Group Practice #2
4 miles on the schedule
Start time: 7:00 AM
It was about 10 degrees cooler at the start than it was last week, but that still means it was nearly 80 degrees when we got going. But that difference made such a difference! And despite the holiday weekend, we still had a pretty great turnout. Evidence? Our team photo we took before training!
Today we practiced at a local soccer park where we can follow the path around all the fields. We called today’s run a “Blackjack Run” – meaning that we did two laps around the fields and gave each team member a playing card on each lap. Then the people that hit 21 won a prize. Just a little something to make it fun!
We discussed some biomechanics before the 4 miles today, main points being:
– Make sure you keep your head up, looking ahead.
– Keep your shoulders rolled back and loose, don’t hunch them up by your ears.
– Keep your arms moving, that pumping motion will help propel you along.
– But don’t swing your arms across your body.
– Engage your core
– Keep your hips level
– Keep your steps quick and light
During training I had two official walk/run pace groups going, my mentors lead these groups. I had one group doing a 1 minute run/4 minute walk pattern and another doing a 2 minute run/3 minute walk. It seemed to help keep some of the people clustered together a little better, which I liked. I took my Gymboss for one mentor to use, I programmed the other person’s Garmin 205 to beep for the intervals. If I get another group going (which I would like to do for a 4/1 pattern) I’ll have to put batteries in my old Suunto watch or buy another Gymboss!
After training my co-coach Jimmy lead the team through some simple strength training exercises. I missed the demo he did because I was out on the course looking for our back-of-the-pack participants.
Oh yeah… I spent a good amount of time on the course today! All-in-all I got in 5.5 miles on the course with my team! Some of it running, some of it walking… but I felt like I was back. No foot pain during the training. By the end my foot was feeling a wee bit sore and my shoe felt a little constrictive. I iced it up once I was home though and it seems okay now. I did have it all taped up with KT Tape while training and that seems to help a lot.
Endurance training is as much (or more) a mental sport than it is physical… and I was reminded of that today. We had some people who really dragged out there (and I admit, the hot sun doesn’t help) but the second they were paired up with another runner/walker or a coach/mentor worked with them for a bit, their pace picked right up. Often it was just a matter of getting them to think about something other than what they were doing. I wish I knew how to write a “mental training schedule” as well as I can put together the physical aspect of this!
Several people admitted to not following the schedule at all during the weekdays. I am okay if they need to shift days around a little bit to make it work with their life, but to just blow it all off and then show up for only the long runs is a recipe for disaster… especially the new athletes.
A lot of people on the team are wearing name tags and/or have written their name on their training jersey, which has been a huge help. It will still take a while to learn names, but it feels so much better to be able to glance through photos and try to review who the participants are.
Speaking of photos… I forgot my camera this week! Oops… Fortunately, our honored hero Ashley and her boyfriend were there. Her boyfriend Walter is quite the photographer and he took photos throughout, so I’m borrowing some his pictures for this week’s record keeping!
- Team Challenge – 2011 LVRnR #1 (jillwillrun.com)