderate pace or take a day off, allowing your body time to recover before your next workout.
By 16 weeks, you should be ready for the big day!
For more specific information about training for a running event, check out Wiley Publishing’s Running For Dummies, by Florence Griffith-Joyner and Jon Hanc, or Marathon Training For Dummies, by Tere Stouffer Drenth, which includes information on racing at distances from 5K to marathons.