My running entourage

I have an entourage!!  Well, not really – but I am serving as running “coach” for my friends Aaron, Anthony, and Tarah.

Although I have quite a bit of running experience and knowledge, I must preface this post by confessing that I really don’t love running.  I’m not sure I ever have…it’s just something I’ve done.  Weird, I know.  Now, let’s continue.

The goal: Run and finish a half marathon (13.1 miles).  They’ve selected a half marathon in September in the Woodinville area.

The mission:  Help them train so they can complete the race in under 2:10 (that’s 2 hours and 10 minutes).  And of course, do it injury-free (I didn’t say sore-free) and have fun with it.

The challenge:  Well, for starters that’s a long distance to run!!  Aaron has many half-marathons under his belt, but is looking for my help so he can beat the time part.  Tarah and Anthony have never ran a half…and probably only ran six or so miles at the most at one time – so they need help with getting their endurance up, the mental game, pacing, hills, speed, etc. 

The plan:  We do have quite a bit of time to train.  And we’ve already started.  Each Saturday morning, the four of us (I named us the “Quad Squad” – although it doesn’t seem to be catching on with the others) meet up and run.  Simple as that.  For now, once a week or so will work.  But starting in June, we’ll need to run more often and up our miles.  Right now, focus is on building up our miles from week to week (we’re currently up to 5.5 miles).  Soon, for fun and variety – I’ll throw in some speed workouts and the oh so fun hill workouts. 

Additionally, we’ll sign up for a few “fun” runs during the upcoming months of at least 8k-12k distance.  It’s a great way to see where you are physically and mentally, and give you experience dealing with running in traffic (i.e. dodging in and out of other runners).

Thus far…everyone is doing great!  One particular challenge for me will be to make sure they all stay motivated for training.  I’ve been there…training – especially as you get up there in miles – SUCKS!!!

Key tool:  Aside from shoes, a watch, and an iPod – I also love using this site to map out the runs.  Yes, there are different apps out there that track your miles in real-time – but it doesn’t help you know ahead of time where to run.  I’ve used Gmaps Pedometer for years to plan my runs.

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