Basic Cardio plan for the EKU Cheer Team

With our conditioning test for the team being able to run an 8 minute mile, here is the basic plan to follow to help train yourself up for hitting a mile run in under the time constraint. The goal is to train for three days per week.

This should be done in conjunction with gym training involving both stunting and tumbling along with weight training. Listen to your body and progress yourself accordingly each week. If you have questions please comment below and we will try and answer it to the best of our abilities. Be sure to warm up a bit before each of these training days and to take some time to stretch out afterwards.

Day 1) Short Repeats

For these you are going to run 200-400 yards as fast as you can then walk to recover for 60 seconds and then perform another run. The goal is to do this at a pace that is faster than an 8 minute mile. If you do this on the track your goal is to run one lap in less than two minutes or half a lap in less than one minute. This is going to help you get used to the speed that you will need to go in order to hit your mile time goal. If you don’t have a track nearby, a football field or basketball court will work. For the basketball court just run a suicide (shuttle run that you can look up easily online) on it instead.

Start off with 800 yards worth of sprinting and then add 200 yards of sprinting each week. IF this is too much for your body to handle then only do 200 as your sprint distance and only do 600 yards worth of volume. If you are out running the program just do 400 yard runs and only build up to 8 repeats at most. Instead focus on just increasing the speed that you run these at.

Day 2) Fartlek Training

Fartlek training is really just a fancy term for going from a jog to a run then to a walk and back to a jog again. Aim for the walk to be at a very fast pace, the jog to be what is comfortable, and the run for you to be pushing yourself regardless how you feel at that time.

You can do this just about anywhere and aim to either hold each speed for a set distance (100 yards of each) or for a set amount of time (15 seconds each). Both methods will work, but pick one and keep up with it. Start off with doing this style of training for one mile worth of work and then increase your total distance by one tenth (.1) miles per week.

Day 3) Long Slow Distance (LSD) training

This is what it sounds like. Either go for a long easy run, or find a piece of cardio equipment and put in at least half an hour of constant work. Your goal is to get your heart rate over 120 beats per minute and keep it there the entire time. IF you are out running don’t worry about this, but if you are doing this on a piece of cardio equipment in a gym then you need to stay on top of this. Focus on putting in the work here and increase your duration by 5 minutes each week.

Other notes on training

Softer surfaces like grass, turf, and rubberized tracks will be easier on your joints than running on concrete or pavement. Having a watch to time yourself with the different training days will be very useful along with making sure that you follow the right recovery and training times. Having a training partner here will also make all of this work a lot easier to do.

You will likely be the sorest after the short repeats day and have the least soreness after the long slow distance day. Try to take a day off between each training day, but if you need to you can go back to back with your training days. Do this training after your do your skill training of weight training for that day or make sure that you separate the sessions by at least four hours.

dragging sleds
Long slow distance with a sled


Follow this basic plan and you should be able to make the eight minute mile test at the end of the summer. Make sure that you start right now then progress slowly. The longer you put this off, the less likely you are going to pass the test when the time comes. Good luck with your training and I hope that this helps.


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