Toronto’s Spring Run-Off is back this year and is set to take place in High Park on Saturday, April 9. In anticipation of the upcoming race, Under Armour (the title sponsor of the event) wants to help runners be at their best come the spring. All you need is eight weeks, a foam roller and a lot of commitment to get fast, strong and ready to toe the line come race day. Check out their 5K training plan below and mark your calendars: spring training starts now.
The program focuses on the following four areas:
The strength program is designed specifically to meet the demands of a runner who is looking to get a competitive edge. It is not designed to build muscle, but rather enhance your stability and mobility to run stronger. All sessions are circuit-based to help build strength while taxing your cardiovascular system.
Sessions per week: 2
Optional equipment: kettlebells, dumbells
Movement and mobility
The Movement & Mobility Routine will prepare your body for running by increasing mobility at the ankles, hips and T-spine. It will also activate your body for the twice-weekly strength sessions. Keeping the body in good condition is not only better for performance, but also helps you stay injury-free. These pre-run exercises are developed to work on areas of the body that are pushed to the max while running, specifically the feet, hips and torso.
Sessions per week: 5
Required equipment: foam roller
Running and endurance
The running program is built for beginner-level runners. You will be introduced to interval running to help increase aerobic levels, endurance and muscle strength.
Sessions per week: 3
The recovery routine is based on Under Armour’s belief that today’s recovery is tomorrow’s training. It is essential to attempt to restore movement quality after a run. The program is designed to hit the areas of the body that need the most attention. These moves will require a foam roller or tennis ball, which can be found at your local gym or health club. These moves should be done after every workout.
Sessions per week: every day
Required equipment: foam roller or tennis ball
The training plan
UA run training terminology
Movement and mobility
Perform 12 repetitions (each side where applicable) with little to no rest between different exercises. Rest for 60 seconds once you’ve completed all six exercises. Perform three sets.
UA strength training principles
If followed, the UA strength training principles will lead to safe and effective movements, which will ultimately keep you running better, faster, stronger and longer. They are:
Every rep is individual: The first rep and the last rep should look the same. Think about a split-second reset between each rep to reset your body’s alignment and brace your core. Create tension, get stable and then move.
Create whole-body tension: You want to create tension in key areas of your body. Squeezing your glutes, quads and torso and locking in your shoulder blades keeps you stable and aligned to get maximum benefit from every rep.
Fail with integrity: It’s OK to stop while ahead. If you perform a rep and it doesn’t feel right, maybe try one more. If it doesn’t get any better, stop. Beyond that point, you’re doing more harm than good. Don’t be afraid to save a rep for next time.
Increase your challenge: In any of the exercises, load can be added to increase the challenge, but only when the movements have been mastered with your bodyweight first!
Quality over quantity: Don’t be concerned with how many reps or sets you get. Be concerned with how they look and feel.
Careful progression: Progressions should only be attempted when complete mastery of a current level has been obtained (e.g., Mastery of a stationary lunge before progressing to the walking lunge).
5K course map
The 5K course will start on the west road north of the Grenadier Restaurant and follow the scenic, traffic-free, paved roads of High Park.