Training from the mile to the marathon.
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  • Are You Ready to Start Running or Know Someone Who Is?

    Posted on November 14th, 2011 CoachGreg No comments
    A thrilled finisher at the 2010 Charlie Post 5K.

    A thrilled finisher at the 2010 Charlie Post 5K.

    Charleston Runs is offering a Couch to 5K program beginning Thursday, December 1 at 6 pm. The class meets every Thursday evening in downtown Charleston until January 26. This truly is for the beginner and those who would like to get back into shape after laying off from running. The training will culminate in your participation in the Charlie Post Classic 5K, being contested on Sullivan’s Island on Saturday, January 28.

    Our goal is to gradually improve your fitness level so that you can finish the 5K (3.1 mile) race. This is a run/walk program which has been proven effective.The only requirement for success is a commitment to stick with the training program.

    For more information and to register, please visit our Couch to 5K page.

  • Charleston Runs Bridge Run Training

    Posted on April 3rd, 2011 CoachGreg No comments

    Ginny Garris trained with Coach Greg for her first Cooper River Bridge Run. Here’s a piece News 4 - WCIV did on her.

    Watch the video.

  • Baby, It’s Cold Outside

    Posted on December 20th, 2009 CoachGreg No comments

    winter_running1Even though we didn’t get hit with snow like they did further north, the weather in Charleston has certainly changed. Yes, it will be nearly 70 on Christmas Day but we have entered the 74 days that pass for Winter in the Lowcountry.

    When that alarm clock rings first thing in the morning and it’s 35 out, it’s tough to get up and get going. Weather changes will do that to you.  However, if you want to do more than just finish the Cooper River Bridge Run this year, you need to begin training and hit the roads in January. It will set the tone for the rest of your racing season. (I would consider the local winter/spring season to be from the last Saturday in January to the first Saturday in June - roughly from the Charlie Post Classic to the Floppin Flounder, and the highlight of course being the Bridge Run.)

    Make the plan the night before. Don’t leave things to how you feel in the morning. Once you get out and get going once or twice when it’s cold or raining, you won’t even think about it next time. Dress as if it’s 20 degrees warmer than it is and you might even consider warming up on a treadmill or by doing some high knees before you head outside.

    I’ve never worn more than a long sleeve top and a long sleeve jacket on the top and cool weather running pants on the bottom. You can wear warmer clothes but you generally don’t need them once you get going. I do keep a heavy sweathshirt in the truck for when I get done.

    Hats and gloves are essential - If you’re too warm, you can take them off and easily carry them. This is also the place where you can not spend a ton of money and get some clothes that are highly reflective.

  • Big Hairy Goals

    Posted on December 13th, 2009 CoachGreg No comments
    Are you ready for Cooper River Bridge Run Training?

    Are you ready for Cooper River Bridge Run Training?

    I love big hairy goals - the ones that are so monstrous that they can be downright scary. Besides tackling them myself, I love helping others attain theirs. A new athlete, David, contacted me a few months ago after looking at the Charleston Running Club’s website. He saw I was coaching our Couch to 5K clinic and decided he wanted to take part.

    Couch to 5K is not a big deal for most people but David was and is a big guy. He decided it was time to take off the excess weight. By the time I met him in the beginning of November, he had already dropped over 30 pounds. As of this week, he’s dropped 61 pounds. And he is still a big guy and has a long way to go.

    One of the things he shared with me is that he wanted to do the Cooper River Bridge Run and he wanted to raise money for the YMCA in his hometown for a program that gets kids active. I understand that feeling. David wanted to time himself at the beginning of his training and compare it to his actual bridge run time. Yesterday morning, we set out to see what his benchmark was.

    We couldn’t have picked many mornings that would have been colder. My friend Steve and I parked our cars downtown and then had my friend, Allan, drive us to Mt Pleasant. We met David and started towards Charleston. He started out very quickly and didn’t run very far before he started walking. We talked some more about pace and what that should feel like. At one point, coming off of the bridge and into Charleston, he ran for over 15 minutes - the longest such period of continuous running since David left high school. Eventually we finished the 10k in 1 hour 58 minutes and 2 seconds. He was very happy to be done and when I took him back to his car, he was on his way to buy new running shoes.

    Cooper River Bridge Run training begins January 9. More information.

  • I Love Living Here

    Posted on December 6th, 2009 CoachGreg No comments
    'Winter' in Charleston

    'Winter' in Charleston

    I love living in Charleston. Recently, I received an email from a runner in Naples, Florida who is visiting here next week. She wanted to know if there were indoor tracks available to the general public. After telling her about the one I know of I pointed out that we’re in South Carolina, not Maine. We pretty much run outdoors year round. In three years, I’ve run indoors once because of the weather - we had 2.8 inches of rain in 1.5 hours, right at the time when I would have been running.

    This week, the Charleston Running Club began a Couch to 5K program. Part of our mission is to encourage running in our community. I’m coaching the clinic, along with Irv Batten from On the Run running store. Irv has been a fixture in the Charleston running scene for over twenty years and regularly at the top of the leaderboard. Many clubs wouldn’t start a training program at the beginning of winter. Here, it’s one of the best times to run.

    I also began track workouts again after taking November off. I have one new athlete and some returning. More will join us again after the first of the year. Not only are my athletes back on the track - I am as well! We’re all looking forward to cutting down those 5K times.

    Cooper River Bridge Run training begins in January. Sign up now.

  • 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.

  • Running While Tired

    Posted on March 19th, 2009 CoachGreg No comments

    Wednesday’s Cooper River Bridge Run training groups both did repeats on the track tonight. Tyler took his group through a series of 400m repeats and I had the beginner’s group do something similar.

    • 800m warm up
    • 400m at lactate threshold pace
    • 800m
    • 1200m
    • 400m
    • 400m all out
    • 800m cooldown.

    This was a little beyond everybody in my group - it was the first time most of them had pushed themselves to run that fast. It’s part of running faster at shorter distances and this time we made the shorter distances longer. As long as they’ve all been running consistently each week, they will all finish well.

  • Cooper River Bridge Run Training

    Posted on March 11th, 2009 CoachGreg No comments

    This evening we did hill repeats.  This is a beginning group and I don’t recommend hill repeats for true beginners but they are preparing for the Cooper River Bridge Run. We ran from the Mt Pleasant track to the bridge. The athletes ran up to the 5th light pole which is about 150 meters from the beginning of the bridge. They ran hard up and then recovered on the way back down. Everybody did their own pace.

    At the end of the drill, which was about 35 minutes long, I put people of equal ability together and had them racing each other up the hill. Most of them dug in and went for it. Some are tackling the distance for the first time and those are the ones I really love. During the workout yesterday, I made a point of running uphill with each one of them. This is the most rewarding part for me.

  • Cooper River Bridge Run Training

    Posted on March 4th, 2009 CoachGreg No comments

    I coach one of the official Cooper River Bridge Run training clinics. I have all of the walkers and beginning runners, which I love. It’s fun to see big gains in performance and also see confidence build as well. We’re now only four weeks away from the race.

    Tonight was the first time I had them really push themselves on pace. Many of the people are not just beginning runners, they are brand spankin new runners. In previous weeks, I wanted them to mostly work on just getting miles on their legs and never asked them to run any faster than a race pace  that I predicted based on their mile time trial times.

    Tonight’s workout

    • 800 m warm up
    • 5×400 m @ 10K pace - 20%. In other words, if the athlete’s race pace was 3:00/400 m, I asked them to run at 2:24. 90 second recovery intervals.
    • 2×800 m @ same pace
    • 400 m cool down