Welcome to the April newsletter! It must be spring, and time for running again, because you club members were full of good submissions this month. Lori Bliss Hill went over the top with three separate “Things I See When I Am Running” submissions. One of her submissions included an off-color joke that I appreciated but chose not to include; ask her about it when you see her next. As usual, submissions of all types (almost) are welcome, and can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Table of Contents
- Things I See When I Am Running I by Lori Bliss Hill
- NYC Half by John Saroyan
- Couch to 5K by Mary Peters
- Tri Team Dreams of Florida by Emma Sklarin
- Runner Profile Laura Petto by Lorna Young
- Things I See When I Am Running II by Lori Bliss Hill
- Training for a Half or Full Marathon by Jim Burnett
- Frigus 15k Snowshoe Race by Amanda Kievet
- Ask the Coaches
- Winter Wild by Ellie Ferguson
- Annual Lebanon Down Syndrome Awareness Fun Run and Celebration 2018 By Judy Phillips
- UVRC Singlets by Geoff Dunbar
- Things I See When I Am Running III by Lori Bliss Hill
by Lori Bliss Hill
I recently heard a new word on the radio “PLOGGING”. The word is the English language equivalent of plogga, a hybrid of the Swedish verbs plocka (meaning to pick up) and jogga (jog). Plogging is essentially running, with the additional challenge of picking up any garbage you might see on your way.
For me, I do this all the time. My rule is that I have to come back from a run with at least one piece of litter. Recently it was this silly looking dish that tomatoes come in.
Which leads me to ask, what’s the most random thing you have found on a run?
by John Saroyan
Ben True, nationally ranked runner and resident of West Lebanon, won the NYC ½ marathon on Sunday March 18. He was the first American to win the race in its 13 year history. The distance is long compared to the Dartmouth alum’s usual 5K sprints. When I watched the race on YouTube (you can advance to 1:13:32), his kick in the last seconds of the race to pass the leader jolted me. I could only think of the ½ in a new way…as a 13.1 mile dash! Ben’s total time: 1:02:39; pace per mile 4:47. All hail the King!
I think Ben’s starting form (third from the right above) foreshadowed his victory (below).
The race was my second ½ marathon. When my wife and I bought our house in Norwich in 2013, I was using our 0.15 mile driveway for my runs. I was afraid that I wouldn’t make it home if I ventured down to Turnpike. I kept my jogging close to home and private.
In 2015, I ran my first 10K, the Sprouty. In 2016, I ran my first Road to the Pogue, which I ran again in 2017. My first ½ was the CHaD last October.
I had lived in NYC from 2002 to 2013 and liked the idea of running a “big city” race. Unsuccessful with entry via the lottery, I recalled the encouragement of a former patient’s dad to run and fundraise. Brett Kopelan is the Executive Director of debra of America. When I was a pediatric pain management and palliative care physician in NYC, I cared for Brett’s daughter, Rafi, from the time she was born until before I moved to the Upper Valley. Brett had mentioned that debra was one of the non-profits by which runners could gain entry to NY Road Runners races like the ½ or the Marathon. With his encouragement, I decided to run for debra and entered the race. I boldly marked 1:45 for my expected race time, a lofty 15 minutes faster than my CHAD ½ time in 2017.
I went about setting up my fundraising web page and speaking to debra’s Programs and Development Associate, Bethany Tillema. She highly recommended working with debra’s coach, Charlotte Gould. Charlotte spoke to me over the phone and via email and text many times. She donates her expertise and support to any runner fundraising for debra. One question that she asked me was key: Do you have your running log from last year’s preparation for the CHaD ½? Yes. Super! Also, John, she said, 1:45 is ambitious for your second ½ but you sound motivated. Let’s go for it and see what happens.
Training in January, February and March wasn’t easy. I really don’t like running in Yaktrax but they have saved me from falling on more than a few unexpected icy spots. I don’t like turning in early on a run but if my toes, nose or fingers won’t stop tingling, I do. And because I am still new to Alpine skiing, I was unwavering in my commitment to taking more lessons, getting down the steeper pitches and watching my sons Mark and Joe, ski and snowboard, respectively.
I followed Charlotte’s 10 week training schedule closely; incorporated my morning runs with friends and neighbors; began doing some deep water running; introduced tempo, hill, High Intensity Interval training (HIIT) and fast finishes into my training as directed; read Danny Dreyer’s Chi Running twice; drank more chocolate milk; tried about five different nutrition/electrolyte packs before picking two favorites; figured out the best clothes for me in the varying cold temps; stayed injury free; and finally, tried hard not to become a bum in my own house who collapsed on the couch after long runs.
The week of the race arrived. I was scheduled to be in Boston for the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine annual meeting at the beginning of the week. When the Dartmouth Coach cancelled all travel on March 13 because of a Nor’easter, I ended up going down on the 5 am bus the next day and only having one full day at the conference. I rode the “milk train” on Amtrak from South Station to Penn the following day. After arrival, I played music with my old music partner Bill Christophersen. I read his latest book of poetry, Tableau with Crash Helmet. We got together with my former neighbor and picking buddy, Jim Kendrick. My wife, Kristin and sons arrived on Friday. I ate lots of bagels!
Charlotte had a training session with me in Central Park. She gave me one big piece of advice: don’t look at the ground, look up! I hadn’t realized I had been looking down so much.
And then what time was it? “Showtime!” as my son Mark would say imitating the line from Hamilton. Fortunately, Charlotte had given me good advice on how to get to the entry point for the race. It was fun riding the Q train from Times Square. Packed in tight with runners, I thought, “Ok. This is it. I have arrived.”
It was still dark in Brooklyn when I exited the subway station. After I went through security, photographers in yellow bibs were yelling, “Show us your bib! Show us your bib!”
The greatest blessing was a row of Port-a-Potties that must have stretched for a mile. Like all of you who know big city races, what did I do? I waited. An hour and a half until I could roll out. I took the first mile easy, felt out my pace and held on. A runner with headphones almost tripped me on the Manhattan Bridge and then started mumbling to herself “Hold it together. I’ve got to hold it together.” I moved away from her quick.
I never got warm, but I wasn’t shivering. My legs never felt light, but they kept moving. I was glad that I had my tried and true layers on. I leaned into my pace and made sure I paid attention. I really liked running west on 42nd Street.
The sun of Central Park was a relief. The warmth and brightness, a light at the end of the proverbial tunnel. There was a band covering Springsteen’s “Glory Days”. My wife, Kristin, sons, Joe and Mark were waiting for me at the last mile. They had a big sign for me, were smiling and giving me high fives. Charlotte, my coach, was at the 400m mark right across from the Delacorte Theater. She snapped this shot.
I did my best to run strong across the finish line. My time was 1:55:15. I bested my CHaD time by about 4 1/2 minutes.
So, what of it? Charlotte said I looked happy, strong and in control at the 400 mark. She was thrilled with my performance and time. Me? I felt kind of let down. Maybe I could have done better, ran faster. The thorough re-hash with Charlotte didn’t support that conclusion. My brain and body were in sync. I was running as hard as I could over a long distance. And yet. I felt myself reaching. Yearning to make the next one faster. More fleet footed. More like Ben. LOL. Let that be the yeast in my dough.
by Mary Peters
Hi, club! This spring we will have another Couch to 5K program, from April 10th to July 4th. If you know anyone who would be interested in training for a 5K, or if you would like to get back into running yourself, please join us on April 4th at 7:15 for our kickoff meeting! Another way to be involved is by volunteer coaching – the participants and I really appreciate having lots of positive people in the group! Email me or talk to me at TNT if you’re interested.
by Emma Sklarin
Throughout the slow Hanover winter, on long trainer rides in our living rooms and bone-numbing snow day runs, all I could think – all we could think – was Florida. Outdoor pools, tri-kit tanlines, sunburned feet…Not only were we getting to start off the racing season in March – two months earlier than it usually begins in New England – but we’d also heard rumors of extensively-decorated Disney-themed rooms in our rental house outside of Orlando. And our dream of Florida was truly all it promised to be. Here are a few highlights, from training to our dreamlike week down South:
Whether you think Saturdays are for the boys, for the girls, or for no one at all, for Tri Team, Saturdays were just for us. Saturdays meant BRick workouts: 2-3 hours biking on the trainer followed by a 3-5 mile run. Saturdays also held strength workouts, which meant, in the end, that most of our day was spent working out. And you know what? I loved it. I came to treasure Saturdays. Have you ever blocked out a whole day, every week, just for one thing, one goal and purpose? Saturdays were a meditation, a huge chunk of time to think, while my muscles fired and contracted and ached. They were a journey, each and every one of them, up until Saturday March 17th – raceday.
Hours of work over winter break and a spark of the captains’ design genius came to fruition in the form of a beautiful, shiny trailer complete with 25 bike hooks, lovingly named Steve. After digging Steve out of the snow on the Monday evening of finals period, Brandt’s engineering degree was put to the test. We all loaded our bikes, and Brandt, Valentina, Matt and Anna set off on their pilgrimage to Florida. They arrived two days later at our rental mansion, Mickey’s House of Champions, exhausted but propelled by Brandt’s guzzling of Mountain Dew and the great promise of sunshine.
The early mornings.
On the first morning of training trip, my eyes flew open at 6am to music blasting in the kitchen. Had I fallen asleep at the Championsgate retirement community nightclub? No, it was just Katie and Matt eating oatmeal before our morning swim. The rest of us dragged ourselves out of bed, and an hour later we were watching the sunrise over the pool at the National Training Center. Our sun-starved bodies soaked up the early rays between long-course laps in the water. We started all of our days swimming at the NATC, followed by biking, running, yoga classes, foam-rolling, pool-lounging, elaborate home-cooked dinners for 28 and 9pm bedtimes. It was the triathlete’s dream schedule – train, eat, sleep, tell stories and watch Miracle to pass the time – and we could not have been more content.
The raceday ridiculousness.
I remember raceday as a series of strange and comical events:
- Eating breakfast at 4:30am and watching Moises consume 2 slices of Domino’s pizza before his sprint triathlon, in the dark
- Putting on face tattoos and slathering our skin in body-glide and sunscreen at 6am, still very much in the dark
- Squinting from the beach with Sonia before the race, trying to make out the farthest orange buoy in the swim loop, which evaded us in the distance
- Casually chatting with Steve and Jim about the (way-too-hot) weather as they passed me on the bike course
- Laughing, stunned, at an athlete who slid beside me on the bike course to say “That guy is an asshole,” pointing at a competitor ahead of us before pedaling away to pass him
- Bonking at mile 40 when I ran out of water and clumsily dropped both of the water bottles that volunteers at the final aid stations handed me in motion, one after the other
- Getting off of my bike feeling like I’d come home from a long, sweaty journey, only to remember I still had to run a half marathon
- Nearly bursting into tears of gratitude when I saw our teammates who were doing the Olympic race the next day cheering us on at transition
- Running out of ways to say “GO!!!” to Katie, Sonia and Evan when I saw them each four times on the run, only at mile 6 realizing it was a double-loop course
- Lying on the ground minutes after finishing the race and promising myself I’d never do a half ironman again
- Watching my teammates, Jeff, Jim and Steve take the podium an hour later and smiling realizing that they’d definitely convince me to sign up for another half ironman this year
The people, the people, the people.
Our people: the crazy-driven, (sort-of-just-crazy,) early-rising, car-singing, banana-eating, foam-rolling, fun-loving, wildly sunburnt athletes that make up our strange, determined family. Our coaches: the endlessly-inspiring, ever-committed, TrainingPeaks-revering, warm and loving people we get to look up to every single day. Tri people: the awe-provoking, dazzlingly-muscular, unevenly-tanned, wholeheartedly-vibrant people that make up a bigger and more welcoming community than we ever knew we were becoming a part of – we’re just happy to be in the middle of it all.
About the Author
Emma Sklarin is a Dartmouth ’18 on the tri team studying Creative Writing, Environmental Studies and Spanish. She loves exploring, boogie boarding and a great post-race beer.
by Lorna Young
Town: Hanover, NH
What do you do professionally?
I am getting my Ph.D. in applied math – I work on imaging problems mainly, lots of optimization and spectral methods!
How long have you been running?
I ran cross country begrudgingly for about two years in high school, but started running because I liked it in my first year of college seven years ago.
How long have you been running competitively?
I’m not sure I would classify myself as a competitive runner, but I started racing (somewhat) seriously in early 2017.
Why do you run?
I run because it makes me happy! I love nature, being outside and exploring. Running helps me to relieve anxiety and re-center myself when I am stressed.
Recent memorable moment while running?
I was recently spending some time in Providence at ICERM at I ran a bunch in the city. It was so beautiful to run by the Narragansett in the mornings as the sun rose over the water! I just delighted smelling the ocean on my runs again – that was one of my favorite parts of running in coastal Maine. Most of my favorite running moments have to do with nature.
Best athletic accomplishment and why?
When I started running, I was really out of shape and struggled to run a 5k without walking. I hated racing because I was so embarrassed about how slow I was. I had the most amazing cross country coach who made me the runner I am now. He created such a supportive community, and believed in me when I didn’t. I was the last in, and he got the whole team to cheer me on for the last half mile along the end of the course. Getting to the finish line of that first race was harder mentally and physically than any other race.
If you like to race, notable race moment? OR most memorable race?
I think my most memorable race was the CHaD 5k – I had taken some time off for some leg pain and was exhausted after traveling and doing a take home exam on the way back to Hanover. I managed to pull off a 23:07 – a 45 second PR at the time – I still don’t know how I did it! I was in no way training to run that fast! I’m thinking that the exhaustion might have dulled my normal pre-race stress! I wasn’t looking at my Garmin at all, either, and had entered the race without a goal.
Cross training activities?
I am a recently converted rower! I love sculling and am hoping to get more into sweep rowing at some point as well. I suppose running is cross training for rowing as well! I also do the standard gym machines when rowing and running aren’t options.
Favorite local running route?
All my Strava friends know how much I love running around Occom pond… many loops at a time! My office is right by Occom and I always start my runs from my office, so it’s perfect. I also like seeing all of the same people who go for lunch walks around the pond and watching how things slowly change through the seasons.
But I also enjoy any loops in Norwich including Bragg Hill/Hopson.
Favorite post run treat?
I used to love ending my long runs at Cote’s, a local homemade ice cream shop in Brunswick, Maine. In general, anything dairy-based post-run: chocolate milk, cheese and pretzels, yogurt…
Strangest place ever run?
In an airport! I was on my way to a conference for women in math and our plane was delayed for six hours. One of the other stir-crazy mathematicians was also a runner and suggested we go for a run in the airport! We carefully jogged about two miles in a very empty terminal.
What made you start running?
A friend from college convinced me to go running after class one day and I was hooked after that. I loved exploring Maine and learning to do something new.
Who is your running “idol”?
Joanie Benoit Samuelson. She’s so giving, down to earth, and obviously one of the greatest runners of all time. I love her service both to the state of Maine and the running community.
Are your reasons for running now the same or different than the reason you first started?
My mom has noticed that I have a much more competitive mindset since I started running. My love of running used to be much more “pure” in that I rarely focused on numbers or goals. I just went on and on to her about how happy it made me and how beautiful the runs were. I still feel that way, but I am definitely more aware of my interest in speed at this point. I’m trying to be more of a deliberately observant runner now to get back to that place – to appreciate the beauty and joy of every run.
Why did you join UVRC?
Mike Musty and a few other math grad students were members and it sounded like a great group
Ever run in a costume?
No, but I would totally be down to run in costume! I used to race in high pigtails, though!
The only running shoe for me is?
I ran in Asics Gel Cumulus for 6 years, but I started to get awful blisters (they definitely changed the design), so I switched to Saucony Ride. I’m on my second pair and I like them so far!
Ever been injured? How did it happen?
What a question! I’ve had many stress fractures (cuboid, metatarsal, and some tibia fractures), but “nothing” other than that.
Hot or cold weather runner?
I like both! Though the -20 days this winter have me inclined to say hot…
Morning or evening runner?
Definitely morning. I love seeing the world waking up and slowly become more busy. I hate running after 5 pm.
What is your motivation?
Staying healthy and being in nature
I run therefore: I ice!
How did you become interested in running?
A friend in college convinced me to go running with her and I got hooked!
What is your favorite race?
Beach to Beacon 10k
Favorite running book/film?
What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami
Running with the Mind of Meditation by Sakyong Mipham
What does your daily workout consist of?
Varies a lot by season and whether I’m injured!
How about favorite work out?
Ideally a couple speedy loops around occom and then running down to the boathouse to end my run with a 5k row.
What is your diet like?
I’ve been a vegetarian for most of my life. My parents became vegetarian when I was 3, but I recently started incorporating fish back in due to some health issues. Most of my diet is still oats, fruits and veggies, pasta, avocados, and peanut butter! I eat a lot of dairy.
If you could run with anyone, who would be the person? Where would you run?
A girl I babysat/was close to for my four years at Bowdoin and her mom who was one of my favorite professors – I did Girls on the Run with her as her running buddy a couple times and did their capstone 5ks with her. She is so amazing – such perseverance and dedication – and I always laugh so much with her. I would run in Maine, of course!
Aside from running, what are your hobbies?
Running and math take up a lot of my time, but I love rowing, reading and working with kids! I love listening to audiobooks when I run.
by Lori Bliss Hill
by Jim Burnett
New Added Feature to Traditional O&B Saturday Runs
Training for a Half or Full Marathon? Come Join in the Fun with UVRC ZOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM…
UVRC is now offering group training runs geared to runners preparing for half and full marathons in 2018. These long runs will be timed out-and-backs on the rail trail but other routes will be used depending on the weather and trail and road surface conditions. In any event, out-and-back routes will be easy to follow so no one gets lost. Timed runs will vary in length depending on runners training needs, but 60 and 90 minute runs would be typical and 2 or 2.5 hour runs can be arranged too.
The very successful traditional O&B Saturday Run routes and pace options will continue as in the past. The timed out-and-back training runs are just one new option for UVRC members. As before, all runners will meet inside/outside Omer and Bob’s in Lebanon at 9:00 am on Saturday, form a circle, introduce themselves and share their desired workout distance/time, pace and preferred routes. Runners can choose to join one of the traditional pace groups and route offerings or opt for the timed out-and-back run geared to half and full marathon trainers’ needs.
All runners will start together from in front of O&B’s running at a slow warm-up pace to begin with, then gradually speed up and separate into groups depending upon the route and pace or out-and-back time they choose. Out-and-back runners will turn around and start back when half the total time for the run has expired.
To give you an idea of how this all works, the group above showed up Saturday March 31st, 2018. After the meet and greet inside, our fearless O&B Run leader, Megan (2nd row, 4th from left), divided us into three groups. One group ran the Slayton Hill loop at 8-8:30 mpm pace, a second group ran the Stevens Hill loop at (I’m guessing) 9:00 mpm pace and the third did a one hour out-and-back on Bank St, Heater Rd, Labombard Rd and Old Etna Rd. There were 5 or 6 runners in each group. Jim Burnett (me, 1st row, 2nd from left) led the out-and-back group. We did a 15 minute warm-up to start, then picked up the pace a bit to 9:00-9:30 mpm for 15 minutes, then turned around and ran similarly for 15 more minutes, then gradually slowed down during the final 15 minutes. Part of our group peeled off to add a few more miles and we all saw each other at the end. Mission accomplished!
I must admit that I have some selfish motives for suggesting the long distance training options for UVRC members who are preparing for half marathons, like Covered Bridges Half Marathon in June or CHaD Hero Half in October, or full marathons this coming fall. Having run many O&B runs in the past, I know the value that comes from the group run dynamic. Time just slips away on the group long runs and the miles fly by. There is a collective energy pushing you along. And, you meet new people and make new friends. At the group run this past Saturday I met four new members, all kindred spirits. One, Martin, from Denmark, now working for Novo Nordisk, knew our friend and former UVRC member Rike, who also is from Denmark and worked for a time at Novo Nordisk. Running makes the world a smaller place, no doubt.
But, there is another reason I am eager to get back to UVRC group runs. It’s been four years since I have been able to resume marathon training due to injuries and back surgery. Now, I am back, fully recovered and injury free and ready to start training again. I am registered to run the NYC Marathon in November and my primary goal is to remain injury free and healthy through training and to the finish line in Central Park. What better way to make that dream happen than to “Run with the Wooly Syrup Chuggers.”
Zooooooooooooom to that, for sure…
by Amanda Kievet
Check out Amanda’s blog at http://amandakievet.com/blog/
Frigus is a snowshoeing festival put on by The Endurance Society (http://www.endurancesociety.org/) with the options for 5k, 15k and marathon distances. I was intrigued when I stumbled across their website. According to their mission it “is an organization that is dedicated to providing extraordinary physical and psychological adventures to the endurance community.” I also really liked their logo.
The 5k course does a loop around the pond and woods behind the Cortina Inn, and the 15k branches off and goes out and back on Canty trail up Blue Ridge Mountain. The marathon does the 15k course 3x. It was a super relaxed and friendly atmosphere — just with small group of passionate locals, many of whom seemed to be friends.
Five minutes before the start, Andy, the society’s founder, gave a pre-race meeting. Unfortunately the warm weather lately has not been very snowshoe-race-friendly and most of the 5k course would be rough with snowshoes, but the 15k trail was pretty decently snow-covered, especially at higher elevation.
I decided to start out carrying my snowshoes for the little loop around the lake. Once in the woods, it seemed like the snow was around to stay, so I quickly strapped on my snowshoes and headed onwards.
The 5k portion of the course through the woods was surprisingly technical with a lot of twists and turns that would have been much easier with another foot of snow, as branches were easily snagged on clumsy snowshoes. I felt slow since the trail was gently rolling up and down — not up enough to really merit walking, I thought (though plenty of people were), and not down enough to gain some speed in my classic all-out-hill bombing style I’ve honed on winter hikes.
The turn off for the 15k course came sooner than I expected (0.8mi) and from there it was a short section in the woods before the Old Turnpike Road crossing and the start of Canty trail. Race volunteers took numbers at the aid station at the start of Canty trail (which I didn’t use in either direction as I had my running vest on and stocked with plenty of Gu’s and water). Canty trail was a pretty straightforward moderate climb all the way up. The first part was pretty mild and I tried to do a bit of running when I could. By this point, most of the runners had dispersed. I kept passing and being passed by a guy with an Endurance Society flag and a skeleton mascot attached to his running pack, but mostly everyone was dispersed enough at this point. There were two pretty small water crossings we had been warned about, though I had no trouble finding rocks to walk across on without getting wet.
As the trail got steeper, I gave up running completely and just tried to hike as fast as I could, up and up and up. I was jealous of the skeleton + flag guy with his poles. I tried different methods — swinging my arms, pushing my hands against my thighs with every step, hands on the hips… I took some caffeinated gels and hoped my legs would get to work faster.
The trail closer to the summit was so beautiful with the trees all covered in frost with a mystical fog. I hadn’t seen anybody coming back down the trail yet so I figured I still had a good way to go. Finally the fast guys started bounding down the trail — I must be somewhat close! I let a woman who had been steadily catching up to me pass, and then I saw the two guys I’d been mostly keeping up with coming back down my way. This was the moment I realized that I had been first female this whole way, and that the summit was right there, meaning I had a chance to win this thing!
After a quick check in with the race volunteer at the summit, I stole back into first as the other woman (who, it turned out was actually running the marathon, not 15k, but I didn’t know this at the time…) was adjusting her snowshoes. I bounded down the trail with a huge smile on my face. I passed skeleton + flag guy for a final time and even the guy in front of him. I passed other runners on the slog up who cheered me on, recognizing that I was the first female. It felt fantastic.
After a mile and a half of fast and fun down, the trail started to get slipperier as snow was melting and I had to be a bit more cautious. I was worried that my spurt of energy was wearing out as I got to the flatter and rolling section of the trail, and I kept thinking the other woman was right on my tail, so I pushed myself to keep going as fast as I could, which actually involved quite a lot of walking and pretty lame attempts at running.
I was happy to get to the 5k course section again, but quickly realized that it wasn’t all over yet. The remainder of the 5k course was frustratingly patchy snow/ice, unending rolling hills where, as before, running seemed too exhausting, but I felt super lame walking the flattish sections. Also there were roots and rocks and awkward scrambles. Skeleton + flag guy caught up to me but didn’t feel like passing so we huffed it together, and ultimately lost the course together as we popped out of the woods at the Cortina Inn parking lot.
We backtracked a bit and got back on course, then I saw my husband waiting for me and sped up, proud to show him that I was actually in the lead! I could see the finish line and yet had to do one more little out and back section to the pond before making a sharp turn into the finish line.
I was congratulated by the race director, handed my medals — one metal finisher medal, and one special handmade ceramic 1st place medal — and a pair of Goodr sunglasses as a prize. I was so proud of myself and felt like my training and winter hiking has really paid off.
Overall, this was an awesome race experience. I think the course was a bit short, but nobody was complaining. I’ll definitely do another Endurance Society race in the future.
By Geoff Dunbar
Got a question for the coaches? Send it to email@example.com and I’ll send it on!
There seems to be many different approaches to training for a marathon especially recommendations for how long your long runs should be. Some training plans suggest several runs of 16-18 miles, others three runs of 20 miles, another a series of 19, 21 and 23 mile long runs and another 26 miles. What do our UVRC coaches think about this. It would be interesting to hear if our coaches have differing opinions on this marathon long run question.
Great question! My husband and I have tested two of these methods, and I have read quite a bit about why and how we benefit from long runs. One of the most important golden nuggets of wisdom is that time on your feet is just as important as mileage (if not more)! There is evidence that there are diminishing returns for runs over 3 hours, as your risk for injury spikes the longer you are on your feet. Keep that in mind as you read my thoughts below about each approach.
1. 16 miles max: My husband and I tried this in 2016, running 16 miles on a Saturday and then 10 on a Sunday to split up the whole marathon distance. We both found that during the marathon it would have been beneficial mentally to have spent more time on our feet in one go. However, there are many people who have success with this training approach, especially if they have generally low mileage. A rule of thumb (according to some people) is that your long run should not be more than about 30% of your weekly mileage: if you are running 40 miles per week, that means that your long run should not be longer than 12 mileage. I break this rule often, but it does depend on what you have been able to handle historically. If your long run time is limited or if you are prone to injury from high mileage, this could be the right avenue for you.
2. 20 miles max in one run: As I said previously, I do prefer to have the confidence from completing high mileage workouts before doing a long race. It helps combat mental fatigue to have practiced such a distance, and it also combats physical fatigue as your body learns how to process and apportion your fuel. Practice what you will eat and drink during these long runs and see how your stomach and your energy levels react. Again, think about how your body has handled long runs in the past and don’t push past your injury threshold. Time on your feet is a very important factor, so if completing 20 miles will take over 3 hours, you may want to reconsider the mileage.
3. Doing the whole 26 miles in one run: Some people might think that you need to run the whole 26 miles to prove it to yourself, but I have read and experienced that your race day adrenaline training will take care of the remaining miles. Pushing beyond 3 hours just heightens the risk of injury and exhaustion with providing a lot more benefit. If you are confident that you can run 3 hours, figure out the mileage from there: if you are running 10 minute training miles, that’s still an 18 mile run which is nothing to sneeze at. Trust in your training and let the crowds pull you along in the race!
To sum up, it’s about time on your feet and your injury history. I have found a lot of confidence in running 20 miles at a time, but it is a considerable amount of stress on your body. Whichever plan you pick, make sure that you take recovery days seriously and that you are also replenishing with quality foods/drinks. Be confident in your training and just enjoy the ride!
Mary Peters ran cross country and track at Western Washington University, was an assistant coach for Hanover High School track, and coaches our own Couch 2 5K program.
My feeling on this is that marathon training plans vary based on more than just the question of what is objectively the best plan. Furthermore, the “best plan” is going to vary between runners. Amount of available training time, experience with marathon distance running, tendency for injury, resources (time) the athlete can devote to recovery, and other similar factors matter more than any one coach’s opinion on whether the long run needs to be 21 or 23 miles.
I would peg prep time as the most important factor. If the athlete is going from 10 miles a week to a marathon in 3 months, the priority needs to be a gradual build that emphasizes injury prevention and avoidance of over-training. The long runs might not follow a more specific pattern. Though I would recommend at least one run longer than 22 miles. Anything shorter leaves too much of a difference between training run length and race distance. An experienced marathoner with a PR goal will want a series of long runs. Significant recovery periods would ideally be built into this type of training, as would tapering before the race.
So my personal opinion (bearing in mind that I did just say a single coach’s opinion matters much less than an athlete’s specific circumstances) is that marathon training needs to include at least one long run over 22 miles. Beyond that, I don’t think there’s a generic “best plan”.
I’d be curious to hear from athletes about what has or has not worked for you in marathon prep. If anyone is currently training for a marathon and is willing to share, email me what your rough plan is and why. Or if you want to talk about your own specific circumstances and how that might impact your training, I would be really interested in chatting. Be in touch! (Same goes for other coaches, look forward to hearing your takes!)
*I am a trail/mountain/adventure runner, so my answer will be quite different here*
I managed 19 (I think) Ultra marathons before I ran a marathon (last October) and my fastest finish in an ultra (3:58 for 50K) was during a period when I was training 35-60mpw but my longest training runs were just 13 miles! I think for the weekend warrior or even the strong regional athlete, overall mileage (See time on feet) is more important than hitting specific long runs; and that doesn’t just come from running! A good example is Paul Coats- Paul is a super healthy guy and a model of “active living”, yet he doesn’t do huge running volume- His last marathon (3:21) was accomplished with running (Road and Trail), Nordic skiing and downhill (tele) skiing-
I also hate numbers…but if I were to set my personal sights on a fast road marathon, I would err more on the side of the Brooks-Hansons technique with long runs being around 16m with a shorter, faster run the next day (22-26m in 24hr).
Hope this is helpful- All the best in Spring and Summer running goals!!
Brandon Baker, a.k.a. Brando, organizes Winter Wild and trail runs as part of Team AMP, is a sales rep for Salming Running, and has coached UVRC’s own Couch to 5K program.
by Ellie Ferguson
Now that we ‘ve completed Winter Wild, it WAS winter and wild. From old friends Whaleback Mountain, Pat’s Peak and Ragged to new friends Magic Mountain and Cannon, we had varied terrain and conditions. Magic Mountain was an adventure in part due to made snow, less than ideal grooming due to the lone groomer busting the day before the race. We also had our first double weekend, a Saturday Sunday duo due to Ragged Mountain being postponed due to cold(really). Less of the Frostbite Follies of last year, although Cannon WAS a bit cold at 9 degrees at race time. However, it could have been worse, the next day it was -17 at 6:30 am… For all those who have never tried Winter Wild, whether you call it uphilling or winter mountain racing, it is a blast. Even after doing it for 9 years now, I still hiss and spit going uphill, but love the downhill with often a good sunrise view, and keep showing up week and week again.
Explore 4 Chad.
by Judy Phillips
Luke Webster and his wife, Maeghan Finnigan, and Eric and Kristin Scott created a joyful event in celebration of World Down Syndrome Day, March 21st. This was the second year for the run, which promises to be an annual event.
There was a fun run/walk through the neighborhoods of Lebanon, beginning at the Green and ending at Salt Hill Pub, where the adorable little hosts, Finn Webster and Lily Scott, sponsored a lively gathering. A low-key run midweek, followed afterward by beer and a raffle, featuring products locally made and those by young entrepreneurs with Down Syndrome, among nice folks: what could be better on a muddy/slushy March evening? All to raise funds for an amazing charity, Ruby’s Rainbow.
I did my workout on the treadmill an hour or so before we left and then took the route very slowly, aided by my copy of Luke’s turn-by-turn route guide, and my husband Joe who slowed his pace to a near crawl to be with me – the first time we “ran” a race truly together, which made the evening even more special.
Last year, I ran the race to support our friends, the Scott family. We’ve watched them grow from new parents to amazing advocates for their daughter, Lily, almost overnight. I’ve learned so much from them and other families who navigate challenges but also experience the joy that their children bring to their lives. I wanted to help publicize this event, which was one of the happiest times for me last year.
This year, over 120 runners and walkers participated. Luke Webster reports that, when the final count is in, the goal of $3,000 to fund a scholarship for Ruby’s Rainbow will be exceeded. This was a nice increase over the inaugural event, in which there were approximately 40 participants and $450 was raised for that year’s designated charity, Best Buddies. The forecast probably scared off a few folks, but not for the party! The room was overflowing and folks generously supported Ruby’s Rainbow.
Join the fun next year. Wear blue and yellow, the colors of the day. Help raise awareness of the potential that these children will realize.
I’ve learned that with love, the possibilities are infinite.
If you’d like to contribute to Ruby’s Rainbow, you can learn more about the organization: Donation page: https://rubysrainbow.org/donate/
by Geoff Dunbar
UVRC has a number of the classic white UVRC running singlets available, and we’re ordering more to make sure we have a good stock of all sizes! How can you obtain one of these prized singlets? There are 2 ways:
- The best way is to run two of the “away” races in the New Hampshire Grand Prix racing series. (Footnote 1) This way, you get the singlet for free, you get to have a great time racing with your UVRC friends, and UVRC may get some points from you. Don’t be intimidated; NHGP races are suitable for all UVRC members, and multiple Couch to 5K participants have gone on to score points for our team. Jim Burnett regularly sends out emails about the NHGP races, so watch for those.
- Too busy? Don’t like to travel to away races? Don’t like racing at all? No problem, you can buy one of our singlets at cost, $35. Don’t worry about not racing with us; all are welcome in the UVRC!
In either case, so get your singlet, get in touch with Paul Coats (firstname.lastname@example.org or 603-448-5121) and he’ll get you sorted out.
There is a rumor of some special order UVRC gear coming, perhaps a return of the “Fat Wooly”? But no announcement yet.
Footnote 1: “Away” means outside of the Upper Valley; this year, that means not Shamrock Shuffle or CHaD. The two races have to be in the same calendar year; you can’t bank a past race. If you are still owed a singlet from 2017, please get in touch!
by Lori Bliss Hill
About This Newsletter
This newsletter is put out monthly (more or less) by the Upper Valley Running Club, the premier (and only) running club in the Connecticut River Upper Valley Region. This month, the newsletter was edited by Geoff Dunbar, with additional help from Laura Petto. Any comments, questions, submissions, running song recommendations, etc, send to email@example.com.