Week 3 Training

Today, we ran/walked 6 miles, some on the track, and some through the neighborhood. The course was planned in a way to allow everybody to run at their own pace and still see everybody else along the way to share encouragement. The training facilitator offered us clementine oranges, which gave us a little sugar boost.

After running, we stretched hamstrings, hip flexors, gluts, and abductors. We stretch so that our muscles do not tighten up over time as they go through the recovery and rebuilding process. Keeping them stretched and elastic will be important if you want to avoid inflammation and/or injury over the course of the training.

It was great to have some new members join our group today. One of them is planning to run her first marathon this Spring. Let's all give her our support as she reaches for this incredible achievement! Another member of our group finished her longest run ever today. Congratulations for going the distance even though it was difficult. Make sure you rest plenty now!

On that note, week 4 of our training schedule (week 6 for us) shows us stepping back to 4 miles on the long run. We are certain you will all do fine with that on your own. So, when we meet together next Saturday, we will have our first interval training together. Bring water.

We are expecting even more new people to join us, and several of our original group are returning from vacation. Also, we have noticed that the 7:00 hour is lighter and lighter as the sunrise comes earlier and earlier. This just gets more and more exciting!

Remember to run at least 3 times this week and get plenty of recovery sleep. Schedule

Recap of Discussion

Three important factors that will help improve your running:

-VO2 Max
The volume of oxygen that your body is able to convert into ATP for energy in your muscles. While you can not increase your VO2 max instantly or even in a day, you can increase it by frequent, intense training over time. You just have to keep following the plan week after week, and you will start to notice a difference in how you breath and feel. Follow the FIT principles in week 2. You can do it!

-Lactate Threshold, the speed at which you can use your muscles before they start to produce lactic acid. It is the point at which your muscles have to cross over from using fat to make energy aerobically to using glucose to make it anaerobically. Lactic acid buildup slows you down in the long runs because your body has to work harder to get it out of your system. It also inhibits muscle contractions. If you go too fast at first, you might build up too much and have to stop too soon. With training, you can increase the speed at which your muscles will work aerobically, but again, you have to be consistent.

-Running Economy, the way you use your muscles to produce forward motion. There are ways to move more efficiently by releasing tension, improving your stride, and strengthening core muscles that might be weak. Unlike the other two factors, there is something you can do about this one immediately. Start by noticing where you hold tension in your body. Then just let it go! It might seem like a small thing, but over 26 miles, it makes a big difference.