December 31, 2010
I had a typical Dec. 31st conversation with several runners this morning – typical because they wanted to decide on their 2011 running goals … and yet they weren’t entirely ready to commit to them.
It’s a good moment to remind ourselves about effective goal setting.
Tip #1: Give yourself two to four weeks to set the goals. Begin by looking at everything else going on in your life – work and family plans, household projects, and community activities. Prioritize them in order of importance.
Tip #2: Throw a wide net at first when considering your running goals. Might you try a new event or travel to a new place? Most important, choose an event which holds the most meaning for you. One woman I was talking with this morning was mid-distance runner, Antonia Hieronymous. “I don’t feel like going for more 5Ks this year,” she said. “I do know one event I absolutely want to do: the Mount Washington race.” It’s 7.6 miles and the challenge or running in altitude up a mountain has meaning for her now. That goal parallels an endurance effort in her community life, where she is trying to raise money to build a school in Peru.
If all you can think of is one race for the entire year, that’s enough to motivate you to build endurance and plan speed workouts for a two- to three-month period. It’s a minimum, but it keeps running in your life even if you are juggling other major and sometimes stressful commitments.
Tip #3. Write down your three main goals and note them on each month of a monthly calendar to remind yourself of the big picture, even if you’re not working on your goal during a particular month. You’ll hold yourself accountable.
The 1964 Harvard University study on goal setting is powerful proof of the value of writing down your goals. That year all members of the Harvard Business School graduating class stated that they had clear goals that they wanted to accomplish. Only 5% of them took the time to write them down on paper. A follow-up study of the class in 1984 found that of the 5% who wrote down goals, 95% were able to achieve them within 20 years. Of the 95% who didn’t write down goals, only 5% were able to reach their goals.
Tip #4. If you’re not sure of your goals today, get a notebook and jot down thoughts as they come to you. Chances are, you’ll know what you want to take on in a few weeks.
December 27, 2010
When most of us were still recovering from our Christmas feast (way too much roast beef and pie for me!) a group of women from the Liberty Track Club laced up their track shoes. The Liberty “50s” Team of Dru Pratt-otto, Sue Gustafson (who drove up from Hingham on a moment’s notice), Joan Miller (new member and first track event ever entered), and Cathy Utzschneider set an American Record (W50 – 59) in the 4 X 1 mile distance (competing not with, but on the track with high school, college, and a few masters teams) in 26:17.8 — an average time of
6:34.2. (The previous record was 28:02, approx 7 min/mile, set by Liberty 50′s runners five plus years ago).
Congratulations to Dru, Sue, Joan and Cathy!
December 25, 2010
Christmas is a holiday – both for those who celebrate it and those who don’t. Normal schedules don’t hold. With time to relax, many are feasting or dining out. I asked a number of runners whether they try to fit in a run on a day when surrounded by friends and family – some of whom may not run. Here were their answers…
1) “I just wake up earlier than usual (5:30 rather than 7:00 a.m.) – and fit a run in then. It’s too crazy later.”
2) “I try to recruit others at home to run with me – including my cousin, who’s not really a runner – figuring it’s a gift to her to try running….I don’t mind some walking to help her out. “
3) “I make an excuse to pick up some milk – and manage to fit in at least three miles on the errand!”
4) “I tell everyone in advance that I need just an hour for my run and in exchange I’ll do the dishes after the big meal afterwards.”
5) “I take the day off – if there’s a day when you have an excuse to rest, Christmas is it.”
6) “It’s a crazy day. If I do anything related to running, it’s a chance to think about my goals for next year.”
What’s your Christmas/holiday routine?
December 20, 2010
Treat yourself or a friend to a Performance or Fashion Tee and get 50% off a Running Cap for the month of December Only. Regular Price is $22.00, Christmas Special is $11.00. Click here to order.
Happy holidays and happy running!
Photo courtesy of Pink Sherbet
December 17, 2010
As Coach of the 2011 John Hancock Boston Marathon Employee Team, I had dinner a few nights ago with Mary Kate Shea, representing John Hancock for Boston Marathon sponsorship, elite marathoner Desiree Davila, and her coach Keith Hanson of the Hansons-Brooks Distance Project. Desi has just been named to John Hancock’s Boston Marathon Elite Team along with Kara Goucher. Davila, 27, has been on the fast track, getting faster and faster at the gold medal distance.
She’s one to follow. She has run five marathons, each one faster than the previous one. In her most recent marathon, Desiree ran a 2:26:20 this past October for fourth place in Chicago.
That means she posted the fastest time among American female marathoners this year. A former Arizona State All-American who mainly raced cross country, the 3k, 5k, and 10K in college, Desi attributes a great deal of her success to the Hanson method of training. It stresses endurance as an essential component of marathon training, with Hanson elite marathoners running anywhere between approximately 110 and 140 miles.
“Everything we are doing at Hansons is about progression,” she said. “I’ve learned how to prepare for the marathon — how to race the distance. I’ve gotten faster and more competitive up front each time out.”
This week Desi and Keith were in Boston to train on the course, and particularly Heartbreak Hill. “The next logical step is putting it all together and learning how to win,” notes Davila. “As an American marathoner, what better place to take on that challenge than Boston?”
Desiree Davila Photo courtesy of New York Road Runners
December 12, 2010
Yesterday the USATF National Club Cross Country Championships were held McAlpine Park in Charlotte, North Carolina with the women’s field as large as ever. Renee Metivier Baillie, 28, won the 6K distance in 19:50.5, the first of 248 runners. The open winning team was won by McMillan Elite, the first of 29 teams.
The masters field showed, once again, that masters women’s running is growing. There were sixteen teams this year, as compared with nine last year. Winners in the masters divisions were Lyudmila Vasilyeva (40 – 44) 21:38.7, Karen Steen (45-49) 22:52.8, Carmen Ayala-Troncoso (50–54) 22:17, Sharon Moore (55-59) 26:23.0, Catherine Wides (60 – 64) 26:59, Sharon Dolan (65-69), 30:08.6, Lynette Walker (70-74) 29:20.1, and Mary Harada (75-79) 38:18.0.
“There was an exciting atmosphere – even the hill wasn’t as bad as we thought! It was a great day — and fun to watch the open runners, ” said Liberty Athletic Club members Carrie Parsi, second among women 70 – 74 (31:55.3) and Leni Webber, ninth among women 60 – 65 (32:15.9).
December 2, 2010
A perceived exertion (p.e.) scale is a helpful resource to remember when it gets cold and you can’t get to a track but you want to incorporate intensity into your workouts. The scale can help you measure how hard you feel you’re exercising.
Based on physical sensations you feel while running — increased heart rate, increased respiration or breathing rate, increased sweating, and muscle fatigue – perceived exertion is a subjective measure of intensity that provides a good estimate of your actual heart rate. While Swedish psychologist Gunnar Borg created the original 6 to 20 point perceived exertion scale, you may find a simpler 10-point scale easier to work with.
Here is one I suggest for runners:
1 = rest; no exertion.
2 = brisk walking (for recoveries).
3 = very light jogging (for recoveries and warm-ups and downs).
4 = light jogging (for recoveries and warm-ups and downs).
5 = your “smile time” easy, average pace of middle and long distance runs.
6.5 = a “plus” pace – a little faster than your “smile time” pace; good for pick-ups and for returning to speed for any amount of time after an injury or break from speed.
7.0 – 7.5 (70 -75% of maximum effort) = comfortably hard efforts, usually for tempo runs covering 2 to 6 or more miles. Tempo runs can last for a continuous period of time (14 minutes to 40 plus minutes) without breaks or broken into “cruise” intervals that are interspersed with 1 minute slow jogs (at a p.e. of 3).
8.0 – 9.0 (80-90% of maximum effort) = hard efforts for longer intervals. Longer intervals are series of repeated runs that last from 30 seconds to about 6 minutes. These intervals are interspersed with periods of rest or walking equal in time to the efforts (run for 4 minutes at a p.e. of 8.5, walk briskly for 4 minutes).
9.0 – 9.5 (90-95% of maximum effort) = very hard efforts. Shorter intervals from about 20 seconds to 3 minutes each. These efforts are interspersed with periods of rest or walking lasting up to three or four times the duration of the speed efforts (if you run for 30 seconds at 95%, take 2 minutes to walk or jog slowly for the recovery).
9.5 and above = use mainly for racing.
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