A beginner’s guide to the Tely 10

Published on April 30, 2011
Tely 10 — File Photo

Welcome to the 2011 edition of the beginner training program for The Telegram 10-Mile Road Race, aka the Tely 10.

If you are reading this, then you have either made the commitment to run it this year, or you are thinking about it and want to see what the training schedule involves. Either way, I hope you get what you hope for out of this year’s training schedule. With the weather finally feeling like spring, it’s a perfect time to break out the sneakers and hit the roads and trails around our beautiful city.

Before starting this training program, I would strongly recommend that you make an appointment with your physician. Have yourself checked over to ensure you are healthy before starting this program, or any program. It is also important that you are wearing the proper footwear. Go to your local athletic shoe store and have yourself fitted by someone who knows running shoes. They will ensure that you have the proper sneaker for your training needs.

A few other key items that you should invest in are anti-blister socks, for obvious reasons, and moisture wicking garments. The latter will help keep you feeling cool and comfortable as the temperatures warm up.

One of the great things about running is that anyone can start it up. I have heard many times from people who have never done the Tely 10, but have watched the finish for loved ones to come into view, that they can’t believe all the different ages, sizes and abilities of people who participate. I always tell people that they can complete the route and that time doesn’t really matter. The goal and accomplishment of finishing will be something that you will be very proud of for years to come.

When you print a copy of the program and post it on your fridge, I want you to remember a few important things. First, you don’t need to be a slave to the schedule. Things like vacations and work will sometimes make you change up your routine for the week. But don’t get too stressed about it. Change up your off days to accommodate the schedule change. Second, be sure to post your goal. People who post their goals are 90 per cent more likely to accomplish them than those who don’t. Put it by your training program, on a mirror, somewhere that you will see it and help to provide motivation on the days you need it.

In the early stages of the program, the focus will be on building your training capacity. If you are the type of person who has not been running three times a week for 20 or 30 minutes over the winter, you need to go slowly and build your strength. In the beginning of the training schedule, some of the early easy runs will be time based 25-30 minutes in total time, consisting of seven minutes of running and walking for two minutes. The walk breaks will allow you to catch your breath, ease the workload and allow you continue with the remainder of the run without feeling exhausted. Do the walk/run progression over the total time of the training time listed.

You will notice that I use the Maximum Heart Rate (Max HR) formula for every run. I want to ensure that you run within your limits and this one tool that can be used. For example, Max HR = 220(Age). If we were to calculate this for a 30 year old runner; 220 (30) = 190 beats per minute (bpm). Multiply that by the percentage to get your upper and lower limits. To continue with the 30-year-old runner, 190 x (0.65) = 123 beats per minute (bpm) is where your heart rate should be at 65 per cent of your Maximum Heart Rate.

An even easier way of keeping track of this is to use the talk test. If you are running with a friend and you are able to have a conversation with relative ease, you are probably running at around 60-65 per cent of your maximum heart rate. If you can barely get two or three words out before taking a breath of air, then you are running near 80-85 per cent of your maximum heart rate.

Cross training is a key component of any training regime.


Go for hills

It often involves other cardio activities that will use other muscles that will help to prevent injuries during training. Swimming laps, going for a bike ride or weight/core training are all excellent examples of cross training. Last year, I included a workout called a "Hilly Run". I have included them again this year because the are a great way to help build your running strength in your legs.

Pick a route that contains 3-4 hills that are not too steep to run up. Increase your pace slightly going up each hill so that you can feel yourself working harder on hills. After you have completed the hill, continue your run at a steady pace to recharge your legs. These runs will be of great benefit to your conditioning for the Tely 10 as you will encounter some small hills on the route.

In the final weeks of the program I have tempo runs included. These runs will help you settle into a pace and build your endurance for the Tely 10. These runs are run at a slightly faster pace than your easy runs. If you wish to use the talk test again as your gage, conversations will be more challenging. You will be able to get out three or four words and have to take a breath.

The easy runs and rest days are crucial in the program. They will allow your body to recover from previous runs while still getting in some training. The easy run days require little effort to maintain pace. Conversation with a running partner is easily maintained. These are meant to break up the more challenging days in the program. The rest days are designed to give your body a break from training and allow you to remain healthy, prevent injuries, achieve physiological gains and help you concentrate on your overall goal. Your body will release growth hormones while you sleep, which will help to repair your muscles. So ensure that you are getting adequate sleep to get the full benefit of this physiological process.

The week leading up to the race, Week 12, you will be tapering. I want you to enter the starting area on race day feeling fresh. By tapering, you will allow the legs to rest and heal up. You will still be running of course, but you will be reducing your training time and effort as you get closer to the event.

The training is done. At this point in the training, you can’t do anything that will help you come race day. I would recommend that if you’re not familiar with the route, drive the course to become aware of certain sections of the course, like where the water stations will be, know where the hills are and where the final-mile mark is located. These tips will help you be mentally ready for the Tely.

Recruit some co-workers or friends to join you. Running with a group will make it fun and help stay motivated. Hit the trails around the city and try and enjoy the journey that will lead you not only to start but also to the finish of one of the best road races.

I wish you the best of luck, and remember to smile when you cross the finish line. Because you never know who will be watching


Jason White is a personal trainer at Goodlife Fitness