Monday, May 26, 2008

The Running Group Week Two...

Okay, below is next week’s training schedule and a couple of quick reminders.

We are just under 7 weeks away from our first major milestone of completing a 5K, or approximately 3.1 miles, (on July 12, click here for a Flyer). For those of you who completed 2 miles this past Saturday, you can see that a 5K is only one additional mile. And with 7 weeks of preparation, you’ll easily be able to complete it. Between now and then your endurance and pace will significantly improve.

Remember, the best method to prepare for any distance of run is the combination of slow paced jogging and walking. Walking is just part of the process. Many people assume they will be able to run two miles from the start, and that it is somehow embarrassing to stop and walk. Wrong! It’s the absolute most beneficial way to improve. Walk when you need to walk…and then pick back up with a slow jog when you’re ready.

It’s also not necessary to worry about speed. In the beginning, newer runners should jog slowly enough to maintain a conversation. The key is not to run out of breath, and as a result, out of motivation. There will be room for increasing speed in the future. For now, we should focus on completing the time & distance goal of each week…increased pace will come.

Here’s the week two schedule:

Tuesday - Run 23 min
Thursday - Run 23 min
Saturday - 2.25 miles
Sunday - Rest

Also Remember:

  • Drink plenty of water prior to your training runs.
  • If your body needs a break from “pounding on the pavement” you can substitute non-impact cardio exercise, like an elliptical machine or biking, as needed.
  • As the runs get longer, be sure to keep your blood sugar boosted by consuming a meal replacement shake (or equivalent) about an hour before exercise. Drink water continuously before and during exercise and with all food.

See many of you tomorrow morning at 6:30am at Crossroads Church...

Your friend in fitness, Brian Calkins

Monday, May 19, 2008

Cincinnati Fitness Running - Week One!

I’m very excited to get started with the running group tomorrow.

As an overview, we’re going to start slow and easy to develop our cardiovascular systems over time. For some, you’ll combine slow jogging and walking. Others may jog for the entire duration of our sessions. Always remember, it doesn’t matter where you are when we start – and please do not compare yourself to others. Some may have been active longer than others. All that matters is we are improving - this group is designed to be a structure way to get additional cardiovascular exercise in each week and if you want to do a 5K, you’ll be ready in a couple of months. If you want to then work toward a 10K, you’ll be ready a couple of months after the 5K. And of course those who want to continue on with a half marathon and then the full Flying Pig marathon next May will have the opportunity.

Things to keep in mind:

1. If you have a history of foot, ankle, knee or back pain, please let your doctor know what you are doing. We’re going to train in a way that minimizes pre-existing injury and that starts with speaking to your doctor (if appropriate). If at any time something hurts, stop immediately.

2. Go at your own pace. You’ve heard me say this before, but always remember to go at a pace that is comfortable for you. Slower is always better in preparing for long distance cardiovascular exercise or running! If you go too hard at the start, often you have too little energy to make it to the end.

3. Get fitted for very good running shoes! You don’t have to go out tonight, but within the next 2 weeks you’ll need to have a pair of running shoes that are dedicated for running alone. Go to Bob Ronckers and have them fit your foot. Everyone is unique and Bob Roncker’s Running Spot will ensure you get the proper footwear. I have a $10 off coupon for you – just ask me, Alicia or Kelli for the coupon. Proper footwear is critical!

4. You’ll need a sports watch. On Tuesdays and Thursdays we’ll train for a period of time. And since everyone is going at their own pace, you’ll need a watch to tell you when it’s time to head back in. To start we’ll be going for 20 minutes. When you're close to the 10 minute mark, it’ll be time for you to retrace your steps back to your starting location. All you'll need to spend is $10. Click here for sports watch options at Target!

5. Remember, there is never any pressure to continue with the running group. Again, this is just a structure way to get additional cardio in each week. There’s no cost and no obligation or expectation of you.

Each week we’ll be meeting at Crossroads Church (or your Blue Ash or Florence boot camp location) at 6:30am on Tuesdays and Thursdays for an individualized-paced combination of walking/jogging or easy jog for a given time period. Then on Saturday mornings we’ll meet at the HealthStyle Fitness Studio at 8am for a distance walk/jog or run. Each week we’ll slowly progress and build on the previous week. In the first few weeks of training, plan on 20 – 30 minutes of training time for each session.

If you cannot participate on Tue/Thu/Sat, you can still join the group and follow the plan. Each week I will be emailing the training routine to everyone in the group – so you can follow it on your own or join us for any of the group sessions as your schedule allows.

Here’s the week one schedule:

Training Schedule – Week One

Tuesday - Run 20 min
Thursday - Run 20 min
Saturday - 2 miles
Sunday - Rest

Additional Notes of Importance:
  • Drink plenty of water prior to starting.
  • By alternating walking and running from the beginning, you speed recovery without losing any of the endurance effect of the long one. Start with jogging one to two minutes and walking two to three minutes. As your training level increases you can adjust your run/walk ratio to running 5 minutes/walking one minute. You WILL improve using this system!
  • Be sure to do the running portion slow enough at the beginning of every run (especially the longer runs) so that you'll feel tired but strong at the end. The conservatism will allow you to recover faster.
  • If your body needs a break from “pounding on the pavement” you can substitute non-impact cardio exercise, like an elliptical machine or biking, as needed.
  • Stay conversational on all of your training sessions. This means that you should be exerting yourself at a low enough level that you could talk. It's okay to take deep breaths between sentences, but you don't want to "huff and puff" between every word.
  • As the runs get longer, be sure to keep your blood sugar boosted by consuming a meal replacement shake (or equivalent) about an hour before exercise. Drink water continuously before and during exercise and with all food.
    Above all, be a smart runner...and have fun!! See you in the morning, bright and early!

Your friend in fitness, Brian

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Are You Ready To Run?

The Flying Pig Marathon really did a number on me. No, I didn’t run the 26.2 miles. I didn’t even go down to watch the event this year. I was, however, deeply inspired by several friends who participated in the half or full marathon. As a tribute to these dedicated participants I wrote an article sharing exuberant first time marathon stories and depicted that anyone, with the proper preparation, could run the Pig next May and feel elated.

And so, still inspired a few weeks later, I’ve decided to train for my own first marathon. And, I’m inviting you to join me. Before we get into the details, here are a few running benefits to entice you to consider making a similar commitment.

Benefits of Running
  1. Running Makes You Feel Good. Ask any long time runner and they often refer to the “runner’s high” they feel during and after their exercise of choice. Runners will tell you that they have a significantly clearer mind, as well as a significant reduction in stress, through running.
  2. Running Allows for Good Heart Health & Great Fitness. Running, or any cardiovascular exercise for that matter, keeps your heart healthy by reducing plaque buildup in the arteries. As you become increasingly fit, the quantity of blood that your heart pump with each beat goes up substantially, while reducing the number of times your heart needs to pump per minute. Having a stronger, more efficient heart allows for better nutrient and oxygen delivery to all of the cells of your body, giving you significantly more energy and better health.
  3. Running Leads to Weight Loss. Running speeds up metabolism and allows you to burn significant calories. In addition, many runners report that their appetite dwindles for a period of time post exercise. And although resistance training and quality nutrition are critical for optimal health and body weight, the functional caloric requirement of consistent running is substantial.
  4. Running Enhances Self Esteem. Along with the benefits of feeling and looking good, runners often report higher levels of confidence and self esteem. Those who set goals for achieving a 5K or 10K, half or full marathon get a tremendous feeling of achievement as they cross the finish line. The synergistic accumulation of all the benefits of running allow for a sense of considerable self-satisfaction.
  5. Running Gives You a Sense of Connection. Whether you have a running partner, use a group training program, or just enjoy saying hello to your neighbors as you run past, the nature of running is one of human connection. All you have to do is attend a running event to watch the support of fellow runners and onlookers to get a real sense of how running to allow you to feel a part of the community.

If you’ve ever wanted to train for a 5K, 10K, half or full marathon, the opportunity is here. Contrary to what you may believe at this moment, it’s not as insurmountable as you think. With the proper guidance and small weekly progressions, you can achieve any distance up to a full 26.2 miles. Our group begins on May 20th – for more information on joining these first time runners, visit