Archive for the 'Training' Category

The Power of a Group

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012

One of the things I have always liked about running is the singularity of the sport.  If I want to go run, I don’t have to find a partner or make a tee time.  I can walk out the front door and run.

Last year I started working the training programs at the local Fleet Feet store.  I have enjoyed running with a group and encouraging and coaching them.

This morning I ran with a group that I knew would push me.  It was great.

I am looking forward to my long solo run tomorrow but I am also looking forward to Saturday  running with the Fleet Feet group and the next time I run with the Wednesday crowd.

Sure, I can run by myself but I am learning that it takes a combination of experiences to become a well rounded runner.

Crossing the Finish line

Sunday, May 1st, 2011


This spring I have have been working with a group from the local Fleet Feet store to pace and train a group of runners who wanted to break the 2 hour mark at the Country Music Half Marathon.

On January 8, more that 500 runners met to train for the April 30 race.

All the other groups were running at a particular pace, from 7:30 to 11 minutes.  There were also several run/walk groups.

My group was the only “goal” group. We started small but grew to around 15.

Yesterday was the race.  Not everyone was around when we took the picture but most of us started together.

We ran a classic negative split on a hilly course.

It was a thrill to see the joy and excitement as these runners reached their goal and cross the finish line with them.

2010 Chicago Training – Week 10

Wednesday, August 18th, 2010

The base building phase is over.  It is now on to the “sharping” phase.  My first tempo run was scheduled for Tuesday, 12 miles with 4 at race pace. With the afternoon temperature near 100 and the heat index around 116, I knew there was no way I could hit my pace and live to tell about it.  So, headed to the Y.  I hit my times.  I’m sure it helped that the treadmill is a taskmaster and kept me honest but it was a good feeling none the less.

Friday, Amy and I flew to North Carolina to spend the weekend with Mom.  We didn’t get in to after midnight and then I got up Saturday morning at 5 to run.  Late to bed and early to rise, does not make for a good run.

Here is the weekly totals:

Sunday: rest day

Monday: 5 miles

Tuesday: 12 miles on the treadmill at the Y with 4 at race pace.

Wednesday: rest day

Thursday: 11 miles

Friday: 3 miles

Saturday: 15 miles

Total for the week: 46 miles

2010 Chicago Training – Week 8

Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010

It was another hot week of training. A couple of days there were storms in the area so it was overcast a a little cooler. All in all, it was a good week.

Sunday: rest day

Monday: 5 miles

Tuesday: 11 miles

Wednesday: rest day

Thursday: 11 miles

Friday: 3 miles

Saturday: 17 miles

Total for the week: 47 miles

2010 Chicago Training – Week 7

Sunday, July 25th, 2010

The weeks are moving on.  It was another hot week but I got in my first 20 miler for the training cycle.  It was the slowest 20 mile training run I have ever logged.  At least it is behind me now.

Sunday: Rest Day

Monday: 5 miles with core work at the Y during lunch.  It was just too hot to do hill sprints.

Tuesday: 11 miles

Wednesday: Rest Day and Core workout

Thursday: 10 miles

Friday: 3 miles

Saturday: 20 miles – Left the house at 4 am to beat the heat.  It was pleasant until the sun rose.

Total for the week: 49 miles

2010 Chicago Training – Week 6

Sunday, July 18th, 2010

I enjoy training for a marathon.  I enjoy putting in the miles. I enjoy dealing with the scheduling to get the training in.  I enjoy working out the details of the race.  I enjoy feeling like I’m making progress toward a goal.

This cycle seem to be a little different in that I just don’t feel like I am making progress.  It is more of a struggle to maintain and persevere. At this point, I am attributing it to the heat.  (I am not ready to admit that age could be a factor.) With the temperature in the mid-90s and the heat index above 100 most afternoons, I am just happy to get in the mileage. The week I was on vacation gave me hope.  I was able to run in the mornings and saw my times improve.  I know I could switch to running before dawn.  Getting up at 3:30 am on Saturday is fine for once a week.  I just can’t bring my self to doing it everyday even though I get up at 4:30 on weekdays.

With at least 6 more weeks of summer, I guess my only hope is to hang in there and hope for an early fall.

Training for last week…

Sunday: Rest day

Monday: 5 recover miles with short hill strides. Core work at Y during lunch.

Tuesday: 11 miles

Wednesday: Rest Day

Thursday: 10 miles

Friday: 5 recover miles. Core work during lunch.

Saturday: 18 miles

Total for the week: 49 miles

2010 Chicago Training – Week 5

Sunday, July 11th, 2010

With the return to work this past week, I also returned to running in the afternoons.  Needless to say, it was a return to the heat also.  Luckily, the humidity was not as bad the first few day as it was the end of June.

Sunday was a rest day.

Monday was a holiday for my company, so I got one last weekday morning run in. Ran 5 miles. In the afternoon, rode 10 miles with Amy.

Tuesday it was back to the afternoons for a warm 10 miler.

Wednesday was a rest day.

Thursday’s schedule called for another 10 miler.  There were scattered showers in the area. It sprinkled the whole time, very humid but at least it was overcast.

Friday was a 5 mile recovery run with short hill sprints at the end.

Saturday morning at 4:30 is was very foggy.  Even though the tempeture was in the mid-seventies, the humidity was 95%.  By mile 16, I was done and cut the run a mile short.  I was toast for the rest of the day.

Total for the week: 46

2010 Chicago Training – Week 4

Sunday, July 4th, 2010

Four weeks down 14 to go.

My routine changed this past week.  We left middle Tennessee on June 25 heading East for a week of vacation.  It was great to have all the girls with us.  We stopped in High Point, NC, and picked up Mom before heading to the North Carolina coast to meet up with my brother and sisters.

One of the good things about being off work was that I was able to run early in the morning.  I know I will have to reacclimate to the afternoon heat this coming week.

Sunday, Amy and I ran 5 miles to the North Carolina Aquarium and back.

0714080709 Monday, I ran 10 miles to the end of the island.

Tuesday, was a repeat of Monday with Amy followed by 5 x 100m strides.

Wednesday was another 10 miler.

Thursday and Friday were travel days.

Saturday, I opted to not run the Firecracker 5k but instead ran 17 miles. By chance, I ran in to Chris and Keith at mile 5.  Chris split off at mile 7 but Keith ran with me through mile 15.  It was great to have some company.  It made the miles go by faster.

Total for the week: 47 – not bad for a vacation week.

Chicago Training – Week 3

Sunday, June 27th, 2010

Another hot week as I have settled into the training for Chicago in October. One question that keeps coming back to me is at what point do you slow down so much for the heat that you are actually training yourself to run slow?

Since I had some vacation time this week, I was able to put in some morning runs this week. Even though it was still hot, I did log some faster times. That was good news.

Monday’s run was 5 miles in the neighborhood after work with 5 short hill repeats.

Tuesday was a long hot 10 miler. I usually done run with my iPod except in the summer to distract me from the heat. But Tuesday the battery died with 4 miles left to go. So I was left to suffer in silence.

Wednesday was a rest day.

Since Thursday was a vacation day, I ran my long run for the week. Was out the door by 4:30 for a 17 miler. It was still hot but I followed the pattern I set last Saturday continuing to increase the amount of water I drink during the workout. I still lost 6 pounds!

Friday was a travel day.

Saturday was another early morning 10 miler. But it was the best time I had log at that distance in several weeks.

Total for the week: 42 miles

2010 Chicago Training – Week 2

Sunday, June 20th, 2010

It has been a tough start to this training cycle.  The weather is the biggest factor.  It is either the heat or storms. Either way the challenges have been related to the the unseasonably hot weather for the last month. With temps in the 90s and the heat index over 100, summer can’t be any worst. If this keeps up, it will be one sloooow run in Chicago.

Monday was a recovery run of 5 miles with short hill sprints at the end.

Tuesday was a VERY slow 10 miler.  I just took my time and lingered over the water stops.

Wednesday was a rest day.

Thursday’s schedule called for another 10 milers but I only got in 3 miles before a heavy thunderstorm moved in and drove me inside.

Friday I was able to run in the morning an easy 5 miles with hill sprints at the end.

Saturday, I was out the door by 4:30 to beat the heat. Refilled my water bottles every chance I got.  Drank more water during that 16 miler than I ever had on a long Saturday run.  I was determined to stay hydrated. I was slow but finished strong.

Total for the week: 39 miles