Competitors lineup prior to the 2013 Telegram 10-Mile Road Race last July in Paradise. This year’s race, the 87th annual running, takes place July 27.
©— Photo by Keith Gosse/The Telegram
Welcome to the 2014 edition of the beginner training program for The Telegram 10-Mile Road Race, the Tely 10. I hope that by reading this article you have decided to take on the preparation for completing the Tely 10. This year’s running promises to be bigger than previous.
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.
By Jason White
Special to The Telegram
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 reasons the name suggests — and moisture wicking garments. The latter will help keep you feeling cool and comfortable as the temperatures warm up.
Many people talk about running the Tely 10. I hear it all the time when I talk to people who have just taken up the sport. It is something that everyone wants to try and do just once. I love talking to people at the family reunion area after the event is done. You can see the joy on their faces when they describe how they feel and the pride of wearing that finisher’s medal. Try and recruit some friends, family of co-workers to join you. Having a small group to meet up with and train together is a great way to keep the motivation going throughout the summer.
Print a copy of the schedule and post it on your fridge at home or on a bulletin board at work, where you will see it. But don’t be a slave to schedule. Life happens. So understand that you can move days around if need be.
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 to continue with the remainder of your 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% 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% of your maximum heart rate. If you can barely get 2 or 3 words out before taking a breath of air, then you are running near 80-85% of your maximum heart rate.
Cross training is a key component of any training regime. 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.
You will notice a workout called a “hilly run” that starts up in week five of the schedule. A hilly run is a great way to build strength in your legs in a running specific way. Pick a route that contains three to four 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 completed at a slightly faster pace than your easy runs. If you wish to use the talk test again as your gauge, conversations will be more challenging. You will be able to get out three or four words and have to take a breath.
If there is one thing that you shouldn’t ignore on the program, it is the rest days and easy days. These days are just as important as the more challenging training days in the program. They 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 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.
If you are not all that familiar with the course, I would recommend taking the time to drive it. Become aware of certain section of the course like where the water stations will be, know where the hills are and what the final mile is like. Along the entire route, you will find mile markers posted on the side of the road. So you can get a mental picture of where you are and how much further you have left to go. These tips will help you be mentally ready for the Tely.
The final piece of advice I wish to share with you is to please leave your headsets and mp3 players at home. The beauty of running an event like the Tely 10 is that there are so many other people around you to chat with and people cheering for you on the route. You will miss all of this with a headset on. But more importantly, it is also a safety concern not only for you, but those around you. With a headset on, you are not aware of your surroundings and the potential dangers present. There are safety vehicles on the course, medical personal riding the route on bicycles and other runners around you. So please forego the music and enjoy sounds the event brings.
So I hope you all get outside on our trail systems, enjoy the fresh air and build your confidence before the Tely 10. Grab some coworkers, start a running group in your neighbourhood, do whatever it takes to get yourself out there training for one of the best road races around.
Crossing the finish line of Tely 10 changes you. You will look forward to next years running. And who knows who you will motivate along the way when you tell them your experiences from that day.
Best of luck and see you at the finish line!