The vision for TFC417 began more than a year ago. In fact, the idea had been in the works for some time. By "some time" I mean years. But, on April 1, 2015 our adventure truly began. We didn't know what to expect. In fact, we didn't know if anyone would show up. We thought maybe you all would think it was an April Fools joke. But, nevertheless, about 10-12 people (and a dog) graced us with their presence for our first workout - a fartlek.
This was a really exciting time for us, as we knew we had something people wanted - a chance to learn and grow as runners.
As the months progressed, the group continued to grow. We started with basic workouts, but quickly learned our group needed more guidance than we were providing. We added more structure in the form of "groups" with a coach handling each group each week. We decided to rotate coaches through the groups so we could each get a feel for what our runners were experiencing.
Late spring/early summer we did our first team race - The CoxHealth Medical Mile. This was interesting, as the mile was long and the 5k was short. But, we had a great time anyhow.
We hosted a learning clinic in June where we discussed nutrition, form, and how to actually race. If you didn't know, racing is about more than just running. There's some strategy that comes into play, and we wanted you to know how to overcome the mental barriers that can arise during training or on race day.
Soon after, our group grew again. Over the summer we hosted 4 Poker Run + Yoga in the Park events raising well over $1,000 for local charities (Girls on the Run of Southwest Missouri, Paws Place, Project 360 Youth Services, and Ozark Greenways).
As the summer progressed, our workouts became harder, and the paces started getting faster. We started upping the intensity, and people started nailing PRs. The group started to really bond.
We started offering training plans to members for free (member means you come 2x per month on a regular basis) and to non-members for a small fee. Many of our members are using the plans and are happy with the results. So, let us know if you need one for your upcoming goal race!
We placed our first shirt order just in time for our group fall race, and everyone looked fantastic. We participated in the Bass Pro Fitness Festival as our fall team event. We had a lot of PRs come out of this race, and it gave the coaches a chance to see where we needed to work. Hence, came one of your favorite workouts - the kick simulation.
One morning, we showed up for a workout at Harke Park and we had 5 new faces joining us. This was truly a turning point for us - a good one! These new faces returned with friends, and our group continued to grow.
We started to bond more as a team, and we had a fantastic Christmas Party at Ocean Zen followed by a fun Hot Chocolate/Christmas Lights run.
The winter was hard, and the morale of the group noticeably declined a bit. The runners struggled, the coaches struggled, and quite frankly, there was a lot of complaining. This was a moment when the coaches said "How do we fix this? What is the problem?" Then, one week, everything was better. We aren't sure what happened, but things were back to normal and we couldn't be happier about this!
The spring brought more new members, and we started to do some shifting within the groups. We moved some Group 3 runners into Group 2 (sorry we didn't have a little graduation ceremony) and we started focusing on spring and summer goals.
We participated in ShamRox as our spring team race. We had several injured runners, but we also had some PRs! So, it was a good chance to get out and see where we are at with our goals.
Our first workout a year ago was an easy fartlek: something like 2 minutes on/1 minute easy. We remember how we struggled to get our runners not to walk during the easy segment. Now, you'd kill this workout and ask us why we went so easy on you!
Our workouts have progressed from the above to 1600m repeats followed by 8x200. Or 16x200m repeats, or 2x6 hills. Or the Rowland Tempo. Basically, you've gotten a heck of a lot stronger and faster and we are so proud of you.
This summer will bring some changes as we have moved our workouts to Tuesday morning, and you'll see us really focus on how we can help you improve in racing. We know not everyone is really interested in truly racing, and that's okay. But for those who are, we want to do what we can to really help you meet your goals.
Our Summer team race is going to be the Bentley Fund 5k on July 23 at Jordan Valley Community Health Center in Springfield. This might be a hot one, but it'll also be a fun chance to see how you can do with summer races.
We now have about 25 members, and we are so grateful to each of you. We have learned from you as much as you've learned from us, and we thank you for that.
Your coaches have a few favorite moments from over the past year:
Jamie: Every time someone tells me about a PR.
Joy: Every time someone told me "I didn't think I could do that" or when someone texts me a photo of their Garmin from their run and says thank you for believing in me and pushing me. I also appreciate how much food you guys can eat. It makes me proud.
Nick: Keshian explaining why she can't run faster because her "heart is old"; Magda explaining why she can't run faster and me pointing out that she can talk so she can run faster (and the silence that followed); the workout with Malinda where every time I would say we were a little slow, she would take off like a 12 year old boy at the start of a 5k.
The rest of our favorite moments are probably not blog appropriate.
We want to say thank you for this first year. It's been a learning experience for us as well, but we couldn't have done it without you. You have made our first year incredible, and here's to the future of TFC417.
#tfctuesday #thefitclub417 #earnednotgiven
As runners, taking care of our bodies is incredibly important. However, sometimes we get busy and we slack a little. We miss sleep, we don't eat well, we overtrain, etc. These "pitfalls" lead to injuries, weight gain, lethargy, and that plain feeling of blah. Sometimes we do things we believe will help us, but because we are doing those things, we slack in other areas (ex: I had two venti lattes, so I can stay up a few more hours to get my work done instead of going to bed or I took an ice bath so my injury will be fine).
So, why not try to nip these issues in the bud. Let's be proactive and not reactive.
1. Active Prevention v. Reactive Recovery
First of all, which sounds more fun? Now, you have goals to meet so in order to do that, you need to make sure you don't get hurt. Overall, running is a great workout, but those muscles do need a break, and that time will give you time to train other muscles which will make you stronger overall. So, to help prevent injury, spend about 10 to 15 minutes per week working on form, drills, and strength in areas such as your core, ankles, hips, and back. Also, crosstraining can do a lot to help keep you healthy and prevent injury. Hop on the spin bike, swim laps, use the rowing machine, or hit up a yoga class. Each of these activities will help you become a stronger and faster runner. Don't forget to work your core!
Active prevention is much more beneficial to you than reactive recovery. It's easy to take meds, use tape/bands/bandages/take an ice bath. While these things may help, the truth is they're simply acting as bandages for your injury. Sometimes it's necessary to use them to allow your body to heal, but why not try active prevention and taking preventative steps to help prevent future injuries.
2. Sleep v. Energy Drinks/Boosters
Coffee. Coffee. Don't talk to me until I've had coffee. Yep, most of us feel this way and that's okay. But that's not what we're talking about here. Caffeine helps mask the feeling of being tired, but it doesn't really help you actually be rested. The real solution here is more sleep. We're all busy - we work 10-12 hour days and then clean our house, do laundry, volunteer, spend time with family, and cook dinner too. But, if you want your training and racing to go well, make sleep a priority. Plus, you'll be less irritable that way.
3. Eating Well v. Supplements
This is an easy one. But, supplements are marketed like crazy. This one will help you lose weight, while this one will help you gain muscle. This one will boost your metabolism, and this one will give you more energy. So, these supplements must be modeled after something, right? Yes. Real. Food. You know, not the packaged stuff. Real. Food. Yes, it takes planning to ensure you have the right amount of whole foods in the fridge to feed the family for the week, but it's well worth it.
Multivitams can be helpful as we know no one eats well 100% of the time. Everyone loves cake or biscuits and gravy, and that's totally fine. But, don't rely on your vitamin or supplement to do the job of real, whole food. In fact, studies have found that large doses of antioxidant supplements (think: vitamin C) can actually interfere with muscle recovery and endurance gains during training. Pretty sure that's not what you're looking to do.
4.Training v. Wandering
Sometimes we aimlessly wander in our training. We just go out for a run. Or we don't. Or we hit a spin class. Or we don't. Maybe we skip speedwork for two weeks. Or four. Or six. Then we wonder why we didn't hit our goals and we aren't nailing PRs. This isn't to say you have to follow a plan and never deviate - life happens. But, setting goals and following a plan of sorts will allow you to see your progress and navigate your strengths and weaknesses.
We know your spring race schedules are packed. You're running races all over for some really great causes, and we are excited to cheer you on. Go kick some butt!
***If you haven't heard, we are now meeting on Tuesday mornings instead of Wednesday. This will allow us to better meet your goals. The majority of our regular attendees indicated this day would actually work better, so we are happy to oblige.
***Our next team race will be the Bentley Fund 5k hosted by Jordan Valley Community Health System. This is a great cause, and we have heard great things from other runners. Save the date for July 23.
Keep up the good work, team. We are proud of you. We'll see you next Tuesday.
Our team had a fun morning at the ShamRox 15k/5k this morning. Some of us really raced, and some used it as an easy long run or tune-up workout for our true Spring goal races. Either way, there were some decent times that came out of this morning, and our team brought home a lot of medals (Jamie, Joy, Heidi, Malinda, and Nicole).
We had several PRs (Ashley, Nicole, Boston, Angela, Jamie, Katie, Heidi, and Casey), and we were happy to find a spot on the corner of the square to cheer our teammates to the finish line. Congrats to Angela, Ashley, Casey, Debra, Heidi, Katie, Malinda, Jamie, Lendall, Nicole, Boston, and Joy on races well done today. Whether your PR was by 12 minutes or 10 seconds, congrats!
We know many of you have many races planned for the spring. We have athletes participating in the following (plus more):
Havin' A Crappie Day 5k/Challenge/Mile (Stockton State Park)
Big Party Half (Camp Barnabas) (Springfield)
Rock the Parkway Half Marathon (Kansas City)
Go Girl Half Marathon (Springfield)
Illinois Half Marathon (Champaign/Urbana, IL)
Hairy's Run for Clean Water (Lebanon)
Run for the World 5k (Lebanon)
and probably a ton more you haven't told us about yet.
Keep up the good work - today was a good chance to see how you're doing with your progress (despite some injuries). We will see you on Wednesday!
Who Picks the Topics?
Each week, we notice different things. We try to incorporate the questions we are receiving or the training issues we are noticing into our post(s) for the week. If there is something you'd like us to cover, let us know!