By Dan Jeffs
Personal Trainer/Accredited Exercise Physiologist/Exercise and Sport Science Australia full member
5km in 5 weeks
A review of the Asics Run Planner
Running for me was always a punishment. Playing team sports, the only reason we ran laps was for the warm up and if you missed a shot at goal or disobeyed instructions during the game on the previous weekend!
Don’t get me wrong, I am a huge fan and protagonist of cardio and will happily ride my exercise bike or paddle a kayak for hours – I’ve just never really been a runner.
But having a wife heavily embedded in the running community, I thought I had better give it a go.
The tricky bit? STARTING.
I write training programs for my clients every single day, but when it came to writing myself a running program I went completely blank. I searched high and low online for what everyone else was doing. By the end of an exhaustive Google search I found a great program by ASICS. Below I am going to detail for you the pros and cons of this favourite plan and how it helped me reach that 5 km mark easily.
It’s super simple
Head over to myasics.com and hit the big blue button ‘GET STARTED’. You can’t miss it.
From here you punch in all your personal details and are then automatically generated a training plan. This program is so easy and simple to use. I will definitely be incorporating it into my clients’ training and goal-setting in the future.
Setting your age, fitness level (how much you can currently run) and your event / time goal really increases your motivation. It makes the plan all about you and your race, which I love.
The Rise and fall
Another great feature about this program is the predictable and consistent increase week to week. This will keep you motivated and doing more than you thought was possible the week before. Asics have also incorporated a taper week before your event, making sure you are healed, rested and ready.
Rest for the first week? Although I believe that the team at ASICS have incorporated this section in their plan to ‘de-load’ you from any previous running or training, I would suggest you do not completely rest in the first week. I strongly recommend that you commence some brisk walking and even split walk/jog training (one minute jog, two minutes walking) ASAP. To save your calves, stationary bike riding or swimming will also really help your cardiovascular system come up to speed quickly.
What is rest?
The only other addition to the Asics plan that I will be making for my clients (and the Fit Busy Mum community) is to outline what rest/recovery should include. I don’t just want you sitting on the couch! Applying heat to stiff and sore muscles and including stretch/release work is crucial to your longevity as a runner. Calves, quads and hamstrings are the first areas to target, with glutes a close runner-up. Check out the pictures below on how to massage these areas with a foam roller.
Long story short – I loved the Asics Run Planner. Great program, great progression, just a little short on the information on how to manage your body like an athlete and get the most out of your recovery/rest days. A final word: it is important to make sure this exercise program is safe for you. Touch base with your local GP to make sure you are medically fit to commence a program like the ASICS running schedule, to protect yourself.