These running tips are supplied by coaches who advertise on the Clines Running Corner website. They might apply more to beginners and/or novice runners, but runners of all levels probably can benefit from some some of the tips. However, be aware that these tips might not apply to everyone. That's why it's recommended that runners seek a qualified coach or join a group that is led by qualified coaches. The coaches will be adding to the tips throughout the weeks, so please check back often to see new tips.
By Bill Richardson, The Runner Training Team
Are you becoming a little less-motivated in racing for award medals? How about stepping up your training for winning food?
We are fortunate to have some nearby out-of-town races coming up this spring and summer that have a food theme. In April, there is the Blue Bell Fun Run in Brenham, between Austin and Houston, with all the free Blue Bell ice cream you can eat after you finish.
The last weekend in June, there is the Polish Pickle Run in Bremond, southeast of Waco. This is a real hoot. I went there about five years ago, and the winner received a calf (as in beef) . Age group winners received a big jar of homemade Polish pickles. And they are spicy. Also, they had free beer and barbeque.
There is the Dublin Dr Pepper Run in June in Dublin. After a 2K, 4k or 10k race, you can drown yourself in Dr Pepper.
My favorite is the Kolache 5000, which is held in West, just north of Waco, the day before Labor Day every year. Those kolaches are delicious.
All of these races are well-organized, and the people are real friendly. Even though you only burn about 100 calories per mile, if you trained hard there is nothing wrong
with having a treat (or multiple treats) at the end of a race.
Running in the Cold----A look at the numbers
Since I am a fair-weather runner, exercising in the cold weather has been somewhat of a challenge. Did you know that 40% of body heat is lost through your head and 30% is lost through your hands and feet? You need some type of a thermal hat as well as moisture-wicking gloves. If it is really cold, I have to use mittens, although they cause my hands to start sweating quickly. I usually have to take them off halfway through a run.
Layering with moisture-wicking tops and bottoms is about the best thing you can do to eliminate the shivering. The recommended program is to try to dress as if it is 20 degrees warmer outside than it actually is. You will build up some heat while running. Sometimes the extra clothing is a little restrictive (especially if you are running speed intervals), but it beats the freezing alternative.
If you are going to race be sure to take some dry clothes to put on after the race. You will be a lot more comfortable waiting to get your age-group trophy.
Preregister to save money and help keep your training on track
Preregister/sign up for a race. There are numerous training programs, but regardless of which one you choose, a sincere commitment by you is motivation for staying on a training schedule. By preregistering for a race, you will not only save money on fees, but by knowing that the race you entered is coming up shortly will make you train consistently. You can easily race at least one 5K per month without injury concerns. Once this habit is established, you will stay in good running shape throughout the year.
The Biggest Training Challenge
It’s not the weekly long run. It’s not the dreaded speed intervals. It’s not the routine Tempo run. The biggest challenge in training is changing your diet. We grow up with Mom’s cooking and certain comfort foods. And Americans, as a group, have food portions too large. We are eager to try out the latest Runner’s World training program for speed workouts. We can follow an 8-week schedule and not miss a workout. But when it comes to changing our diet, there seems to be a real lack of long-term discipline. As far as a sensible method of weight management, the Cooper Clinic emphasizes creating a daily 500 calorie deficit. This will equate to losing a pound per week without any side effects to your body.
For people completing a mile (whether it’s walking, jogging, running) they burn about 100 calories. So, if you don’t want to run more, you better cross train more or reduce your calorie intake, or both. There are several calorie-counting charts on the Internet. This time of the year is the “danger zone” for excess calorie consumption. Think of a 60 calorie piece of fruit (apple, orange, small banana) instead of that 450 calorie piece of pie (one piece of pecan pie with whip cream after Christmas dinner is 750 calories!) And you would have to run a 5K just to burn off 2 pieces of fudge.
Remember, actually running is the fun/easy part of training. The hard part is having consistent mental discipline in regards to your diet. Good luck!
Three weekly key workouts
1. Long run
For overall cardiovascular efficiency and running economy. Done at conversational pace (60 to 65% effort).
Recommend 5K runners build up to 90 minutes. Don't worry about mileage.
Recommend 10K, 15K, and half-marathoners build up to 2 hours.
No more than 10% increase each week.
2. Tempo Run
For speed endurance (so you won't have to walk in the middle of a race).
After a minimum of 10 minutes jogging to warm up, run 20 minutes at 85% effort (no conversational pace running here), somewhat uncomfortable for 5K runners.
Recommend 30 minutes for 10K, 15K, and half-marathoners. Always finish with at least a 10-minute cooldown.
3. Speed Intervals (repeats)
For improvement in maximal oxygen uptake and leg turnover.
Recommend 5K runners do 400's (1/4 mile), building up to 16 repeats at 95% effort (interval rest time between repeats should be no longer than the time the repeat was run).
10K, 15K and half-marathon runners should do 800's (half mile), building up to 10 repeats.
These three basic workouts done consistently every week will keep you in racing shape. Do not do the Tempo Run if you are racing that week. I have been following this program for the past 15 years and have been injury-free. I try to do some easy biking on two of the off days.