Category Archives: Run-Walk

What should I eat (wear, do, etc.) on race day?

Training. We are training our bodies by stressing them a little bit more each week, then resting to let the body adapt to that work.  Then repeat.  We train our minds to handle the rigors of more miles and to get out of bed to get in our last snowy run of the season, because we need to be strong minded to reach our goal.  We’ve also trained our spouses, children, and coworkers to get used to seeing us head out the door in running clothes or show up to a meeting with a recovery drink instead of coffee.  All of this work IS training, but we are also practicing. Basketball teams practice inbound plays, soccer teams “set plays,” track relays handoffs over and over again until the simple action becomes part of their muscle memory, almost as unconscious as breathing (almost).

We don’t often call it practice, but that’s what it is.  Running events can be overwhelming.  Not only do we have to cover a long distance by our own power, but we have nutrition, hydration, clothing choices, parking, figuring out how to drink while running and not wear orange Gatorade down your shirt to think about.  Runners worry about EVERYTHING.  There’s even a name for checking the weather on race day, weather stalking, and it starts 10 days out from race day!  It’s easy to say don’t worry about it, but nearly impossible to take that advice.  So, let’s take control of that which we can: pre-run routine, hydration, nutrition (both before and during), proper drinking while running and let go of what we cannot.  PRACTICE all of it before race day.  Start now.

I’ve covered what to eat and what to wear many times.  You can read those here. The bottom line is that the old running coach mantra on race day is true, you should do nothing new on race day. The only way for it to feel normal is to practice it.  Set out your clothes the night before a long run, eat the same breakfast, and yes even try the same pre-run dinner the night before.  We have 7 weeks left, so if you make a mistake and your tummy dislikes broccoli and chicken with whole wheat pasta, you can try something else next week.  Do it until it becomes a habit, just part of your run.

This weekend will be a terrific opportunity to pull out the shorts and singlet to practice your race outfit.  With weather in the 60s and 70s, this is our first opportunity to run in conditions close to that on race day.  Eat your planned pre-race dinner on Friday, get in your chosen breakfast on Saturday, carry (and use) your gels or blocks or favorite fuel, and enjoy every mile.  Look around and smile!  While you are at it, practice your finish line pose.  If you see a bunch of runners with their arms in the air or flexing at the end of the run, you’ll know you are among fellow Cap City athletes!

1476_CapCity2013_PhotoKitchen5D_MG_0748

Cap City athletes celebrate their day in 2013.

 

Happy Training!

Aimee

coachaimee@m3ssports.com

 

 

Advertisements

Train Like a Champion!

There’s a lot of talk about the USA Half Marathon Championships this year and next here at our race, Cap City!  It’s amazing and such an honor for our race and our city.  I cannot wait for all of you to share the same course and finish line with the best half marathoners in our country!  But Cap City is about YOU.  It has always been and will always be YOUR race.  We run 3.1, 6.55, or 13.1 miles with many goals and reasons.  The connection is the love for the sport and the celebration of fitness.  The celebration this year happens to include some really fast runners!

Which distance and training plan is right for me?

What about our training?  We have 3 distances, each with two training schedule options.  The half and quarter intermediate schedules have a quality component that starts next week, but the beginner schedules do not.  Why?  Cap City, indeed all M3S events, are open to everyone who wants to celebrate fitness and get a little swag along the way.  Your goal may be to run your fastest half ever or it could be a long term goal of walking a 5k.  We celebrate everyone!  The reason for the two levels of schedules is to give options based on your current fitness level and goals.  At the bottom of each schedule we have a suggested minimum level of fitness for that particular plan.  We want everyone to get the most out of their training and having the proper background training helps ensure a healthy, fun, and successful season.  Running and walking should be lifetime endeavors and there is no need to rush.  If you aren’t at a particular level of fitness yet you will be soon!  Take a look at the bottom of your plan and make sure you fit that description, if not consider choosing a different plan.  If you have questions email me!

Distanct_training_level_which_one_for_me_table

Quality Workouts

The schedules that call for quality workouts will begin those next week, in week 6 of the training.  The goal of the quality or speed workouts is to introduce our bodies to faster running.  Once our bodies are used to the mileage, after several seasons of training, we get faster by varying both the pace and distance of our workouts.  It is important when introducing speed workouts to make sure that the other workouts are done slowly enough to give us time to recover.  Trying to race every single workout is a recipe for injury.  Follow the guidelines in the schedules and when it is time to run fast, do so!  When it is time to run easy, do that too.  Also, really tune into your body at this time.  If you need extra rest make sure to get it.

Enjoy the training.  We made it through January which in my opinion is the toughest month to train!  So we’re already through the hard part.  Keep going and we will see you at the finish line.  Happy Training!

Questions?  Email me at Coachaimee@m3ssports.com

Congrats_finishers_FBA

Race Week! Should I use a pacer?

pacers_preraceIt’s race week.  All your hard work is behind you and it’s time for the party to begin!  Sure there will be nerves but that’s good, it means you have worked hard for something and care about the result.  One question that comes up on race week is how to pace and should I use a pacer?  The answers are all over the map but there a few tried and true approaches.

Don’t Start Too Fast

No matter what your planned race pace is, don’t hammer that first mile or two.  If you are properly trained and tapered it is way too easy to blast through the first couple miles and then ruin your chances for a good day.  Take it easy initially.  Either start off right on pace or a few seconds per mile slower than your planned race pace.  You SHOULD feel good in the first few miles but hold off on trying to set the world on fire.  If you are still feeling like you have a lot in the tank come mile 8 or 10, by all means go for it.  Just not in mile 2.

 

We have wave starts so everyone should find room to run quickly, but there is still a little bit of congestion in that first mile or so.  Don’t feel the need to weave in and out of all the runners ahead of you.  It takes too much energy and really doesn’t do much for your time.  Take the opportunity to relax your shoulders and breathe.  Once the field opens up a bit find your pace and just settle in.

Pacers – The Fleet Feet MIT Pace Team

The pacers are out on the course for you.  They are experienced runners, many of whom pace or coach for Marathoner in Training throughout the year.  It is by volunteer only so they are there just to share their love of running with YOU!  Each of them will hold a consistent pace throughout and will get you to the finish right on time.  The pace teams start at 8 min/mile for the half and 8:25 min/mile for the quarter and go to 15:16 min/mile.  They will be in the proper corral for the finish times associated with their paces.  Please take the time to talk to them if you want to know what their plans are for the race, such as how they will handle water stops.

Should I run with a Pacer?

While pacers are not miracle workers, they can make pacing a race easier for you.  If you are trained and ready for a given pace, they will help you get through the race without the worry of nailing every mile split.  Most have 13.1+ miles worth of stories and laughs to share, so they will entertain you as well.  They are there to encourage, motivate, cheer, and of course pace.  They will have pace signs with their planned finish times.  pacers

If you want more information on the pace team, check them out here.

Enjoy Race Day

However you choose to get from the start line to the finish, whether it is on your own, with a group of friends, or with new found friends and the MIT Pace Team enjoy your day.  Cap City is set up to be a HUGE party.  We are here to celebrate YOU.  It is a huge honor to be part of your journey and we cannot wait to welcome you to the finish line.

See you on Race Day!  Happy Training (and tapering) – Coach Aimee

 

 

Taper Time!

cheerleaders_at_finish David_at_finish

Holy smokes!  It is officially 10 days until race day.  I cannot believe it.  The sun is shining, the trees are flowering, daffodils are out and it is WARM!  We have successfully made it through the worst winter that Central Ohio has seen in a looooong time.  Congratulations on pushing through and training throughout the cold, snowy, gray winter.  This is our reward!  I could not be prouder of all the Cap City runners and my MIT runners!  Shout out to team 9:45 for helping make the winter fun!  I hope you all have fun training partners that got you through this season too.

So now we are in the taper phase of training.  I wrote a very long article about taper last year and you can find it here.  Tapering is as much an art as it is a science.  Getting it right takes patience and support from those around you, because you might be a little grumpy!  Tapering means that we cut the volume of running way down from the recent training weeks.  The goal is to allow your legs and body the recovery time they need to be fresh on race day.  Rest gives you the opportunity to recover from any lingering fatigue.  Robb Kestner the winner of the 2007 Columbus Marathon once told me “You don’t peak until you rest.”  That is very true.  Giving yourself that downtime allows your body to peak on race day.  However it isn’t easy.  At this point we are used to the training schedule and the rhythm of train, recover, repeat.

Reduced Volume

Tapering does NOT mean that we stop running altogether.  If you are following our schedules then you will see that we have you running still in the next week, but the volume is reduced.  We want your legs to still be moving, but we don’t want to add too much stress.  If you are feeling especially tired or achy, take the day off.  You are not going to add fitness by running through it now.  The best thing you can do if you feel “off” is to rest.

PLEASE don’t go out and try to add extra miles or days to your training schedule now.  You cannot cram for an endurance event and extra miles in the few weeks leading up to a race like Cap City will not help, but they can hurt.  Either you have put in the work by now or you have not.  If you haven’t, do not fret.  That’s why we have other shorter distances and races later this year!  If you have put in the work, don’t question it.  You’ve done it, now simply rest.

Thank your supporters

Take the time to do something special for your support crew.  They have put in extra time over the next few months too.  Maybe they did extra laundry or quietly dealt with yours all of the house “drying.”  They’ve taken extra babysitting shifts and listened to you go on and on about the joys of Body Glide.  Whatever it was, now is the time to thank them.

Whatever you do, don’t …

Do not pick up a new sport in the next 10 days.  I know we are running less and you have extra energy, that’s the point!  Don’t start something new and that includes strenuous yard work!  No pulling hedges out of your garden for 10 days.  They will still be there on May 4.  Yes that’s a true story and she knows who she is!

Celebration Time

You’ve got this!  Now is the time to rest, enjoy, and celebrate.  We are so excited to see you all on race day and at the expo.  I will be waiting for you at the finish.

Happy Training (and tapering)!

-Coach Aimee

 

 

Relax – You’ve Got This!

Two weeks to go!  This weekend is the last long training run of the season.  Often this is the time of nerves, wondering if you can do the longest run of the season and then the RACE.  The good news is YOU’VE GOT THIS!  All of the training up to now has prepared you for this day and for May 3.  Your body is ready, now it’s time to get the mind ready and wrapped around the fact that you will be a finisher on May 3rd.

cap_city_5kstart

Every week we’ve progressed, either in mileage or by giving your body a recovery week to rebuild.  If you’ve been following our schedules, or any appropriate half/quarter marathon schedule, you will have the base to get to the finish.  What seemed daunting on week one is simply just another week of training now.  Perspectives have changed, bodies are stronger.  The finish line is truly within reach.

I have one more request of you for this week during your long run.  As you are somewhere in the middle of your run, take a deep breath like the kind in high school gym class or better yet a yoga cleansing breath.  Then take another one.  And THEN look around you, take it all in.  Think back on where you started, both today and 4 months ago.  Remember all the cold, snowy, early morning workouts.  Soak in the warmth of today.  Let your mind wander to the last few miles of Cap City.  Picture the last turn and how you will feel when that finish line comes into view.  Relax.  You have done the work.  Enjoy your last long run.  Race day is a celebration but the long run is too.

Congratulations on getting through what has been the roughest training season in memory!  You all have certainly earned your medal and the party that awaits on May 3rd.  We cannot wait to welcome you to the finish line!

Happy Training (and remember RELAX)!

Aimee

Long Runs are Dress (and nutrition) Rehearsals

Wow we are 7 weeks from race week!  That means we only have a few more long runs left in our training schedules.  Our workouts are all important to our fitness, but its the long ones where we really start to understand our progress.  Throughout the season, we go from thinking that 13.1 is REALLY far, to wow that’s only 1 more mile than last week!  The long runs prepare our bodies and minds for race day.  But they can be so much more than that too.  Start thinking about your long runs over the next 6 weeks or so as dress rehearsals.  They are the events where we can practice what we will put in, on, and around our bodies on race day.  Then the endurance athlete’s mantra will become your own “nothing new on race day!”

What to Wear

Figure out now what works and what doesn’t as far as gear goes.  I realize that a Saturday in March might call for tights, a hat, and long sleeves while in May you might choose shorts and a singlet.  However, try to find a couple long runs to wear what you will on race day, from head to toe.  Now is the time to find out that your cute polka dot singlet chafes your arms, NOT at mile 10 on race day.  You still have time to sort it out or find a different outfit!  Most importantly, figure out your shoes and socks soon.  My last post on running shoes and socks discusses how to find your race shoes.  The most important thing is to try them out on a long run and make sure they work for you.

What to Eat and Drink

Even more than what you wear on race day, what you choose to put into your body is best determined beforehand.  This takes some trial and error for people, so start now.  We need to be fueling our bodies throughout the week with high quality nutrition.  We need carbohydrates to move (to live really but we’re talking about running here).  We’ve all heard about the pre-race pasta parties, but you don’t want to do that for the first time the night before Cap City.  Use your long runs to mimic everything you are going to eat and drink starting the day before.  Work out what your night before dinner will be, your breakfast, what you carry with you, etc.  If you haven’t yet tried consuming Gatorade or a gel like Gu, now is the time to start.  It might take a few attempts to figure out what works for you.  If you need more information on WHAT to eat and when for long runs, check on my blog from last year on Eating on the Run.

Have a great week, enjoy the sunshine.  Happy Training!

What is run/walk?

It’s the third week in January and Cap City Quarter and Half Marathon training are officially under way.  I get questions all the time about how to transition from walking to running and how to start increasing your mileage.  We have programs for both the half and quarter marathons on the Cap City Training page, for both beginners and intermediate runners.  Even with those, I really like the run/walk approach when you are training for a new distance.  Our schedules are set up so that you can run, walk, OR run/walk them to get ready for the races in May.  The big question is What is Run/Walk?  I am re-posting this discussion from last year, because I think it helps answer some of those questions.  Enjoy!

The easy answer is any combination of running and walking to cover a specific distance, for whatever reason.  Many use it as a transition between walking and running, by slowly increasing the amount of running time in a given workout.  It can also be used as a strategy to train and complete a 5k, half marathon, marathon, even Ironman distances!  I personally have trained for and completed my most recent marathon leg of an Ironman this way, starting with a 10 minute run/1 minute walk segment.  It is often called “The Galloway Method” after Jeff Galloway who promotes it as a primary training plan.  It works!  It works for experienced folks and those who are new to running and walking.  If you train this way, I guarantee you are in good company and believe me you ARE a runner!  Your medal is the same no matter how you get to the finish line!

How do I choose my run/walk segments?

We are going to use it as one option to train for and complete The Capital City Half Marathon and Quarter Marathon.  If you are new to running, this is a really good option.  If you are currently able to complete 2 miles 3 times per week or more, then this is a good plan for the you for the half.  If not, consider the quarter marathon or 5k and shoot for the half marathon next Spring!  We are going to have three options, but you can adjust the run/walk segments to your fitness needs.  My options are 1) 3 minute run/5 minute walk 2) 5 minute run/3 minute walk and 3) 10 minute run/1 minute walk.  Which one to choose?  I suggest that if you have not run more than 2 miles in the last 3 months, then start with #1.  If you have run more than 2 miles but not more than 5 in the last 3 months, then start with #2.  If you have run 5 miles or more in the last 3-6 months, then try #3.  You can always change the run/walk segment times as your fitness needs and goals change.

Easy running defined

The idea is that you are able to run and walk in what we call “easy” mode.  This means only that your effort is such that you can talk in complete sentences throughout your entire workout.  If you are only able to grunt a word or two, you should slow down in the running segment and/or increase your walk segment time (or both).  I will repeat this easy running discussion so many times over the course of your training that you may get sick and tired of hearing it!  It’s really important though as often runners want to train harder and harder every time, however that often does not lead to fitness gains and can lead to injury, fatigue, and disenchantment with the sport.  Run easy as you build miles and choose the run/walk segment that works for you!

What is run/walk?

It’s the third week in January and Cap City Quarter and Half Marathon training are officially under way.  I get questions all the time about how to transition from walking to running and how to start increasing your mileage.  We have programs for both the half and quarter marathons on the Cap City Training page, for both beginners and intermediate runners.  Even with those, I really like the run/walk approach when you are training for a new distance.  Our schedules are set up so that you can run, walk, OR run/walk them to get ready for the races in May.  The big question is What is Run/Walk?  I am re-posting this discussion from last year, because I think it helps answer some of those questions.  Enjoy!

The easy answer is any combination of running and walking to cover a specific distance, for whatever reason.  Many use it as a transition between walking and running, by slowly increasing the amount of running time in a given workout.  It can also be used as a strategy to train and complete a 5k, half marathon, marathon, even Ironman distances!  I personally have trained for and completed my most recent marathon leg of an Ironman this way, starting with a 10 minute run/1 minute walk segment.  It is often called “The Galloway Method” after Jeff Galloway who promotes it as a primary training plan.  It works!  It works for experienced folks and those who are new to running and walking.  If you train this way, I guarantee you are in good company and believe me you ARE a runner!  Your medal is the same no matter how you get to the finish line!

How do I choose my run/walk segments?

We are going to use it as one option to train for and complete The Capital City Half Marathon and Quarter Marathon.  If you are new to running, this is a really good option.  If you are currently able to complete 2 miles 3 times per week or more, then this is a good plan for the you for the half.  If not, consider the quarter marathon or 5k and shoot for the half marathon next Spring!  We are going to have three options, but you can adjust the run/walk segments to your fitness needs.  My options are 1) 3 minute run/5 minute walk 2) 5 minute run/3 minute walk and 3) 10 minute run/1 minute walk.  Which one to choose?  I suggest that if you have not run more than 2 miles in the last 3 months, then start with #1.  If you have run more than 2 miles but not more than 5 in the last 3 months, then start with #2.  If you have run 5 miles or more in the last 3-6 months, then try #3.  You can always change the run/walk segment times as your fitness needs and goals change.

Easy running defined

The idea is that you are able to run and walk in what we call “easy” mode.  This means only that your effort is such that you can talk in complete sentences throughout your entire workout.  If you are only able to grunt a word or two, you should slow down in the running segment and/or increase your walk segment time (or both).  I will repeat this easy running discussion so many times over the course of your training that you may get sick and tired of hearing it!  It’s really important though as often runners want to train harder and harder every time, however that often does not lead to fitness gains and can lead to injury, fatigue, and disenchantment with the sport.  Run easy as you build miles and choose the run/walk segment that works for you!