Monday, October 27, 2008

Holiday Running Options

With the coming holidays, a lingering injury, various goals and schedules among the running group, feel free to modify your training in November and December to fit your needs. Some may want to maintain their existing endurance level, others may want to build upon it through the holidays. You can modify your time, distance, speed, frequency of running or any combination of these variables.

For me I’m going to work hard over the next two months to bring my half marathon time down to somewhere between 1:50 & 2:00 in an effort to be ready for January as we officially begin training for the Flying Pig.

Over the coming weeks we’ll be using steady state running, intervals, tempo runs (info below) and long runs in our training. Again, please modify the schedule to fit your needs over the coming 2 months.

Overview of Tempo Runs:

Tempo runs are runs performed at constant moderate effort, usually at or slightly faster than race pace, allowing for two important benefits:

First, tempo runs are effective physical and mental simulators of a race, allowing the body and mind to function efficiently at event speeds. The neuromuscular communication paths necessary to operate in a race are established and your feel of event speed is developed.

Second, tempo runs create a cardiovascular overload, improving endurance and accompanying strength benefits. Optimal tempo runs incorporate a distance of about 1/4 of the race distance.

Because of both of these benefits, tempo runs are one of the most effective types of speed work training for the marathon. Next week we'll incorporate a tempo run...

Here the schedule for those who've been running for several months:

Monday - Boot Camp or XT
Tuesday - 12 x 400 Intervals
Wednesday - Boot Camp or XT
Thursday - Run 45 Mins
Friday - XT or Boot Camp
Saturday - 14 Miles Slow

Here the schedule for the newer members of the group:

Monday - Boot Camp or XT
Tuesday - Run 23 Mins
Wednesday - Boot Camp or XT
Thursday - Run 23 Mins
Friday - XT or Boot Camp
Saturday - 2.25 Miles Slow

See many of you in the morning...

Brian Calkins NSCA-CPT, ACE

HealthStyle Fitness, Inc. 4325 Red Bank Rd Cincinnati, OH 45227 513-407-4665, x-105

Monday, October 20, 2008


Congratulations to Wendy & Rob, Rebecca, Leigh, Jill, Rob, Toye, Amy, Leah, and Shannon for a very strong showing at yesterday’s Columbus Half Marathon!! What a fun and exhilarating experience we all shared. For many of us it was our first half marathon – savor your accomplishment and reflect in all the work and dedication you’ve employed the past 7 weeks!!

I would also like to welcome all the new members to the running group – we’re excited to have you with us!!

With our new members we’re now going to break down our weekly email with 2 separate training routines to accommodate both those who just completed the half and the new group. Regardless of where you are today, feel free to follow the program that best fits your current needs.

This week is going to be a recovery week for those who participated in yesterday’s event. Although we need to do some light cardio to deliver oxygen and nutrients to repair damaged tissue, feel free to run or cross-train on a non weight-bearing machine such as an elliptical or bike (click here to read the benefits of cross training).

Leigh and I are looking at doing another half marathon in December since the Flying Pig is 7 months away. We both look forward to shaving time off our half time and having another milestone to keep us focused. It’s a small event, but in December it’s the closest we can find. Info available here: We’d love to have you join us!!

Okay, here’s our training for the week:

Monday – Boot Camp or XT
Tuesday - Run 30 min or XT
Wednesday - Boot Camp or XT
Thursday - Run 30 min or XT
Friday - Boot Camp or XT
Weekend – 4 miles easy

New Running Group Members Routine:

Monday – Boot Camp or XT
Tuesday - Run 20 min or XT
Wednesday - Boot Camp or XT
Thursday - Run 20 min or XT
Friday - Boot Camp or XT
Weekend – 2 miles easy

There is more information about running for our first time members here:

See many of you in the morning...

Have an awesome week!!

Brian Calkins

HealthStyle Fitness, Inc. 4325 Red Bank Rd Cincinnati, OH 45227 513-407-4665, x-105

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Final Preparation...

Are you ready for Sunday? Here are some reminders and notes for the weekend...

Packing: Think of all the steps and things you’ve needed for each of our long runs and make sure those items are packed for Sunday morning. Don’t forget your GU, sports drinks, shoes, Glide, running belt (if you use one), running gear, change of clothes after the race, etc. A friend in Columbus said Sunday morning is supposed to be very cool. Pack both cold and moderate temperature running gear. Click here for Columbus weather.

Carb Loading and hydration starts today! Make sure every meal contains whole grain carbs and plenty of water from now through breakfast on Sunday. Remember, we need half our body weight in ounces of water for optimal hydration. A 150 pound person should be drinking at least 75 ounces, or slightly more.

Your Race Plan: Mentally plan out how you’re going to run on Sunday. Take caution in starting too aggressively (which is likely to biggest reason for a slower than anticipated time). It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of the event...or have your competitive juices kick in when the gun goes off...or even to just forget to check your pace with each mile marker.

When you start too fast, your body shifts into your anaerobic energy system immediately, bypassing the aerobic system, quickly depleting your top energy system. At a slower, aerobic energy system pace, you can go for a long period, then when you’re ready to kick up your pace, you’ll have several miles of your top energy system available.

Plan your race out in segments and make sure you have plenty of gas in the tank for the home stretch. Check your times at each mile. For example, if your goal is to finish in 2 hours and 20 minutes, you should be averaging about 10:30 per mile. Your first mile will be around 10:30, second mile at 21 minutes, third mile around 31:30, etc.

Start slow. You can always pick up the pace later.

For those who’d like to fraternize Saturday night and after the race on Sunday….

Saturday’s Dinner: We have reservations at Buca Di Beppo, located at 343 North Front Street, at 7:30 for dinner. Click here for map and directions. The restaurant’s number is 1-614-621-3287. Please confirm with Leigh ( that you are coming so we can formalize our reservations.

Sunday’s Post-race Lunch: We’re heading over to Champps, located at 1827 Olentangy River Rd. Click here for map and directions. Or you can just follow us over (no reservations needed).

Contacting us in Columbus: You can reach me at 513-325-0886 and Leigh at 513-255-7308.

Remember on Sunday Morning…

The hard part is done.
Have fun.
Enjoy the experience.

Don't think about the 13.1 miles - chunk it down.
One mile at a time.
One minute at a time.
One step at a time.

The only thing you have control over on Sunday are the thoughts that enter your head – your preparation is done - your nutrition is done - your clothes you are going to wear are figured out - it's just your thoughts that are left.

Keep them positive and you cannot lose.

Sunday - you'll be a Half Marathon Champion.

Monday, October 13, 2008

We're Ready!

Congratulations!! From a training perspective, we are ready!! I hope you feel good about the work you’ve put in over the past 7 weeks since the 10K – we’ve made tremendous progress!!

Okay, here’s what we can do to be 100% prepared for Sunday's Half Marathon…

  1. Hydrate well this week, with emphasis on significant water intake on Friday and Saturday.
  2. Load up your glycogen stores Thursday, Friday and Saturday – read “Preparing for the event” at for a reminder.
  3. Rest. We’ll have 2 easy runs this week – Tuesday for 35 minutes, Thursday for another 35 minutes. Rest Friday and Saturday.

On Sunday, we’ll meet 45 minutes before the Half to be where we need to be AND to warm up with a light jog and some stretching. Don’t forget your energy & hydrations needs during the event. You can review the following article here:

We are planning a group dinner on Saturday night – details will follow. Also, we are planning a group lunch after the Half on Sunday – details will follow.

Please make sure Leigh has your cell number so we can communicate while in Columbus. You can click here to email your number to Leigh.

Here’s this week’s schedule:

  • Monday- Boot Camp or XT
  • Tuesday- 35 Minutes Easy Run
  • Wednesday- Rest
  • Thursday- 35 Easy Run or XT
  • Friday/Saturday- Rest
  • Sunday- Columbus Half Marathon

See many of you in the morning...

Your friend in fitness, Brian Calkins

HealthStyle Fitness, Inc. 4325 Red Bank Rd Cincinnati, OH 45227 513-407-4665

Monday, October 6, 2008

Nutrition and Eating before the Half Marathon

2 Weeks Away...

Okay, we should now feel confident in the completion of our Columbus event in 2 weeks!! This week we'll have a regular training schedule, including intervals on Thursday, but we'll back down a bit to 8 miles for the weekend run.

I've broken down the 8 miles over the weekend into halves - the first half to be easy and the second half to be run at the pace you're striving to complete the event in Columbus. So if you're shootng for a 10-minute mile pace for the half, you should run the second 4 miles in 40 minutes.

Here's information on nutrition for next week...

Pre-race nutrition:

The good news is our muscles are capable of storing approximately 1800 calories in the form of glycogen. And given that the average runner burns approximately 100-110 calories per mile, most of us will have sufficient energy storage if properly fueled for the 3 days leading up to the half marathon. It’s generally mile 20 when running a full marathon where people hit the wall in terms of glucose/glycogen depletion.

Here are a few important nutrition steps…

1. Preparing for the event - For three days prior to the half, the goals is to maximize glycogen storage in muscle, which means we need to eat a few more complex carbohydrates than we normally do. Remember, all carbs are not created equal. Some supply energy very quickly while others provide a slow, steady stream of energy. Carbohydrates are classified by numbers between 1 and 100, called the glycemic index (GI). A simple carbohydrate is high on the GI and dumps into your blood stream very quickly. Complex whole grain carbs are generally lower on the GI and filter into your system more slowly. Foods that are low on the GI list tend to keep your blood glucose stable and give you a steady supply of energy, allowing you to maintain your longer runs for longer periods of time. High GI foods cause a roller coaster effect. After eating a high GI food your blood glucose quickly elevates, causing your pancreas to release insulin which pulls the carbs out of your bloodstream, resulting in a blood glucose crash. For that reason we need to consume low GI whole grain carbs all the time, but approximately 10% more for the 3 days leading up to our event.

2. Morning of the event - The morning of the half, eat a meal that consists of whole grains (65%), protein (20%) and fat (15%) 2-3 hours before the start of the race. This will top off your glycogen levels, giving you the necessary energy to run at your optimal pace. Important note: don’t try anything new before the event. Stick to the foods you know you can consume and run without problems. The last thing you want is a digestive problem while you’re running 13.1 miles!

3. During the event – Several of us experimented with GU this past weekend, others have been using it for a few weeks or longer. During the half marathon it will be very important to supply your body with a steady dose of glucose and fructose (sugar). This is the time to eat high GI foods. The high GI foods quickly release energy and give you a fast energy boost. Good high GI foods that are convenient during a run include energy gels (GU) and sports drinks (Gatorade and Powerade). Here’s the tricky part of consuming them, however - you don’t want too much glucose as you may feel sick to your stomach, and likewise you don’t want too little as you’ll run out of gas. Again, running 13.1 miles doesn’t cause a major crash as compared to 26.2, but you will notice the difference with the appropriate fueling during the run. Here’s a must read article on the sports drinks vs. gels, the challenges and benefits of both:

As always, hydrate well the week before the marathon (water) and in particular, during the carbohydrate loading period (three days prior to the half). Research has shown that carbohydrates convert to glycogen more effectively when accompanied with the consumption of water.

Immediately Following the Half

After crossing the line, get something to drink (water and a recovery drink). Within an hour or so of finishing, grab something to eat with your favorite running partners and celebrate your awesome achievement!!!

Here’s this week’s schedule:

Monday – Boot Camp or XT
Tuesday - Run 45 min
Wednesday - Boot Camp or XT
Thursday - 12 x 400
Friday - Boot Camp orXT
Weekend – 8 Miles: 4 miles slow and easy, 4 miles at goal pace

See many of you in the morning at Crossroads church!!

Your friend in fitness,
Brian Calkins

HealthStyle Fitness, Inc. 4325 Red Bank Rd Cincinnati, OH 45227 513-407-4665