Celebrate and Recovery

This past weekend marked the culmination of our Winter TCTC Training session, and the largest group of runners we have had yet. We are so proud of our runners and thankful for the mentors who have supported them throughout these past 18-20 weeks. I hope you all are as proud and inspired as I am to see the improvements and sense of community that have grown over these past months.

So, shoutouts to our runners!

In the Bayshore events on Saturday, we had an iffy weather start, but our team did very well and represented proudly! In the 10k we had Kim, Geri, Tracey, Marianne, Jenn, Megan, Christine T, Chris H, Coach Ross, Joe, Kim S, Melinda, April, Susan, Sara, Brooke, Jen B, Victoria, Stefanie, and Maia.
In the half, we had Katie, Jill, Chris B, Rose, Mike H, Nichole, Jessie, Phillip, Cindy, Stephanie R, and Jennifer L.
In the full marathon, we had one incredible runner, Mark! Congratulations runners!

In the North Mitten races on Sunday, we also had quite a few past and current members running: Rob, Michelle, and Geri in the Half Marathon; Angela, Chris T, Kim B, Anne, Rose, Mimi, Jenn, Laura, and Chris H in the 10k; and Joe, Chris B, and Janice in the 5k!
Finally, on Monday’s race at Cadillac in the Stride for Strive 5k, congratulations to Kim, Tracey, Rose, and Joe for their awesome finishes!

As we all begin to move this week, and move slowly,  please consider taking some time to allow your body to recover and heal. This has been a long training segment, and body systems, as well as the mind, need time to get back to neutral before beginning another training routine. Do some active recovery such as walking, easy cycling, swimming, or light hiking these next few weeks. Enjoy doing something different than you normally do to refresh your motivation to train.

When you’re ready, then take time to consider what your next goals will be. In my RRCA Coaching, they emphasized the need to cycle training throughout the year. If you just finished a long race buildup, take a few months to work on doing some shorter races. If you just finished a buildup for some shorter distances, try adding to your endurance by doing some long runs. Then, after you have strengthened these alternative systems, return to a training segment for your original goal and reap the benefits of training up a variety of systems. You will find greater success and enjoyment through broadening your training focus.

Remember, the goal is to be a life-long runner, so enjoy every minute of your training, even the rest times!

We are in the midst of planning our end of training celebration, so please check your emails and our Facebook group page for details. Keep in touch with us for any questions, and we look forward to seeing you in our next training session beginning in late July to prepare for October races!


Race Day Pace Advice

Here is a second edition of Race Day Advice from Mentor Mike. Thank you, Mike!

What I like to do right before the race is to line up just ahead of where I think my actual pace group is. I find this turns out to be exactly where I should be. A good spot is where you pass the least amount of people and where you are passed the least as well.

Next,  I find that runners have a tendency of starting a race too fast. I think this comes from the excitement of the race starting, being around people that are running faster than your pace, and/or just feeling good and refreshed before the race. Again, this takes experience that you will get by running races. But, try to get settled into a comfortable and sustainable pace for you as early as possible.

While racing, I check my pace based on the mile markers that the race promoters place on the course. I do this by manually pressing the split button on my old Timex Ironman running watch. I find that my GPS watch mile splits usually will not match the posted course mile splits. The GPS watches will most likely tell you that the race course is longer than it actually is.  For example, when I ran the Boston Marathon two years ago, when my GPS watch said I had run 26.2 miles, the distance for a marathon, I was still on Continental Avenue. Not even close to the finish. When I did cross the finish line on Boylston Avenue, my GPS watch read 26.7 miles. It was off by ½ of a mile. I never raced with my GPS watch again. So, check your splits manually with posted mile markers.

Once I settle into my pace, I try to monitor how my body is feeling. I am always asking myself questions like: is this pace sustainable, will I have anything left at the end for a sprint finish, how do I feel overall? Sometimes I find when I am at a pace that does not feel right or I don’t feel good, I find that increasing my pace slightly seems to help. Just because the mile you are in doesn’t feel good, doesn’t mean that every mile until the end of the race will feel just as bad. We all have rough patches, and they will usually pass if you keep your mental talk positive and try to push through.

Overall, the goal is to have a great race day experience. This day is the culmination of MANY weeks of training, so enjoy every second of it – good ones and bad ones!

Hydration during Race Week

Run Reminder: Saturday 5/18 at 7:50am at Medalie Park for light workout run.

As we move into the final days before Bayshore, hydration is important to start thinking about. Here are some words of advice from Mentor Mike, which we hope you will find useful.

Hydration for race day should start a three to five days prior to the race. I usually avoid any kind of alcoholic beverages at least five days prior. The effects of alcohol can stay in your system for three days or more after the beverage was consumed. If you do consume alcohol, a dry white wine will have the least overall effect on your body. For a couple days prior to the race your urine should be a light lemonade color.

The morning of the race I recommend waking at least two hours prior to the starting time to start your morning routine, including consuming eight to 10 ounces of water. This will make up for what was lost during the normal loss of water that occurs during sleep. Before the race try to use the port-a-potties and try to evaluate your urine. It should be a light lemonade color. Be sure to drink enough to maintain the previously mentioned urine color, but not enough to where the fluid is sloshing around in your stomach. If the fluid is sloshing around, this is an indication that you are consuming too much at once. Remember that your body can only process four to six ounces every 20 minutes.

During the race be sure to start hydrating early. Start to take water at the first water stop, even if you feel that you don’t need it or are not sweating yet. You will need this hydration later in your race. Remember that on a hot and/or humid day you will sweat at a rate that could be faster than you can replace lost fluids. Again, your body can only process four to six ounces of water every twenty minutes or so. If the water stop offers sports drinks as well as water and you plan to take the sports drink, consume the sports drink first and chase it with water. This will help to dilute the sports drink (don’t drink this stuff straight during a race), which can minimize any stomach ”upsetness” that may occur. Be aware that most water stops will off the water first and the sports drink later. Take the water and hold on to it until after you consume the sports drink and then consume the water. Be careful not to overhydrate. This can be more detrimental than under-hydration. One of the first sighs of over hydration is the fluid sloshing around in your stomach. If this starts to occur, back off a little until the sloshing goes away. Again, four to six ounces of fluid every twenty minutes is a good baseline.

I feel that a very important topic that is often overlooked to post race hydration. At the end of a race I like to put down about eight to 12 ounces of water right away. I then will wait for about five to 10 minutes to see how I am feeling. If I am not feeling too light headed or nauseated, I will look for some chocolate milk to drink. Try to avoid chocolate milk if you are feeling nauseated. It may not stay down long if you are. Chocolate milk has protein, carbohydrates and some electrolytes to aid with recovery. Keep drinking water and any recovery drinks that you may use until you are able to urinate again. Starting the urination process after a race is the best indicator, in my opinion, that the rehydration and recovery process is working. I also like to use a time line base to monitor the process. After a 10K you should have to use the restroom within two to three hours. After a half marathon you should need the restroom within four to five hours and five to six for a marathon. Anything beyond these times, I will begin the rehydration process over again.  If something really does not seem right, or if the short term recovery process is just not working, don’t be afraid to seek medical attention.

Starting the Taper

Run reminder: Join us for our last workout Saturday 5/18/19 at 7:50 am at Medalie Park. We will do a light, fun workout designed to keep legs fresh for race day.

Saturday, we had many successes and distance PRs for TCTC Training. Thank you to everyone who was able to come out an hour early to meet us for our course preview of Bayshore. It was a gorgeous morning along the bay for our run.

Despite the early time, we had a terrific turnout. You all were such troopers, and we mentors so appreciated your willingness to be flexible. Thank you Jeff, Mike, Katie, Laura, Mimi, Anne, Janice,Nichole, Victoria, Chris, and Mark!

Congratulations to our training team who were racing Saturday too! Just a few shoutouts include Cindy and Joe at the Mesick Mushroom Festival 5k, Kim, Geri, and Phil at the Amway 25k in Grand Rapids, and Angela and Tracey at the Fort to Fort on Mackinaw Island!

Good luck and best wishes   to all our team this week as you begin to taper or recover from illness (Chris). You may feel anxious or jittery with the extra energy from fewer running minutes, but it will be well worth it on race day in those final minutes. Your legs will be ready and raring to go to carry you over the finish feeling strong!

Remember to share your runs with myself and the mentors. We love to hear how you are doing.


Saturday Long Run Time Change

Dear TCTC training team,
My apologies, but our run will be rescheduled to 7:00 am instead of 7:50am tomorrow. I have had a funeral come up, and others have been ill or had sudden work come up. We will have three mentors of different paces available for you though to begin at 7. Please share this with those who may not see it. Thank you very much for your patience! See you at TC Central HS!

Last Long Steady Distance Run

Group run reminder: Saturday 5/11 at 7:50am starting at TC Central HS (marathoners begin at 7:00am).

Winter training has gone so quickly, and we are so proud of our team for their accomplishments already! This past  weekend was one for several. Mentor Rose at the Flying Pig 10k and Half Marathon, those who ran in the Interlochen 5k: Coach Ross, Rob, Michelle, Tracey, Kim, Jenn, Sara, and Marianne. At the Saturday TCTC Training pacing workout, we had an awesome gathering of runners doing their last workout of the session: Mike, Angela, Katie, Liza, Laura, Chris H, Mimi, Anne, Susan, and Brooke! It was a great day. Way to go team! 

This coming Saturday, we have our final Long Steady Distance Run. It will be the perfect time to practice your gear choices for race day, as well as fueling. Nothing new on race day is key, so practice everything on this run.

Our route will be along the Bayshore course, with special attention to the end of the route.  Though you can hear the stadium cheers well in advance of the finish, there are still some maneuvers  around the neighborhood before the final big finish at the track. We will go over that, so everyone is prepared.

Have a great week and hope to see you at a group run soon!

Just a few weeks left to Winter II

Run reminder: Saturday 5/4 at 7:50 am at Civic Center Loop for a Pacing Workout. Park near Titus Ave entrance.

A beautiful run along Leelanau Trail this past Saturday for our second to last Long Steady Distance Run, and Katie A even spotted a bald eagle perched in a tree! Thank you to everyone who came and even those who were running along with us in spirit (Victoria and Stephanie) on their own. Great job! Thanks Brooke, Janice, Christine, Jeff, Kim, Chris, Katie, Mark, Mike, Mimi, Anne, Jenn, and Zac. A lot of personal records were made Saturday  in distance and in pacing! Keep up the good work!

Congratulations to TCTC Training Team members running at Saturday’s Wood Memorial 5k and 10k: Joe, Rose, and those in the TC Trail Running Festival: Christine, and Belinda. Great job Tracey in Marquette! Rose, were you and Joe the COLEMAN team at the Relay? Great work everyone! Way to go!

Saturday 5/4 will be our last pacing workout of our session. It will be a great time to measure your improvements over our training. You have worked so hard, and it is time to enjoy the results of your efforts!

Also, take time to consider your  pace goals for your goal race. Adjust when you need to based on the race conditions and your individual situation. Some of us have been injured or ill over this rough winter, and it is no small feat to simply make it to the starting line. No matter what happens race day, you have accomplished so much simply by following through with training and never giving up. High fives to everyone!

Have a great week and hope to see you Saturday!


Racing and Pacing

Group run reminder: join TCTC Training Winter II for a long steady distance run along the Leelanau Trail at 7:50 am Saturday 4/27. Park in back parking lot of Aroma’s Coffee and Tea. This will be our second to last long run of the season, so be sure to bring your hyrdration and fueling gear to test out for your goal races!

Although Joe said I was trying to torture our runners this past Saturday, I believe we had a great pacing workout that morning! And everyone survived, Joe C!
Awesome job to everyone who came and worked so hard: Kim, Angela, Katie, Christina, Rose, Phillip, Anne, Brooke, Mimi, Victoria, Christine, Susan, Mark, Jennifer, Jen, and Nichole. It was a great weekend to get out there in beautiful weather!
Congratulations to team member Linda V who conquered poor weather and conditions in the Detroit Hot Chocolate 15k this past Saturday! She set an awesome pace and did so well despite the conditions. This has been a favorite race series of hers, and I’m sure we will hear more about it the next time we see her!
Also, congratulations to Mentor Mike who ran the Houghton Lake Trail 5k on Saturday, as well. It sounds like quite a cross country race with obstacles and orienteering adventures throughout the race. Quite a unique experience, and it will be great to hear more from Mike, too!
Have a great week and be sure to start testing out your warm weather gear, hydrating, and fueling products for spring races! Hope to see you at a group run soon!

Training Team Accomplishments

​Group run reminder: Saturday 4/20 at 7:50am at Howe Ice Arena (meet near Titus St entrance)

Thank you to Mentor Mike for leading us through a Running Clinic on Saturday. Your comments and suggestions were very useful and practical as we had a chance to hear about them, as well as apply them on the TC Central HS track and in neighbouring hills. Following the clinic, Mimi, Phil, Linda, Chris, John, Mike, and I were all able to take a nice run along the Bayshore course. Thank you all for your attendance, and I’m sure we will be doing the clinic again sometime.

Congratulations to TCTC Training Big Little Hero Racers also on Saturday! Great job out there. It was so windy! Congratulations to team members Megan, Michelle, Rob, Tony l, Stephanie, Janice, Marianne, Stefanie, Stef, Cindy, Katie, Joe, Rose, and Nichole. Lots of medals earned! Great job team!

Finally, Congratulations to TCTC Training Team members running at Gazelle Girl in Grand Rapids on Sunday. Mentor Rose led a very large group of runners in this fun and memorable running experience. Congratulations ladies and good work on another tough weather day!

This coming week, we start a new training segment, so be sure to check your emails from last week for your new plans. Let your mentors and myself know of any questions or concerns. We are happy to help.

Running Clinic Part II

Run reminder: Saturday 4/13 at 7:50 am at Central High School for Running Clinic and Group Run

Mentor Mike will be leading us through our Running Clinic. Here is his summary of the clinic:

This Saturday morning we will be doing a review of the F.A.S.T. (Focused, Aligned, Stable, and Timely) principles of running that we learned last February as well as some new skills to add to what we already know for an even better running economy experience. We will review how and what to focus on, alignment techniques with self-evaluation, stability techniques with self-evaluation, and timing techniques to ensure it all works right.

Over the last few months we should have noticed our cardiovascular system improving. With that, we can introduce a few new techniques to running F.A.S.T. They will be another alignment technique and two breathing techniques to help with our alignment and stability. For one of the breathing techniques, timing is a big contributor to that technique, but easy to master if we can stay focused on it.

Finally, we can review any of the F.A.S.T. techniques that we learned a few months ago, including hill running, foot strike position, and arm placement and swing. We will then conclude with a run to practice our new skills and techniques. Please bring questions and comments on Saturday or any other topics you would like to discuss.

We hope to see you on Saturday for a great group experience!