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Breathing Capacity

Posted by John Carlson on December 10, 2014 under Running Tips | Be the First to Comment

The physical ability to run a 5k, marathon or even moving around from place to place improves in relation to your level of breathing capacity. Producing of fruit doesn’t stop there, higher oxygen capacity increases cardio health which reduces the risk of perishing health. Folks, there is no mystery on how to improve breathing capacity, we need interval training. The purpose of interval training or speed work is to improve your VO-2max, which is accompanied by stride frequency turn over, resulting in a faster and more comfortable race pace.

The specific endurance movement called “speed work” is responsible for increasing aerobic endurance and improving pace while yielding a faster finish time at a more relaxed state of the run. The goal of speed work is to increase VO-2 max performance. VO-2 max is simply the body’s ability to convert oxygen into energy more efficiently, or in simple terms to increase the body’s breathing capacity. Increasing VO-2 max strengthens the heart’s ability to deliver more oxygen while improving the leg muscle’s efficiency in converting oxygen into energy.  VO-2 max is measured in millimeters of oxygen per kilogram of body weight per minute. The more oxygen your muscles are able to consume while engaged in the run, the stronger the energy levels are put into the muscles allowing the body to move faster and longer in distance.

Through years of imperical study involving the VO-2 max, the shining structure of training reveals that we need to perform very hard exercise for 3-8 minutes with a slow recovery movement in-between multiple sets. For best results perform these sessions (speed work) twice a week. To determine your speed work pace take your 5K pace per mile minus 10-seconds. For example if you’re 5K pace is 8:00 then run your speed work at 7:50. The speed work structure is short runs of high intensity training. Let’s take a look at some example work-outs

Speed work examples

Yasso 800’s- perform on a quarter mile track (preferred) or measure out a half-mile length on trail or road. 800 meters is a half-mile distance. Take your 5K pace per mile and divide in half minus 05 seconds that is your 800 meter repeat finish time. Run a mile warm-up then three to ten sets of 800’s. Start out at three repeats and work your way up weekly to eventually 10 sets. Place a two–three minute recovery jog in-between the sets with a mile easy cool down after the work out.

200 Meter repeats-Perform these repeats at a faster pace (sprinting) or close to it. Again on a quarter mile track the 200 meter is half the distance of the track. Warm-up first, then sprint the 200 meter followed by a one-lap cool down. Repeat 3-12 times according to your work-out and training level.

One Mile Repeats- Just what it says; this is a one-mile repeat at the same pace stated above. Perform this work-out when you have at least six yasso sessions under your belt. The one-mile repeat is an advance speed work session that WILL (if performed correctly) get you ready for a PR. I call this the magic speed work, because this workout if done correctly is the best way to accomplish your race goal. Again track preferred, but a measured one-mile stretch is ok. Begin with a one-mile warm-up then perform three to six one-mile repeats with a two to three minute slow jog or walk recovery in between ending with a half mile cool down. Warning this workout will put you to bed early! Please stretch and eat your recovery meal immediately after this workout.

The party pack work-out- mix all these routines together in a ladder formation. Start with the longest movement and work your way down to the shorter distance. Increasing the speed in the shorter movements completing two sets of each. Proper recovery jog/run in-between sets.

ALWAYS drink your WATER at least a gallon a day when training heavily.

There you have it folks, increase your breathing capacity! Love you all!

Happy Running!

John K Carlson
Coach RRCW

Thank You

Posted by John Carlson on November 26, 2014 under Running Tips | Be the First to Comment

Life develops at a deeper level when one inclines their ear to wisdom and understanding. False simplicity turning into a show of pride downgrades the true richness of our lives. This time of year can remind us that wisdom and understanding is produced by humbling ourselves and giving thanks. The RRCW is more than a run club, it is a source of light for people who shall give thanks.

I would like to personally thank the RRCW for the opportunity to fellowship, coach, and participate in community runs. Above and beyond the action of running is the graciousness of the RRCW organizers who care and serve with wisdom and understanding. I mean they truly care! We give thanks to Vic and Maria for organizing the Fun Runs, and opening up their home hosting the after fun run fellowship events. Another special thanks goes to the officers of the RRCW John Carter, Ron Riskie, Anita Campbell, Mary Carter, Geoff Shute, and Terry Dennen who facilitate the technical assistance, and planning that is done behind the scenes. Wisdom is also shown by the members of the team who consistently show up supporting the club and help with organizing events. The main strength reflecting the club is a watering hole in which all the members gather together to share thoughts, ideas, and yes wisdom that applies our hearts to understanding.

The Philadelphia marathon, which took place this month, was energized with true diligent warriors. Words were not needed to express the inward tone of the heart witnessing the sharing and caring among the competitors. Just the simple fact of lining up in the corral allows runners to acquire more wisdom and understanding relating to the powerful paths of running. Encouraging words of inspiration and support echoed throughout the whole event. Communicating advice to new runners of what to expect, and what to bring to the marathon from race alumnus is priceless. The homeless as well were thankful for the marathon. Thousands of runners wearing throw off clothes to keep warm proceeding the start lined up in their assigned corrals, then donated their clothing by leaving the items behind for the needy.

The definition of success is not how much stuff and money you accumulate, it is how many people on earth are better off because you exist. The gracious help and love you provide to others is the source of all success, which is immersed in true loving principles. So I say thank you to the RRCW and its members who are responsible in helping people acquire wisdom and understanding through the strong vehicle of running. Many people, organizations, and communities are better off because RRCW exist. So I want to say “THANK YOU.”

Happy Running!

John Carlson
Coach RRCW


Posted by John Carlson on October 29, 2014 under Running Tips | Be the First to Comment

We are quickly approaching the Philadelphia Marathon, which soon finds us in the Tapering Phase. The taper is the final phase of training leading into the race. The bulk of marathon training is fixated on heavy volume mixed with specific endurance moves. The tapering phase is just as important, which is responsible for recovery and repair of the athlete’s body.

According to my Oxford dictionary TAPER- “is to reduce in thickness toward one end.” In other words we are reducing the thickness (heavy volume) of training in the end of our curriculum. The training intensity and volume become lighter and thinner in the tapering phase. The idea is to start your taper three weeks before the race, which allows for proper healing and rest. This time period promotes muscle growth and repair that builds a stronger athlete.

Do Not Be Deceived

Some advanced runners note that the most difficult part of the training isn’t necessarily the heavy volume part, but the reduced volume part. This period of the training can deceive the runner into thinking they are losing their fitness and gaining weight. The truth of the matter is that the taper allows you to be as rested as possible so you can maximize your potential without losing the fitness level.

Watch Out!

Watch out for what I call the super man effect. The taper is such an effected beneficial part of your training. The physical effects of the rest period will result in feeling fresher and stronger. This means that the taper is working. The warning is that you will want to run your easier runs at a harder pace. What feels good at this time might be the very thing that will cost you in the Long Run (sorry no pun intended).

Suggested Taper

 A suggested taper reduction in miles would be to run 80% of normal training three weeks out, 60% two weeks out, then one-third of your normal volume the last week leading to the race. For example, based on a 70-mile week training program. Three weeks out would be 56 miles, two weeks out 42 miles, and the last week ending in 20 miles. End your longest run three weeks out from the race, this distance should be 20 miles. Begin the tapering process using the 80%/60%/one-third calculation.  Include a mixture of your marathon pace days with many easy runs. Keep your easy runs extremely easy this is a time to rest and heal. Long runs in the taper consist of the last 20 mile, followed by a 12 mile, then an eight mile the Sunday a week before the race.


Happy Running!

Coach John

RRCW and Mental Health

Posted by John Carlson on September 24, 2014 under Running Tips | 3 Comments to Read

The gifts resulting from joining a running club far exceed a great work-out. The first thought is to join a club to enhance motivation and discipline in the sport of running. Once established in the club, something unexpected arrives at the runners door step. This unexpected benefit is related to the body’s control center called positive Mental Health; Mental Health that is driven by the energy of social contacts.

The runners high is associated with a euphoric feeling created by engaging in a high intensity run. This is the body releasing endorphins (body’s natural energy and pain killing source) that promote a physical and mental euphoria. Unrelated to this chemical change is the sense of freedom and bonding through fellowship with new friends acquired by joining a running club. Oh yes the number one running club, the RRCW, knows all about this feeling. Joining a good running club adds motivation to the discipline of running. Through the discipline of running many benefits result from the strength of associations.

Through the action of running, improvements are made in the areas of physical and mental, which contribute to building strong character and confidence. Mental health thrives on confidence and strength that is responsible in creating ones character. Social interaction through running improves the state of mental well-being taking a lead over just running alone. The running club becomes a support system, which increases the sense of self-worth and belonging.

Running provides the physical change needed to develop long term health. Let’s not forget the mental change that one benefits while engaging in a fellowship run. The very process of continual planning of trainings and developing other adaptive strategies through the social connection helps to aid in brain development. The human citadel of obstinacy relating to change is broken once mixed with different levels of thought and experiences of peers.

Mental health improves at a greater level through the fellowship among peers in a strong club structure. This is proven immensely with the RRCW team.


Happy Running!

Coach John

Race Down Broad Street 5K Training

Posted by John Carlson on September 10, 2014 under Running Tips | Comments are off for this article

The 7th annual Race Down Broad Street is approaching quickly.  Woodbury’s Broad Street Race is a phenomenal race that includes a mixture of hills, straights and flats to test our strengths. The following is a short tip reflecting the need of sharpening our skills for this race.

At this point we should engage the sharpening phase of training promoting the predicted pace (begin with an end in mind). Speed work is an important element to include in your specific endurance training. Monday the speed work training consisted of ladders (200-400-800-800-400-200), which is the correct mixture of movement for sharpening your predicted pace. Keep this consistent up to five days before the race.

The next specific endurance training that mimics race day reality is hill work. Broad Street has a consistent hill placed halfway into the race. This hill can be the tool to use in your strategy to pull ahead of the competition. In my experience this hill has broken the pace of many competitors. The reason is that most runners don’t include hill work as part of the training plan.  Simply implement hill work in your training for a race that has hills to give you the advantage.

Suggestion: Run the Broad street hill close as possible to your predicted pace for 5-6 repeats. Run up at pace and easy recovery on the way down. Keep your regular base miles up while engaging in these two sharpening skills (Speed work, Hills). This ensures that your end in mind can be reality.

I know you have what it takes to run a successful 5K, SO Go Do It!


Happy Running!

John K Carlson
Coach RRCW