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Hop on board the #c210k bandwagon!

29 Mar


Now that warmer temperatures are setting in and my race schedule has opened up a little, I have decided to get back on a training plan. Yesterday, I made the decision to start focusing on speed versus distance. Training for distance in the South Louisiana spring/summer heat just is not fun, and since I have never done a speed training program, I decided that was the plan I wanted to get on. I have done distance training plans for every distance from a 5k (when I first started running) through a marathon. And while I have done several speed drills in my run workouts, I have never put myself on a plan to specifically get faster and maintain that faster speed. Well, times are a-changin’!

After I made this decision, my friend, @RunNeicyRun, said she would get on board with me…except she wanted to go for distance while I worked on speed. No problemo! I modified the plan for each of us, based on our goals. And then I tweeted about it. And lots of people said they wanted to do it too!

And then I got excited! WOO HOO!

In fact, enough people wanted in on this sweet running action that I just decided to post the training logs here instead of e-mailing them out to everyone. So, here we go…

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COUCH TO 10k (13-Week Plan)

If you are interested in mastering the DISTANCE, here are your training logs:
c210k DISTANCE Plan (.xls)
c210k DISTANCE Plan (.pdf)

For DISTANCE runners, on your plan, where is says “RUN”, keep in mind that this does NOT mean “SPRINT.” During your “RUN” intervals, run at a speed that you feel pushes you, but not at a speed that is so fast that you tire out and feel unable to complete the entire workout.

If you are interested in mastering the SPEED, here are your training logs:
c210k SPEED (.xls)
c210k SPEED (.pdf)

For SPEED runners, your speed run and easy run/tempo run paces are to be determined by you, based on your ability. Depending on the 10k goal time that you have in mind, you can use a site like this to help you determine what your target paces are.

ACCOUNTABILITY
If you are on Twitter, after you complete a work out, I encourage you to Tweet about it so that we can all encourage each other. Be sure and add the #c210k hashtag! You can also add a hashtag with the corresponding week and day that you are on. For example, here is what I Tweeted yesterday after completing the Week 1, Day 1 workout:

As I mentioned above, I got started on this program yesterday, but you can get going whenever you like and schedule your runs on whatever days work for you.

For the #RunLA fam…If you would like to participate in this as a group, you are more than welcome to! Day 1 and Day 2 workouts of each week will be done by you, on your schedule. We can all do the Day 3 workout together! I am planning to meet on Saturday mornings at 7:00AM at Milford Wampold Memorial Park on Stanford Avenue. This time/location is tentative and is certainly flexible. If you have any suggestions for a better time/location, please e-mail me. All runners are welcome (whether you are going for distance or speed) and I promise to stay with the last runner. So, whatever your ability, I can assure you that no one will be left behind!

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And just for funsies, since I am totally ready to throw my body into a training cycle (full steam ahead!), I will also be incorporating a lower body AND core training program. I found some awesome plans over at Shrinking Jeans. I love that they are structured in such a way that they don’t feel overwhelming.

In addition to sticking with the above running program, at the end of the next 30 days, I will be able to do the following:
100 lunges*
100 squats
2:00 min burpees
2:00 min wall-sits
100 sit-ups
35 push-ups
2:30 min plank


*You’ll notice that lunges are not shown on the “Kick-Ass April” plan. Since lunges do wonders for my legs, I added these in. Each day, I will do the number of lunges equal to the number of squats listed on the workout.

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GOALS
I fully expect this to be a complete and total shock to my system. I have not done something like this in about a year and a half, but I am ready. I am MORE than ready to knock off the last of this baby weight, and I hope that we can achieve our goals together. My weight when I started the program yesterday was 159.5lb. My lowest weight ever as an adult was 129lb, but I looked too thin and I only maintained that for about a week. My realistic racing weight is around 135lb, so I am setting that as my weight goal. While I certainly do not expect to hit that target in the next 30 days, I am hoping to hit that by the end of this training cycle.

Lastly, to prove to all of you that I am doing this right along side of you, I will be adding a “LOGS” page to the top of this blog. Each day I will post my training log for the previous evening’s workout…even including my weight. GASP!

Well, I think that covers everything! Let’s get started!

So, are YOU with me? Let me know what plan you are doing and what your goals are! If you are on Twitter, leave your handle in the comment so that we can all cheer each other on!

Racing Strategy: Running Tangents

12 Oct

Last weekend’s Gulf Coast Half Marathon really was a ton a fun and I had a great time volunteering! Watching all of my friends finish and being able to cheer them on was pretty special and it was fun to be on the “other side” for once. Many race participants seemed to really love the course and have a blast but there were a few participants who seemed to be upset by the readings on their GPS running watches. I heard a few complaints of runners swearing they ran more than the 13.1 miles and saying how their time would have been better (possibly even set a PR) had they not run the extra little bit of mileage.

I know this course was certified, so the first thing I thought of is…they are not running the tangents…which means they actually DID run more than 13.1 miles. Too bad those 13.1 stickers don’t have a little + sign after them, right? In a race, if you are not running the tangents, you are not racing as efficiently as possible.

The easiest way to explain “running the tangents” is this…running the tangents allows a racer to run the shortest legal distance in a race. This is the fastest and most efficient way to get from the start line to the finish line, and the easiest way to set a PR.

For those of you who have not been to geometry class in a while, a tangent is a straight line that is perpendicular to a curve. When a race course is measured and certified, it is done so from tangent to tangent and by running from point-to-point, you run the measured (and certified) distance. Any variation from running the “tangent route” will add mileage to your race route. Sometimes this variation adds only fractional mileage, but if you are running every curve, you may add up to a quarter of a mile or more to your race! Seriously! Before learning about running tangents, this happened to me and I would get so frustrated.

Here is how running the tangents works…

In races, most runners end up following the solid blue through curves in the race course. However, the dashed line represents the most efficient way to navigate the course. While it may not look like much of a difference, over a full or half marathon race course, this mileage can add up.

Obviously, running the tangent is the smartest and most efficient way to race a course. But, as you can see, it does involve crossing the street from side to side. If you are a middle of the pack racer or you race close to others, be sure to be aware of runners near you when changing directions. You certainly would not want to take out another runner in your attempt to set a PR.

In addition, running tangents means looking ahead. Once you hit a curve in the course, keep your eyes focused in front of you, looking for the next one. This will allow you adjust your running route and stay prepared for what is ahead of you. When heading into a large curve where you are not able to see the next curve or turn, the best rule of thumb to follow is to run as close to the inside edge as possible.

The only time not running to the immediate inside of a curve is when you are running a course with a hair-pin turn. In this situation, making a slightly wider turn by sweeping the turn can be faster. (See image below.) Keep in mind that in this situation, making a wider turn may add a very VERY minute amount of mileage, but in the end, it will help you maintain efficiency. And in a race, efficiency is the KEY.

Overall, by making fewer large curves and running the tangents, you essentially make the race course a straight as possible. By taking the most direct route from start to finish, you are more likely to maintain your pace and momentum. There is no perfect way to run the tangents. The goal is to find out what works best for you in getting through the race course’s fastest route, as quickly as possible.

Have you ever heard of running tangents before? Do YOU run the tangents?