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Since 1996, the Charlottesville Track Club has guided over 4500 runners to a safe completion of a fall marathon or half-marathon of their choice. The program is designed to properly prepare runners of all abilities to complete their first long-distance race or to improve on a previous effort. Each participant receives a personalized program tailored to match their individual needs, abilities, and specific goals. The program is supervised by Coach Mark Lorenzoni, who has over 40 years of experience, and each individual will be able to consult with this coach (for specific and personal concerns) throughout the training program.
How It Works:
1. Sign up here and you will receive a confirmation email along with the worksheet you will need to fill out at the beginning of your training
2. Join the group orientation meeting with Coach Mark on Saturday, June 25th (time and location TBA)
3. Run your two-mile time trial, if needed (see more below).
4. Schedule your 1:1 meeting with Mark to have him create your training plan. You can sign up for your time here.
5. Join the group for the long Saturday runs starting on July 9th, and enjoy your training program!
WHEN: The program kicks off on June 25th with an orientation meeting. Group long runs start on July 9th and go through early November.
WHERE: The group meets every Saturday for a “long” run at one of six different scenic and low traffic locations (we rotate each week) in the City and County (usually around 6:15 in the morning to beat the heat).
WHO: Anyone can participate, but the Marathon program has a minimum requirement of a recent (within 4-7 weeks of the start of the program) long run of at least 4-5 miles. The Half-Marathon program has a minimum requirement of a recent long run of 1-2 miles. Last year 175 folks participated in the program and they each were able to select a fall marathon or half-marathon of their choice (last year 20 different marathons and 10 different half marathons were selected by the individual participants). The finishing race paces ranged from 6:45/mile to 13 minutes/mile.
COST: $50; $40 for Charlottesville Track Club members
COACH: Mark Lorenzoni has served as the coach (on a volunteer basis) since the program started in 1996. Virginia Knight now serves as volunteer e-mail coordinator. Molly Wraight now serves as our volunteer website designer. Joan Bienvenue has served as Program Assistant since 2006 and she helps coordinate the three-person teams for the weekly long runs (they mark the course and set out water and Gatorade at 2-3 mile intervals along the route).
1. When is our first group get-together?
We will have an orientation/kick-off meeting on Saturday morning June 25th. After the half-hour meeting we will go for a short group run. We have not set the exact time or location but will let you know.
2. What gear will I need to have to train this summer?
You will need a good pair of running shoes (to be replaced every 300 miles); proper technical clothing, including wicking (non-cotton) socks, appropriate for the heat and humidity; a hand-held water bottle carrier or water backpack; nutrition (to be explained in detail); your training log; and a foam roller to be used on daily basis.
3. How will I receive my personalized program from Coach Mark?
Each of you will schedule a half-hour one-on-one meeting with Coach, where he will create your personalized program to meet your specific scheduling, training, and pacing needs. These meetings have been set up as either Facetime or in-person to help conveniently accommodate your busy schedules. See the-one on-one page to schedule your meeting. IMPORTANT: Please note that only September and October folks should be scheduling a MAY meeting. June and July meeting dates are for everyone.
4. What should I bring to this important meeting with Coach?
You are required to bring your filled-out questionnaire (which should be texted to Coach ahead of time), your training log, and your 2-mile time or a recent race time.
5. What should I be doing with my training until I meet with Coach Mark and receive my personalized program?
Coach Mark has created base-building templates (posted below that will give you a general idea of the weekly mileage and the long run distance you should be running until you receive your individual training program at your one-on-one meeting.
6. Where and when will we be meeting for group runs together?
We will be meeting early every Saturday morning (see schedule), for a group long run. Courses will vary (we have 7 different locations) and all are scenic and relatively auto-free. Water and Gatorade will be available along these marked courses. For those, who Coach Mark writes “speedwork” into your program, we will also be meeting on Wednesday mornings at 5:30 am at the UVa track.
7. Why is the two-mile time trial required?
Unless you have a recent race time (for any race distance within the last three months), this 2-mile time will give Coach Mark a very accurate read on what your current fitness level is and will help determine your marathon or half marathon pace and your critically important everyday AHR pace (Aerobic Heart Rate). If you’d like to do it with a group, with Coach timing you, come join us on one of the dates at the UVa track on the 2-mile schedule.
8. Am I too slow to train with the group? Will I have company?
No one is too slow to be a participant! We divide into pace groups for each Saturday group run, so everyone is running with others of similar fitness and ability.
9. What is the best way to contact Coach Mark?
Due to the high volume of folks that Mark coaches, he can be reached by text or in person at Ragged Mountain. Text him at 434-962-1694 to ask questions or to see when he is available. Despite being a professional coach with over forty years of experience, Mark does this on a purely volunteer basis.
10. Other than the one-on-one meeting, how often will Coach be communicating with us?
Coach will be sending out weekly email messages with training tips and program updates. He will also be giving a very brief (3-5 minutes) training lecture before the start of each Saturday group run.
11. Who coordinates and organizes the Saturday group runs?
You! Like a co-op, each of you will be required to help set up just one of our Saturday group runs. There will be 6 folks assigned to each one. Stay tuned for sign up details.
12. Who else besides Coach, helps with the weekly tasks of keeping the training program going?
Thanks to the wonderful volunteer efforts of Molly Wraight (website management), Virginia Knight (weekly email management), Marti Naro (base-building template management) and Joan Bienvenue (long-run coordinator), the program runs efficiently on a weekly basis.
13. Where do your participant fee dollars go?
Everyone affiliated with the program does so on a volunteer basis, so the dollars go towards the training program costs (like shirts, Gatorade, printing etc.) and back to the CTC, where it is used to support a variety of wonderful causes, like the CTC scholarship fund and the CTC summer all-comer track meets.
2 Mile Time Trial Dates - These are the times that Coach Mark will personally be on hand. You may choose to do your 2-mile time trial at another time and location that is more convenient for you. Remember - the two-mile time trial or a recent race time are a prerequisite before Mark can write your program.
Questionnaire - This needs to be filled out and a hard copy needs to be brought to your 1:1 meeting with Coach Mark (or texted to Mark ahead of time if you are going to be meeting virtually).
Mark's Orientation Meeting Video
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