Friday, June 17, 2011

C.R.E.W. is Going to Do 26.2!

26.2 miles, that is.  The Savannah Rock-N-Roll Marathon debuts this November 5th!

Hard to believe marathon training time is here again already.  I thought I was really enjoying my "just-for-the-fun-of-it" runs.  By staying on a regular schedule, and ensuring that schedule included a 10-ish mile run about once a week, I felt confident about being comfortable and less vulnerable to injury when training started again.  Usually I count back 12 to 15 weeks before the chosen race day and attack a three-day-a-week plan which rotates from a speedwork day, a tempo day, and a long (but not really easy pace) run day.  Running on consecutive days has never felt good to me, so I like the plan even though it demands a more intense effort than most marathon training plans.

You're looking at the calendar and you're saying to yourself, "Self? It's only June.  Why, that seems a lot longer than 12 to 15 weeks before November 5th!"  You are so right, dear reader!  Because I have joined the coaching team at C.R.E.W., a division of Fleet Feet Sports in Savannah, I am helping about 2 dozen people to train for the completion of their very first marathon.  Cool, yes?

First timers are going to benefit a great deal from having all this extra time, 23 weeks total, to get into the swing of this marathoning thing.  CA and Trainer Jane are together coaching the morning marathon group.  We meet Tuesday and Thursday mornings at 6:00 a.m., and gather with the evening marathon group and the half marathon training groups for a long run on Saturday mornings at 6:30 a.m.  Is this going to put the kabosh on my Friday night singing career?  You betcha!  Unless I can get some of those happy hour gigs.  But what the heck, there's always Saturday night gigs... after a disco nap.

Sure enough, we are following the three-day-a-week plan I've used successfully for either three or four marathons now.  Yes, I am losing track.  I've followed so many different training plans, from 55 miles in 5-days-a-week to Galloway's run/walk method, and I believe I have generally suffered the least during training with this three day approach.

Now, doesn't that sound encouraging, "suffered the least?"  Even Trainer Jane finds marathon training arduous.  The race, on the other hand, is SO GREAT.  Few people have an easy time completing a marathon.  Rising to the challenge of the mythic marathon distance is compelling, and it's a rewarding accomplishment!  With a smart training program, it's attainable, but it's still a tremendous effort.  Training with a group is making the effort so much more enjoyable, and it's only week three!  This particular group of first-timers -- eager and anxious, hopeful to make a good showing and hungry for answers to their many questions -- I know this group is going to do Savannah proud.  Perhaps they will inspire their fellow Savannians to get moving and get healthier.  I look forward to each session a little more, and I love sharing my resources in such a positive way.

Wait until you see all the shapes and sizes and ages and styles represented in this group of runners!  Hint -- a photo post is upcoming.  I can't wait for you to see "what a marathoner looks like!"

It's not too late to join the C.R.E.W. half- or full-marathon training program.  Check out for more information.  Lovin' me some Rock-N-Roll training!

Be Well!

Friday, June 3, 2011

What Would a Smart Exerciser Do?

Every personal trainer, heck, probably every one in every industry and field of endeavor has a memorable encounter with a customer or client, a favorite question they've been asked.  I recently watched a Pecha Kucha Night presentation entitled, "My Worst Client Ever."  I honestly didn't think it was that bad... I mean, the guy got paid, so hopefully for him that really IS the worst ever.  But I'm not talking about the worst ever, I'm referring to a moment that gives you pause and makes you think.  Perhaps chuckle a little.

(If Pecha Kucha Night is a mystery to you, google it, get to one or get one started, it's truly a happening.)

Here's Trainer Jane's favorite question from the month of May 2011, which I have shared repeatedly with clients and friends:

Q:  "Do you think I'm smart enough to do this exercise routine?"

A:  "OF COURSE you're smart enough, everybody is smart enough to do this.  I'm not sure, however, that smarts have anything to do with whether or not you WILL do it."

So think it over.  You can't remember the exercises?  Maybe you receive a written explanation, a chart, a series of illustrations to show you.  Travelling frequently over the next several weeks and lacking gym access?  Here's your tubing of various resistance levels, your TRX suspension trainer, your door strap attachment, your packable water-filled weights, your portable Stick for myofascial release, your stretch strap, your DVD.  We practice with the new tools before you leave, and...

...there you have it.  All bases covered, you've got the goods, now get moving.  Keep with your planned frequency.  You're good enough, you're smart enough, and darn it, people like you.  (Thanks, Stuart Smalley.) 

Trainer Jane texts/calls/emails you: Q:  "How's it going?"  A:  Um, ok.  I haven't done anything since we got together.

Q:  So when shall we get together again?  A:  Do you think we should?

Well, let me see.  Have you progressed since last we met?  Nope.  Do you need positive reinforcement of the value of the exercises we have chose? Yep.  Do we need to work together to simplify or amplify or in some way make it more likely that you will take up these exercises on your own and benefit from your investment? Yep.  The chips are stacked high on the side of getting together.

Personal trainers exist because people know what to do but yet don't do it.  You need more than information.  It's the focus, the support, the guidance, the recognition of progressions and regressions and what to do about them, the accountability which makes a trainer valuable.  I can't tell you how many times I toss aside my training plan for a client's session after s/he walks in with COMPLETELY different issues and movement patterns than s/he carried around previously.  "We are going to work with the body you brought in with you today," I say. 

Even trainers use trainers, sometimes for new ideas to push beyond plateaus, or for specialized training in disciplines outside their usual expertise.

Q:  Alright, I can see you Wednesday.
A:  Now that's smart talking.  How's about 10 o'clock?


Be Well!