Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Clinic: Week One

Day One of the Half Marathon Clinic went great. The weather was a little disconcerting throughout the afternoon (cold rain and heavy wind are not my idea of nice running conditions!) but it improved a little just before our run and it turned out alright. I even managed to squeeze in some agility training whilst jumping over puddles that looked the size of Lake Superior.

Tonight consisted primarily of an introduction to the program and getting to know our instructor (she rocks!) and fellow runners. There is quite a variety of people in our group, mostly in their 30'a and 40's (we're the babies!) and many of whom have an equivalent level of experience to us. Some have never completed a half, some have completed multiple, one is actually training for a full. Some seem to have joined the clinic for the social aspect, some for motivation to continue running once Old Man Winter rears his ugly head (myself included on the latter).

The program starts off a little too easy and everyone agreed to have our instructor make some modifications. The original plan has us running 3 & 4 KM's quite regularly, but that is a warm-up run for most of us. We should get a copy of the new program at our next session on Sunday, but the basic idea is: LSD (long slow distance) on Sundays, educational session (different topic each week) on Tuesdays (plus easy run) and hill training (fartleks later in the program) on Wednesdays. We then run on our own one or two more times. I have to devise a new plan, balancing the group runs and gym nights (oh, and rest days... if there's time!) but it might look something like:

Monday: gym - weights only
Tuesday: group run (easy), then weights (gym)
Wednesday: group run (hills/fartleks)
Thursday: gym - treadmill + weights
Friday: gym - treadmill + weights
Saturday: REST!!
Sunday: group run - LSD

We'll have to play it by ear and make some adjustments if it's too much. The last thing I want is to burn myself out.

Anyway, tonight we just did a nice 4K around the block. It was easy and we finished at the front of the pack - not that it's a race.

We have one beef. Everyone in the group seems to like doing 10&1's (run 10 minutes, walk 1), which we do not. The instructor will probably accommodate the majority, but she encourages us to go ahead and run continuously if it suits us. She will give us a map of the route each day, so it's okay if we don't stay with the pack. A few people have asked me what I have against 10&1's or any kind of walk breaks. The thing is, if I start to walk, I have a really hard time getting back into the run groove and I would hate to be constantly waiting for that "beep beep" - know what I mean? When my body needs a rest, I just take it down to a slow and steady jog and so far, that works for me.

So it looks like we now have a good handful of races planned for next year:

March: Chilly Half in Burlington
May: Sporting Like 10K, Persechini 10K (hosted by our gym), Mississauga Half
August: Mid Summer Night's Run (15K)
September: Scotiabank Toronto Half

Not to mention that softball season starts up again in May and I could be playing on as many as three teams next year! I better be damn skinny after next summer. ;)

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