This is going to sound crazy, but I hate running. I mean, I REALLY hate running.
I used to say "I only run when I'm paid". When I joined the army in 1997, I could barely run. I couldn't keep up with the main group, and the only two things that kept me going were the facts that there was someone else who was slower than I was, and I was really good at chin-ups. Over the next few years, I made sure I trained for courses and the yearly fitness test by, well, running.
Fast forward another several 20+ years and bring us to the present day. We now know that cardiovascular sprints are just as effective, if not more so, in building cardiovascular endurance. It's also been shown that muscular strength plays a large part in a person's ability to run, bike, swim, rollerblade, etc.
In 2014 I ran my best 10 KM in a few years, and I trained without running at all. I hadn't run 10 KM in well over a year, and my last 5 KM was several months prior to that.
Here's the training plan I used, 2 weeks out. Keep in mind I went into this with a base level that was NOT a beginner level...so if you're starting from absolute scratch, give me a shout and let's put together a starter program for you.
Load considerations for the full body routine: base it off of whatever you have been using BUT make sure that the squats, bench press, glute bridges, and lunges are all under load. You should have just 1-2 reps left in you at the end of every exercise in each set.
Mon: 30-45 min bike ride
Tue: Full body routine:
- 5-10 minute warm-up walk
- 2 chin ups
- 12-15 squats
- 2 chin ups
- 12-15 flat bench press
- 12-15 glute bridges
- 1-2 chin ups
- 12-15 lunges (per leg, stay on one leg until all reps are done before switching)
- 3-5 burpees*
- Rest 2 min and repeat
- 10-15 min cool-down walk
Thu: HIIT training: 20 seconds of work/10 seconds rest for 4 minutes total. Use the exercises below at your discretion.
- 5-10 minute warm up walk
- Jumping jacks
- Wall sprints
- Jumping squats
- Fast feet/knees up
- 10-15 min cool down walk
Fri: Full body routine as on Tuesday
Sat: 30-45 min bike ride
Follow program for 2-6 weeks prior to race. Be sure to rest a minimum of 24 hours and up to 48 hours before the race.
* A note on burpees: I created this program in 2014, and I still think it's a solid program overall. That said, I don't program burpees at all anymore - for myself or for anyone else. I feel they have limited application, other than they're hard to do and they get your heart rate going. There are better exercises that produce the same results. The only exception would be for any military personnel training for their annual fitness test or for a course that involved being assessed on advance to contact drills.