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When does the marathon/half-marathon training program start?
The 2020-21 marathon/half-marathon training program starts . . . when we think we can safely start! Right now we are planning for a "soft start' in August (pace groups and new members are assigned a specific Saturday to run and have orientation) with our formal start sometime in September. All registered members will have receive the training schedule in early or mid-September.
Orientation will be run over many weeks in August and September. Orientation notes will also be posted on our website.
What happens after that? What does the season look like?
You will be assigned to a pace group; this is a group that will train to achieve a specific marathon/half-marathon time. You will be given a schedule to follow for the 22-week season. The schedule is designed for your pace group. Each week, the schedule will indicate what you run. The schedule has you running 6 days a week! It's a lot, but is designed to get you used to running on a regular basis while slowly increasing your mileage to get you ready for race day. Each Saturday is you group long run; you will meet at our club's and your pace group's designated spot in Memorial Park, find your pace group, hear a few announcements, and then run the designated route.
In September, after our Saturday runs, we usually have informative running-related seminars on topics such as injury prevention, stretching/recovery, hydration, speed work, diet, cross- training and many other topics. Professional experts will address these topics followed by a brief meeting with the coaches who will answer any questions. But this season, in the face of Covid19, we will hold these seminars virtually. If you can't attend, you can catch a recording of the webinars, which will be posted on our website.
What time do we run on Saturdays?
During the marathon & half marathon training season (August-January), group run start times vary depending upon the distance and the pace group. Expect some really mornings! The longer the run, the earlier we start. This is so we can finish before traffic gets heavy and avoid any safety issues. We generally like to finish between 8am-9am. Each week your coach will send you an email with your group's start time.
During the off season (February-July) we have informal long runs (distances vary) meeting at Memorial Park stretching area on Saturday mornings. Best to check our Facebook site for times and distances. All are welcome!
What time are hill and track & hill sessions?
We are still waiting to see if it's safe to do group workouts this season. If we can, we will do Track and Tempo workouts:
During training season, track workouts will be on Mondays at 5:30am and 6:30pm at the Memorial Park track, which is across the street from the Tennis Center. Pick the time that suits you! Warm up a easy mile before arriving. If you can't come, please do the workout on your own. Remember parking can be challenging so arrive early! Track will start in September and run through December.
During training season, Tempo (formerly Hills) workouts will be on Thursdays at 5:30 AM and 6:30 PM at Eleanor Tinsley Park (at Buffalo Bayou Park on Allen Parkway). Pick the time that suits you! If you can't come, please do the workout on your own. Track and Hill sessions will run through December.
What should I do during the week?
Group workouts are on Saturday, Tuesday (track) and Thursday (tempo). You will train on your own during the week. You schedule will indicate they type of run and distance for each day.
Should I consult my doctor before starting this running program?
Not a bad idea! If you are brand-new to running, or have had medical issues in the past, let you primary care physician know that you are going to be training for an endurance race, and ask if there are any reason to be concerned, or any advice they would give. You can show them a copy of your schedule and let them know that you will be training under a specific program suitable for all types of runners, with a measured increase in mileage each week.
What groups is the club affiliated with?
RHC is a member of the Houston Area Road Runners Association (HARRA), an all volunteer, nonprofit organization of runners dedicated to provide, support and advocate for the running community of Southeast Texas. They were founded in 1993 to promote running as a competitive sport and a healthful exercise in the greater Houston area. They put on some cool races, like the Tour de Bayou series, so be on the look-out for an RHC team forming for that! And members are encouraged to volunteer to help in local races.
We are always looking for clubs with whom to run, partner, hang out and spread the joy of running! If there is a club you like or would like to know, let the RHC manager know and maybe we can plan a joint event.
I like to cross train. Will this interfere with my running program?
Not at all! Cross-training is an important part of any fitness program. The reason to do a bit of cross-training is to help strengthen parts of the body that help in running. Most kinds of other fitness can help (spinning = cardio; yoga = recovery, core work = strength, etc.) Whatever you do now and want to continue during the season is possible. But please start a cross-training routine earlier in the season rather than later. Don't expect to take up power-lifting or roller-blading or hot yoga 3 weeks out from the marathon/half-marathon and think it will help! It will not. It will most likely cause injuries right before your race. So keep it simple, consistent and familiar.
If this program suitable for beginners? How about "veterans" (i.e. those who have been running a long time)?
Yes and yes! RHC is suitable for all types of runners, from the very new to those how have run multiple endurance races. The training schedule is designed to give runners a plan for crossing the finish line. If you are not sure of your ability, then you will be placed in the 5:00 hour marathon pace group or 2:30 hour half-marathon pace group. These are great for beginners--you start at a reasonable pace, learn a lot about running, and run with an experienced and supportive coach. After you try the pace group, you are welcome to move to another pace group it you think it will suit you better.
How will I benefit from a training program? Why join a club?
A training program will help you immensely. The schedule is a an easy plan to follow; you get out of it what you put into it. You don't have to go foraging the internet or thumbing through running manuals to find a plan or wonder what plan is right for you. It's all right there! Our training plan is designed to get you to the finish line of your race. Many Runner's High members are surprised at how quickly they increase the distance they can run; starting at one or two miles and increasing to 20+ mile runs in just a few months. Many of these runners are training to run their first marathon. It's a memorable experience as family members, friends and the Houston community are lined up beside the streets to cheer the runners every mile of the run. It's a lifetime experience no one ever forgets!
Joining a club is a great way to learn more about running, find like-minded people who share your interest in the sport, and always to have someone to run with! Training for an endurance race on your own is difficult, but training with a group makes it easier. Just think--when you hear that alarm go off early Saturday morning, and you think, Do I have to? Know that there are others who will be there to run with you! And you will make some great friends. You will never be lacking for a running buddy!