Corona Challenge

5 km to 10 km beginners and improvers Corona Challenge

10 km to Half Marathon beginners and improvers Corona Challenge

Aim to race between 21st  and 30th of  September 2020

The Training Schedule

We have written these programmes but they are only guides to keep you roughly on track – you can adapt these to suit your own ability.  If you don’t think they are suitable, there are plenty of schedules you can find on line as well (examples at

Normally we take longer to get from 5km to half marathon but as we only have 9 weeks until end of September, we have only written the half marathon course for those who already feel comfortable with running 10km.

We advise you keep to at least 3 running sessions per week including 1 effort session (speed, strength and endurance workout) and we have built in recovery weeks so your body has time to repair, refresh and strengthen.

Make sure you go out prepared.  Carry water and something to eat, especially if you go out on longer runs. Carry a warmer layer of clothing or rainproof when you are venturing out into the Peaks where the weather can change suddenly.  Find a running buddy if you can, you keep each other motivated and safe.

Always listen to your body – if something hurts then stop and rest.  Most injuries happen in beginner runners or when you start to increase your distance and number of weekly runs.  We recommend you warm up properly, increase your distance and speed slowly over time and do the stretching exercises at the end of each session.  Although we do our best to keep the risk of injury as low as possible, only you will know when to take it easy and to rest.  Don’t try to run through pain, it will only make it worse.

If you don’t have a running watch, don’t worry as a normal watch or mobile phone can work just as well to keep track of your progress.

Running form

Head – keep level avoid chin pointing up or down.  Look ahead.  Relax your face muscles

Shoulders – relaxed and over your hips, back straight.  Run tall

Hands – loose like you are holding eggshells between fingers.  Don’t make a fist as this will tense your shoulders

Arms at approx. 90 degrees.  Swing – don’t hold them tight against your sides.  Avoid swinging arms across your chest

Feet – try landing your feet under your body not in front.  Maintain high cadence (steps per minute) don’t over stride. If you are a heel striker (land on heels) then roll through your foot and push off on the ball of your foot.  Don’t land flat and don’t shuffle (listen to your running – it should be quiet).  If you are a forefoot striker then you will land and push off on the ball of your foot.  This can be hard on calf muscles and Achilles so stretch at end of runs.

Knees – slightly bent, don’t lift them too high but maintain flexibility.


Hill technique


There are many variations to these.  Flexibility is important for runners and the dynamic warm up drills and cool down stretches will help.  (yoga, Pilates, swimming etc. also good!)  Just be careful with lunges if your knees are a bit ‘dodgy’ –  build up slowly!

Cool Down Stretches

If you can’t lie down after a run, then stretch your lower back by stretching upward, arms up so your spine is long.  Then bend from the hip, keeping your back flat (don’t bend from shoulders or lower back!), then lower your head towards your knees and dangle your arms so you gently stretch your lower back.  Come back up slowly through the spine, keeping your neck bent until your body is fully erect, then lift your head. You can repeat a few times.  It should feel good.

Running Pace

 Slow pace (recovery) is pace where you can have full conversation and are not out of breadth.  This is also referred to as ‘recovery’ or warm up and warm down pace.  This should feel a bit slow once you get comfortable you can go into your easy pace –  most long distance runs are run at this pace as you build up endurance.

Easy pace (race pace) is pace where you can run comfortably, your breathing is regular, you will still be able to speak but not hold a conversation.  This is also referred to as race pace.  The idea is that you will be able to hold on to this pace for longer as you progress.  It should feel comfortable!

Fast pace (tempo) is pace when you are pushing your running.  You will not be able to have a conversation and will probably not be able to sustain this for a long period of time.  Also referred to as tempo pace.  Tempo running will improve the speed and endurance of your easy pace so we use this in some of our effort sessions but can also insert these in our easy long runs.

Stride is a short burst of very fast running – we basically accelerate from slow to easy to fast.  We usually do this over 6 stretches of 100m (approx..) where we run the first 100 m at slow/easy and then over the following 5 stretches we increase our speed until we reach max speed at stride 6.  In between strides we walk/jog to full recovery (breathing and heart rate back to normal).   You can incorporate these in your warm up but only after your warm up lap and drills!

Effort is the specific activity we will focus on in our weekly sessions.  This is usually speed, strength or endurance (interval session, hill session or training run)  We alternate this week by week.


Usually we raise funds for Sheffield Hospitals Charity so if you want to, set up your own Just Giving page (or equivalent) and help them to support our staff and patients.

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Keep Running – Keep healthy, Keep happy and Be PROUD