Coach’s Blog 4.25.16
JACK’S MARATHON TEAM: Chicago and New York
Hello Jack’s Team Members,
Finishing a marathon is a tremendous accomplishment and a life-changing event. Your experience on race day will depend on the extent to which you successfully prepare and train for this challenging endurance event. With the help of a sound training plan and weekly training tips, I hope to guide and support you to realize your goal. My goal is to get you to the start line, healthy, ready, and, equipped with a strategy to successfully cross the finish line — happy.
“We all have dreams, in order to make dreams come into reality it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, self-discipline and effort.”Jesse Owens
If you are willing to put in the time and effort I know you can achieve your race goal.
There are countless marathon plans available in books, magazines, and on the Internet that you could follow to prepare for a marathon; some are good and some are not so good. The training plans that I have shared with you have been used over the past six years by hundreds of runners like yourself to train for a successful marathon experience. These plans were created in collaboration with my fellow running coaches, all certified by the Road Runners Club of America (RRCA), a national organization that promotes the sport of running (please visit their website at www.rrca.org).
The training plans follow the philosophy endorsed by RRCA, with the basic principles of Overload/Recovery, and Specificity. I will expand on this in my next update. I will post plan details, training objectives and provide tips on one or more topics, each week during your training.
Link to Training Plans:
To avoid information overload and confusion I will introduce specific topics as they become relevant in the four phases of the training program: Strengthening, Sharpening, Tapering and Recovery.
I hope to motivate you and to encourage you to “Run Happy”.
As your training continues over the next 22 – 26 weeks, I hope you will look forward to getting out of bed to run your “Long Runs” of 12 to 18+ miles on a Saturday (or Sunday) morning.
Let’s begin by addressing three questions:
1. How Fast Should I Run?
As I mentioned above the plans follow the RRCA philosophy. All Long Runs (LR) regardless of which plan you follow, should be run at a 70-80% effort or more simply put at a “Conversational Pace” (CP). Furthermore, if you are a first time marathoner or returning after an injury or after a long time off of running, all of your weekly training runs should also be done at a CP pace for at least the first 10-12 weeks of the training. There are good reasons behind this which I will touch on in a future update. For the time being, here are a few ways to help you better understand what your 70-80% effort or CP pace is:
a) “Conversational Pace” (CP) means run at a pace (or speed) where you can comfortably carry on a conversation with someone or if alone you can sing a song to yourself while running. If your breathing doesn’t allow this and/or you begin panting, then you are running too fast and should slow your pace down. This is especially important during Long Runs to minimize the risk of injury.
b) Use a heart-rate monitor and run at a pace where your heart beat is at or below 80% of maximum. Of course, this means you need to know your maximum heart rate. A rough estimate is to calculate: (220 minus your age) x (0.70 to 0.8).
For example, if you are 35 years old, (220-35) x 0.8 = 130 to 148 bpm.
c) For Intermediate and Advanced Runners: you can use a previous race time for a 5 or 10K or ½ marathon and plug it into a pace calculator such as the one at the following link:
This calculator will give you a predicted marathon finish time based on the race time you entered. More importantly it can provide suggested paces for the various Endurance Workouts: Long Runs, Easy Runs, Tempo Runs etc.
I suggest you start slowly and not push your pace especially if your current running base is less than 15 miles per week. We will slowly increase miles at a rate of ~ 10% each week. Always remember a conservative approach will help to minimize risks of injury while you build your endurance level.
2. How Often and Far Should I Run?
3. What should I be doing now until the actual start date for training?
Next week I will expand on the basic training philosophy, and go into greater details on the training phases and weekly plans.
Once again please feel free to email and introduce yourself.
I would especially like to know your story of why you are running with Jack’s Team and to learn more about your running goals.
Everett C. Phillips (cell) 630-881-0121