We hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving full of tasty food, laughter, friendship, and gratitude.
A large number of our athletes participated in a Turkey Trot this year, whether it was to race, or to run with family/kids. A huge shout-out to Jamie for being overall female at the Springfield Turkey Trot (7,000+ runners). Another huge shout-out to Angie - she's been trying to beat a certain individual at the Ft. Myers turkey trot for years. This year she did it! Way to go, ladies!
Joy (Pet Division with Denali)
Nick (Pet Division with Ruger)
Whether you enjoyed a leisurely run with your family or raced your hardest, we hope you enjoyed trotting. The Turkey Trot is such a fun event - no matter where you go. It's always fun to see so many families enjoying the morning together.
A couple reminders: We are planning to do the ShamRox 15k/5k/Beer Mile for our next team event. It is in Springfield on March 12. Register tonight (Monday) by 11:59pm using the code BLACKFRIDAY15 for 15% off your registration (this also applies to GoGirl for those of you racing in that event).
Nick and Joy are going to start doing workouts Monday evenings at Harke Park at 6pm. This won't be structured - just come get your workout in. It's more of an accountability thing, and a way for us to meet and make sure our workouts get done. If you're using one of the training plans we wrote for you, you will have an additional speed workout (in addition to TFC). This is a good chance to knock it out.
Our Christmas party will be on December 10 (Thursday) at 6:30pm at Ocean Zen in Springfield. We have about 23 who have RSVPd so far. If you haven't let us know that you'll be attending, please do so ASAP so we can get an accurate count to the restaurant. Spouses/dates welcome. Leave the kids at home this time.
We will meet on December 14 (Monday) at 6:30pm for a group run to look at the Christmas lights. We'll let you know where soon. We need to scope it out and see where the best lights are! Please feel free to bring friends along, or anyone that might be interested in joining our team. This will be laid back and fun. We won't meet at Harke for speedwork on this date.
Thanks for being an awesome team. We are really excited about what the future holds for TFC.
If we don't see you tonight at Harke, we will see you on Wednesday morning (Harke) for 2x1600m repeats followed by 8x200.
Although we should take time to remember why we are thankful year-round, this time of year seems to really ask us to sit back and think about all the things in life we have to be grateful for.
In reality, even on our worst days, we have more than some will ever dream of. When you dump your Starbucks on your lap, remember that someone out there is going without a meal today. When the pipes burst in your house, be grateful you have a home. When someone rear-ends you at a stoplight, be thankful you have a reliable form of transportation. When your dog eats your socks, be grateful you have something to keep your feet warm and a loving pet that you're able to care for both physically and financially.
So this leads us to our topic for today. Why we are thankful to run. Of course you may have something to add to this list, but here are a few reasons to be grateful for the ability to run.
1. Health Benefits
Many of you began running for the health benefits. Even if you didn't, you know one of the reasons you lace up and head out the door is to reap these benefits. Studies have found that not only does running help you lose weight, stay fit, relieve stress, burn calories, and clear your mind, but it also helps reduce the risk of breast cancer, provides increased healthy cholesterol readings, provides protection from osteoporosis, and assists in preventing heart disease. What more can you ask for?
2. Stress Relief
For some runners, this is the main reason they run. While this could be categorized under health benefits, running for stress relief is really in a category of its own. Think about how you feel when you are upset. You put on your shoes and hit the road. You fly. You run HARD. You might cry a little. You might not be able to breathe because you're so mad. You might stop for a minute and look at something you've never noticed before. How do you feel when you're done? Yep. That feeling. We need that. Thank you, running.
You guys!!! We are fortunate to have this group, and we are grateful for the relationships we are building with each of you. It's nice to see different groups of runners coming together to train and work toward new goals. These relationships are based upon something unique - an ability to understand what it feels like to hurt, win, lose, hit the wall, run far, run fast, fun slow, feel like crap, blow a snot rocket, have stomach issues, trip over the sidewalk, and much more. While running alone certainly has it's benefits, building relationships through the sport provides a sense of unity and confidence. Plus, these relationships slowly start to extend beyond running, and tend develop into lifelong friendships.
4. New Experiences
Think of all the new things running has allowed you to try. For some of you, you had never completed a speed workout until you joined TFC. Many of you are starting to run longer and faster. Running has likely also allowed you to travel to places you may not otherwise have visited. These new experiences shape us as individuals and allow us to grow both in running and in life.
5. Sense of Purpose/Lifestyle
We've all had those days when we felt grumpy, sluggish, and yes - fat. We didn't want to run. We wanted to eat cake, watch Netflix in bed, and be lazy. But, as we begin to grow as runners and implement healthy living and fitness as a lifestyle, we are more likely to feel confident in life. Additionally, we begin to really want to run, as we know we will feel better (unless of course you're resting due to an injury). Take a minute to remember how much happier you are when you run. Think about how much running has given to you, and how it has helped shape you as a person.
Runners like food. Running allows us to eat. We aren't saying that we can go eat 3 large cheese pizzas because we ran a 5k, but running does allow us the freedom to enjoy life and food a little bit more. Want a doughnut? Go ahead. We try to stick to a fairly healthy diet because we know we feel better when we eat well, plus we tend to run faster. But, it's nice to know we worked hard and can treat ourselves!
Trails provide us with a great chance to get into nature and back to our roots. They keep us away from the pavement and bustle of everyday life. They allow us to really think, clear our heads, and become one with nature. Leave the headphones at home. Just listen. Listen to the wind in the trees. Listen to your feet on the trail. Listen to the animals shuffling in the woods, and be reminded of your place in this vast universe.
8. Every Step Out The Door/On the Treadmill
Not every run is enjoyable. Some really hurt. Some just flat out suck. But rejoice in the fact you are able to get out the door or hop on the treadmill. Not everyone is so lucky.
9. Using Our Talents
No, no one here is an Olympic champ and none of us have won Boston or London. But, that doesn't mean we don't have a talent we can use to help others. We have an ability and we have the ability to make the most of our ability. Put in the miles and watch yourself improve. Keep a positive attitude and help new runners grow. Give back to your community by directing or volunteering at races. Put in the work - when you look at your watch as you cross the finish line and realize that you did something you once thought impossible - now that's something to be thankful for.
10. Supportive Family
Without a supportive spouse, partner, and family members, running would be much more difficult. Take a moment to be grateful for and to thank those in your life who make running possible for you. Thank your spouse who watches the kids so you can run at 5am. Thank your children for making signs to cheer you through your first marathon. Thank your family for standing in the cold, pouring rain to watch you finish your first race. Some of us are lucky enough to have our spouse or partner as a running buddy. This is a wonderful gift. Even if you're not the same pace, be grateful to have someone who knows what training is truly like. Tell them thank you for their support, then sign up for a race together!
Take a moment to remember how great you have it, even when you feel like your world is a mess. We are blessed. Take a minute to smile at someone today. Say hello to a stranger. Buy coffee for the guy behind you. Offer to go for a run with a newbie. Take your elderly neighbor grocery shopping. Learn about and volunteer with a new charity. Walk a shelter pet and watch the joy on their face. Say thank you to someone you know doesn't hear it often. Be a blessing to someone else.
Also, remember that you may be an inspiration to someone else. Even when you feel like a failure or that you cannot complete a workout, remember that someone looks up to you. Within our group, we know many of you look up to others for various reasons. Remember this, and keep working hard. Be thankful that you have qualities others desire.
Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. We will see you on Wednesday for a fun cat and mouse workout. It sounds fun, but be prepared to work!
The alarm goes off at 4:30am. You realllllllllly don't want to get up and run, but you remember someone is counting on you for a workout this morning. You can't roll over and go back to sleep. So, you get up, get ready, and head out the door. Of course when it's over, you'll be glad you did.
So, how do you choose an ideal running buddy? You have friends that run, but you're not sure if they're the right choice for you with regards to training. Here are a few helpful tips:
Have A Few Pals
Having an exclusive running partner is wonderful. It provides you with someone to talk to, bond with, and learn with. But what happens when they get sick, injured, or are away for work or vacation? Having multiple training buddies or joining a group is smart. This way, if your go-to pal gets a stomach bug or chooses to go on a cool vacay without you, you'll have other people to call on for help with your weekly long run or mile repeats.
Additionally, sometimes you like different training partners for different workouts. Some people enjoy a Chatty Cathy on a long run (some wish she would shut up). Maybe you want someone to visit with on your long run, but that same person isn't ideally suited for you during speed work. For those mile repeats, maybe you need someone who can push you a little harder (aka less talk, more work). Nothing wrong with that.
Pick a Faster Runner
Is there someone in your group who is usually just a little bit ahead of you? Maybe they finish in front of you at almost every race. There's your new buddy. Introduce yourself. Get to know this person. Ask if they mind if you tag along during their workouts. They likely won't slow down for you, but they'll probably be happy to have you on the track with them. In fact, they'll probably be happy to push you a little and help you improve. Finding people who are a little better than you or who appear to have an edge over you can help you improve in both running and in life. There's an old saying that says "if you're the smartest person in the room, you're in the wrong room." The same goes for running.
Even if you cannot keep up with them, you'll get a workout chasing them down. Plus, you'll have a goal during each training session. Also, pick their brain. Learn from them. Remember, smart athletes (and smart people in general) recognize they do not know everything, and they accept that. They make it a priority to keep watching, listening, and learning. Do not stop learning. When you stop trying to learn more, you stop growing. Plus, no one likes a know-it-all. So, choose someone a little faster than you. Train with them. Watch them. Learn from them. In the meantime, remember that you may be this person to someone else. Encourage them, and allow them to learn from you.
Don't Choose a Debbie Downer/Negative Nancy/Know-It-All Whoever
Why in the world would anyone want to run on a daily basis with someone who complains about each and every workout, and thinks they know everything about everything? The last thing you need is someone complaining about how early/late it is, the weather, the location, etc.
Choose a partner who is willing to try harder and push farther. Find someone who will talk positively both to you and themselves. If you consistently listen to negativity, that's what will start filling your head. If you run and train with this person, you'll soon be riding the complaint bandwagon. Remember, positivity begets positivity. You deserve a partner who shows up and says, "It's workout day. Let's kill it." You don't need to hear "That's too fast. I can't do it" or "It's too early" or "This is stupid. Why are we doing it." On the flip side of that, you don't need to hear "Why are we going so slow" or "this workout is sooooo easy for me" or "Geez. Can't you run a little faster?" either. All of these things ooze negativity. Choose a positive partner who doesn't show up with a bucket full of excuses every time you meet.
If you have a partner who believes they know everything about running or training, pick someone new. A smart individual yearns to learn more, and recognizes the fact they do not know everything. Your partners should not continuously tell you how to do things or tell you you are wrong. Find a partner who is positive, trains smart, and is willing to learn. This will help you on your journey.
Running partners and coaches are different (although your coach can still be your running buddy). The point here is, unless your buddy picks you specifically for your experience and asks for your insight, remember your role as a partner and peer. You're not the coach. That being said, if you see dangerous behavior of sorts, or something that could be a problem. Speak up. Take care of your friends.
Sync Your Training Schedules and Ensure Compatibility
If you're training for a marathon, it can be hard to be compatible with someone training to drop time off their 5k. It's the same way that someone who runs 12 minute miles is going to have a hard time being compatible with someone who averages 6-7 minute miles. But - that doesn't mean you can't still be running buddies. For example, an easy 5 miler for one runner could be a challenging tempo for another. You just have to work it out. That being said, it's not wise for the 7 minute miler to do all of their runs with the 12 minute miler. Why? Because while the 12 minute miler will benefit, the 7 minute miler will not. Find someone you're compatible with regards to pace. That doesn't mean a faster and slower runner cannot run together once in a while, just remember your goals when choosing a partner.
When it comes to compatibility, there are other issues to consider as well. Perhaps you don't mind running in the cold or rain, but your partner heads indoors to the treadmill every time it drizzles or is under 60 (or above 70). Also, consider your definitions of "early" or "late". If early to you is 4am, and to him it's 10am, you're going to have some problems.
Why Should I Run With a Friend/Group?
Okay! So you've picked your pals. Is having a training partner really beneficial? Many of us like to run solo. There's nothing wrong with that. In fact, we recommend a good mix of running on your own and with a group/partner as both offer different benefits. Running solo allows you to clear your head alone, focus on your speed, and think through whatever is on your mind. It also allows you to focus on you and see where you're doing well and where you need to improve. Also, if you plan to race solo, you need to make sure you do some of your runs solo. You need to learn how to listen to your body and recognize the cues it sends.
So - why pick a buddy or train with a group? Sports psychologists have recognized that athletes perform better in groups than alone since possibly the first study of social facilitation among cyclists was published in 1898. Essentially, this study shows that athletes will exceed their expectations or personal bests when performing with a group or in front of a group. You are more focused and less preoccupied with pain and discomfort when others are watching or running with you. So, the key is to find someone who keeps you positively focused on your goal.
All runners can benefit from group training. Less experienced runners may find that accountability is what they need in order to help them commit. They may also find it beneficial to learn from more seasoned runners. More experienced runners may enjoy having buddies that help them add miles and shave minutes.
We encourage you to run both on your own and with a buddy or group. Staying connected to the running community can benefit your attitude (assuming your buddy is positive), your goals, and your pace.
Keep showing up with a positive attitude each week. Thank you for being willing to put in the work. We know the workouts are not easy. If they were easy, they wouldn't be speedwork, and you wouldn't be growing as runners. Not every workout will go in your favor, the same way not every day is perfect. If the workout is tough for you, don't complain. Simply learn from it for next time. That's how growth happens. We truly appreciate your willingness to learn. Keep asking questions and keep growing. We don't know everything - we are still learning (and will continue to learn), but we will gladly share the knowledge we do have with you.
We will see you Wednesday morning for hills. Meet at the Civic Center/YMCA.
We just wanted to take a minute and update you on TFC 417. First, we have been growing like crazy, and we love it. If you haven't visited the "Meet our Team" page, we encourage you to do so. If you want to submit your information and haven't yet, email it to email@example.com.
We plan to order more gear in the spring, so if you missed out on our fall order - don't worry! If you have ideas or there is something you would like to order, let us know!
Second, we are offering custom training plans to our members. A member is defined as a regular attendee of the group who attends at least 2 workouts per month. We are also offering the custom plans to non-members for $10/week. We know many of you have friends or virtual training partners who live out of town, so this is a great option. We will use the money to help lower the cost of shirt orders or to help pay for race entries. The plans will include twice weekly email check-ins as well as custom workouts and Q&A built into your plan. Nick, Joy, and Jamie write each of the plans, and will take care to ensure all of your questions are answered. If you have spring race goals, it's not to early to start training. Joy's goal race is the Christie Clinic Illinois Half Marathon on April 30, and her plan began November 9. Heidi's goal race is the GoGirl Half Marathon on April 9, and her plan begins November 16.
Because of this, we will no longer be posting our workouts on Facebook. We will continue to post our meeting location, but the actual workout will be sent through GroupMe. If you have friends who are interested in joining us and they have questions about the workout, they're welcome to contact us.
Third, we have a few holiday events coming up! First is our group Christmas party. It will be held on Thursday, December 10 at 6:30pm at Ocean Zen in Springfield. The room we will be in (the room behind the fish tank) can seat up to 30, and we have ~20 who have RSVPd so far. Let us know as soon as possible if you're coming, so we can provide Ocean Zen with an accurate head count. Feel free to bring your spouse or a date, but please leave the kids at home this time.
Finally, we have some Spring races in the works! We have decided to do the ShamRox 15k/5k/Beer Mile on Saturday, March 12 as our next group event. This gives us a chance to cheer for each other, experience the race together, and just bond as a team. Basically, similar to what we did for Bass Pro and the Medical Mile. We hope you will join us! If you plan to do the beer mile, make sure you have a designated driver.
Many athletes are starting to plan their larger spring goal race as well. What is yours? Need some ideas? Here you go:
GoGirl Half Marathon: April 9 - Springfield (Heidi, Magda)
GO! St. Louis Marathon/Half Marathon - April 10 - St. Louis
OKC Memorial Marathon/Half Marathon: April 24 - Oklahoma City
Illinois Marathon/Half Marathon: April 30 - Champaign-Urbana (Jamie, Joy)
Frisco Railroad Run 50 Mile/50k/Marathon/Half Marathon/8k: April 30 - Springfield
St. Jude Rock 'n' Roll Nashville: April 30 - Nashville
Kentucky Derby Marathon/Mini-Marathon: April 30 - Louisville, KY
Kentucky Ale Horse Capital Marathon/Half Marathon: May 21 - Lexington, KY (Lendall, Malinda)
If you would like us to start working on a custom training plan for you, let us know. We will need the following info: 1) What is your goal race (date/name)? 2)What is your goal? 3)How many days do you run? 4)Do you have specific cross-training activities you would like us to work into the plan? 5) Any other info you want us to know about your training schedule that might be helpful for us. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We know some of you still have some big fall races as well, and we are excited to see what you can achieve. Magda, Nisbett, Boston, and Keshian will be running Memphis on December 5, Jamie will be running the Dallas Marathon with a goal of sub-3 on December 13, and Ashley will be running the Hot Chocolate 15k on December 13. You all have trained hard for these races, and we know you're ready to race. We'll be cheering you on!
Thank you for the hard work and dedication you show each week. We know how hard you work outside of TFC as well. It shows. We are so glad to have you as a part of our team. Keep bringing your friends, and we will see you next week!
By the way - you did great this morning. We know the Rowland Tempo was a killer.
Shout-out to Nisbett who killed that workout on a treadmill!
Your big race is approaching. You have followed your training plan, and you are ready to race, albeit you are a bit nervous. That's okay. We are here to help with a few tips for your pre-race routine.
Some of you taper and some do not. Some of you do not run for an entire week prior to your race, while some of you barely back off your mileage and workouts at all. Many of you have asked us what to do in the few days prior to your race. Here you go.
1. Run the day prior to your race. This doesn't mean go out and do a hard workout. Just head out the door for an easy 2-3 miles followed by some build ups. Why run? It keeps your body active and it keeps your mind focused. If you have to travel, you will likely be stuck in the car or on a plane for a good portion of the day. Go for an easy run to shake out your body. Why include buildups? Muscle memory. Your body remembers the last thing you do. So - make the last thing you do fast. This is part of the reason we encourage you to push the last mile of every run. It helps your body build speed and remember how to run fast. Your muscles will remember these buildups, and this will help you on race day.
Some people say you should not run the day prior to your race, but a short run on the day prior to your race will help you from falling flat in the last few miles.
Here is an example of what we might do the week prior to a goal race. Your schedule may not mirror this, and that is okay. It's simply showing that it is okay to run the week before a race.
Monday: 8 miles
Tuesday: Off/Rest Day
Wednesday: TFC Workout
Thursday: 5 miles + Yoga (if yoga is something you do regularly)
Friday: 3 easy miles with buildups and stretching
Saturday: RACE DAY (13.1)
Sunday: Easy 3 miles to remove lactic acid
2. Get your stuff together. Seriously. Lay out what you plan to wear. Make sure you have your bib number (don't forget safety pins) and timing chip. Going to be chilly? Rainy? Make sure you take enough clothes to stay warm and dry. Planning to check a bag? Pack it the night before and make sure you attach your bag check tag. Have plans right after the race (and no time to shower)? Make sure you grab a fresh set of clothes. Basically, don't wait to do all of this in the morning. Preparing your gear the night before will relieve some of your stress.
3. Eat right. The day prior to your race is not the day to try new food or the day to try to eat the 72 oz steak at your favorite restaurant. Eat well, and stay away from foods that upset your stomach. Lactose intolerant? No extra cheese pizza for you today. Try to make breakfast and lunch your larger meals, and eat a smaller dinner. This allows your body time to process your food so you don't feel heavy on race morning. Make sure you eat a good balance of carbs and protein (especially if you're racing long). Make sure you hydrate properly as well.
4. Review your race day and race strategy. How will you get to the race? How long will it take you? Where is bag check? Where will you meet your friends and family post-race? Do you plan to run with a pace group? Do you know their race strategy? What starting corral will you be in?
What are your race goals? Go over how you plan to reach them. Are there places on the course that may be challenging? How do you plan to attack those portions of the race? Basically, run the course in your head and visualize yourself crossing the finish line with your goal time showing on the clock/your watch.
5. Surround yourself with positive thoughts and believe in your training. Don't put yourself down or tell yourself you cannot do this. You can. You trained. Trust the work you've put in. Do not over think things. If you've trained right, your body is ready. Do something fun that won't wear you out. Visit with an old friend, go shopping with pals, see a new sight, or watch a movie you've been wanting to see. Don't work yourself up. Just enjoy your day and relax.
6. Skip the booze. We said hydrate accordingly, but we didn't mean with your favorite beer. Save it for after the race. Then, enjoy all you'd like.
7. Go to bed. You don't need to hop in bed at 5pm, but make sure you get enough sleep. Set two alarms, and wake up with enough time to eat a bit if you would like, and give yourself time to use the restroom. Remember, don't eat something you're not used to. Not sure what to eat? Try a banana and a bagel. Here's another little tip - the night before the night before your race is the most important sleep-wise. So, if your race is on Saturday, the rest you get on Thursday evening is more important than the rest you get on Friday night. That doesn't mean you can stay out until 3am and party on Friday. Go to bed - just know that if you don't sleep well due to nerves or a hotel bed, it will be okay.
So, crawl into bed and watch a movie and relax. You've earned it.
Here's a mock-up of a what your day before race day might look like if you're traveling to a destination race.
6:00am - wake up and go for an easy 3 mile shake out run: don't forget the buildups!
7:00am - shower and breakfast (make sure to eat a healthy breakfast with carbs and protein)
9:30am - meet friends and head to race destination
11:30am - stop for lunch (make this your bigger meal, and make it healthy - remember not to try anything new)
2:00pm - arrive at hotel and check in
3:00pm - go to expo and pick up packets and shirts
4:00-6:00 pm - SHOPPING (or whatever else you want to do) :)
6:00pm - dinner (make this meal a little lighter but include some carbs if you're racing longer tomorrow)
7:00pm - shower and prepare everything for tomorrow morning (make sure to check the weather)
8:00pm - crawl in bed and turn on your favorite movie or read a book
9:30pm - go to bed
10:00pm - seriously. Go to sleep. You have a big day tomorrow
So, don't be scared to run the day before your race. It will help your body, and calm your mind. It will help keep you fresh, and it will help ensure you don't fall flat on race day. Lay out your clothes and gear the night before. Hydrate properly, eat well, get some rest, and know your plan for race morning. You have worked hard, and you can do this.
See you at the Civic Center/YMCA for a tempo run on Wednesday.
Woah. What an awesome weekend at the Bass Pro Fitness Festival. We had eight runners race the half marathon, and eight runners walked away with PRs. Boom. You killed it.
We had one runner walk away with a great 5k time, and two pacers come in right on pace.
So - needless to say, we’re pretty stoked about this weekend and we know you are too.
Here are a few questions for you. We want to know a little about your race so we can help you reach your next set of goals:
Beushausen, Lendall (13.1) - 1:58:12 (PR)
Beushausen, Malinda (13.1) - 1:58:51 (PR)
Boston, Melissa (13.1) - 2:08:21 (PR)
Herzog, Debra (13.1) - 2:03:44 (PR)
Luthy, Keshian (13.1) - 1:57:27 (PR)
Reagan, Magda (13.1) - 2:03:26 (PR)
Rhoads, Jody (13.1) - 2:03:19 (PR)
Stowe, Nicole (13.1) - 1:51:51 (PR)
Winfrey, Sharon (5k) - 31:11
Weis, Joy (13.1 PACER) 2:00 pacer - finished 1:59:37
Vest, Jamie (26.2 PACER) 3:30 pacer - finished in 3:30:36
You all are doing some amazing things and we are grateful to have you as a part of our group. Thank you for your dedication and hard work. We love Wednesday mornings, and we are excited to see what the future holds for our group. Keep bringing your friends - we love adding new people and we would love to continue growing our awesome running family.
Keep up the hard work. We'll see you on Wednesday morning at Harke for a ladder workout. Hope you're ready.
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!