Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Bloomsday 2011!

by Kris Pitcher

For readers in and around the Inland Northwest, an important day is approaching on the calendar. One thing is for sure...people in Spokane participate. That's why Sunday, May 1, 2011 is marked on calendars near and far. Sunday, May 1st marks Bloomsday! 

2006 Finisher T-Shirt

In 1977 over 1000 runners took to the course to run the inaugural Bloomsday race. This 12K (7.46 mile) event has been running strong ever since. In 1996 participation hit an all time high with 61,298 runners! An economic impact study was conducted by Gonzaga University in 2004 finding impact to the community in the amount of $9,576,959. This is a big race!

Being two months out, runners and walkers are in training! Whether you've got this race on your calendar, or feel inspired to find one in your neck of the woods, I wanted to share some tips for developing a training program. While it might be review, a reminder is always great. These tips come from bloomsdayrun.org. Find your way to the bottom of the post for a link to free training clinics.  


How to Develop a Training Program

The most successful training program is one that is properly designed. Your training program must balance a progressive training schedule with rest. By following the principles of proper frequency, intensity, and duration, you will learn to train at the level which is best for you.


Frequency refers to the number of days per week that you will train. At least three and up to five sessions each week is recommended for the best results. Injuries are more likely to occur when exercising six to seven times each week. Less than three times each week is not likely to produce the results you want. However, any amount is better than no training at all if you plan to participate in Bloomsday.


Intensity refers to how hard you are exercising. This is measured by how fast your heart is beating. The heart rate at which you will exercise is known as your TARGET HEART RATE (THR). Your THR will be in the range of 60-85% of your heart rate reserve. Heart rate reserve takes into account your resting pulse to figure out your THR. The following guidelines will help you to determine at which THR range you should begin:
  • 50-65% Sedentary Lifestyle -- no regular exercise.
  • 60-75% Moderately Fit -- exercises one or two times a week, very recently began a regular exercise program, or exercises for less than 20 minutes per exercise session.
  • 70-85% Very Fit -- exercises aerobically three or more times a week for at least 20 minutes and has been doing so for at least three months consistently.
Please read carefully the section titled "Learn About Your Heart Rate (Pulse)" and use the chart to determine your THR.
Remember: When your body adapts to the stress of exercise, adding a slight additional stress is necessary to achieve additional results. Therefore, very gradually increase your THR up to 85% (there is no need to go beyond 85%; it may only hinder your efforts). Spend several weeks at each THR range before increasing.


To derive aerobic training benefits, you should work up to at least 15-20 minutes of exercise while maintaining your THR. Spend five minutes gradually getting up to your THR (warm-up) and five minutes gradually decreasing from your THR after the exercise (cool down).Never abruptly stop exercising.
This information courtesy of health professionals at
Providence Holy Family Hospital & Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center

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