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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 | Be the First to Comment

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 | Be the First to Comment

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

5K Race Down Broad Street

Posted by Ron Riskie on under Club Events | Be the First to Comment

5K Race Down Broad StreeDon’t miss the RRCW’s next big event
on Saturday, OCTOBER 4!

We hope to see all of the Road Runners participating in this great Fall tradition in Woodbury. Make sure to wear your orange RRCW shirt! After the race, we will be joining in the Fall Festival parade! So wear your RRCW gear and come on out to join the parade even if you don’t plan to run the race.

LOCATION: Inspira Medical Center Woodbury
509 N. Broad Street
Woodbury, NJ 08096
Parking Lot

EVENT: 5:15 Kids Fun Run (4:00-5:00 Onsite Registration) 5:45 5K Run or Walk  (4:00-5:15 Onsite Registration). Course will be cleared of participants prior to the start of the parade at 6:30.

RAIN DATE: Oct. 11, 2014 | Contact 856-853-2050 the day of the event for race status.



Online: Visit inspiragiving.org and click on the Race Down Broad Street logo.
Mail: Fill out & mail your form payable to Inspira Foundation Gloucester County in the amount of $20.00 for the 5K and $8.00 for the Kids Fun Run, postmarked by 9/20/14. After 9/20/14, registration will only be available the day of the event.

Cost Day of Event: 5K – $25.00 | Kids Fun Run – $10.00

1st $200
2nd $100
3rd $50

Given to the top 3 male/female finishers in the following age groups:
• Youth (11 and under)
• 12-14
• 15-19
• 20-29
• 30-39
• 40-49
• 50-59
• 60-69
• 70+

For more information contact Nick Dalsey at 856.853.2019 or racedownbroad@ihn.org


Begin With an End in Mind

Posted by John Carlson on August 27, 2014 under Running Tips | Comments are off for this article

Stephen Covey, the author of “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” states that to “begin with an end in mind is to begin today with the image, picture, or paradigm of the end of your life as your frame of reference or the criterion by which everything else is examined.”(Covey, 1989) The behavior of today, tomorrow, and next month are in examination of the principles, values and elements that create the whole. This mind frame uses a holistic approach where we arrest the mind, heart and environment into captivity renewing our actions and principles to create the outcome. Keeping the end in mind yields our attention to designing our own plan or map that fits the direction to the goal in which we are obtaining.  Existing in the runner’s environment the definition can be to begin with the knowledge of the race, distance, purpose, or the ending finish time.

The principle of beginning with an end in mind results in two important distinct goals. One, it creates the specific goals, actions, or path to develop and obtain to achieve the overall result. Two, it filters out the distractions and time wasting movements that hinder our ability to obtain the goal. I recently took on a new career journey that is a perfect fit for my spirit. I was in a meeting with one of the directors of the organization when she asked me how I felt about the new position. I remember reaching for the words to describe how wonderful this opportunity was for me. I could not find the correct words that described this feeling of completeness. She knew I was struggling to describe my feeling so she stopped me and said this is your “Purpose.” That was it! This is my purpose. That is what is meant by “beginning with an end in mind,” find your purpose then run with this purpose in mind.

Ask yourself ‘why am I running?” What is the goal that you are trying to accomplish? Break it down to simple terms. For example the purpose or goal might be to run a 5k under 24:00 minutes. The goal of accomplishing a time of 23:59 now becomes the end in mind. As a result, the goal is to train with an end in mind of accomplishing 23:59 in the race. Beginning with an end in mind can relate to losing 10 pounds. Now your purpose is to loose ten pounds. The end in mind will automatically developed your plan while separating it into smaller goals. The short term goals might be to lose one pound a week ending at a loss of 10 pounds in 10-weeks. Another example of your purpose could be to achieve another level of health. Whatever the purpose is we need to state it and move towards this purpose with a plan.

Do you get it? Beginning with an end in mind is simply our purpose and goal that we chose as our creative state after putting the work in. In our case the work is running. Do not go out the door just to run because everyone is running. Go out with a purpose “an end in mind.” When you apply this principle to your life, both running and your purpose in life are strengthened for great works.

Happy Running!

John K Carlson
Coach RRCW


Covey, Stephen R. (1989), the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Copyright, 1989 Stephon R, Covey