Credit Union Cherry Blossom Virtual Training Program - Intermediate


Jan. 23 - Mon.

  • Distance: 2-4 miles

  • Goal: Easy conversational running for the entire distance

  • Tip #1: Your training pace on what will be called easy days should be 90-120 seconds slower than your current 10K race pace or 60-70% effort using a heart monitor. There should be no heavy breathing or huffing and puffing on an easy day. These days are designed to build your aerobic base. This training program has a hard day built in each week that will help you increase speed.

  • Tip #2: Check your running shoes to make sure they are not excessively worn. If you need new shoes stop in and visit Potomac River Running, our official retail partner, with 8 stores throughout the Washington Metropolitan area.

Jan. 24  - Tue.

  • Distance: 3-5 miles

  • Goal: Include 1-3 miles of aerobic intervals

  • Tip: To warm up, run easy for the first mile, then pick up pace for 15 seconds (THIS IS NOT A SPRINT!), jog for 45 seconds and repeat until you have run 1-3 miles.  Finish with a one-mile cool down jog.  For those running a total of 3 miles, include 1 mile of aerobic intervals.  For those running 4 miles, include 2 miles of aerobic intervals.  Those running a total of 5 or 6 miles, include 3 miles of aerobic intervals.

  • Kevin’s Comments: Kevin McHale, New Balance’s local rep in the Washington, DC Metropolitan area, offers some additional words of wisdom and motivation periodically to keep you going. “Alright, here we go! Time to brush off those cobwebs and get things rolling! Happy training - this is going to be fun!”

Jan. 25 - Wed. 

  • Rest Day

  • Tip: Rest days are important to let your body recover. If you are used to aerobic cross-training activities, you may want to consider cutting back on cross training or even eliminating it during this training program

Jan. 26 - Thu. 

  • Distance: 2-4 miles

  • Goal: Easy run

  • Tip: Consider purchasing your next pair of shoes at a running shoe specialty store such as Potomac River Running, our official retail partner, where the store is staffed with runners who will make sure that you have quality running shoes that are appropriate for the structure of your foot gait, weight, etc.
  • Kevin’s Comments: Biggest early challenge for me? Finding a routine that works with work/family/social obligations. Some people like to rise early to get their run in, others like to save it for their lunch break or wait until the evening. Whatever time you prefer– find your routine and stick with it!

Jan. 27 - Fri.

  • Rest Day

  • Tip: You may want to consider doing light upper body weights as part of your preparation for the Credit Union Cherry Blossom. Upper body strength can aid your running form and increase muscle strength to help you maintain your race pace for 10 miles.

Jan. 28 - Sat.

  • Distance: 2-4 miles

  • Goal: Easy run

  • Tip: You may be feeling stiff and sore after these first few days if you have increased your distance.  Don’t be alarmed.  That is a normal feeling that should go away in a few days.

Jan. 29 - Sun.

  • Distance: 4-7 miles 

  • Goal: Weekly long run

  • Tip: The long run is the most important element of this training program.  It will build the necessary endurance needed to run the Credit Union Cherry Blossom.  Long runs should be run at an easy, conversational effort (60-75% when training with a heart monitor).  While you can consider skipping an easy day every so often, make sure that you do the weekly long run. It is very helpful to use a recovery drink before, during, and after your long runs.  For more information about Gatorade Series Pro, designed to meet the needs of runners training for the Credit Union Cherry Blossom, see