“The Craziest Part Is That I Still Had Extra Left In The Tank”

We’re proud to report that Stephanie Tang, a longtime member of our local marathon training group with the NY Flyers in NYC, finished her 25th marathon in her fastest time ever. Stephanie completed the Clarence DeMar Marathon in 3:32:06, a 9:35 PR. [Full Results]

This result could not have happened to a nicer, more dedicated athlete. We love coaching Stephanie because she’s consistent and doesn’t miss a beat. All her hard work has paid off.

“The craziest part is that I still had extra left in the tank as I was sprinting to the finish! I never hit a wall, didn’t feel nauseous, and didn’t have any of my normal hip and leg aches and pains. What a day!” – Stephanie

Breathing Rhythm For Runners

By Dr. Jack Daniels

I strongly believe that breathing rhythm is closely associated with stride rate, and this association is not exclusive to runners. In fact, in some sports the act of breathing is determined very clearly by the rate at which the legs and/or arms are moving. Take the example of swimmers; here breathing in all strokes (except back stroke) is strictly dictated by arm turnover – you breathe in rhythm with stroke rate or take in a lot of water. In rowing and paddling, breathing is pretty nearly limited to getting a breath between strokes.

The question is how many breaths do you take per stride, or how many strides do you take per breath? Again, in counting breathing rates of elite runners, I have found that over 80% use a “2-2” rhythm most of the time, especially when running at a fairlydemanding intensity. A 2-2 rhythm means you take 2 steps (1 with the right foot and 1 with the left foot) while breathing in and 2 steps while breathing out. Some will use a 3-3 rhythm when on an easy run, and often go to a 2-1 or 1-2 rhythm when starting to work really hard toward the latter stages of a race or during a hard training session.

How To Prevent A Late Marathon Slowdown

Michael Cavalli:  What is the most important aspect(s) of marathon training to help the runner maintain pace/efficiency in the latter, more difficult miles of the marathon?

Dr. Jack Daniels:  A very important approach to maintaining pace and efficiency in the latter miles of a marathon race is to not go out too fast in the beginning. Run the first 20 miles no faster than your training and any recent racing VDOT values suggest for your marathon race pace.  It is often very easy to go out too fast early in a marathon because you have tapered and rested for the race and normal marathon race pace seems too slow.  The best part of a marathon to run faster than anticipated is the 2nd half of the race; particularly the last 10k of the race.  The first half of the race should feel like a pace that you could increase at any time, and something that might help in those early miles is to concentrate on being relaxed and turning over with a nice quick leg cadence and breathing with a comfortable 2-2 rhythm.  It might help to spend some time thinking about being relaxed in the face, jaws, then shoulders, arms, stomach, legs and feet.

“Jack Daniels’ Training Plans Rock!”

Patrick Bovin of Belgium completed his second straight 24-week marathon plan. His first plan ended with a PR in New York (3:18:21) last year. The M50 runner came back for more to prepare for the Berlin Marathon. We’re happy to report another PR by roughly 5-minutes (3:13:27). [Full Results]

I’m happy. And I got confirmation this weekend that I can go to Boston next year. Jack Daniels’ training plans rock!

 

Run SMART Project Athletes Take Home Top Spots

Training partners Lorraine Doucet and Todd Piquette both took home victories at the Mississippi Mills River Run 10k. Todd finished first overall by 1.5 minutes with an official time of 39:02. This was the first time he’s ever broken 40-minutes in a 10k. Lorraine was first female and also finished over a minute ahead of her next competitor. [Official Results]

“We both swear by Run SMART because we’ve improved tremendously,” says Todd. “I have gotten so much faster since following your custom training plan.”

Todd currently has two weeks left in his marathon plan and is looking to take this momentum towards sub-3 at Wineglass.

Going From Good To Great

By Dr. Jack Daniels

Most serious athletes are on a pursuit to achieve greatness. The question is, what does becoming “great” really mean? During my athletic career in the Modern Pentathlon I was twice U.S. National Champion, a three-time World Championship qualifier (one Bronze Team Medal) and two-time Olympic medalist (with Silver and Bronze Team Medals). Interestingly, I never thought of myself as “great,” even a year or two later when I was given the unofficial title of the World’s #1 horseman in the pentathlon.

Alison Thurber Reaches Sub-3:15 Goal

Big congrats to Alison Thurber for reaching her goal of sub-3:15 at Grandma’s Marathon. Alison’s official time was 3:14:18, almost 5-minutes faster than her previous best set last year. More impressively, she did it running almost perfectly even splits (1:37:08/1:37:10)! [Full Results]

Grandma’s was a great race in all respects. A stunning location, ideal weather, and a flat, fast course.  As a 38-year-old working mom I’m still not convinced my fastest times are behind me. The Run SMART Project training definitely served me well so I will continue to put the schedules to work.

 

“I Actually Got Faster As The Race Progressed”

Richard Garcia of Fort Worth, TX set a new PR at the Grandma’s Marathon. His official time of 2:49:44 placed him 189th out of over 6,000 finishers. We love his splits ever more as he accomplished this new personal best by running the second half of the race over 1-minute faster than the first (1:25:39/1:24:05). [Full Results]

How I Became An Olympian

By Dr. Jack Daniels

Entering the 1956 Olympic Trials in the Modern Pentathlon I had been training for the riding, fencing and running events for about four months. The Olympic Trials was actually my first ever Modern Pentathlon competition (I swam and shot during college years). I took to the horseback riding event (5000 meter cross country with over 20 obstacles) very well and in the Trials we had the ride last rather than first because we only had 15 horses for 32 competitors. Only the top 15 after the first four events got to ride. I was in 8th place going into the final event but I was not trying to make the team, I just wanted to concentrate on having a good ride.