Training from the mile to the marathon.
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  • Charleston Run’s Noah Moore on Live5

    Posted on October 20th, 2009 CoachGreg No comments

    Noah Moore appeared on WCSC Channel 5 and talked about why he’s running the Marine Corps Marathon. Great job, Noah! If you’re reading this as a note on Facebook, click on ‘View Original Post’ to see the video at CharlestonRuns.com. (Give the video a few seconds to load.)

  • Are You Piling On?

    Posted on October 6th, 2009 CoachGreg No comments

    toomuchstuffThe last 21 days of marathon training are critical. As Charleston Runs athletes approach the Marine Corps Marathon, they need to keep careful track of their training and how they’re progressing. We cutting miles but we’re not cutting back on effort.

    I’ve put together a one-page document that might help you track your taper. On each day, write down your workout, mark whether it was an easy, medium, or hard effort. Also keep track of your food using the categories poor, ok, or great. Visually look and see if you’re piling hard effort on top of hard effort. Check to see if you’re eating junk for days on end. Only you will see this so be honest and use what you’re learning to make adjustments.

    One more thing - SLEEP. It does a body good. You are in the rest, recovery, and restoration phase. Each week, you should go to bed 30 minutes earlier than you did the week before. If 10 pm is your normal bedtime, then by the time the marathon is here, you should have been retiring at 8.30 for a week. Yes, life gets in the way but you’ve spent the last four months or more diligently preparing for this race. Don’t let the lack of sleep and recovery slow you down.

  • THE Long Run

    Posted on October 2nd, 2009 CoachGreg No comments

    For months we’ve been preparing for the Marine Corps Marathon at the end of the month. One last long run and we start our taper. Tomorrow we’ll run 12 miles, do the Isle of Palms Connector 10K and then run 2 more cool down miles. Our speedsters may go a little further. They will check in at the end of the 10K and I’ll see how they’re doing.

    We did have one runner who strained her back this morning. It’s happened to her before but she’s such great athlete that she still wants to get the 20-miler in. Most runners started building to the marathon in July. Charleston Runs athletes went through a few months of base and strength building before then - about 8-10 weeks worth, depending on when they joined the program.

    That big base has enabled them to do hard tempo runs in the heat on one day and knock out a track workout the next day. My number goal with my athletes is to get them to the start line healthy. That big base will also get my runner to the start line without doing a 20-mile run before the race. She’s ready to race today.

  • 16-Mile Long Run

    Posted on September 6th, 2009 CoachGreg No comments

    We’re now just 48 days away from the Marine Corps Marathon. If you have built a good base during the summer, then bumping up the mileage every two weeks over the next two months shouldn’t be an issue. When Charleston Runs athletes are finished with the longer runs, everybody is worn out but they do recover nicely over the next few days.

    Yesterday, we ran from Mount Pleasant to the Coast Guard Station downtown and back. It was a beautiful day to run. Running across the Cooper River Bridge was tough but in the Marine Corps Marathon, there is one significant hill at the 8-mile point. Somebody running for time needs to have a strategy to not only attack that hill but also a strategy to deal with the ups and downs of the highway ramps that are part of the last 5 miles of the course.

  • 12 Mile Mt Pleasant Route

    Posted on July 31st, 2009 CoachGreg No comments

  • Marathon Long Runs

    Posted on May 23rd, 2009 CoachGreg 2 comments
    Charleston Runs athletes on the Cooper River Bridge.

    Charleston Runs athletes on the Cooper River Bridge.

    Athletes training for fall marathons should not wait until July or August to begin building mileage. Those that are contemplating a race should be working up to doing a long run of at least 10 miles every other week and should also be working up to doing at least 20 miles each week by the time they get to July 1.

    Charleston Runs runners are adding one mile to their long run every two or three weeks and will do so through June when they’ll begin adding two miles every other week. Our bodies adapt fairly quickly to the increase load of running in terms of the cardio vascular system, the pulmonary system, and the muscular system. Our bones and connective tissue don’t respond as rapidly. It takes about 90 days for the skeletal system to adapt to an increased workload. Therefore, we want to spend some time letting our bodies adapt before we get into runs beyond ten miles.

    Powering up the incline increases strength which leads to an increase in speed. The athlete on the right is displaying great form.

    Powering up the incline increases strength which leads to an increase in speed. The athlete on the right is displaying great form.

    I try to do something different during every one of our long runs. With widely varying abilities I try to throw something in that will challenge all of them. Last week it was a fast finish. The last mile was run at race pace or faster. This week, we ran across the Cooper River Bridge and threw in a few hill repeats. Many people don’t run the bridge regularly unless they’re preparing for the Cooper River Bridge Run. Running the bridge regularly as part of our long runs will prepare us for the hills we encounter in D.C.

  • Track Workout

    Posted on May 22nd, 2009 CoachGreg No comments

    This is a track workout that is good for almost every runner. One size never fits all and anybody just starting with track workouts should approach things cautiously. All of the Charleston Runs athletes doing this workout have been running consistently for at least two years and have been racing for at least one year.

    I start every athlete at a pace that is 15 seconds per mile faster than their 5K pace. As runners get used to this workout, I speed up their workout in subsequent weeks.

    The recovery interval should take just as long as the effort. For instance, if the runner does a 55 second 200 m, then they should take 55 seconds to recover during the 100 m. At first this was  difficult for the runners but by the time they’re doing the 400 m, they’re happy to take all of the time allotted. The workout should be continuous - effort - recovery - effort with no breaks.

    Today’s workout

    • 800 m warm-up
    • 6 x 200 m, 100 m recovery
    • 6 x 300 m, 200 m recovery
    • 6 x 400 m, 300 m recovery
    • 1 x 400 m, all out
    • 800 m cool down
  • Do You Need a Coach?

    Posted on May 17th, 2009 CoachGreg No comments

    The NY Times recently explored the topic of how coaching can help athletes of all abilities.

    …training, if done right, is the ultimate performance enhancer, with effects that can dwarf those of illegal drugs, like the blood-boosting drug EPO, as well as legal stimulants like caffeine. Still, it seems, too few amateur athletes take it seriously and fewer still do it right. Exercise physiologists and coaches say most people who want to run, swim, cycle or row faster or improve in almost any sport do not appreciate what can be accomplished with training nor how to do it.

    Read it all.

  • Preparing for the Central Park Half Marathon

    Posted on April 10th, 2009 CoachGreg No comments

    One of my athletes is training for the Central Park Half Marathon at the end of the month. Lots of rolling hills as you go around the loop one and a half times. We don’t have that kind of terrain here. I also wanted the athlete work on hill technique and not on surging and then slowing down coming down the hills.

    She is a beginning runner and has been running consistently for about a year. She has a great sense of pace on the track and the flats and can easily hit her goal pace after just one or two laps on the track. I want to take advantage of that. She intuitively can run by feel and I want her to run by feel on the hills. Because of the lack of practice on hills this is the only way for her to consistent. She will run by even effort rather than even pace.

    That’s different than what I would do for advanced runner and different than what I would do for her if she decided to do the same race next year. In that case, we would drive 20 miles away from the coast to find rolling hills on which to practice.

    Instead, we worked on technique on the Cooper River Bridge. I had her run just a short length of the bridge up and down several times, practicing form and practicing maintaining even effort. It was a little difficult for her as the bridge can feel steep at times with a 4% grade.

  • Enroll in Marathon Training

    Posted on April 5th, 2009 CoachGreg No comments

    Enrollment for Fall marathon training is now open. Click on the Marathon Training link on the right. There is a free training program for April online there as well.