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
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!