As we enter the third week of this strange new world, I find myself missing you more than ever.
I was happy to see that many of you got out and ran the 10 Miler course yesterday and I was pleased to learn that most of you were running well apart from one another.
I know you’re getting tired of hearing about social distancingbut, as your coach and, more importantly, as your friend, I can’t stress enough, the critical importance of this. So, please, if you must run or walk with a friend, please do it on opposite sides of the road. Even sidewalk or trail exercising, unless with a housemate, can be too close for comfort!
****IMPORTANT: I’ve been hearing from many of you that the motivation to continue training hard with weekly workouts, longruns and higher weekly mileage, has left the station. I don’t blame you! It’s so hard to keep training at such an intense level when there are no races scheduled for the foreseeable futureAND you’re running all ALONE!
So, I’ve got the following four options laid out for you:
1. Speedsters and anyone else in BB who was not originallytraining for a marathon but would like to still keep up the training: I’ll be sending out two suggested workouts each week. I will continue to make the Wednesday runs fartleks or hill workouts to encourage social distancing and the Saturday run will continue to be your long run with the option of some light pickups in the middle.
2. Those of you who were in training for the Boston Marathon:With the April race now postponed to possibly September,I’d look at the next several weeks as “break” time, as you will need to start ramping it back up starting in mid-May. I’d suggest weekly mileage in the 25-30 range with long runs in the 8-12 range or less for now, unless you feel motivated to do more. All should be at AHR. I know it stinks that you have “nothing to show” from a winter of hard training but, trust me when I say, it will serve you well down the road. Keep thinking of how much fun you had training with one another as you pushed and pulled eachother to greater fitness.
3. Those who were training for a May marathon: If your event hasn’t yet been canceled and you DO want to keep trainingas if it’s still on, then please get in touch with me by text and I’ll be happy to send you your workouts and mileage for the next few weeks. If by some miracle this virussituation disappears by late April or early May, Leah and I will host a very early morning sanctioned marathon down at Riverview. Odds are this will probably not materialize, based on where we’re at right now.
4. Everyone else, simply keep getting out the door and doing what best works for your current situation. AHR base mileage is great and if you feel like adding a bit of pizazz to one or two of your runs each week, go ahead and do alight fartlek in the middle of your run. Otherwise, be content with keeping it relaxed and easy. The key is to keep moving!
I dearly miss seeing you and really do hope you and your families are safe and well. And a huge tip of the cap to all of our fellow runners who are working in the hospital setting right now. We thank you for your selfless work in having our community’s back!
And a big thanks to Harry and Leah for all their help each and every week.
Please stay in touch, everyone!
With a huge hug,
p.s. Happy Birthdays to Katie W. (4/3) and Darren (4/4)!.
MONDAY March 30
Relaxed AHR miles
WEDNESDAY April 1
Cameron Crazies or find a half mile hilly loop in your neck of the wood to do the same kind of circuit. Run 6 circuits, surging the uphills and being active on the flats and descents. Make each one faster than the previous.
SATURDAY April 4
Long AHR run with the option of 10 x 30 seconds fast (sub 2 mile pace)-30 seconds slow jog in one of the latter miles of the run. Flatter course if you can.
Oh, my gosh am I ever missing all of you! This is a strange new world we’re all adjusting to but, as would be expected from this hearty, tough and ever positive group, you’re all finding a way to find good in this time of crisis. Silver linings are everywhere, you just need to have the attitude to find and appreciate them and you, my wonderful athletes, are doing just that.
Not having our Wednesday and Saturday groups runs have been big sacrifices but your safety and well-being mean so much more. Thanks for your patience.
If you’d like to keep working out, I’ve included my normal week of suggestions. And I continue to remind you to PLEASE do it alone (or with member/s of your household) or, at most, keep it to pairs or VERY small groups of three, with plenty of adequate distance between you.
If you don’t want to “workout”, I don’t blame you a bit. Simply keep on moving at some level. Cynthia and I have been finding peace and relaxation with a daily two-hour brisk walk each morning. Not since our hike across England have we been able to spend such quality time together. It’s been one of those silver linings.
Keep on top of your daily rolling and stretching and core work too. Sitting leads to tightening!
In closing, I want to thank all of you who have so thoughtfully supported our family business during this challenging time. I never, ever talk about Ragged Mountain in my weekly email message but we have been so overwhelmed with kindness over the past 10 days, that I felt moved to send a word of gratitude. It has meant the world to our family.
Be safe…be happy…keep moving!
WEEK of MARCH 23
***Please note: This schedule is for those of you who would like to keep “working out and training”.
All others, who want to simply maintain some assemblance of fitness, feel free to run as many relaxed AHR miles that comfortably fit your schedule.
**If you do choose to run in pairs or VERY small groups, please maintain safe distance.
*Speedsters = 20-30 miles
MONDAY March 23
*Speedsters = 4-5 miles at 75-80% of 10 mile pace with 4 x 12 second flat surface form surges with a slow 48 second recovery in between each.
WEDNESDAY March 25
***Please note, that due to our new world of social distancing, road work will be our best mode of “working out”, as the track encourages social clustering. Please: pairs or small groups of three, with lots of spacing! I’ve also found, that for most people, it’s also much less mental to “workout” on the road than it is on the track.
Suggested Fartlek courses (I’m trying to find you courses where you don’t have to be on sidewalks to avoid clustering):
*Sugar Hollow Road along the Three Bridges course
*10 Miler course from the 2 mile mark near AFC up McCormick to UVa Chapel. Back and forth
*On the rolling paved path along the John Warner Parkway downtown
*Huntington Road off Rio
*Running back and forth along Railroad Avenue from Downtown Crozet to Mint Springs Park
*Running from Beaver Creek Dam parking lot along Brown’s Gap Turnpike in Crozet
*Green Springs along the East Jack Jouett Road section
*On the wide paved sidewalk along the new connector road from Hollymead Town Center to Sam’s…this is quite hilly but good for social distancing.
*Speedsters = Fartlek: 6-8 x 3 minutes starting at 98-100% of 10 mile pace with a 90 second recovery in between each 3 minute pickup. I’d suggest breaking it up into 3-4 sets of two and try to get faster with each set. Base the number of sets of 3 minute pickups you run on how you’re feeling. Rolling course but not too hilly (see suggested courses above).
SATURDAY March 28
*Speedsters = 7-8 miles as follows:
-2 miles at AHR
-4 miles as a “progression” run, starting at 100% of 10 mile pace and getting faster with each mile. Last two miles should be at 104-107%! Flatter course.
-1-2 AHR miles as a cooldown
To my beloved athletes,
This is a strange and dramatic moment in our world and each of us are having to make tough personal decisions. And, with the situation quickly evolving, as your coach I’m also trying to make the prudent and right decisions for the overall health of everyone in our running group. That’s why I’m not going to have us meet as our usual large group this Wednesday morning. This is so hard to do, not only for you but also for me, as Wednesday mornings are truly my favorite time of the entire week…the joy of seeing each of you having such a good time together, making one another run faster, puts me on a high for the rest of the day. So, I’m sad to miss this but I’d be much, much sadder if someone was to get really sick because of us meeting together in our large group setting. And this is from a guy who intensely thrives on constant social interaction!! We all need to play a role in slowing down the progression of this virus and this is one small way of doing so.
As far as smaller groups go, I leave it up to you as to whether you personally feel comfortable doing that. It’s your personal call. But, if you do choose to do so, I implore you to keep the appropriate physical distance between one another. This is very, very important!
The other thing is, what you all personally decide to do with all of our March and April races now being cancelled or postponed. Here are some options:
1. Keep training and hope that the virus dissipates in the coming month. If it does, I, along with the help of Leah and Dr. Wilder and others, will be offering, some alternative “make-up/substitute” events for you Marathoners and 10 Milers, Half Marathoners and 10K racers in mid to late April. These would be very small and organized events open to Speedsters and Boston Bounders. And on another note: Boston Marathoners, looking to run the BAA’s postponed race in September, might consider racing the Half (instead of full) in April, if we have it, because of the quick recovery turnaround between April and September.
2. ***IMPORTANT: If you do choose to keep “training” I must remind you that there’s a decent amount of research out there that tells us, that when running with long miles or harder workouts, you can tax your immune system. So, even though training harder can make us “fitter” it also makes us “more tired” and more vulnerable to sickness. Something to think about as we enter this “new territory”.
3. Back off the regimented training and simply get in some relaxed miles for the coming weeks. In other words, cut back on the “work outs” and total weekly mileage and stick, for the most part, to good old fashioned AHR miles. If you do decide to go this route, make sure to stay on top of your rolling and stretching, as down-time is the quickest way to get really tight, especially our hamstrings and ITB’s!
4. Not sure what to do? Then please feel free to give me a shout if you have
any questions at all regarding what personal decisions to make about your personal running. As you know, I’m always happy to give you my two cents worth!
5. And, above everything else, be safe and stay positive and take stock of the special relationships we share.
A very small group of Tobacco Road folks, last minute, asked me to resurrect the old Three Bridges course, as a make-up for their cancelled race, and six of them (with good distancing) had excellent performances on our old certified half and full marathon courses yesterday morning. Congrats to Ben (2:56!), Chris B. (2:59 first sub 3!), Darren G. (3:21!), Andrew (1:41!), Hannah G. (1:54…a huge 7 minute p.r.!) and Matt E. (1:50…p.r.!).
***I’ve included my son Adrian’s latest weekly newsletter he just sent out to his Albemarle track athletes. I hope you find it as inspiring as I did.
In closing, I’d like to say how much I cherish my relationships with each of you and how I’m truly going to miss seeing you face to face for the time being. Please stay in touch by texting, calling and sending photos. I’ll look forward to that time when I can give you all a big hug again!
With a virtual high five,
WEEK of MARCH 16…
***PLEASE NOTE: This in only for those looking to keep “working out”.
***Remember: if you feel like it’s overfatiguing, please back off!
*Speedsters = ~20-35 miles
MONDAY March 16
***For those looking to still ”workout”
*Speedsters = 4-6 miles at 75-80% with 5 x 12 second flat surface surges with a slow 48 second recovery in between each.
WEDNESDAY March 18
***Please note that we will NOT be meeting as a group at our normal 5:30am time. If you still feel like you want to meet at different times and locations, please do so in much smaller groups and with adequate distance between one another. Your personal choices. I’ll miss you terribly, as this is my favorite time of the week!
Some SUGGETED COURSES for the Fartlek circuits:
-Bellair by starting at the entrance and using the upper loop (that goes left down Old Farm Road and turns right at the pond and then right again up Canterbury.
-Riverview in figure eights by running a mile loop on the flat river path (run along the lower path and turn left to head back to the parking lot on the upper path) and then head out to do one of the those hilly loops up Market and back down Chesapeake (you can turn off Market at either Riverview Avenue or 18th street, depending on how far you want to run on the hilly section)
-Towe Park by doing a combo of running along the paved path by the river and then up to the main shelter at the top of the parking lot
-The UVa Park by doing a combo of running around the perimeter loop and then up the hill to the three way stop sign at Arlington
***For those still looking to workout:
*Speedsters = Fartlek on the road as follows (rolling to hillier terrain):
-4 x 2 minutes at 106% or faster with a 60 second recovery in between each (including a 60 second recovery after the 4th one)
-4 x 30 seconds at 110-112% with a 30 second recovery in between each
Run this 16 minute circuit a total of 2-3 times (depending on how you feel) but faster with each one. Take a 30 second recovery after each circuit. Try to run it on a loop or out and back course to keep the terrain consistent for each 16 minute circuit.
SATURDAY March 21
****For those still looking to workout:
*Speedsters = 10 miles total with 2 x 3 miles (flatter course) as follows:
-1st one at 96-100% of 10 miler pace
-2nd one faster!
Take a slow 5 minute recovery in between each
Wow! Despite the tough headwinds and monster hills many of you had excellent races at the MJ8K yesterday morning. Here’s just a small sampling: Jeffrey, Jordan, Peter, Lauretta, Kim, Rachel, Analisa, Carrie, Sarah, Kristen, John T. and Steve Light, who ran a 34:32, knocking off almost 3 minutes off his time from last year!
Plus, our Age Group champs: Larry, Jenn F., Sean, Elizabeth, Kate J. and Jeanine!
And a huge thanks to all of you, who came out to help me with race day logistics…as cliché as it may sound, I could not have done it without you! Bill P., Paula, Ellen, Megan, Billie, Bronwyn, Marti, Henry, Becky, Paul H., Michelle, Carol and Craig. Much appreciated!
Happy Birthdays to Marissa (Monday), Sean (Wednesday) and Jaime (Sunday)!
I hope to see many of you on Wednesday morning. Let’s keep this rolling!
434-962-1694 (text anytime)
WEEK of MARCH 9
*Speedsters = 25-40 total miles (85-90% AHR/10-15% faster)
MONDAY March 9
*Speedsters = 4-6 AHR miles at 75-80% with 4 x 12 second flat surface form surges
WEDNESDAY March 11
***Please meet me outside the UVa track at 5:30am for the following workouts. We will start with a very slow (AHR…please) 2 mile warmup, which will be followed by 4-5 minutes of dynamic drills (make sure to start gently, so as to let your fibers safely loosen up) on the track. I will then get you into your pace groups based on your current fitness level and your race goals.
Remember to make the first 200 of your first repeat the very slowest, so as to ease into the meat of the “workout”.
After your workout is completed, cooldown (off track, on the magic carpet or on the very outside lanes of the track) at AHR for at least a mile.
*Speedsters = 3 x 800 with a very slow 3 minute recovery/3 x 200 with a very slow 200 recovery/3 x 800, at a faster pace than the first set of 800’s, with a very slow 3 minute recovery.
I’ll have Leah post on the blog my suggested paces for the 800’s…run the 200’s at a fast but relaxed pace. The 800’s should “feel hard”, as my suggested paces will be on the fast side! Take them one at a time and have confidence in your fitness. Focus on form: nose over toes!
SATURDAY March 14
*Speedsters racing the 10 Miler = 14-18 mile long AHR Run with 1 mile fartlek in middle to tire your legs a bit for the latter portion of the run. For example, if you go 15 total miles, run it as follows:
-9 miles at 75-80% of 10 mile pace
-1 mile of 30 fast-30 slow fartlek
-5 miles at 75-80% of 10 mile pace
*Speedsters NOT racing the 10 Miler = 10-12 miles total at 75-80% with 1 middle mile of 30-30 fartlek
SUNDAY March 15
***Please come join us for 4-5 social and relaxed miles at 6:45am at Greenberry’s.