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Broad Street Training Series Part 8—Progress Check

Posted by John Carlson on April 15, 2014 under Running Tips | Be the First to Comment

Spring training is finally here. Folks we have three weeks left to the best 10-Mile race in the country. This is a good time for a progress check. We need to take a look at our current training plans in order to evaluate and identify for a correct balance. The two specific items we are investigating is our goal pace, and training elements. Another words “do we have the right stuff in our training week, and are we getting comfortable at running our goal pace.


Most important question is; what is your goal race pace and are you running it? The goal pace is decided at the beginning of the training. The pace was determined by declaring our finish time. For example, if the runner wants to finish Broad Street in 1:20:00, then the goal pace is eight-minutes per mile. At this point the runner should check the progress of their pace at the next tempo workout. Run an eight to ten-mile tempo in which you hold four miles at your goal pace. This is a reality check to see if you are trained correctly for this pace. Depending on the outcome of this run your projected pace might have to be changed to a slower pace or even a faster pace. Wouldn’t it be great if it was the latter!

Training Plan

Let’s take a look at an example of a well-balanced training plan. A well balance training plan should include your speed, endurance, strength, aerobic, and VO-2 max workouts. The following is based on a six-day training plan, which includes previous training tip methods found on rrcwoodbury.com.

Day-1: Three to eight-mile easy run. Total relaxed running method, run very easy while enjoying the view totally relaxed. Breathe in methodically as you run relaxed (slow jog). This is a time to meditate and remind yourself running is fun. If you feel you are breathing to heavily SLOW DOWN and enjoy it.

Day-2: Hill work, time to engage in some high intense hill climbing.

Day-3: Mid-week long run with temp/threshold pace. This is the day to check your race pace.

Day-4: Easy day, a little harder than total relax, but an easy run. This run can include the RRCW fun run and any additional miles you would like to add.

Day-5: Speed work, this should include the one-mile repeats or 800-meter repeats at 5k pace minus 10 seconds.

Day-6: Long run day, 10 to 15-mile day at a moderate pace.

Day-7: Rest day!!!  Complete rest or cross train easy.

Note: To get examples of the workouts above see my previous Broad Street Run Series training tips.

“Discipline is remembering what you want”

—–David Campbell

John Carlson, Coach RRCW

Broad Street Training Series Part 7—Get Comfortable

Posted by John Carlson on April 8, 2014 under Running Tips | Be the First to Comment

Wow! Just four weeks left until the greatest 10-mile race in the world. This indicates that we should begin the sharpening stage of our training. The sharpening stage is responsible for fine tuning the race pace. Obviously the goal is to hold this pace the entire distance. In order to accomplish this we must make sure we are comfortable with the distance. If we can run 10-miles with ease then we can sharpen our pace to run it faster. It is not until we can run this distance comfortably that we can eventually run it faster.

The purpose of the long run is to increase aerobic base while improving our running economy. The fringe benefit is that it increases our confidence. The long run is the primary building block of the training plan, and the most important ingredient. Olympic 5-K racers utilize the long-run as a key ingredient to the training plan. The bottom line is that the long run improves our comfort in any race distance. In the broad Street race we want to be fresh as a daisy at the five-mile mark in order to continue the goal pace to the finish.

Train to Be Comfortable
So let’s get comfortable with the distance. Let’s blitz this distance in the next three weeks. I like to include two long runs during these important weeks, which include the weekend long-run, and the mid-week long-run. The mid-week is a shorter distance than the weekend. For example Saturday’s long-run can be a 12-mile easy run. The mid-week on Wednesday could be a 10-mile tempo run, which we run four miles at race pace. Together these two distances yields a good training method perfectly designed for a 10-mile race, which produces a more comfortable base to run.

Hold this training distances up to the last Sunday before the race. Taper on that Sunday with an eight-mile easy run to allow for proper recovery. More advance runners will be logging in a 15-mile on weekends at this point. Most importantly if you are running a 10-mile race and are serious about doing well then we should be logging in 10-mile plus distances at this stage of our training.

Well that’s all I have at this point. Please keep the motivation up by smiling even if you don’t want to smile. We tend to become the way we act.
“Perseverance is the hard work you do after you get tired of doing the hard work you already did.”

—Newt Gingrich

Happy Running,

John K Carlson
Coach RRCW

The Broad Street Training Series Part 6—Rest

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

I was starting to feel a little fatigued with just two miles left of a 19-mile run on Saturday. The main subject hovering in my mind at that point was to stop and rest. This came as a reminder that training is not only about constant movement. One of the important elements in training is rest. The bulk of the RRCW tips talk about high intensity high volume runs. Let us not forget that rest and recovery is also a part of the training. The life cycle of running includes; running, refueling, resting, and repairing. Let’s explore the resting part.

The successful conclusion of rest is the apex of recovery. Proper recovery should start during the training. Consuming nutrients and water before, during, and after the session introduces the body to the beginning of the recovery process. The next level of the recovery process is rest. The rest period is defined by days off, cross training, and most important sleep. The following are three topics in need of recovery. The first is joint health. The joints take a nice beating while the body is engage in running. The constant impact on the joints can leave them damaged and inflamed. Injuries are the second issue. Overuse syndrome is most responsible for many injuries involved in running. The common injuries from O.S. are shin splints, and stress fractures. Finally muscles are damaged during training and need repair. The recovery answer for these issues is rest.

Muscle growth is achieved by applying stress to the body, which is responsible for breaking down the tissue, followed by rest which brings repair and growth. Two examples of rest include the rest day, and low impact cross training. Taking a day off without engaging in any training is called a rest day (complete rest). Cross training involves a low impact movement such as swimming, biking, or a nice walk. These two examples are methods of rest and should be included throughout your training.


Sleep is the ruler of all rest methods. In fact 90% of recovery is done while sleeping. During the third stage of sleep the body’s natural human growth hormone is release to repair and strengthen the muscles. And you thought that steroids were illegal. Sleep is so important that Olympic athletes are demanded to get in 10-12 hours a night with a one-hour nap during the day as part of their intense training. For us working folks we should try to get eight to ten hours of sleep per night. A nap whenever you can is a plus.

Folks, rest is very important for a successful training curriculum. Please take the time to say it’s time to rest.

Example Training

  1. 10 minute warm-up sit down, followed by eight hour REM sleep in comfortable bed, followed by a nice sit session at the kitchen table with cup of coffee or tea for cool down. (Please note this is only for advanced runners who are experience at the HIIT of rest).


“The best eraser in the world is a good night’s sleep.”


Happy Running!

John K Carlson
Coach RRCW

The Broad Street Training Series Part 5—Hill Work

Posted by John Carlson on March 19, 2014 under Running Tips | Be the First to Comment

“Lots of Hill Running” is the words and strength of Brad Hudson’s (Olympian running coach) training philosophy. High intensity interval training (HIIT) is the key to increasing VO2 max, speed, endurance, and muscular strength. I call hill work intervals weight lifting for runners. Hill work has many benefits that add to the success in running. Let’s take a quick look at why hill training is important.

Hill training engages the fast twitch muscles, which is responsible for speed and muscular strength. Fighting the law of gravity implements a quiet struggle uphill producing a heavier load on the body, which promotes the growth of the leg muscles. This action produces leg strength yielding to a smoother stronger stride.  Two benefits that surface are increased speed, while decreasing in chances of injury. Hill work principle one: speed increases while injury is reduced. These two benefits alone promotes the urgency to add hill work to the curriculum.

The Broad Street Run has two or three small hills. So the hill situation is nothing to worry about.  With a terrain such as that, why should we add Hill Work to our Broad Street Training? As mentioned previously we have the need to build our stride strength, which improves on our pace. Adding Hill work to the curriculum simply allows the runner to feel comfortable running at a faster pace. The second reason is that Hill work is an important element of the HIIT mentioned above. The third reason is that it reduces the chances of injury. Finally hill work is race insurance that improves the runner’s performance at any type of race surface.

I would defiantly want to be the person who added Hill Work to my training, than the one who is entering the race without any Hill training.

Example Work-out

Find a hill that has an eight to fifteen percent grade. Wow Hunter Hill is just around the corner how convenient!  Start with a one-mile warm-up or 10-minutes of easy running.

If this is your first time run moderately for 30-seconds uphill for three to six repeats. Jog slowly downhill for 2-minutes as the recovery in between.

Advance runners: Run the hill 10 seconds faster than projected race pace 30-60 seconds for 6 to 12 repeats with the same recovery in between.

Perform your hill work sessions once a week.

And as always end with 10 minute easy recovery jog.


“Wherever we look upon this earth, the opportunities take shape within the problems”
-Nelson A. Rockefeller

Happy Running!

John K Carlson
Coach RRCW

The Broad Street Training Series Part 4—Threshold

Posted by John Carlson on March 12, 2014 under Running Tips | Be the First to Comment

The most productive training session in the opinion of many coaches is the threshold run. The threshold run is defined as a steady high intensity tempo run that is held for longer periods. The purpose of this type of training is to improve running endurance. Higher endurance is related to lowering your levels of blood lactate accumulation while engaged in a high intensity pace. Every race goal demands a blend of specific endurance training. The 5k demands a VO2 max training (speed-work), which yields a constant rise in blood lactate levels. Longer runs such as a 10-mile to a marathon require tempo and threshold runs, which yields a moderate hard pace where the blood lactate levels off at a steady rate.

A runner’s race goal is to sustain a certain pace over a measured distance. The purpose of threshold training is to aid the runner in holding a faster pace at a longer distance. This sounds like a good training to perform while getting ready for The Broad Street Ten Miler. The goal of this workout is to accomplish a pace that is at the lactate threshold. Without getting to scientific in our calculations this pace falls between you 10k race pace and half-marathon race pace. Adding 20 seconds on your fastest 5k pace is close to the mark. I like to explain to a runner that it is a pace that is tough enough to feel like you’re struggling, but can hang on. Another words you will not die.

The threshold workout will prepare a runner to hold a faster pace at longer distances. These workouts should last a minimum of 20 minutes, which fall in the center of a warm-up and a cool down. The sessions should be a minimum of four miles. This workout is performed once a week, usually mid-week so there is plenty of time to rest before your weekly long run.

You know folks in my experience the threshold run is the most important training tool in your box for all race distances. This workout should be included in every training curriculum. Also in my opinion it is the hardest of all workouts because you are holding a tough pace for a while. I don’t particularly like going into the session, but when it is done you feel incredible, because a great change in your endurance has happened!

Example Workouts

  1. Five mile threshold: run one-mile at easy warm-up pace than three-miles at threshold pace, followed by a one-mile very easy cool down pace.
  2. 10-mile threshold: Favorite for the Broad street run. Run three-miles at easy warm-up pace than four-miles at threshold pace, followed by a three mile very easy cool down. (I call this the Shuty blaster named after Coach Geoff Shute the man!)


There you go simple but very effective to give the runner an advantage to accomplishing a long race PR!


“Adversity causes some men to break, others to break records.”

—William Arthur Ward



John K Carlson
Coach RRCW