Who We Are

We are an RRCA chapter of local runners and walkers who enjoy social and training runs in our beautiful area. All are welcome!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

It gets easier!!!!



Did you know that after running up hills week after week that your body will adapt to the stress and running those hills gets easier? This is one great reason to join us on Saturday mornings for our weekly Lake Lanier run!

We are in training for the Ache Around the Lake 8K that will be held Saturday October 2nd.
Join us Saturday, 8/28/10 at 7:30am for our third training session. Park by the Lake Lanier Tea House. All paces are welcome and encouraged to come!

A Runner's World article explains the proper form for tackling those hills:

HEAD: "Keep your head and chest up. Don't slouch," says Olympian Adam Goucher. Attempting to "grit out" a hill, many runners put their head down, which wastes energy by throwing off their form.

EYES: To keep your body upright, "fix your eyes directly ahead of you, not down at your feet," says cross-country champ Lynn Jennings. "You will sleekly move up the hill."

HANDS: "Keep your hands loose, no fists," says Jim Schlentz, who coached Olympian Kate Fonshell. Loose hands help your whole body stay relaxed.

LEGS: "Push your legs off and up, rather than into, the hill," says Goucher. This helps you feel "light," as if you're "springing" up the hill.

GOING UP: Run the first two-thirds of the hill relaxed, then slightly accelerate the last part, while carrying your pace over the top, says Schlentz. "Don't push too hard at the bottom of a hill," he says. "Then you're dead at the top."

BRAIN: "Visualize the crest of a hill 20 meters beyond where it really is, so you run to the top-and keep going," says Jennings. "I would tell myself, 'Up and over, up and over,' and would not relax till past the top."

TORSO: "Lean forward," says Jennings. "It maintains momentum."

ARMS: Coach and marathon champ Alberto Salazar emphasizes accelerated arm action to drive up a hill: "Concentrate on overusing the arms to really power up, so your running almost simulates sprinting." Your arms should form a 90-degree angle at the elbow, and swing straight back and forth, not across your body.

FEET: "Get up on your forefeet and take shorter strides," says Jennings. "Run with punctuation."

GOING DOWN: "Your feet should land underneath you," says Schlentz. "This produces minimal shock on the body." A shortened armswing will help shorten the stride.

WHY BOTHER?: Strength, efficiency, endurance. A study published in the Journal of Biomechanics found running on a steep grade at a fast pace achieved greater "muscle activation" in the legs and hip area than running at a slow pace.

SHORT ON TIME: Short hills provide maximum training effect with minimum injury risk, says elite coach Brad Hudson. Start with three or four repetitions up a hill about 60 to 80 meters long at top speed. Recover fully between runs.

DISTANT MEMORIES: Longer hills teach the body to recruit muscle fibers when they're fatigued. "This helps you develop a kick," says Hudson. Start with three or four reps of a hill 300 to 600 meters long. Recover fully between runs.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Hickory Nut Olympiad this Weekend!

It's so awesome that we have such a top-notch event in our backyard! Hope you can participate in some part or all of it. Lots of fun for the whole family.

HICKORY NUT OLYMPIAD

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

2nd Training Run/Walk for Ache Around the Lake

Join us Saturday the 21st at 7:30 am for 5 miles around Lake Lanier. This will be our second training run/walk for the upcoming Ache Around the Lake on October 2nd. We will have 2 groups: a WALKING group and a RUNNING group. We will go counter-clockwise around the lake from the Tea House. Please park there.

WALKERS: bring a water bottle (or put in sports drink if you're feeling a little dehydrated) and plan to RUN the flats and maybe some downhills and WALK the hills. It will be a great interval workout. Your heart rate will stay high on the walk up those hills and continue to burn calories. As you build each week, you'll find that you'll be running more and walking less. This is how it all begins.

RUNNERS: this is a good time to learn the hills and strategize. Those not familiar with the course may burn out quickly by not anticipating the upcoming hills.

Bring a friend, bring a pooch, bring a positive attitude...and let's get this party started!!!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Training Run and Walk for The Ache

Join us this Saturday the 14th at 7:30 am for 5 miles around Lake Lanier. This will be our first official training run / walk for the upcoming Ache Around the Lake on Oct. 2nd.

After Coach Katie Malone taught running basics to walkers (and good reminders for more seasoned runners) at the recent Running Clinic, it's now time to put everything into practice.

We will have 2 groups: a WALKING group and a RUNNING group. Laura and I will go with the walkers and the runners will go on and do their thing. We will go counter-clockwise around the lake from the Tea House. Please park there.

WALKERS: bring a water bottle (or put in sports drink if you're feeling a little dehydrated) and plan to RUN the flats and maybe some downhills and WALK the hills. It will be a great interval workout. Your heartrate will stay high on the walk up those hills and continue to burn calories. As you build each week, you'll find that you'll be running more and walking less. This is how it all begins.

RUNNERS: this is a good time to learn the hills and strategize. Those not familiar with the course may burn out quickly by not anticipating the upcoming hills. As temps slowly cool down and humidity goes away (HA!), we'll all find our time getting a wee bit faster.

Bring a friend, bring a pooch, bring a positive attitude...and let's get this party started!!!

Scarlette

Monday, August 2, 2010

Do you like to Fartlek?

If you do join us at the Harmon Field track on Tuesday 8/3/10 at 5:45am. After a short warm-up we will do a Fartlek workout. If you are not sure what it is you can Google the word and get tons of websites. At Runners World they have a simple definition:

Fartlek runs are a free-form version of speedwork done off the track. The term "fartlek" is a Swedish word that means "speed play." Runners use landmarks, like a tree, a mailbox, or a lightpost to pick up the pace from one landmark to another. In between designated landmarks, runners slow the pace to recover between the harder efforts. Some runners use a timed interval to simulate this technique. For example, run hard for 2 minutes, then easy for 1 minute. These runs are multi-purpose and help teach runners to shift gears by recruiting different muscle fibers and recovering after hard exertions.

You can make this workout and intense as you need it to be. If you are a new runner the intervals might just be alternating walking with short bursts of running. If you are experienced and have built a base mileage up you will want to go intense and really get your heart rate up.

The good thing about this workout is that you do not need any fancy equipment if you are just starting out. Simply increasing your intensity from point to point will do the trick to help you build your fitness.

If you are all about the numbers and want to track your heart rate bring your heart rate monitor and see how hard you can push yourself. You will want to alternate the levels of intensity from low (60-70% of max heart rate) to high (80-90% of your max heart rate).

If you do not know what your heart rate zones are then you have to do some homework. There are some basic formulas out there to use and some handy websites. You need to also know your resting heart rate - you need to take this first thing in the morning.

Here is a good website I found for finding Heart Rate Training Zones.

Disclaimer: Please consult with your physician before beginning or changing any exercise program or taking advice regarding your diet or exercise needs. Please keep in mind that the authors of this website are neither heath professionals nor registered dieticians. Any advice given is solely based on personal experience and research.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Ready to go!!!

Yesterday's running clinic with Katie Malone of Malone Coaching was a huge success. Runners of all abilities came out to learn how to improve running form and get faster... everyone's ultimate goal! Katie shared with us some of the techniques of Chi Running, which is a method of running that is supposed to improve running efficiency, reduce injuries and ultimately increase speed. It is definitely a different feel that most of us were used to. Andy Millard, one of our club regulars, has been training with this method for several weeks and said it takes awhile to get used to the new form. I think this instuction gave us all something to think about and work towards. I know I would like to run with less pain and injury!


Katie deomonstrating form.


Here is the group practicing our form.

Many of us left the clinic with a lot of motivation to get out there and run more! This clinic was timed appropriately to help us get ready for many early fall races coming up. First up is our very own - Ache Around the Lake. What better way to get fit and enjoy running than in our own backyard!

In October there are also a couple of half marathons coming up. If you are looking for an additional challenge you can start a half marathon plan - you can train for the Ache and use it as a good, race-pace training run to help you prepared for a half.

The two half's coming up that you still have time to train for are the iRecycle half in Spartanburg on Saturday October 9th 2010. The other one is the Spinx Runfest half on Saturday October 30th 2010.

Whatever race you pick - you need to start training soon! Hal Higdon has a variety of trianing programs for all levels of runners and for all distances. His 8K training plan is 8 weeks long - if you are going to train for the Ache that means you need to officially kick off your training on Monday August 8th.

We are currently holding two regular group runs; Tuesday mornings at the track at Harmon Field and Saturday morning at various locations. These two group opportunities are a great way to enjoy the training with others and help keep you motivated and on track. I hope to see you there!