2014 Howard Belkin Golf Tournament

Front Page, NewsTicker on June 10th, 2014 No Comments

Please Join Us on Monday, September 8th!

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The Cool-Down: What’s Next? Taking Time Off, Starting Up Again

NewsTicker, Uncategorized on May 12th, 2014 No Comments

You’ve spent weeks preparing for your race, focusing on crossing the Finish Line and accomplishing your goals.  Now, what about after the race?

*Physical recovery after a 5K isn’t a lengthy process, but you still need to take some time off to recharge, and to also avoid the post-race excitement The Cool-Down: What’s Next? Taking Time Off, Starting Up Againtemptation to immediately train right away for your next event.  It typically takes about one day to recover for every mile that you raced.  After your 5K then, you can plan to resume normal training if you choose after just three days.  From May 11 through May 14  it’s fine to completely rest, or to walk or jog for the same number of minutes that you’d usually run on average training days. If you’re worried about losing conditioning and giving up the progress that you made building up to the race, put those fears aside.  In fact it’s during the recovery process that our muscles repair themselves and become even stronger, so invest in a few days off for yourself.

* While recovering, take some time to analyze your race, and to use your experience as background to help you to prepare for upcoming races, or general running experiences.  What went well?  What could be improved upon? What about the race was the most exciting for you? This is also a good time to re-evaluate your training program and to select new goals. A few suggestions to mull over, from competitive racing goals to a variety of non-competitive goals:

*Racing Goals:

>The safest, least competitive racing goal would be to extend the distance of your longest race to date.  If Saturday’s 5K was your longest effort, you could think about entering a race that’s in the 4-mile to 10K range.  Finishing will continue to be a reward; only now the distance will be a bigger challenge.

>Other competitive goals are to improve your time over the same distance, then to improve your time over a variety of distances.  Record your PRs (Personal records) and then set about on improving them over time.

>A more competitive goal is to aim to place in a race (overall, or within your age/and or gender category).  Or, aim to finish within a certain percentage of the field or your age group.  Percentages often sound more impressive, as in saying that you finished in the top 50% of the NYC Marathon vs. finishing 15, 132nd!

*Non-Competitive Goals:

If you don’t love competition, there are plenty of other ways beyond racing to define success for yourself as a runner or fitness walker and to find the inspiration you need to stay active.

>Experiment with different types of terrain, perhaps taking your running off road onto the trails.  Trail running has an entirely different feel than road running, so dedicating a few workouts per week to it would both challenge you and give you a specific non-racing goal to pursue.  This may also be a good time to try out some of the fun ‘Adventure’ races, like the Muddy Buddy series.

>Beef up the social aspects of running by looking into running/walking groups, or by setting up your own group comprised of friends/family.  Particularly if you typically workout alone, you may find this more social approach to be both a welcomed change, and a challenge to stay accountable.

>Many runners like to follow a structured training plan with no intention of actually racing.  You might enjoy the prospect of challenging yourself with increased distance or paced runs simply to see your own improvements in those areas.

>Even without a formal training plan you could challenge yourself by giving every workout/ run/walk a dedicated purpose.  One day might be speed work, another slow paced longer distance and/or hill repeats, and yet another a recovery/social run with friends.  Your aim here is to mix things up but to make sure that every workout has a definite purpose and to know what the benefits will be before you head out the door.

So, once you’ve celebrated your success from The Race in the Park, give yourself a bit of down time before setting up your next competitive or non-racing goal…Then  spice things up and enjoy the ride!

It was wonderful to be involved with you during your CT Race in the Park training…You Rock the House!…And the ‘Word of the Day’ is…Thank You!

Best,

Pam Landry

Pam Landry

Dedicated CT RACE IN THE PARK Coach

The_athletes_edge@yahoo.com

photo credit: Ed Yourdon via photopin cc

Thank you!

Front Page, Uncategorized on May 12th, 2014 No Comments

Race Day Survival Kit

Uncategorized on May 7th, 2014 No Comments

Not sure what to pack in your 5K Race Day bagWith these basics and beyond, you’ll be more than good to go!

 Race Day Survival Kit

Essentials:

 

Nice to Have:

Food & Fuel:

Miscellaneous:

Running shoes, Socks Hat, Visor, Headband Bagels, Energy Bars Body Glide (anti-chafe)
Sunscreen Warm-up gear/Jacket Sport Drink, Water Lip Balm
Prescription Eye Wear IPod/Mp3 Player Sport Gels (pre-race) Extra Safety Pins (bib)
Orthotics Cell Phone/Camera Peppermints(GI Issues) Band-Aids
Watch or GPS Spare Batteries, Charger Ponytail Holders
I.D./Race Confirmation Moisture Wipes Sunglasses
Cash Post-Race Slides/Sandal Tylenol, Allergy Needs
Bib # Towel Keys
Inhaler (If needed) Arm Warmers Extra Run Shoe Laces
Directions to Event Compression Socks
Your Defined ‘Why’ for Racing Race Day Mantra
Warrior Attitude! Post-Race Dry Clothes

 

Pencil in any additional items, and then use this checklist as you pack your gear bag and you’ll be golden!

Best,

Pam Landry

Pam Landry

Dedicated CT RACE IN THE PARK Coach

the_athletes_edge@yahoo.com

photo credit: TimWilson via photopin cc

5K Logistics and Strategy

Uncategorized on May 6th, 2014 No Comments

The 5K may be short, but it isn’t necessarily easy.  Depending upon your goals, racing intensity may trump the short distance. Everyone though, can benefit from planning out the logistics for race day, along with having a definitive race strategy.  Here are a few tips on how to set yourself up for success on May 10.

Race Logistics:

> Pre-register:  Most events allow race-day entry, yet higher fees and longer lines are great incentives to commit early and to pre-register.  5K Logistics and Strategy

>Review the Course:  Check the online course map and be familiar with the number of hills that may be on the course, and where they appear.  It’s also good to check how many turns are involved and where they are so you can position yourself wisely ahead of time to run the tangents. Knowing about any/all course landmarks will also help to keep you aware of your position throughout the race.

>Getting There: Double-check the Start Time, travel directions, travel time duration, parking facilities, road closures and any Start Line shuttles so you can arrive at the Start on time, relaxed, and ready to roll.

>Meals:  If eating at home, make sure you have the foods available that you’ll want the night before the race and for your race morning breakfast.  If away from home, find out what restaurants will be open and have the foods you want.  Set two alarms for race morning early enough so that you’ll have plenty of time to eat and digest before the start.

>Weather:  Get a head start on planning out your clothing/race gear needs by keeping up with the latest forecast for race morning.

>Race Bag: Pack carefully the night before. (Details of what to have will be in the next blog, so stay tuned!)

>Emergency Contact:  Write down your emergency contact info on the back of your bib, along with any medical conditions that medical personnel should be aware of. Also double check that your name, gender and age printed on your bib are all accurate before you toe the line.

>Post-Race Meet-Ups:  Arrange a definite meet-up spot so that your family/friends can find you after you come through the Finish Chute, along with an approximate time that they can expect you.

>Start Line Positioning:  Line up in your appropriate pace corral (if the race has these) so that you’re running/walking with similarly paced individuals.  Doing so insures that you won’t block/slow down faster participants, or get swept into a pace that’s either too fast or too slow for you. Also make sure that your timing chip (if the race is using these) is attached firmly and properly to your shoe, or that it’s imbedded into your bib.

*5K Race Strategy:

Now that you’re all organized and ready to race, it’s beneficial to have a solid race strategy. Race strategy is simply a game plan for how to race. For those of you who are planning to ‘race’ on May 10, the 5K distance issues a special challenge:  Getting to the Finish Line before lactic acid takes control of your body, as you’ll be running close to your max aerobic capacity.  A few suggestions:

>Be Primed and Ready:  Line up aggressively but realistically for your pace.  Be alert and ready to go when the starter sets you off, and start no more than 5-10 seconds per mile faster than you want to average.  A good bet is to start at the pace you think you can average and pick it up a little along the way.  The ‘start slow and pick it up later’ strategy typically works better for races longer than 5K.

>Concentrate:  Racing 5K requires constant concentration.  It’s critical to keep pushing a steady pace while also monitoring your body’s signals so that you can make minor pacing adjustments quickly and effectively.

>Segment:  It can be helpful to break the 5K mentally into 4 segments:  First, second, and third mile markers, and the finishing tenth of a mile.  In Mile 1, find your rhythm and settle into a steady pace so that you hit the 1 mile mark at or slightly faster than race goal pace.  During Mile 2, pick up the effort slightly to keep on pace.  Push a bit more on Mile 3 to stay on pace and to move up a few places, focusing on good form.  With about 400-600 yards to the Finish, gradually accelerate and pick off other runners as targets. For the last few seconds switch to all-out gear, kick it in over the last tenth of a mile and put the hammer down as you cross the line! (Can you hear the screaming and applause yet?)

So, when you hone in on your race goals for May 10, keep in mind that…

“Chance favors the prepared mind”.

~ Louis Pasteur ~

Best,

Pam Landry

Pam Landry

Dedicated CT RACE IN THE PARK Coach

The_athletes_edge@yahoo.com

Ready, Set, Race! Pre-Race Fueling:

NewsTicker, Uncategorized on May 1st, 2014 No Comments

It’s always worthwhile to take some time to look at your pre-race fueling choices, with the aim of eating just enough to maintain your energy level and to give your system a boost.  The ingredients for a good pre-competition meal include both physiological and psychological factors, so a bit of experimentation is often needed to assess what foods you enjoy along with what your body will best tolerate prior to exercise.  Although we’re each an ‘experiment of one’ when it comes to pre-race fueling, some general guidelines may be beneficial.

*Pre-Race Nourishment:

What you eat before competition has 4 main functions:Ready, Set, Race! Pre-Race Fueling

>To help prevent hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), which can result in light-headedness, fatigue, blurred vision and indecisiveness.

>To help settle your stomach, absorb some of the gastric juices, and abate hunger.

>To fuel your muscles, both with food eaten in advance that is stored as glycogen, and with food eaten within an hour.

>To pacify your mind with the knowledge that your body is well fueled.

*When running a 5K, you can enjoy any tried-and-true foods that digest easily and settle comfortably. About 2-3 hours pre-race, have a light 200-400 calorie meal (depending on your tolerance), such as low-fat yogurt and a banana, or 1 to 2 sport bars, tea or coffee and 8-16 oz. of water.  Allow 1-2 hours for a liquid meal, such as a smoothie, and less than an hour for a small snack. *Faster runners…Remember that you may need more digestion time before intense racing, as your muscles require more blood during intense exercise than with moderate or low intensity efforts, so your stomach may get only about 20% of its normal blood flow during hard efforts, which slows the digestive process.

*Limit high-fat proteins such as cheese, full-fat dairy or peanut butter as these take longer to empty from the stomach because fat delays gastric emptying.  Low-fat protein such as poached eggs or low-fat milk with cereal are generally good choices. Limit high-fat foods as well (such as bacon) to avoid GI problems, along with high-fiber foods (bran cereals, or high-fiber sports bars, or any food that has more than 3 grams of fiber per 100 calorie serving).

*Be cautious of sugary foods (such as soft drinks, jelly beans, or even maple syrup or some sport drinks) to avoid a drop in blood sugar that may leave you tired or light-headed.  If you must have a bit of something sweet, the best bet is to eat it within 5 to 10 minutes of the event as this short time span is too brief for the body to secrete excess insulin. (The hormone that causes low blood sugar).  Since the body stops secreting insulin when you start to exercise, you should be able to handle this sugar fix safely.

*Dehydration actually enhances the risk of intestinal problems, so be sure to practice getting in 8-12 oz. of fluids pre-workouts during training, so that your GI system will be ‘trained’ by race day as well.

A Timeline for a 5K Race might look Like This:

*2-3 hours before- Toast with jelly and a banana, or low-fat yogurt plus 16 oz. water

*During Race-Nothing…No need to take in calories for this short race.

*30 Minutes After-Low-fat yogurt or other small snack with protein to help recovery.

*1 Hour After-A real meal, like a veggie omelet and a piece of fruit, so you replenish your body with healthy fuel.

Breakfast really IS for Champions on Race Morning, so have a solid Game Plan for good nutrition in place…Your body will pay you back when you zip across that Finish Line!

Best,

Pam Landry

Pam Landry

Dedicated CT RACE IN THE PARK Coach

The_athletes_edge@yahoo.com

photo credit: Juanedc via photopin cc

Head Check: Anxiety-From Pumped to Panicked

Uncategorized on April 28th, 2014 No Comments

Anxiety is present in competitive sports and in many life events, yet its presence is not always negative.  One of the positive consequences of anxiety is an increase in effort and preparation, which can result in an optimal performance.  Too much anxiety however can interfere with preparation efforts and result in changes in muscle tension, inefficient activity, difficulty making decisions, negative focus, and ultimately, reduced enjoyment and self-confidence. Since pre-performance stress is a natural occurrence, the goal is to manage this stress so that it enhances your performance.

Strategies and Techniques for Dealing with Pre-Competitive or General Event Anxiety

*Re-examine Your Philosophy of Athletic Participation*

 Reviewing your foundational beliefs can help to put your performance in perspective and give a deeper meaning to your reasons for Head Check:  Anxiety-From Pumped to Panickedpursuing excellence. Remind yourself of “why” you chose to take on any given endeavor, and the many ways in which you’ve successfully responded to that “why” question.

*Develop a Relaxation Ritual*

Recognize when your thoughts and feelings are creating unwanted tension, and take several mini-relaxation breaks during the day to avoid a big increase in muscle tension. Consider using progressive muscle relaxation to reduce physical anxiety and insomnia in the days before an important event.  One effective method is to first tense a muscle group and then relax it, traveling down all muscle groups from head to toe. The contrast between increased tension and relaxation improves awareness of tension and facilitates the relaxation response.

Another relaxation technique is outward focus, which consists of shifting from excessive internal focus to specific events or items on the outside.  You may find it difficult to stop worrying, but you can learn to focus on something else for a while. Pre-competition routines can often accomplish this function, as you learn to focus on a specific aspect of a task as a diversion.

*Use Simulation Training in Training/ Practice*

During practice sessions, replicate and incorporate many of the exact conditions that you will face in your upcoming event to help you to adapt to similar conditions on the day of the event. For an athletic event for example, choose to simulate a variety of weather conditions, race hydration, refueling techniques, specific types of terrain, race day pacing, etc.

*Avoid Over-Emotionalizing about the Upcoming Performance*

Take a composed approach to your upcoming event by focusing on things you can controlproper execution of technique, nutrition, pacing and rest, for athletic events, for example.  It’s also helpful to establish several goals for the same event; i.e. a time goal range, plus a personal enjoyment goal, plus a learning goal.  Having several event day goals can help to avoid the stress associated with focusing solely on winning or performance outcomes. Focus on the “process” of performance and recognize the event setting as an opportunity: to be with teammates for example, to work toward personal goals, to travel or to experience the support of family, friends and coaches while having fun along the way.

*Use Visualization or Mental Rehearsal to Anticipate and Prepare for Competition*

Rather than worrying about what will happen once the event begins, you can picture yourself in various performance situations and consistently rehearse in your mind an effective response to the “what ifs” of performance.

*Use Thought Stopping and Replacement to Develop Pre-Performance Arousal Control*

Create a thought-stopping cue (word/phrase/image) and insert this as soon as you catch yourself saying/feeling negative statements that contribute to anxiety. You can then either immediately replace each negative statement with a more constructive one that will motivate and relax you, or develop a “neutral” thought before you transition from a negative one to a helpful one.  Switching to an external focus and using deliberate breathing are some ways to make that transition smoother. Practice this skill until it becomes automatic for you.

*Surround Yourself with a Support Group That Is In Control, Calm, and Confident*

Being around supportive, positive people will provide you with emotional support as your event draws closer.  Coaches, family, friends, colleagues and teammates can all provide emotional security, encouragement and reassurance. Remind yourself that it’s OK to have butterflies just as long as they fly in formation!

So, this week, keep this wise quote in mind, and feel your power every day…

        “You must learn to be still in the midst of activity and to be vibrantly alive in repose”

~ Indira Gandhi ~

Best,

Pam Landry

Pam Landry

Dedicated CT RACE IN THE PARK Coach

The_athletes_edge@yahoo.com

photo credit: adropp via photopin cc

Intervals, Fartlek, Tempo Training: Speed Workouts for All

Uncategorized on April 25th, 2014 No Comments

Speed! Speed thrills and it’s fun to change gears and pick up the pace.  The sense of your body moving fast, the exhilaration of it, is just as rewarding to you and me as it is to Elites.  The good news is that speed is completely relative…Getting faster is just as doable for a 13to 15 minute per mile 5K runner or walker as a 5-minute per mile runner. Several physiological elements are improved for everyone with speed training, including aerobic capacity, lactate threshold, running economy, efficiency of fast-twitch fibers and muscular strength and power. 

Here are the basics for 3 sample speed workouts-

If you’re new to speed work, a suggested range for pace would be ‘comfortably hard’ to ‘moderately hard’.  If you’re experienced and Intervals, Fartlek, Tempo Training:  Speed Workouts for Allfit, your pace is typically race pace or faster (@ 85-98% of your max. heart rate), or ‘Hard’ to ‘Very Hard’ intensity.  Everyone should use paces that are based on what you’re capable of now, not in the future, and be sure to adjust your workout paces as your race paces improve.  Walkers, simply adjust these ‘runs’ to the appropriate walking pace/intensity.

*Tempo Run:

> After a 10 minute warm-up, move into an effort that’s ‘comfortably hard’ (You can talk, but not in full sentences, and you’ll be in some discomfort). This should be a brisk, steady pace that you can hold for the distance.  Aim for running 20-30 seconds per mile slower than 10K race pace, or about 35-45 seconds slower than 5K race pace.  Hold this pace for 2 to 5 miles and then ease into a cool-down run. 

Tempo runs mimic the race itself, but not the whole race.  They improve concentration while also teaching you to stay relaxed and to hold a strong pace when fatigued.  Tempo runs are the simplest of all speed workouts:  Just warm up, run at a challenging, steady pace (over reasonably level terrain) that you can hold for the distance, and cool down.  Keep in mind that Tempo running is controlled, as you learn to develop a feel for an even pace (thus the term “tempo”).

*Interval Training:

>Get to the track for these Half-Mile Intervals-two lappers. Now it’s time to work on speed by holding 5K race pace or slightly faster, while you improve leg speed, muscular fitness running economy, and the ability to handle lactic acid buildup.  Try to run each lap in the same time (or even “splits”). You also should be trying to run each half-mile interval in about the same time, as this type of even pacing can serve you well in your races.  Do 2-6 intervals, depending on your fitness level, with a 3-to 4-minute walk or jog recovery between each interval.

Interval training is based on a simple formula:  Run at race pace or faster for segments that are much shorter than your race distance, with recovery breaks to minimize the stress on your body.  Intervals benefit runners/walkers training for all distances in all phases of a training program.

*Fartlek Workout:

> We talked about Fartlek in the ‘Time Crunched Workout’ posting, but here are a few more details.  A simple Fartlek could be to run 4 to 8 bursts (at a variety of paces) of 2 minutes each with 2 minutes of slow running recovery in between.  Experiment with a combination of shorter and longer bursts, and slower and faster paces.  As you get used to this workout, progressively increase the number of Fartlek pickups.  Total mileage for this run (including warm-up and cool-down), can range from 4 to 8 miles, depending upon your experience and fitness.  You can Fartlek three ways…By landmarks, by time, or in combination.  Pick targets of varying distances away to run briskly to, or pick it up when the mood strikes or you see something challenging to run to or over.  This workout can be as easy or hard as you choose…Yet another benefit!

Individual goals, fitness levels and experience will certainly influence your interest in speed workouts, but I urge you to give one a try in your overall training schedule once a week…You may be amazed and delighted at your Fleet Feet during these ‘spicy workouts’ and enjoy the confidence and strength that comes right along with them!  Questions?  Let’s hear ‘em!

Best,

Pam Landry

Pam Landry

Dedicated CT RACE IN THE PARK Coach

The_athletes_edge@yahoo.com

photo credit: ashraful kadir via photopin cc

Breast Cancer Survivors: The Warrior Attitude

Uncategorized on April 23rd, 2014 No Comments

I’ve been privileged to work with a number of breast cancer survivors over the years.  In 2012 I asked these women to write down what attributes they felt had helped them to cope throughout their illness.   Each of them displayed a true “Warrior Attitude” as they dealt with the challenges, fear, sadness and grief that cancer can bring.  They have undergone treatment for breast cancer and are thankfully living now with vitality and determination.  Several themes emerged from these conversations about the wisdom and lessons learned by these wonderful individuals, and my hope is that some of these thoughts will resonate with each of you and offer you inspiration in your own unique life, struggles, and circumstances.

*Realize What a Gift Physical Activity Can Still Be for You:  Many stated that they needed running, walking, or training (whenever they Breast Cancer Survivors: The Warrior Attitudewere able) for dealing with the stress and worry from cancer.  They grabbed onto these times and held onto them for dear life, saying that their workouts never let them down and gave them energy when they needed it the most.  Even just 15 minutes of exercise represented a much needed major accomplishment.

* Keep your Spirit Alive:  All of the women noted how physically and emotionally taxing their cancer treatments were and that they desperately wanted something to revive them.  For many, their workouts kept their spirits alive during and after surgery, chemotherapy and radiation.  All felt a profound sense of gratitude to be able to just get out there, to breathe, and to move.

*Find your New Normal:  When treatments came to a close for these women, all discovered that with this disease you still have to find a new normal, as many experienced side effects such as lymphedema that made their limb swell even after the cancer was removed.  They noted how important it is to stay aware of possible complications and how their bodies were responding, but to never let this defeat you.  Several women with lymphedema were able to continue their workouts for example by wearing trendy, colorful compression sleeves in order to remain safe while still feeling strong.

*Take Responsibility for Believing in Yourself:  Feeling more in control of their treatments by staying educated, informed, and establishing themselves as a partner with their medical teams helped many of the women feel more a part of their ongoing treatments and recovery process.  The more involved they remained throughout the process, the more they began to believe in themselves and their survival.

*Find the Opportunities in Cancer:  One woman made the decision to find every hidden opportunity in cancer and to live those opportunities with passion.  She noted that once you’re diagnosed, your life changes forever and that what counts most from that point on is enjoying what time you have, be it 10 days or 100 years.  All of the women also believed that a great opportunity is helping your sisters, your mothers, your friends and any other women who are just starting on their journey living with cancer, and to support them in any way possible.  In doing so, they realized that a new life for them emerged as they summoned the courage to live, turning setbacks into comebacks.  They became their own Warrior Heroes.

To all of the breast cancer survivors who will be participating, volunteering or cheering for others on Race Day, know this…As women who have chosen to live strong, persevere, and show courage with your unique Warrior Attitude, you’re the inspiration for all women to strive to be unbreakable…It will be our honor to celebrate you on May 10….We believe in you and Thank You from deep in our hearts.

Best,

Pam Landry

Pam Landry

Dedicated CT RACE IN THE PARK Coach

The_athletes_edge@yahoo.com

Speed Work in Disguise: Hill Training

Uncategorized on April 16th, 2014 No Comments

Hill training is often called “speed work in disguise”, since muscular power and running economy are really boosted with these workouts.  The better you get on hills the more runners you can pass and the faster your Finishing Time will be.  Even if you train and race on the flats, hills will help improve performance, and it’s a great workout to do by yourself since the hill alone will make sure you get enough of a challenge.

*Hill Repeat Guidelines

Hill training is different from hill running, since in daily runs you try to get up hills as economically as possible with the goal of minimizing Speed Work in Disguise:  Hill Trainingeffort.  And although running hills often at training pace improves over-all strength, it won’t make you faster.  To get that benefit, you have to repetitively work the hills hard. Hill Repeats are basically like track intervals, but you go up instead of around.  With any hill repeat, run easy for 15 – 20 minutes first on the flats, and then run the first repeat slightly slower than your goal intensity.  From that point on, run fast, but under control at about 85% effort.  Emphasize good form—Push off your feet, drive your arms, lift your knees and run all the way up and over through an imagined Finish Line at the top.  Recover by running back down nice and easy. Here’s a look at a few Hill Training options for you:

>Long Hill Repeats:  These are similar to running long intervals on the track.  Find a moderate-grade (5-8% or 3-4 d

egrees) hill.  It should take about 2 to 5 minutes to run up at your 5K to 10K race pace effort.  Long hills are particularly good for building strength, speed and endurance for the half-marathon and marathon distances. Novice runners can aim for 3-4 repeats, while seasoned competitors can aim for 5-6.

>Short Hill Repeats:  These are short, but steep (vs. sweet).  Short-Hill repeats are great for sharpening speed for 5K to 10K races since they’re run at faster than race pace effort.  They’re of similar benefit to short, hard and fast-paced intervals on the track.  Pick a hill that’s 50 to 200 yards long and steep enough (10-15% or 7-9 degree grade) to really challenge you.  It should take about 30-90 seconds to get to the top.  You actually don’t have to run these too fast since gravity will take care of the intensity for you.  Envision that you’re running to a finish line at the crest of the hill, and you’ll be improving your form, strength and speed all the way. Novices can do 4-5 repeats of these short hill repeats at 5K-10K intensity or faster, while more experienced runners can aim for 8 to 10, at about 30 seconds per mile faster than 10K pace.

> Continuous Rolling Hills Fartlek:  The Swedish term fartlek means “speed play” and that’s exactly what you do with this run as it involves spontaneous changes of pace over varying terrain and distances.  Although more of a ‘Continuous’ run versus a ‘Repeat’, Fartlek is a great way to introduce speed training prior to hitting the track for more intense work. Your legs get accustomed to switching gears often while you enjoy a great change of pace from the confined structure of track intervals.  I find this work-out to be the most fun and beneficial when you get off the beaten path and seek out trails or grassy fields.  Try to incorporate a course with a variety and series of hills ranging in grade for moderate to steep, and distances from 100 yards to ¾ miles.  Accelerate up and over the top of each hill at race pace, then run between them at base-training pace.  Throw in a few short bursts between hills if you go too long (more than 5 minutes) between hills.  The more varied and unexpected the experience, the better.  It’s just like being a kid again!

So when you need a break from your traditional track or interval speed training, mix in some hill training…Let your inner speedster out and capture a surefire way to get stronger and faster…After all,

“It’s easier to go down a hill than up,

But the view is much better at the top”.

~ Henry Ward Beecher ~

 

Best,

Pam Landry

Pam Landry

Dedicated CT RACE IN THE PARK Coach

The_athletes_edge@yahoo.com

photo credit: Richard Milnes via photopin cc