Dress for Success: Guide for Cold Weather Running

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With holiday traveling just around the corner and cooler temps on the horizon, thinking about what to wear on your run can be an extra hurdle - but don’t let it be!  I like to tell myself that there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad gear.  Weather is the one variable in running you have no control over, so it is important to be prepared to run in all conditions as it will make you mentally stronger!  Try to keep your conversation about the weather positive and light to maintain that mental strength.

Winter in Austin is especially special.  We have a constant flux of warm fronts and cool fronts making the weather very unpredictable throughout the months of November - February.  Before you complain about the constant change in temps, take a minute to remember July & August and be grateful to not have the blasting unforgiving summer heat day after day.  One benefit of summer running was that your clothing choice was always the same - shorts and a tank top, so you really didn’t have to think about it too much.  However, now that the weather is cooling off getting dressed to go for a run requires a little more thought.

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Many runners tend to overdress in cooler temps, but remember that when your body is working and moving you warm up very quickly!  There is a general rule of thumb that you can add about 15 to 20 degrees to the temperature outside and that is what it will feel like for you.  For example, if the outside temperature is 40°F, it will feel like 55°F - 60°F.  This conversion depends on your body size and run intensity as well.  If you are doing a short, easy run, it will only feel about 10-15 degrees warmer, whereas if you are doing a run with pace work, a race, or a long run, you will be working harder and you should add about 20 degrees.  Your body size is also a factor as smaller body mass will only add about 10 to 15 degrees while a larger body mass should add about 20 degrees to estimate what it feels like when running.

Dressing in layers is especially important in Austin winters, as the temperature at the start of a long run might be dramatically different from the temperature at the end of a long run as it can warm up quickly sometimes.  If you wear a layer, have something you can easily tie around your waist or shed as your body warms up.  I always like to look at what the temperature will be in the second half of my long run instead of the start.  Your body will warm up and so will the weather.

Once you are finished with your run, it is SUPER important to change into dry clothes or get into a hot shower as soon as possible after you finish running.  Your body temperature can drop quickly when you are wearing wet clothes in cooler temps.  Ladies - change out of your wet sports bra into something dry ASAP! It is also a good idea to have a warm hat or headband for wet hair.  My personal favorite is to have a lightweight merino wool buff on hand when I finish a cold run.  I also like to have a fleece or wool long sleeve or layer to wick away the moisture and keep me warm after finishing a run or race.

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Wool is the best material for winter training as it insulates even when wet.  Having a thin wool layer can sometimes be the perfect item for a cooler temp run.  Numb toes are almost inevitable on some really cold days, but I like Smartwool running socks to insulate my toes.

Many ways to wear your buff!

Many ways to wear your buff!

Wind and humidity affect how the temperature feels when you are running as well.  Wind will cut through your clothing and make the temperature feel colder than it is, so if there is >10 MPH winds, dress on the warmer side to compensate for wind chill.  Humidity also plays a factor.  In warmer temps, moisture in the air makes it feel warmer (we are used to this in our hot & humid summer months). But, the inverse is actually true for cooler temps.  When it is cooler, the moisture in the air can make it feel even colder and keeps the cold trapped in.  If it is a sunny dry day, it will feel a lot warmer on the run than on a moist overcast day in the same temperature.

While running, your core will warm up, but your extremities will be cold. So think about your ears and hands when layering up for a run.  During the cooler months you will also experience a runny nose and can feel tighter or stiffer in your joints than normal.  A nice warm Epsom salt bath can do wonders after a long cold run.

 

Here are some items to add to your wardrobe for cold weather running:

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  • Running tights
  • Long sleeve tech or wool shirts
  • Running gloves or mittens
  • Headband or buff to cover ears/neck
  • A light windproof running jacket
  • Running socks—tech fabric or wool blend
  • Chapstick
  • Sunglasses

Here are some simple tips to help you make your apparel choices throughout the next few months :)

Written By: Jackie Howard

Written By: Jackie Howard

M2M Race Report By: Maria (60th Marathon & 60th birthday!)

M2M / 21 October 2017

The scene takes place in West Texas. I had traveled to Big Bend and the Guadalupe Mountains years ago. This time, it was so foreign, like another state altogether. Reminded me a little like Arizona, a little like Wyoming with mountains at a distance, yet dry, flat plains nearby. We left Buda on Thursday and knew it would take us about 6 hours to get to our destination, Alpine. We had tried to get hotel reservations in Marathon, Texas but there is no Holiday Inn there. The Gage Hotel was booked way in advanced as were all the other accommodations in Marathon. The town is a little less than 500 people so when the Race comes around, their population doubles.

This was a special Race this Saturday. I had been wanting to run this one for a while yet had not actually looked into it. My son had been thinking of doing his first Marathon and we decided this would be a good one. We signed up for the race back in April. Had six months to train. He joined a running group in Houston and I ran with Twenty-Six Two in Austin. Each Saturday, he called to let me know how his running went. Each long run was a milestone and a celebration. He was getting into his high mileage runs when the Hurricane hit. Somehow he managed and did an 18 miler that Saturday.

For me, this was going to be my 60th marathon. My training had been coming along well. Came August and I was feeling great. Then got the news that I needed to get cataract surgery. What? Me? Im too busy. Cant be happening because Im training for a race. Doc told me I needed to be careful with exertion, had to be careful with pressure for at least 2 to 6 weeks after surgery. The surgeries were two weeks apart. I did lots of my training on the treadmill especially on my long run Saturday mornings. Would do an hour to an hour and a half, eat breakfast then head to Austin to meet up with the running group and finish up the run. My last 22 miler, I was so tempted to do only 20. Took a break at the Gatorade stop and managed to do two more miles for total of 22. Somehow, the running group pulled me through.

We arrived in Alpine as planned in the late afternoon. Checked into the Holiday Inn and decided we needed to get dinner. Not too many places to choose from. Google showed a few places within 3 to 4 miles. We decided to get Chinese at the Orient Express. Upon arrival, its a very old building that looks like an old barracks. My husband did not want to get out of the car. Was hard to tell if the restaurant was open or if it really was a restaurant. Long story short, the buffet was great. Would give it four stars.

On Friday, we needed to go to packet pickup in Marathon. What to do all day before packet pickup at 4:00pm? We decided to take a drive to Ft. Davis and visit the McDonald Observatory located in the Davis Mountains. We did not want to be on our feet too much the day before the Race. Reaching the Observatory was beautiful and we could see as far as the eye can see. They told us that Mexico is about 78 miles away. We got to see two gigantic telescopes, one of which is the third largest in the world.

We headed to Marathon and decided to drive the Race route which is the highway from Marathon to Ft. Stockton. Coach had told me that it was a rolling hills route. We drove out 26.2 miles and saw the three Port-A- Potties at the start area. Oh boy, heading back, the hills rolled and rolled the entire way with slight climbs on miles 20, 22, 23, and 24. The last two miles into Marathon are flat.

We did the packet pickup at an art gallery then waited for the pasta dinner at the Gage Hotel patio. The weather was nice for having a meal on the patio. Was very different to be outdoors and not hearing any city traffic. The only sound was of cicadas. We had a very pleasant dinner then headed back to the hotel 30 miles away.

Friday night we prepared our running clothes, bib on the singlet, fuel, breakfast items, and the sort. I decided to take an extra Rotane and placed it in my running shorts pocket. There was no more room in my pink, fuel belt. We stayed up watching the Astros win the ballgame and knew morning would come very soon. Got up at 4:00am, ate, dressed, and headed to Marathon at 5:30am. My husband drove us to the bus pick up. On the way, we saw a shooting star. Was a beautiful sight in the dark, night sky. The weather was dry and 66 degrees

in Alpine. Was a little cooler in Marathon. By the time we reached middle of nowhere Start Line, the temperature was 52 and windy. For those who know me, yes, I had my throw away gloves on. I also had a throw away pull over plus a mylar space blanket. All put to good use.

While on the bus to the Start, one of the runners mentioned that he had lost all his energy gels just before boarding the bus. Poor guy. Another one of the runners gave him some animal cookies. I gave him my extra gel. Have no idea how he managed the full marathon with limited fuel.

The group for the full marathon was maybe 100 people. The start chute was the width of the highway shoulder with an orange highway cone on each side of the 2 feet wide shoulder. We had a STARTflag sticking out of the grass area. Just like at home, I started recognizing people from Austin at the START. One guy had driven all night from Austin and arrived at 5:30am that morning. Wow. I found myself in front of these Austin runners who I know are fast, like 3 hour marathon runners. I moved behind them just as the bull horn yelled out race has startedor something to that affect as we started moving through the start cones. There was no fanfare, no fireworks, no singing, just go. About a quarter mile into the race, we saw a bright shooting star in the morning sky. That was special. The rest of the race was quiet, dry, windy, and got hotter and hotter. We had water stops every 2 miles with water and sports/electrolyte drink. The stops were manned by locals plus the ROTC from an El Paso high school. The ROTC did a great job. They had to be out there in the windy, hot elements.

I dont do well in hot races so knew I had to pace well. The first 8 to 10 miles, I had to keep slowing myself as was going too fast. The whole race is an active highway. Lucky for us there was very little traffic. Got to the halfway point where the Half-Marathoner had started, did a pit stop, got fueled and on my way. One of the runners had told me few weeks ago that this race gets hot so told me to be sure to wear a hat. I did forgo my sun visor and wore a white hat along with my sunglasses. That hat saved me from overheating and the sunglasses helped with the brightness. The weather was very warm and dry. I kept reminding myself that I was running in the desert and to keep a pace to finish. I started pouring water on my shoulder at the water stops to cool down. Now at mile 18 and caught up with one of the Austin runners. She had a very nice pace. I tried to stay up with her but knew I had to save to get to the finish. She and I went back and forth on lead and sort of just helping each other get through. At mile 19, you could see at least a mile ahead as the road inclined a little. At mile 24, the Austin runner comes up and says we are almost there. It was very nice to hear her positivity. I could see her about half a mile away on the last few miles in Marathon.

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At about the last 0.1 of the race, you could see the small crowd. As I approached the finish, I heard my son cheering me on. He had finished 30 minutes ago. I am so happy for him and my 4:19:05 time. My husband made sure I got something to drink and some food. What a day in the now 88 degree weather and what an accomplishment! All good stuff. Thank you for reading my story.

The Secret Gifts of Summer Running

By Jackie Howard, TST Coach

Oooof!  The blistering heat of central Texas is definitely upon us!  Having just returned to Austin after being abroad for 1 month, it is a bit of a shocker and a reminder about all the things that make running in the summer special, tough, and ultimately so rewarding!  Stick with me now, I know many of you are eye-rolling because summer running is miserable and how can there possibly be any real silver lining to this madness, right?  Wrong!

Your Future Self Will Thank You

The first golden nugget of what makes summer running so special is that summer miles pay off.  Always.  Forget about pace, because when that first cool autumn morning rolls around your same summer effort will result in much faster paces.  Trust the process.  It’s true. You just WILL be faster for having trudged through the summer heat and humid mornings.  Your body will thank you for your hard work because everything will feel and be SO much easier later!  

Effort

I know sometimes we get so tied down to our watches and paces and we have a specific time goal in mind, but the effort your body is exerting in the summer is all that counts.   Your cells don’t know miles and paces.  They know effort and time.  Don’t worry about easy pace (or any pace)!  Worry about easy EFFORT (or goal pace effort). The best of athletes know their body’s effort so well they don’t even need to look at their watches.  You don’t see the elite marathoners checking their watches during their race.  It is important to connect your mind to your body to understand what your different effort levels are and run based on these different effort levels during the heat of the day.  Think of effort using the Rate of Perceived Exertion scale (see image).   Your easy effort runs should be somewhere around 3-4.  Your goal pace effort should be around 6-7.  When doing speed work faster than goal pace, you will be closer to 8-9.   Thank you again summer running for allowing me this forced opportunity to tune in with my body’s effort and detach from the watch!

Slow Down

What does all this effort-based running really mean?  It means SLOW DOWN Y’ALL!  Your effort will equal slower miles and that is OKAY!  The gift of slower miles means more time on your feet, which in the marathon or half marathon is the very point of the long run.  Remember, your body knows time.  If you slow down you will gain more time running which trains your body for longer running!  Some days might be faster or slower than others, doesn’t matter.  Seriously.  I challenge you to slow down and not care!  IT’S OKAY! :) This is another chance to have an ounce of gratitude for the heat for forcing you to slow down and work on your endurance!  It will all pay off in the fall/winter I PROMISE!  

Just Plain Tough

Oh yeah, and your toughness factor certainly goes up a notch (or two or three) each time you conquer a summer run.  The mental strength gained by “being okay” with the discomforts of running in heat and humidity will serve you tremendously when dealing with the discomforts of the last 10k of a marathon.  You can quickly learn to push through the hurt when things feel “harder than they should” and this is something that will totally serve you for that fall or winter marathon or next big event.  The mental training when conditions are less than optimal is something you can’t create in a training plan - so “thank you summer for giving us a chance to work on our mental toughness!”

Summer running in all its misery is actually something that can provide incredible benefits when done properly.  Your future self will be faster, you can take the time to connect with your body’s effort levels, and learn to be okay with yourself when you run slower.  All of this amounts to a much tougher you and something that no training plan can create for you.  How we mentally approach these adverse conditions provided to us by the summer heat will result in an ability to overcome adversities in a race and give you an extra edge in the last brutal miles of your next big event.

 

Hi! I'm Coach Jackie

I have always enjoyed helping other people push themselves outside of their comfort zone, to grow and learn about themselves, and to reach just a little further than what they think is possible.  We all are extraordinary people with unrealized potential, and I consider myself quite fortunate to have an opportunity to work with the Twenty-Six Two organization and its community.

 

About Me

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When I was about 8 years old my dad began incorporating running into his lifestyle, encouraging me and my sister to join him for casual 5K and 10K races here in Austin. As he began running longer runs, I would run along just to keep him company. In adolescence and college I found myself more committed to team sports (soccer, basketball, & ultimate frisbee), which really helped me understand the value of helping and coaching each other to work as a team. I really enjoyed this environment and in college I was in the right place at the right time to co-found, captain, and coach the first women's ultimate frisbee team at Kalamazoo College.

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After college, I moved back to Austin and continued my involvement with the ultimate frisbee community for several years.  I help to organize and coach another ultimate Frisbee team, this time at my old high school. Things took a turn for me when I tore my MCL in an ultimate frisbee collision. During my slow recovery my activities were limited to running, biking, & swimming , to avoid lateral cutting and associated knee stresses. I took interest in triathlons and becoming a stronger runner.  As the years progressed, my sisters, dad and husband all began training for the Austin marathon and in pure FOMO fashion, I joined them for their long runs to keep them company.  They inspired me to sign up for my first half marathon - which quickly led to marathons and a trail 50K.

I worked hard with my running coaches at Rogue Running, paying close attention to the details laid out in the training plans, when to push myself, when to take it easy, how to listen to my body, and how to ride the emotional highs and lows of a training season. Running is complicated - mentally, physically, and emotionally - lots of moving parts! I like to step back, study the big picture, learn from personal experiences (either mine or from others) and then provide support in all of those areas to my friends and family with their training. Personally, I have worked hard for PRs and pushed myself to a BQ time of 3:34:07 and a 50K ultra.

My background in coaching is unconventional. It is influenced by my career choices as well as my hobbies.  I was the director of sports and games at a summer camp for 7-14 year-olds in New Hampshire throughout college.  Upon graduating, I became an elementary school teacher at a very high needs school. Teaching requires close observation, thorough planning, and inspiring children to set goals for themselves far beyond their schema to help them realize their potential. I naturally began informally leading and guiding many of the other teachers, leading me to become an Instructional Coach - mentoring and supporting, helping adults this time realize their potential as teachers. These principles apply to running, training, goal setting, and pushing our physical selves to perform what our mind does not always completely believe it is capable of doing. We will do this strategically, with patience and practice, tuning in and listening to our bodies to stay healthy and balanced.

 I am thrilled to begin this opportunity with Twenty-Six Two, and am looking forward to meeting with you. Please don't hesitate to say hello, ask me anything, and reach out with your questions, personal stories and concerns. Running with intention allows us all to learn more about ourselves in the toughest of moments as well as when we feel light, strong and confident. Onward!

Questions or want to say hello? Email Coach Jackie

Twenty-Six Two Announces New Coach as Club Expands and Improves Training Programs

Twenty-Six Two is planning some big changes ahead starting in April 2017 and moving into the fall/winter training and racing season. Building upon the success of TST's history of outstanding marathon training in a small, friendly, and family-like atmosphere, the club is elevating its personalized training programs to a new level!

As we add half-marathon training to our abundant list of marathon programs, we will also expand our first-timer program, move to an online training platform, and focus heavily on improving delivery and scope of our training plans to more runners in the Austin community. These are just a few of the changes and improvements that TST has planned for the future.

Coach Jackie Howard

Coach Jackie Howard

As we move into the 2017-18 season, TST is pleased to introduce our new coach, Jackie Howard. Jackie is a marathon veteran with a passion for guiding other runners with their own marathon training and racing. With her own marathon PR of 3:34, Jackie brings her enthusiasm, knowledge, and experience to TST as the club moves into a new era of expanded and improved training programs for both marathons and half-marathons.

In January of 2017, Jackie served as a TST Pacer at the 3M Half-Marathon. Prior to joining TST, Jackie trained with Rogue Running in Austin.

TST’s proven training programs are now moving to a new online training platform with Brooksee, LLC, a company that produces endurance events throughout the United States and which has hired TST’s former coach, Paul Carmona, as its coach for Brooksee’s Online Coaching Program. Over the past year, Coach Paul has trained over 100 runners from numerous states via the Brooksee programs, including for the Boston Marathon and for the Revel Racing series. This is in addition to the hundreds of runners whom Paul has coached since TST’s foundation in 2004.

Going forward, TST will offer 24-week marathon and half-marathon training for races throughout the year. All of TST’s training programs will be launched through the Brooksee Online Coaching platform, which offers an interactive training calendar and log, weekly notes, online training videos and pace calculators, and a message center for communicating with coaches.

TST will continue its tradition of offering top-quality marathon training programs, and will now include fully-coached half-marathon training. In addition, the club will continue its weekly group long runs and group track/hill workouts. Also, TST will carry on its first-timer program, which has been a mainstay of TST’s programs since 2004.

Please join me in welcoming Coach Jackie to our TST family, and in thanking Coach Paul for his past service as TST’s coach for the past 13 years.  TST looks forward to an exciting year ahead as the club expands its training programs under new coaching with Coach Jackie Howard and new online training programs developed by Coach Paul Carmona.

Sincerely,

Kara Levy, TST President

Don't Be A Running Lemming

Hey, Coach...I have heard you say to "run with a purpose" when I am training for a race.  What do you mean? Can't I just join up with a running group and do whatever they're doing while I follow a simple training plan from a book or online source?

The folk stories about lemmings (small rodents) jumping off cliffs in some sort of bizarre mass suicide are just that - folk stories.  However, lemmings often migrate in huge packs, and the Norway lemmings in Scandinavia sometimes do reach cliffs, stop, and then leap into the sea to continue their innate urge to migrate.  As they swim across the sea, some drown as they mindlessly swim onward.

So what’s a “running lemming,” you ask?  That is a runner who mindlessly runs with a group for a workout, sometimes pushing himself or herself much too hard, just because “that’s what the group is doing today.”  While there are certainly many benefits to running with groups -- and definitely that is true with a group that has a common training objective -- runners should consider several factors before jumping into a training group.

What Are You Training For?

Unless you are running “just to run,” you are probably training for a specific race, or a series of races.  In that case, every workout in your training schedule should have a certain purpose.  If you are in the beginning stages of your “base” period, there really is no room for track intervals or high-intensity hill repeats.  Likewise, if you are in the “building” weeks before a marathon, your training should have a good amount of threshold training, or “stamina” work, instead of short bursts of speed that are favored by many running groups on a track.

Many runners don’t follow any specific training plan at all, but merely design their training – for whatever distance they are targeting – based on these targets:

• weekly mileage

• weekend long run

• “intensity” work once or twice a week

Although this kind of training can help runners complete a goal race, it usually is not focused enough to yield optimal results.

The better method - and one that is “tried and true” in the running world - is to follow a training plan that (1) specifically targets a goal race, (2) sets key periods for different types of workouts, and (3) lays out very focused workouts that are designed with you and your optimal training pace in mind.  With that type of training plan in hand, a runner who shows up for group workouts just to "do what the group is doing" will quickly realize that those workouts don’t fit into the schedule.

Listen To The Experts.

If you are a runner who is training for a specific race, and you’ve never consulted any of the materials written by Pfitzinger, Daniels, McMillan, Higdon, Lydiard, or any of the other experts out there - do it soon.  Although the methods advanced by each of these experts sometimes vary, you will no doubt learn something important from their writings.

Take a look at the training plans that the experts have developed.  Do you see high intensity work (track/speed work and hill repeats) twice a week for 10, 15 or 20 weeks in any of them?  No.  What you will see are very specific plans that are deeply focused on proper training pace, the corresponding training “zone” on the calendar, and the overall goal of getting the runner prepared for the particular race – and pace – for which the training plan has been designed.

There are reasons why the experts don’t recommend seriously fast speed work followed by very hard hill repeats two or three days later.  Rest assured that the experts would advise against that sort of training.

Don’t Forget About Injury Risks.

Training plans do include intensity work, but usually the overall volume decreases (meaning the total number of weekly miles drops) or else remains flat in comparison to the linear or stair-stepped increases in mileage that are common in the base periods.

Also, the training periods that contain very high intensity work are typically much shorter than the base period.  For example, a 16-week base period might be followed by a 5-week period that includes a lot of speed or hill work, but overall less mileage.  In addition, the frequency of workouts might decrease slightly, meaning that you will run fewer days each week than during your base phase. 

The reason for this is simple - your body needs more time to recover from the demands of high intensity workouts.  If you go out without direction into a training group week after week, month after month, “hitting it hard” two or more times a week, your chances of injury increase with every workout.

So, Am I Supposed to Quit My Running Group?

Absolutely not.  Running groups provide terrific support, offer many sources of shared information and wisdom, and create opportunities to meet and learn from other runners.  However, it is important not to fall into a “pack” mentality where you “do what the group is doing” just because that’s what everyone else is doing. 

If you are “running just to run,” and you like the security and social offerings of a group, then by all means lace up your shoes and go run.  Just remember to give yourself some recovery time on a regular basis, especially if the group tends to “go hard” more than once a week.

On the other hand, if you are training for a specific race, make sure that your workouts are consistent with your training phase.  More importantly, keep on eye on your intensity level during workouts.  “Hitting it hard” and trying to beat your training partners at every workout is probably not what you need.  If you find yourself mindlessly pushing yourself harder and harder, without any sort of direction or purpose, stop and ask yourself if you feel like one of those Norway lemmings that are swimming into the sea.  If the answer is yes, then it is time to find a coach or consult one or more training books to get yourself into an appropriate training regimen.

Paul Carmona is the head coach for Twenty-Six Two Marathon Club in Austin, Texas.

Off-Season Maintenance Running in Spring and Early Summer

Hey, Coach...I was wondering what I should be running these days now that the fall/winter racing season is behind me, and spring is just around the corner. My next marathon or maybe half-marathon is months away, so it's hard to find motivation right now. Help!

Unless you’re already training for a late-summer or early-fall marathon, you’re probably in one of those periods where you’re following no specific training schedule, perhaps wondering how far and how hard you should be running these days.  Instead of considering yourself to be “off-season,” think of yourself as being in “maintenance” mode.  The primary focus should be on maintaining your aerobic base, which means that most of your miles should be in an easy, conversational pace.

There are all kinds of heart rate formulas and “rate of perceived exertion” scales to determine your optimal pace for aerobic training, but the easiest way to do this is to simply run at what you feel is an “easy pace,” following these general guidelines:

• Aim for 40-60 minutes at this pace, three to four times per week.  Make one of those a longer run, but don’t aim for anything much longer than 90 minutes or so.

• Go early or late in the day to avoid heat.

• Mix up your routes to keep boredom away, or run with friends or groups.

• Take plenty of walk or water breaks if needed.

Once a week or every other week, it’s ok to go out and do some speed or hill work, but keep in mind that your speed and stamina in these intensity workouts might be less than what you experienced during racing season.  The goal of these speed and hill sessions is not to perform at high levels, but to keep just a little bit of intensity in your running routines during the long, hot summer days.

Remember, the primary goal is to work on your aerobic engine, which means lots of miles at slow, easy paces.  Questions? Ask the Coach.

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

5 more weeks until the Austin Marathon!

The holiday’s sure did get busy didn't they?! So, here is a recap of the last few weeks. Christmas Eve had to be the toughest long run so far. 16 miles in what felt like the most humid Christmas weather ever. Add that to a lot of people being out of town and running that distance alone is challenging!

We ushered in 2017 on New Year’s Eve with a 17-mile-long run! Ha! I don’t think that was intentional, but it made running that many miles a little more significant that day. Plus, that was the longest I had ever run so far! With added distance that week came the repercussions of potentially pushing too much during a high mileage week. Struggling with an injury in the middle of training is no fun. The mental aspect of it is more challenging than the foam rolling and stretching! Not running right now knowing I have a race coming up is difficult, but I have found cycling to be sufficient in getting my legs moving. Coach always says foam roll as much as you can, stretch, and take it easy on easy run days. I thought I was doing enough foam rolling and stretching, but I have to admit, easy runs to me are pretty difficult when you feel like you have to run a particular pace. Now I know why it’s important to do all of those things religiously during training. I have also found that massage is also a runner’s best friend. I now know that it is an essential part of recovery and keeping your muscles ready for the rigors of training. So, when Coach says to look into massage and foam rolling, you do it! Thanks Coach! Hopefully I’ll be back up and running soon in time for 3M. Wish me luck!

Hancock and Barton Creek Mall Loops

Last Saturday, I ran the furthest I have ever run before. 16 miles. There were several of us in the first timer group that had never run that far before and when we were finished I just couldn’t believe it. All I could say was, “Yes! We did it!” Although it is nothing compared to the actual 26.2, it was a major mile stone point in our training. (Pun intended!) Kristina and I discovered that singing TV jingles and making up songs about different places we passed on our route made the tough miles move faster. Not literally faster, but definitely took our minds off of the distance we still had left to go! Not only was it the furthest, but also the coldest! It was 38 degrees that morning and my choice to take my gloves off was a bad one, but now I know better! This was also the week we were testing out our Clif Gel Chews and Shots. I really like the vanilla flavor Clif Shots! They are a tasty treat in the middle of a run.

Today, we ran the Barton Creek Mall Loop and four of us decided to get in an early 4 miles which I’m glad we did! The hills on this route are not friendly, but I know in the long run I will be thankful that we trained running the hills that we have. For December this was a muggy and humid run, but oddly enough tomorrow will be crazy cold for a recovery run! That one might end up being inside; 20-degree weather is a little too cold for me! I tried the Clif Gel Chews today, the Cran-Razz flavor and I really felt like they gave me that little extra push. Now I’m not sure which ones I like more! I guess I’ll figure that out as the weeks go on.

Soggy Scenic + Mile Repeats

Two Saturdays ago, December 3rd we got to experience; or at least the first-timers did, our first run in the rain and cold! Thank you mother-nature for making it cold, but we could do without the rain (at least between the hours of 6AM-10AM on Saturday mornings, please!) :) Now that our training is getting into higher mileage, Coach Paul and veteran runners recommend getting in a few miles early before the group run. I meet a couple of the other first-timers for a 5 mile run at 6AM on that soggy Saturday and I am so thankful that we took this advice! When you are spent from mile repeats, knowing that you are already finished with your long run is way better than saying, "oh, but I still have 4 more miles to go!" As we get ready to bunker down as they say into the tough part of training, I am thankful for the guidance and advice we are getting as first-timers from an awesome coach and group of runners! 

University Loop Week 12

It’s been awhile! Happy Thanksgiving and I hope everyone had a great holiday! I have been caught up in work, training, and grad school, but all is well! As the title states, we have entered week 12 of training and I can’t believe we are half way there! Our long runs are getting longer and just in time for cooler weather- FINALLY! Today’s run, University Loop, took us through the beautiful UT Austin Campus and it was great until the last few miles. Thanks for Frank and Maria for keeping me going those last 4 miles down on the trail!

The first timer group is rolling and we are all progressing well! Coach says to listen to your body and stay healthy which is great advice coming into this holiday season!

Next week we tackle 15 miles- we can do this!

A Humid Via Fortuna

My name is Jillian and I am a member of the Lucky 13 class of first-timers! I will be taking you through our training journey to the finish line of the 2017 Austin Marathon. We are 13 strong individuals that have come together for a common goal- to complete a marathon and make friends along the way! 

Today's route; Via Fortuna, included a mix of flat areas and hills. So, it's a good thing we have been doing hill workouts to prepare us for this run! The first-timer group completed an easy paced 8 mile run this morning at a very humid and muggy 76°. (Come on Fall! Humor us a little!) As our Coach says, easy paced runs help us build our endurance. I for one know that mine has gotten better over the past month and I can see the improvement in other first-timers as well. Additionally, a nice fact about an easy pace is that you find others who run your pace so you are not alone when you make a wrong turn in Zilker Park. :) 

Stay tuned for more run stories as our adventure continues!

 

Lucky 13th Class of First-Timers Ready to Run

Since 2005, Twenty-Six Two Marathon Club has trained 106 women in the First-Time Women's Group to their first marathon finish, and our First-Timer program has a 100% success rate: Every First-Timer who has started her marathon has completed the race!

Our 13th class of women First-Timers is set to start on Saturday, September 3, as they train for the 2017 Austin Marathon.  Good luck, ladies!