Photo from Mount Royal, Frisco, Colorado.

"That is happiness; to be disolved into something complete and great. When it comes to one, it comes as naturally as sleep." - Willa Cather

Monday, 21 October 2013

5k PR's and the 10 Golden Rules

It is a huge privilege to coach someone. When I started with my coach Ole, for some reason I didn't look at it this way. Honestly, I felt bad for him that he had to deal with someone like me. I still do. But that aside, ever-inspired by my experiences with what does and does not work in training, but also inspired by my own coach's plans, the foundations SR taught me about speed training, my obsessive reading on the subject and, most of all, the need to spread my passion for the sport, I was thrilled to start coaching Cindee.

Already, when she contacted me, I knew she was golden because whe wanted to improve. She contacted me after all. I would never ask an athlete if they wanted a coach. It has to be something they want and something they believe in, otherwise it won't work.

To get to the point, today Cindee took 3 min and 10 second off of her previous PR after just under 2 months of training with me and ran a 24:48 today. Congrats, Cindee!!!! You have made me proud.
Cindee and daughter at 5k start this afternoon

Cindee had the interesting training plan of 3 miles a day always at about the same pace. This was something I could relate to. Years ago, in medical school, I ran 10 miles a day, always at the same pace. I burned calories and felt good generally, but never got better and never got stronger. I just maintained. I figured this was "good enough". Then I broke my hip (!) and couldn't run for 6 months, learned to cross train and started to look further into proper training.

Also, with the time I was spending, I could do a heck of a lot better, not only in terms of racing times, but general health and strength.

Training plans need to be tailored very specifically to each athlete, the time they can committ and exactly what they are training for (though this last one can also be vague, if desired).That being said, I was going to give you my long-winded take on generally how to improve (which involves variety, strength-training, rest, avoidance of overtraining, speedwork, technique work and most importantly belief in yourself) when I ran across this excellent compilation of rules by Alberto Salazar (sometimes you read something and you think "I could not have said it better"... well, with no further ado):

Alberto Salazar's 10 Golden Rules from Outside Magainze. (my extra comments in pink)

1. BE CONSISTENT Find a training plan that you can stick to long-term. 
4. STAY ON THE TRAIL Pavement damages joints, tendons, ligaments, and muscles. (Kilian Jornet just dropped out of a race for the first time- too much pavement!)
5. RUN FASTER It's hard to race faster than you train. 
6. STRENGTHEN YOUR WHOLE BODY ... Stay away from machine weights and stick to Pilates, climbing, and dynamic flexibility work like yoga (yes!!!!).
8. PERFECT YOUR FORM Every motion your body makes should propel you directly forward. (Pose technique is probably the easiest form to find online training for that will do just this, but it is much better to learn from a certified instructor)
9. TACKLE DOUBT HEAD-ON ...Never think you are mentally weak. Don't doubt what you can do.
10. EMBRACE TECHNOLOGY I like this, but I would add, don't rely on it and DON'T pace your races with a gps. Be in tune with your body's signals and respect the length of race you are going into!! (this is the only rule that I agree with only 50%)
Now some photos from the weekend:
Christian's second 5k. (He seriously begs daily to find races)
Sprint finish at Cooper Elementary in Superior yesterday. He just barely beat the girl in green! :0). He ran over a 7 minute PR of 38:10. I am gosh darn proud of him. He wanted to do it again today so we ran to the grocery store, but he got really tired after 4k. See AS rule #2! (I can't help but noticing that is 9k over two days and that SHOULD be normal for a 5 year old; it just isn't, except in Kenya. If they produced any good runners, we might take them seriously.).

The day's other awesome performance was Nanna's (our wonderful nanny from Denmark, who already feels like part of the family) who won the womens' 5k race. Here she is accepting her gift certificate to Play it Again Sports.

Mattias on the "pumpkin train" in Duluth.

Michael Koppy and Andy Holak allowed me to mark the Wild Duluth 50/100k with them. 

The day we had for marking was much more beautiful than the day of the race.... but at least you get a good impression of the course from my pictures

Chris Rubesch after winning the Wild Duluth 100k in 11:01 next to Eric Nordgren (volunteered ALL day) and RD, Andy Holak, to the left (er, your right, their left... this is what happens when you think anatomically)
Here we are at the Highland Aid Station at Wild Duluth last night. We made a family event out of it and even Mattias was there. He was very good at eating the Goldfish and Three Musketeers. Christian was actually a huge help. We were pretty much freezing in this picture.


cldevall said...

The privilege is all mine. Thanks,Coach!

SteveQ said...

Well, the first rule of coaching is "know what's bull****." For example, Rule #8 - Salazar was known for having terrible form, a squatting shuffling stride. Surprisingly hard to find pics, though. Here's one:

Anonymous said...

"Don't rely on technology"--sorry, who are you and what have you done with Tracy??!!

Congrats on the coaching success! I bet it will end up helping with your own running too, not that you need any help with it, but it seems like thinking about what you would do for training if you were someone else has to be a useful thing.


sea legs girl said...

Steve, it is really hard for me to say anything about his running technique from that picture other than his foot is right beneath him and not out in front of him, braking his motion, so that is a good thing. Though one would need to see a video to give worthwhile commentary. "Shuffling" makes me think he also had a high step frequency, which is also a good thing.

Marathon Mom said...

Love that your son is running 5Ks so young, O is the same asking for her next race. I was a proud mom on Saturday when a 5 yo lined up by her, O asked if she wanted to run together but the 5 yo's mom said O wouldn't be able to keep up! O ran alone and beat that 5 yo (and her mom)!

Seriously you need to coach me :) I love coaching others but am slacking when it comes to my own training plans :(

Robyn said...

Thanks for volunteering at Wild Duluth! I had a blast doing the 50K. The trail was well marked -- after reading previous race reports of people getting lost repeatedly, I was pleasantly surprised. I don't think you guys were at the Highland aid station when I came through in the early afternoon? But I might not have been paying a lot of attention :-)

My race report is here:

sea legs girl said...

Jen, O is so adorable :o). I loved the pictures of her racing!! I am happy to give you a training plan anytime. Just send me an email and we'll give it a go!

Robyn, Congrats!! You are awesome! I am really sorry I missed you, but we waited until the night shift since that's when the most help was needed, so only the 100kers were left at that point. I think I have found a new blog to add to my blogroll... Hope to see you at another race soon! Glad you had fun!

SteveQ said...

Bad footage of Salazar racing Dick Beardsley at Boston: