Thank you to those who came out to our Coaches Corner Q&A! We had a wide variety of questions that our Coaches were able to field and answer. This was a fantastic way to get some more personalized coaching and to get a better handle on your training. If you missed it, don't worry! Here's an overview of things we discussed! Feel free to reach out to any of your coaches and mentors should you have any other questions!
1. Running in a Group: What is the best way to deal with your pace vs. the group pace? What's the etiquette for running in a group?
We often find that when you get a group of runners together that are roughly the same pace they are going to go a little faster than one maybe used to running on their own. Why does this happen? With the group you generally have more adrenaline pumping through your veins, there are more distractions around you - friends, group mates, new scenery, you maybe less familiar with the route, etc. The group setting provides a lot of positive energy to your runs, you are held more accountable, you are more likely to push yourself further if the person next you is in it with you, and you are often distracted by the fact that you get to talk to friends and learn more about your group mates. However, sometimes you will find that you as a group push that pace - that in fact you are running faster than you should be (see the notes on pacing below). Here are some ways around that - set one person to set the pace. Your mentors will help out with this. Rely on a GPS device if you are considerably worried about it (ie. you find you are sucking wind at the end of your runs because you raced the first couple of miles), having a GPS device can also help train your body to 'know' what a X:XX min/mile pace feels like. Always have open communication with your group - chances are if your group went out too fast in the beginning then you won't be the only one feeling it.
When it comes to the etiquette of running in a group here are some good tips:
2. Pacing? The ever loaded question.
The long and the short of pacing is, we put everyone into pace groups so you are able to train better. The mile time trial at the beginning and end of the season allow us to show you how much you've improved! But once we have those mile times we take them and put them into an online training calculator - the McMillian Calculator - to give us a couple different paces for each of you. The paces are (the ones that we use):
We take the time to give you this information about the different paces because it's very important with your training to be aware of the pace. Carolyn made a great point that being more intentional with your pace, by doing the long runs at the prescribed pace and the tempo/faster runs at the tempo pace you will see a big improvement in your endurance. Someone once said you have to train slow to go faster and it is so true - here's a great article that backs us up. We will easily burn ourselves out if we consistently train too fast.
It was suggested for those who aren't feeling like they get the most out of their long runs because it feels too slow - try adding some strides at the end of your workout. This change in speed after your body has been steadily crushing miles will be a good way to engage your fastwitch muscles and get some speed going while your body is fatigued.
3. Recovery - okay now I ran 12 miles and everything hurts, what do I do?!
4. Nutrition - trial and error and trial, again!