How To Train For The Cherry Blossom Ten-Mile Run In Six Weeks

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How To Train For The Cherry Blossom Ten-Mile Run In Six Weeks
Photo courtesy of Sheila Brennan/Flickr.

January felt like a year and February has lasted two days, so don’t feel bad if you’re maybe a teensy bit farther behind in training for the Cherry Blossom ten-miler than you’d like to be. Or, maybe you haven’t started at all. That’s okay–there’s still time.

This Monday, February 26, puts you exactly six weeks out from race day, and to take the headache out of figuring out how the heck you’re gonna reach ten miles in a month-and-a-half without hating yourself on April 8, we asked Chris Farley, founder and chief running enthusiast at Pacers Running, to help out. Following are his six-week training programs for the beginner, intermediate, and advanced runner that will have you running your best race yet.

For all three plans, Saturdays are your long runs. “This run should be an easy-paced run. If you feel good on this day, it’s okay to pick it up some, but it really should be controlled,” says Farley. Thursdays are no-frills strength days. “I recommend push-ups and sit ups—but any type of cross-training exercise would work,” he says, suggesting 15 minutes of exercise (20-30 minutes for the advanced runner). For intermediate and advanced runners, the Wednesday run can be supplemented with a tempo run in the middle—run that middle mile at a pace 30-60 seconds faster than your regular pace.

Remember: As with any training plan, listen to your body. Don’t run if you feel tired, unusually sore, or are injured. And before starting any exercise program, it’s always a good idea to talk to your physician.

Beginner

This plan assumes a comfortable base mileage of three miles.

MON TUES WED THURS FRI SAT SUN Total Mileage
Week 1:
Feb 26 – Mar 4
3-mile run off 3-mile run push-ups/sit-ups off 4-mile run off 10
Week 2:
Mar 5 – Mar 11
3-mile run off 3-mile run push-ups/sit-ups 2-mile run 5-mile run off 13
Week 3:
Mar 12 – Mar 18
3-mile run off 3-mile run push-ups/sit-ups 2-mile run 6-mile run off 14
Week 4:
Mar 19 – Mar 25
3-mile run off 3-mile run push-ups/sit-ups 2-mile run 7-mile run off 15
Week 5:
Mar 26 – Apr 1
3-mile run off 3-mile run push-ups/sit-ups 2-mile run 5-mile run off 13
Week 6:
Apr 2 – Apr 8
3-mile run off 3-mile run push-ups/sit-ups off off Race Day!
(10 miles)
16

Intermediate

This plan assumes a comfortable base mileage of three to five miles.

MON TUES WED THURS FRI SAT SUN Total Mileage
Week 1:
Feb 26 – Mar 4
3-mile run off 3-mile run push-ups/sit-ups 3-mile run 5-mile run off 14
Week 2:
Mar 5 – Mar 11
3-mile run off 3-mile run push-ups/sit-ups 3-mile run 7-mile run off 16
Week 3:
Mar 12 – Mar 18
3-mile run off 4-mile run push-ups/sit-ups 3-mile run 7-mile run off 17
Week 4:
Mar 19 – Mar 25
3-mile run off 4-mile run push-ups/sit-ups 3-mile run 8-mile run off 18
Week 5:
Mar 26 – Apr 1
3-mile run off 4-mile run push-ups/sit-ups 3-mile run 5-mile run off 15
Week 6:
Apr 2 – Apr 8
3-mile run off 3-mile run push-ups/sit-ups 2-mile run off Race Day!
(10 miles)
18

Advanced

This plan assumes a comfortable base mileage of four to six miles.

MON TUES WED THURS FRI SAT SUN Total Mileage
Week 1:
Feb 26 – Mar 4
4-mile run 3-mile run 4-mile run push-ups/sit-ups 3-mile run 6-mile run off 20
Week 2:
Mar 5 – Mar 11
4-mile run 3-mile run 4-mile run push-ups/sit-ups 4-mile run 8-mile run off 23
Week 3:
Mar 12 – Mar 18
4-mile run 3-mile run 5-mile run push-ups/sit-ups 4-mile run 9-mile run off 25
Week 4:
Mar 19 – Mar 25
4-mile run 3-mile run 5-mile run push-ups/sit-ups 4-mile run 10-mile run off 26
Week 5:
Mar 26 – Apr 1
4-mile run 3-mile run 5-mile run push-ups/sit-ups 4-mile run 7-mile run off 23
Week 6:
Apr 2 – Apr 8
4-mile run off 3-mile run push-ups/sit-ups 2-mile run off Race Day!
(10 miles)
19


Good luck!

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Kim Olsen
Associate Editor

Kim Olsen joined Washingtonian in 2016 after moving to DC from Pittsburgh, where she earned an MFA in nonfiction writing at the University of Pittsburgh. She lives in Alexandria.