- Adjust the intensity of your workout.
- Keep your head covered and your hands and feet warm as a significant amount of our heat loss comes from our extremities.
- Warm up properly, start your runs at a comfortable pace and slowly build up the pace to a pace slower than your normal training pace.
- Shorten your stride to improve your footing on icy roads. Wear Ice Grips over the soles of your shoes for greater traction.
- Carry your cellphone.
- Wind chill does not measure temperature; it measures the rate of cooling. On a day with high wind chill, prepare for the wind.
- Run into the wind for the first part of your run and with the wind on the return portion.
- When running by yourself, run in a loop in case you need to cut the run short.
- Cover all exposed skin. If you or your running partner have exposed skin, be aware of each other to prevent frostbite.
- In the winter it’s dark, so wear reflective gear and run facing the traffic in order to be more visible.
- Mittens are warmer than gloves.
- Drink water on any run over 45 minutes.
- Use a lip protector (like a lip balm such as ChapStick) or Body Glide on your lips, nose and ears.
- Gentlemen, wear a wind brief.
- Do speed work indoors on dry surfaces.
- Be aware of hypothermia for both yourself and those running with you. Hypothermia is a drop in your core body temperature. Signs of hypothermia include incoherent, slurred speech, clumsy fingers and poor coordination. At the first sign, get to a warm, dry place and seek medical attention. You are more likely to experience difficulty on a wet and windy day.
- Do not accelerate or decelerate quickly in the cold weather.
- Make sure your changes in direction are gradual to avoid slipping or pulling muscles that are not properly warmed up.
- Freezing your lungs is just not possible. The air is sufficiently warmed by the body prior to entering the lungs. If you find the cold air uncomfortable, wear a face mask; it will help warm the air.
- Wear a single pair of thermal socks to stay warm.
- Take your wet clothes off and get dry ones on as soon as possible.
- Wear your water bottle under your jacket to keep it from freezing.
- Review runner safety. Safety is even more important in the winter with less light and far more ice and other obstacles on the running paths and roads.
Planning for Race Day
(Note: Updated for 2016)
Out of town races call for a little more planning than a local race. The main point to remember is leave nothing to chance. Here are some points to consider:
- Pack more running clothes than you will need. I usually end up taking more clothes than I need so I am prepared for any last minute changes in the weather.
- Pack a gear bag with a change of clothes. My experience running in Memphis has been that I have gotten chilled very quickly after finishing the race. The ball park tends to be in the shade and the concourse tends to be breezy. So, I highly recommend changing into dry clothes as quickly as possible after crossing the finish line. Once you get chilled, it is hard to warm up.
- Plan your meals. Know what and where you are going to eat Friday Night and Saturday Morning. I eat oatmeal before a long run, so I take a bowl and fix breakfast in my room. Don’t leave race day breakfast to chance.
- Purchase and take your race nutrition. Do not wait to purchase your nutrition at the expo. You may not be able to find the brand and flavors you have trained with at the expo.
- Race day parking. If you are not staying downtown, review the map of the area and have a good idea of where to park. Multiple parking lots and parking garages are located within four to six blocks of the start and finish lines. The average charge is $10. Remember there is a 5K that starts at 7:00 AM, so some streets will be closed and some parking lots will fill up early. Be sure to arrive early.
- Wear compression socks or sleeves in the car both to and from Memphis. Also, if you have “The Stick”, take it. It is great to help roll out tired muscles on the trip home.
- Review the course. The course has been changed again this year, for both the marathon and half marathon. The new starting line is on 2nd just South of Monroe. The finish is still in Auto Zone Park. The roads in Memphis seem to have more of a crown than those in the Nashville area. Stay away from the running next to the curb as must as possible.
- Allow Time for the Crowds. Last year, there were security lines (metal detectors) to get into the Auto Zone Park and gear check. This is a bottle neck and can slow things down race day. Plan accordingly!
- Know when your race starts. I know this sounds a little ridiculous but the times have changed for 2016.
- 5K – 7:00 am
- 10k – 7:00 am
- Half Marathon – 8:30 am
- Marathon – 8:30 am
Expo and Packet Pick Up
The expo and packet pick up are at the Memphis Cook Convention Center located off of I-40 downtown. Parking is usually an issue late Friday afternoon but there is parking under the Center. The entrance to the parking garage is located on North Front Street. The expo and packet pick up are open on Friday from 11 am to 9 pm (expo closes at 8 pm). There is NO race day packet pick up.
Hopefully, you will find this information helpful. If you have additional questions, please feel free to email me.
Leave word. Tell somebody or leave a note at home about where you plan to go and how long you plan to be out. That way your loved ones will know to come look for you if needed.
Identify yourself. Run with proper ID, and carry a cell phone with emergency contacts taped to its back.
Pretend you’re invisible. Don’t assume a driver sees you. In fact, imagine that a driver can’t see you, and behave accordingly.
Face traffic. It’s easier to see, and react to, oncoming cars. And cars will see you more clearly too.
Make room. If traffic gets heavy, or the road narrows, be prepared to move onto the sidewalk or shoulder of the road.
Be seen. Wear high-visibility, brightly colored clothing. When out near or after sunset, reflective materials are a must. (If you don’t own reflective clothing, a lightweight reflective vest is a great option.) And use a headlamp or handheld light so you can see where you’re going, and drivers can see you. The light should have a bright LED (drivers see blinking red as a hazard).
Unplug your ears. Avoid using iPods or wearing headphones—you need to be able to hear approaching vehicles. If you do use headphones, run with the volume low and just one earbud in.
Watch the hills. When they crest hills, drivers’ vision can suddenly be impaired by factors like sun glare or backdrops.
Beware of high-risk drivers. Steer clear of potential problem areas like entrances to parking lots, bars, and restaurants, where there may be heavy traffic.
Watch for early birds and night owls. At odd hours be extra careful. Early in the morning and very late at night, people may be overtired and not as attentive.
Mind your manners. At a stop sign or light, wait for the driver to wave you through—then acknowledge with your own polite wave. That acknowledgement will make the driver feel more inclined to do it again for the next walker or runner. Use hand signals (as you would on a bicycle) to show which way you plan to turn.
Adapted from an article by Jennifer Van Allen on runnerssworld.com
Mental toughness is the capacity to reliably perform at your best regardless of external conditions, distractions or internal emotions.
There are a number of key traits and habits that define mental toughness.
The good news is that you do not have to be born with mental toughness. Mental toughness is an acquired trait. You don’t have to go through a life-threatening experience to gain it. You can learn to be mentally tough through your workouts every day. You will be challenged many times to keep moving forward and reach your goal. The more you learn, the more mental toughness you gain.
What are the qualities of the mentally tough runner?
Here are some of the common themes among runners who succeed. There are several key traits that make up mental toughness. Regardless of where you are in your training, you can become a mentally tough runner and make this your strength.
Resilience: The ability to bounce back from adversity, pain or a disappointing performance. The mentally tough runner can realize and admit a mistake, understand a missed opportunity, isolate the lesson, and quickly move on to focus on the immediate goal ahead.
Focus: The ability to focus in the face of distractions or unexpected circumstances. The mentally tough runner doesn’t avoid situations, but instead addresses them right away. For example, when you’re in the last miles of the marathon, you feel dead tired, you’re hurting, and you want to quit. That is the time to focus. You say, “I must keep moving forward, just this step, one more step.” And you’ll likely get to the finish line when you are mentally tough.
Strength: The ability to handle an unforeseen turn of events and remain balanced and calm, continuing to be competitive. The mentally tough runner remains both strong and flexible, able to respond to any situation that arises.
Preparation: The ability to anticipate situations ahead of time and feel prepared so there is a plan of action for anything that might happen. The mentally tough runner doesn’t panic in a crisis (falling back in a race or a workout, for example). For instance, you may be in a race, and your competitor moves in front of you. You have a method to stay mentally calm, adjust your pace, and follow through with your plan.
Vision: The ability to keep moving forward with your objective, even when there are no immediate signs of getting closer to the finish line. The mentally tough runner creates a clear picture of the goal, visualizes it often, and keeps that image in the forefront no matter what. You imagine all the possible scenarios, and have a plan for moving through each one successfully.
Openness: The ability to learn and be open to all possibilities. The mentally tough runner is willing to listen and take feedback, knowing that’s where real changes take place. You listen to that inner voice that says, “I can do this. I have all the tools and resources inside to create my own success.”
Trust: The ability to have faith in oneself. The mentally tough runner learns to trust that the body will know what to do when it’s race time. You trust in your training and your plan. You trust in your coach. You believe in yourself, even when there is no one close by to boost your confidence. You go with what you know, even when your support system is not present at the race. You stay mentally tough and keep moving forward, even when the finish line seems far away. You say, “Every step brings me closer to my goal.”
Adapted from the article, 7 Traits of Mentally Tough Runners, by Dr. JoAnn Dahlkoetter at competitor.com
As our group grows, it becomes more and more important that we obey the Runners’ Rules of the Road. The biggest help is the alert the group of approaching cars, runners and cyclist. A simple “Car Up” or “Biker Back”, will let the group know to make the adjustments needed to “Share the Road”.
Here is “Rules of the Road” from the Road Runner’s Club of America.
- Run against traffic if running on the road. If running on the sidewalk or multi-use trails, travel on the right and pass on the left.
- Never run more than two abreast if you are running in a group. Don’t be a road or trail hog.
- Don’t run down the middle of the road or trail.
- If you are running an out-and-back route, don’t just make a sudden u-turn at your turn around point. Stop, step to the right to allow oncoming traffic the opportunity to pass. Ensure the road or trail is clear of oncoming traffic (runners, cyclists, in-line skaters, etc.) then make your u-turn. Making a sudden u-turn without looking over your shoulder is a good way to get hit.
- Alert pedestrians when you are passing them – don’t assume they are aware of their surroundings. A simple “on your left” warning will suffice.
- Be alert on blind curves.
- Stop at stop signs and ensure oncoming traffic yields to you before proceeding across a road. Don’t assume cars will stop if you are entering a cross walk.
- Respect private property along your route.
- Don’t litter. If you can’t find a trash can, carry your trash home.
From the Road Runner’s Club of America.
It’s summertime and you head out for a run. Before you even finish the first mile, your body feels as though it might ignite from the heat. It’s not your imagination. Fifteen minutes into your run and your body temperature could be as high as 5° F above normal. If you were to continue at this pace, fatigue and heat illness would no doubt take over.
The above scenario doesn’t have to happen. Here are some tips from the Road Runner’s Club of America on running in hot weather.
- Avoid dehydration! You can lose between 6 and 12 oz. of fluid for every 20 minutes of running. Therefore it is important to pre-hydrate (10–15 oz. of fluid 10 to 15 minutes prior to running) and drink fluids every 20–30 minutes along your running route. To determine if you are hydrating properly, weigh yourself before and after running. You should have drunk one pint of fluid for every pound you’re missing. Indications that you are running while dehydrated are a persistent elevated pulse after finishing your run and dark yellow urine. Keep in mind that thirst is not an adequate indicator of dehydration.
- Visit Gatorade Endurance’s site. You will find great tools for developing a hydration strategy.
- Avoid running outside if the heat is above 98.6 degrees and the humidity is above 70-80%. While running, the body temperature is regulated by the process of sweat evaporating off of the skin. If the humidity in the air is so high that it prevents the process of evaporation of sweat from the skin, you can quickly overheat and literally cook your insides from an elevated body temperature. Check your local weather and humidity level.
- When running, if you become dizzy, nauseated, have the chills, or cease to sweat…. STOP RUNNING, find shade, and drink water or a fluid replacement drink such as Gatorade Endurance. If you do not feel better, get help. Heatstroke occurs when the body fails to regulate its own temperature, and the body temperature continues to rise. Symptoms of heatstroke include mental changes (such as confusion, delirium, or unconsciousness) and skin that is red, hot, and dry, even under the armpits. Heatstroke is a life-threatening medical emergency, requiring emergency medical treatment.
- Run in the shade whenever possible and avoid direct sunlight and blacktop. When you are going to be exposed to the intense summer rays of the sun, apply at least 15 spf sunscreen and wear protective eyewear that filters out UVA and UVB rays. Consider wearing a visor that will shade your eyes and skin but will allow heat to transfer off the top of your head.
- If you have heart or respiratory problems or you are on any medications, consult your doctor about running in the heat. In some cases it may be in your best interests to run indoors. If you have a history of heatstroke/illness, run with extreme caution.
- Do wear light colored breathable clothing. Do not wear long sleeves or long pants or sweat suits. Purposefully running in sweat suits hot days to lose water weight is dangerous!
- Plan your route so you can refill water bottles or find drinking fountains. City parks, local merchants, and restaurants are all good points to incorporate on your route during hot weather running. Be sure to tell someone where you are running how long you think you will gone, and carry identification.
Stay hydrated, cool, and safe this summer!
Currently, Run 4 Others members are training for 13 different races. When you build your training plan, training will start based on the plan you choose.
Here is a list of the races that members have indicated they will be training for and the dates training should start based on the length of the training plan. Marathon training is either 16 or 18 weeks. Half Marathon training is 12 weeks.
|The Gopher to Badger Half Marathon||8/9/2014||5/17/2014|
|Twin Cities Marathon||10/5/2014||6/1/2014||6/15/2014|
|Detroit Free Press Marathon||10/19/2014||6/15/2014||6/29/2014|
|Marine Corps Marathon||10/26/2014||6/22/2014||7/6/2014|
|Rock’n’Roll Vancouver Half||10/26/2014||8/3/2014|
|Harvest Half Marathon||11/1/2014||8/9/2014|
|St. Jude Memphis||12/6/2014||8/2/2014||8/16/2014||9/13/2014|
|Rocket City Marathon||12/15/2014||8/11/2014||8/25/2014|
|Walt Disney World Marathon||1/11/2015||9/7/2014||9/21/2014||10/19/2014|
It is all about choices, your choices and you are in control.
The training period this fall will run from mid-June through mid-December. This will allow folks to focus on training for races from late September to December time-frame. The first group run will be Saturday, June 14, and will start at the Brentwood Library at 6 am. Plan to be there a few minutes early because we will start on time.
The start date of your training is based on your race date. Your training plan will have links to maps and cue sheets for the long runs. If your training does not start for several weeks, don’t wait until then to join the Saturday runs. Just select a distance and a route from the routes and cue sheet page and join in.
This training group is very loosely structured. Steve Blume has organized the group and I have put together the training and the routes. Our goal is to make it simple. You are responsible for providing your own fluids, but our routes are designed to utilize restrooms and water fountains at planned intervals. It is your responsibility each week to review the map and print the cue sheet.
Even though there are no “pace groups,” you are encouraged to find folks that run close to your pace.
Let’s make a difference
There is not a “direct” charge to you to participate in this program. Instead, we ask that you agree to raise funds for a charity of your choice or make a donation to one of the group’s charity runners. The suggested donation is $100. In the past two years, the Run 4 Others group has raised more than $37,000 for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. With the expanded training season and the potential of including more charities, the difference this group can make is huge.
If you have any suggestions or questions about training, please contact Steve or me.
Glad to have you as a part of this training group and looking forward to a great time.