From the Coach’s Perspective: The First Day of Training

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

By Kara Whittington, Fells Point Half Marathon Coach

5:03 am: 

It’s Saturday, and I reach for my phone to check the time. I make sure that the alarm is set. Check! Official wake up time is 6:15. I either have one hour and twelve minutes to go back to sleep, dreaming of finisher medals and post-race bagels. Or, I have one hour and twelve minutes to run through everything in my mind…at least 26 times..for the first day of half marathon training. 

I go over the list in my head. The names of the new runners. The names of the returning runners. Who is training for Frederick? Who is training for York? Who is training for their first half marathon? Who wants to PR? Who is practicing the walk-run method? Who is recovering from an injury? I know that I checked the weather before I went to bed, but I check it again…just in case. 

It’s like the first day of school, and I am overly excited. I’ve had my outfit picked out for 3 days and it’s clean, and it’s all laid out…Flat Kara-style. I don’t want to forget anything. 

6:00 am: 

New email alert from Jane! I love emails from runners! They know that they can always email me…about anything…and I will respond.

She’s worried about being too slow?

“Too slow for what, “ I ask myself. 

IMHO, there is no such thing as too slow…or too old or too out-of-shape. We welcome you as you are, regardless of pace. When you’re in your car on the highway, you’re driving. That’s it. It doesn’t matter if you’re going 80 mph or 25 mph, driving is driving. I wonder why we don’t think of running the same way.

7:20 am:

I can’t believe that I scored this sweet parking spot in front of the store! That is definitely a sign that today is going to be a good day! 

I check the Final Surge app to look at everyone’s mileage for today. Last week, I reviewed everyone’s training plan to make sure they’re tailored to their individual needs. We’re together on Tuesday nights for speed work and on Saturday mornings for long runs. This app is so clutch! If someone isn’t able to make it, then I know that they will always have the plan at their fingertips. And, if they upload their workouts, I can see how they’re progressing. 

I check email and text one more time for messages from runners…just in case they’re sick, lost, or running late. Life be lifin’ sometimes and there’s just nothing that you can do about that. 

Looks like we’re good to go!

7:30 am: 

DO NOT FORGET TO TAKE A FAMILY PHOTO!

“Good morning, everyone and welcome to the first day of half marathon training! I see a few new faces today, so let’s do some brief introductions, then we’ll warm up, I’ll explain the route, and we’ll be on our way. Our theme today is cookies!

“My name is Coach Kara, and my favorite cookie is peanut butter!”

I’m hearing people describe their favorite cookies and they sound so good that I want to change my answer. Definitely need to have cookies at the store next week for everyone…and chocolate milk…and almond milk. And, maybe coffee…

Why don’t we just have brunch instead?

I forgot the dang photo…

7:40 am – 9:00 am:

We’re starting with 4-6 miles…or whatever feels good. I am thrilled to have a chance to run with everyone…especially Jane. It’s normal to feel a bit self-conscious sometimes when you’re doing something that you haven’t done before or something that you haven’t done in a long time. Seems like she’s having fun and that she’s made a new running buddy. She mentioned earlier that she was looking for accountability and motivation. Jane will definitely get plenty of that from this group. 

9:00 am – 10:00am:

I start checking people off of the sign-up sheet as they return to the store. All smiles and high fives! I do not leave until the last person has finished the run. I hope that everyone enjoyed the route this week. I plan them at least a week in advance. Running is such a great way to see parts of the City that you normally miss when you’re driving, and I am always happy to share my fav places to run.

12:15 pm:

New text alert! 

text pic.png

1:00 pm:

I think that Sean will be very happy with the changes that I made to his place. Above all, I want runners to get what they signed up for. That they are happy, that they are safe, and that they stay injury-free. 

I am so glad that he texted me. Communication is one of the keys to a successful training group. If someone is hurt. If the workouts are too much or not enough. Letting me know helps me support every runner that is in my group. 

1:15 pm:

I check this season’s schedule to make sure that we have info sessions and clinics set up for hydration, nutrition, injury prevention, stretching, and strength training. We have some great experts lined up this season, and I am excited for the group to meet  them. 

Next Saturday, 5:03 am: 

It’s Saturday, and I reach for my phone to check the time. I make sure that the alarm is set. Check! Official wake up time is 6:15. I either have one hour and twelve minutes to go back to sleep, dreaming of pb and j and post-run stretches. Or, I have one hour and twelve minutes to run through everything in my mind…at least 26 times..for the second week of half marathon training. 

Date

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Live.Give.Run. Blog

We hope that you find this blog to be a source of training tips, inspiration and community. Our goal is to create a place online for every runner to find the motivation they need to hit the pavement. If you’d like to be a guest contributor, please email us at lauren@charmcityrun.com.


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