The Program Week 3
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WEEK 3 OF 14
Welcome to Week 3. This week’s message is all about initial goal-setting and reflecting on the opportunities ahead before things really start rolling.
Often when I meet with athletes I ask them, “What are you looking to accomplish this season?" Their minds naturally fly straight to race day, but before they claim a pace or finish-time goal, I encourage them to consider how they arrived here. Why did you sign up for the race to begin with? What will be motivating you to slide your shoes on and step out the door each day?
For many, its achievement, imposing discipline, health, friendship, family, or a combination of reasons. 
Then, thinking more holistically, I ask them to consider their relationship with their body and with running as a whole. Ultimately, the time and pace goal is the cherry on top of four months of development, which I will define as consistent and intentional thought and training.
The training journey invites each athlete to examine their own physical, mental and emotional progressions while—from time to time—insisting they listen and respond to the body’s needs. This week, we reflect on our progressions ahead, the focus we’ll bring to each run, and the patience we’ll need to properly recover along the way.

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The "GROW" Model


Welcome back to the goal-setting process. You reflected on your purpose, that was step 1. Then you completed step 2 by defining your outcome goal(s) and process goal(s). Well done! Let’s get to the last step–GROW. GROW is one of the most prominent and successful models in coaching. Take a moment this week to answer the questions listed below:
  • Goal: What do you want to achieve? (outcome goal) Why do you want to achieve it?
  • Reality: How much mileage can you consistently do? How many workouts? How is your recovery and energy level? How is your motivation level?
  • Obstacles + Options: What obstacles are you currently facing? What obstacles might you encounter in the upcoming weeks? What are your options for these challenges? Which resources could you use in which scenario?
  • Way Forward: What are your immediate next steps (in the next days) to get moving?
Guidance by Mari Dottschadis

Super Charge Your Water Intake


Hydration is key for marathon training and vital for performance and recovery. Runners experience water loss from sweat and should be replenishing it during and after running. Adequate water intake regulates temperature, prevents fatigue, and facilitates nutrient transport to muscles. Boost your water intake by carrying a reusable water bottle throughout the day, setting reminders to drink regularly, and incorporating hydrating foods like watermelon and cucumber into your diet. On race day, sports drinks can be especially beneficial as they contain electrolytes that are lost in sweat. 
Guidance by Carolina Schneider, M.S., R.D.
Ps. Check out Program partner, CURE Hydration.

Stronger Strides


Now that we know what strength training is and all the benefits that come along with it, it’s important to know how to incorporate this into your current routine. Here’s a suggested approach, from someone who used to struggle with consistently blending my strength and running programs. 
  1. Build it into your weekly program—Set aside 2-3 non-consecutive days per week for strength/resistance only work. If this feels overwhelming, start low and slow, even one day per week will do!

  2. Come up with a planAs with most things in life, it's best to come prepared when approaching a strength training day. Pick 3-4 lower + upper body movements to perform 10-12 reps for 4 sets. A classic example, and my favorite strength circuit, consists of squats, bench press, Romanian deadlifts and bent over rows, all with a set of dumbbells.

  3. Select exercises that work under the functional movement pattern category (aka moves that we do on a daily basis). These seven movements include squatting, lunging, pushing, pulling, twisting, hinging and carrying/gait. Some functional movement exercises include squats, step ups, forward/backward lunges, planks, bench press, push ups, deadlifts, rotational core movements, etc.

  4. Find time post-run—Consider tackling strength training immediately after an easy run day when your muscles and joints are warm and more receptive to stretching and strengthening.

  5. Take a balanced approachFocus on targeting both lower and upper body muscle groups in one session to help promote overall strength and stability.

  6. Take time to recoverAllow your body adequate time to adapt to the combined demands of running and strength training by ensuring adequate rest, recovery and proper nutrition.
Guidance by Alex Mack

Try New Things


The first injury prevention lever you can pull while on a run is cadence. A higher cadence means that you’re spending less time on the ground with each step, and landing lighter on your feet. Target 170-180 steps per minute. The only exception here is for very tall folks and shorter folks who will have lower and higher cadences naturally. Put on a playlist with songs that have 170-180 bpm, or you could even use a metronome app until you get the hang of it! If you have a low cadence, start gradually and increase it over time. 
Guidance by Brendan Martin, PT
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