Over the last month, many of you have expressed a desire to be better athletes. You want to know what it takes to get faster and how you can do this in and outside of our workouts. You want to know where you can go to learn more, and what you can do to be more coachable as a whole.
Here are thoughts from your coaches:
Nick: For me, the most important traits are willingness to do the work when no one is watching, and being smart and humble enough to know what they don’t know. If someone has those two traits, everything else is simple.
Jamie: I agree with Nick. I also look for someone who has open communication. I’m looking for someone who not only listens, but communicates in a mature and honest manner.
Joy: I’m looking for someone who is willing to do the little things outside of our Tuesday workouts to get better. It takes more than one day per week to get faster and stronger. I want to see someone who is willing to put in the work the other 5-6 days of the week (you can have a rest day). I also want someone who is not too emotional when things go downhill in training or in life. Don’t let the little things derail you. I look for someone who has their head in the game and who doesn’t give up at the first sign of a setback.
Here are a few other key traits coaches look for:
- Not too emotional when life gets in the way or you miss a training session
- Communicates open and honestly in a mature manner
- Follows the plan and believes in the training
- Will do the things necessary to get better outside of just running
- Mentally tough
- Willingness to learn
- Humble and willing to help others along the way
- Open minded and not a know it all
- Open to constructive criticism and willing to try new things
- Honest about goals, injuries, and limitations
- Someone who doesn't think results will come overnight; no sense of entitlement
- Willingness to admit mistakes; no "woe is me" attitude
As you strive to grow as a runner and athlete, remember these things. The same goes for us as your coaches. We want to exude the traits we are looking for in you. We aren’t perfect either, but we are here to do our best to help you get faster and stronger. We strive to be examples of what we look for in our athletes. Please know we are always here for you. We each have different coaching styles, and while we know we can be tough on you, it’s because we know you have it in you.
Keep up the good work! See you in the morning. #thefitclub417 #earnednotgiven
If you didn't know, today was the 2016 Boston Marathon. The male winner crossed the finish line in 2:12:45 with the female winner crossing in 2:29:19. Outstanding accomplishments to say the least! Boston is a special day for runners, whether you're toeing the line or not. It represents something special - a bond between runners all over the world.
So, today seems like a perfect day to take a step back and remember why we run. It's a good day to thank those who paved the way for us to be able to do what we love.
We no longer run to chase down our food or from something chasing us. We no longer run because we have to reach a certain destination and it's our only mode of transportation. So, why do we do it? Why do we choose to do something so physically and mentally challenging? Why do we choose pain? Is it because it's our human desire to push our body to the limits? Is it because we want to feel free? Is it because running reminds us of what we are capable of and that we are alive? Perhaps it's the sense of accomplishment. Whatever it is, be grateful for it.
Do you run for "me" time? Maybe running is your chance to escape every day life. It's your chance to focus on you, and clear your head. It's your time to be you and to enjoy the silence. Maybe this "me" time is the only chance you get to do a little dreaming. Dream on, friend.
Maybe you run for creativity. Perhaps your best ideas come to you when you're pounding it out on the pavement. Whether these thoughts are solutions to problems, new song lyrics, poetry, or the answer to life's burning questions, this is your time. The problem is remembering them later.
Do you run for stress relief? Maybe it's an anger management tool for you. Perhaps you have a stressful and demanding job with long hours and running is your chance to process your day and to leave the issues behind before you greet your family in the evening. Maybe you wake up early to run because it puts you in a good mood. Whatever makes you happy!
Maybe you run for someone. Maybe it's your kids. Perhaps you run because you want to know you are taking care of yourself so you can care for your family. Maybe you run so you can set a healthy example for your kiddos. You know they're watching. Don't ever forget that. Set a good example and make them proud. One day they'll cross the finish line with you.
How about you? Yes, you. So why is it that you run? I bet you run because you like it. In fact, you might not want to admit it, but I bet you love it.
You run because you enjoy the feeling of the air burning in your lungs and feeling your heart in your chest. The blood pumping through your veins lets you know you're alive, but it also reminds you life is fragile. You like the way your legs feel as you push harder and harder. You love the way your mind focuses on the task at hand, and you love the way you feel when you complete a workout you deemed impossible. You're a beast and you know it. You like pushing yourself and that's why you love running. Admit it. Be proud of it.
Ignore the people who tell you that you can't. Ignore the people who tell you it's so bad for your knees. Ignore the people on the couch. Get out there and celebrate the life you've been given. Run on, friends.
Happy Marathon Monday. See you in the morning.
So we already know you love the team atmosphere. But, have you ever thought of doing a team relay?
Some of you have done a marathon relay which consists of 4-5 runners covering the marathon (26.2) distance. You’ll typically have a couple runners complete a 5k, some will run a 10k, and one will run a little further. This is a great way to build camaraderie between teammates and have fun as well.
But, have you ever thought about something longer? Team relays are becoming increasingly popular, and for good reason. It’s a chance to run, hang out with your running friends, eat food, camp, and well – run. You’re responsible for your van, food, transportation, safety, etc. You can your teammates can split the cost for an epic running adventure that you’ll never forget.
Many of the races have forums/board where you can search for a team member or try to find a team to join.
Here are a few of the top rated team relays. Read through it, and maybe you’ll decide to choose your team and sign up!
Hood to Coast (starts at Mt. Hood)
3. Wasatch Back
5. Northwest Passage
7. Great River
9. Reach the Beach (Bretton Woods to Hampton Beach)
10. Washington DC
11. Napa Valley
13. Las Vegas
14. Florida Keys
15. Del Sol
16. So Cal
18. Cape Cod
1. Zion (UT)
3. Richmond, VA
4. Snowmass, CO
5. Fort Knox
6. Tahoe (CA)
7. Appalachians (WV)
9. New England
10. Angel Fire (NM)
11. Hill Country (TX)
12. McDowell Mountain
13. Buckeye Country
15. Northwoods (WI)
16. Carolinas (SC)
17. Wawayanda Lake
18. Alafia River
KT82 (Katy Trail)
Wild West Relay
Epic Oregon Relay
Brew to Brew (B2B) Relay
Best of luck to everyone racing this weekend! We have runners doing Rock the Parkway, Go Girl, and GO St. Louis. If you’re racing elsewhere, let us know and we’ll be cheering you on!
Don’t forget – if you need a training plan for an upcoming race, let us know. These are free to members and $10/week for non-members. *Member is defined as someone who comes 2 or more times per month on a regular basis.
Happy running – spring racing season is here!
If you didn't already know, TFC417 is officially one year old, and what a fun year it has been.
One of our first posts on our Facebook page discussed the benefits of speed work. Many of you were skeptical of this, but we wonder if you've changed your mind after a year? You must have - you keep coming back. Or maybe you just really like the coaches...
Did you notice how the workouts evolved over the course of a year? When you were just a baby speed demon we started you with simple 2 to 1 fartleks. As you progressed we started adding hills, adding tempos, upping the distance, and stepping up the speed. Did you notice a difference in your every day runs? If you say no, we know you're lying because you spent a year texting us photos of your Garmin (we love that by the way). We both know it's working.
Now, did you notice a difference in how you felt while racing? Did you start hitting splits you didn't think you could? Did you cross the finish line 15 minutes faster than your last race? Many of you did! Even if it was 3-4 minutes faster, that's still a huge improvement and there's something to be said for the work you're putting in.
So - where do you go from here? You've been doing speedwork for a year now, and maybe you wonder if you'll start to plateau or if you've done all you can. You may plateau - it happens to everyone, but it's fixable. Have you done all you can? More than likely, no.
As you get faster and stronger, your workouts can't stay the same. If you were still doing the same workout we did on April 1, 2015, your body wouldn't really reap any benefit (other than getting some exercise). This is the same way your body plateaus on weight-loss and fitness gain if you consistently do the exact same run/workout routine every single day.
So, if you're knocking your goals out the park, it's time to re-think your paces. If running 1600m repeats at 8:00m pace is a walk in the park, step it up. Start dropping the pace. Not only will this help you get faster, you won't get bored.
The same goes for your long runs. If you want to PR, you have to push the pace. How do you expect your body to run 8:30 pace on race day if you train at 9:30-10:00 pace the rest of the time? It won't know how to do what you're asking. So, if you want to hit that goal, start working toward race pace. That's not to say we don't need an easy day every now and then, but you can't make every day easy and expect to see results.
As we move into our second year, we strive to ensure you're successful at nailing PRs and dropping the hammer on race day. We want to help you succeed, but we can't do it for you.
As you embark on your spring and summer training and racing, keep this quote in mind -
"What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals." - Thoreau
If you are interested in joining us, shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We'd love to chat :) See you Tuesday morning!
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!