Coach’s Blog#6

May 18th, 2014

What a weird week we just had – sun, rain, SNOW !

I trust you enjoyed the beautiful weekend, and I hope your first Long Run went well.

As we enter Week 2 of our training plan for Chicago there is little change from week 1 with the exception your Long Run distance increases by 1 mile.

Week 2 Training Plan Miles by Day.

Plan Mon Tues Wed Thurs Fri Sat Sun Total
Novice 3 4 R or XT 4 Rest 6 R or XT 17
Beginner 3 4-5 R or XT 4 Rest 6 R or XT 17-18
Intermediate 3 5 R or XT 4-5 Rest 7-8 R or XT 19-21

R or XT = Rest or Cross-Train

I will stress this in each week of the Base Build phase – run at conversational pace. Monday is meant to be an easy recovery day so focus on enjoying the scenery and explore your thoughts.

Keep your pace slow. Spend some time stretching after your run.

Tuesday and Thursday are your key mid-week runs. Later in the program your Tuesday run will become another “hard run day” like the Long Run on Saturday – either because of the distance covered or for those of you following the Beginner and Intermediate plans this will be a day when we mix in a little Tempo work. For the time being focus on developing the discipline to adhere to the plan and not to worry about running any miles fast. Let your feet and leg muscles adapt to the stresses you are putting on them.

Wednesday is a Rest or Cross-training day: recall this means either do a light walk, bike, or if your schedule fits do a 20-30 min Yoga workout or some Core exercises. There are many resources available for some easy to do Yoga or Core Workouts. I recommend you visit your local library and check out a DVD. Most TV/cable providers have a channel with free health and fitness programs that include Yoga for beginners or Core workouts that you can follow in your own home without having to spend money at a club. However, if your budget allows attending a Yoga class with a good instructor can be a great way to learn a key workout for you to practice weekly. Also there are numerous video clips on UTube for Core work for runners. Key cores exercises include: planks, side planks, squats, V-sits, hip lifts, leg raises, lunges, sit ups and push-ups. These exercises will help your flexibility and strengthen your mid-section to make you a stronger runner.

Next Saturday’s Long Run is 6 or 7 miles (depending on your plan). As the weather warms and our distance increases it is essential that you begin to consider methods to stay Hydrated during your Long Run. I will discuss the topic of Hydration in greater detail in future updates, but I will touch on some methods to consider as we begin running Long Runs of more than 1 hour. If you are running as part of a group – hydration may be provided every 2-4 miles – just like during the marathon. However, if you a training alone or with a few friends you will need to implement a Hydration strategy of your own.

One option is to plan your route where water fountains are available such as in a Park, Library, or near a Municipal or Police building. Otherwise, consider ways to carrying water with you.

Many runners prefer to strap on a water belt around their waist.

There are many options out there for you to consider. Take your time to consider your selection.

Pay attention to extra pockets for keys, ID and money slots – these are handy. The advantage of the belts with bottles is the weight is around your waist instead of in your hands (which can cause your arms to tire). Select a method that you think is right for you.

There are three basic types:

A belt with one large bottle that rests across the middle of your lower back, a belt with two small bottles that rest against your two hips, or a belt with four bottles that rests around your waist. The key is to ensure it fits securely without excessive bouncing as this can hinder your stride and lead to skin chaffing and irritation while running. I find the single large bottle to be cumbersome. The four bottle belt is good for very long runs and allows you to carry both water and Gatorade especially if you run a trail where no water is available. However, I have found the two small bottle belt with bottles against the hips to be the most useful and practical for most if not all my runs. These can be refilled mid-run as noted above for water or if you decide more Gatorade is needed you can double back home or stop at a convenience store.

Over six years I have used each option I have mentioned above. Now I carry one or two small (8 oz) Amphipod water bottles in my hands and refill them at water fountains along my route. I like these because of the hand strap so holding them is easy. My hands do not tire anymore. They also have a pouch for my car keys, ID and money for a muffin at my favorite bakery along the way.

I have noticed more runners with the backpack style (or Camelback) that hikers and bikers use. Be very careful to select a light weight version of these that has substantial adjustment and one or two buckles in the front so that you can tighten it to fit snuggly – if not this will bounce around and will be uncomfortable to run with. These are especially common among the Ultra-running crowd.

Keep up the effort.

Please send me an email if you have any questions.

Happy Running.



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