Frequency: Building up to a high frequency is important if you have been inactive for a long period of time. Commence your Mini Marathon training in an interval style; eg. varying between running and walking, two to three times a week. A safe way of increasing this frequency (and preventing injuries) is to add an extra training day every two weeks.
Intensity: The rate of preserved exertion (RPE) scale is an effective and reliable measure of gauging the intensity of your exercise. These scales are easily accessed on the internet and rate exercise from 1-10. Other methods to measure your intensity include using your target heart rate (HR). During more cardiovascular activities, such as running, you should look at gradually increasing your RPE and exercise in a safe HR zone.
Time: A safe way to build up your running load is doing intervals 2:1 of jog/walk. From there you can increase the time of exercise by 10 per cent. This is an effective way to increase training/running load as it enables your body to adapt to the changes in exercise and helps prevent injuries. If you would prefer a ‘ready-made’ programme, there are plenty of applications that enable you to build your running load from 0-10km, your Mini Marathon distance.
Type: The main focus in training is building up your running load to 10km. However, it is also important to do a mix of cardio and strengthening exercises. Also, it may be important to vary your type of cardio exercise if you notice your joints are getting sore. For example, doing some swimming, cycling or rowing training that you are still hitting your RPE or target HR.
Remember, never increase your intensity and duration of your training at the same time. Either make the run a little more difficult by increasing your speed or route of the run, or increase training time. Keep a training diary of your exercise distance, RPE and time. This will help you monitor your training progressions.