The Results

Good morning!

Last Sunday I discussed three specific changes to our training for NFLR client Chloe, in her nearly six-month preparation for the Bank of America Chicago Marathon. Utilizing our own developed science based/ personalized training module, incorporating heart rate training and focusing on running specific functional stability & mobility, were all new elements of our training program.

Because I am the NFLR lead running coach, I personally oversaw every detail of Chloe’s training. Between constant communication and face to face visits, I was able to stay on top of her progress and insure the new training elements were working as intended.

Chloe and I met a few days before what would be her final long run, to discuss her training and her coming race. I asked her what her preference would be; for me to design her race pacing based on running pace or using heart rate zones? Chloe did not hesitate, she wanted to stay with using heart rate to pace her. Despite the initial adjustment to utilizing heart rate pacing, Chloe eventually gained confidence using this pacing method and she had no doubts about using it in the marathon.

The timing of our meeting was perfect as I would use her final long run to determine what heart rate zones I wanted her to run the marathon in and for how long in each zone. Again, I utilized specific data from her long run and was able to decide which zones and for how much time. I must admit, I was extremely happy with how this was working.

Race day came and as always, I would follow our runner using the wonderful App made available. As I tracked her progress mile after mile, it was obvious that Chloe was sticking to our running plan and I was thrilled! As she was running in zone 3, she began to run negative splits and that was a great sign that she was strong. I was watched closely as she hit mile 18, as she would be moving into zone 4 and things would get more challenging.

Thankfully the App was working beautifully, and when she hit mile 19, I could easily see that she shifted to zone 4, by her increased pace. Now she had 7 miles left and the challenge of staying in zone 4.

When the App showed Chloe finishing the race, I had instant data that indicated she maintained zone 4 for the remainder of the race. I was not ready to call it a success, not until I heard from Chloe. Within an hour from her finish I sent a text and the response was one of happiness! Still I would wait until we met face to face before I determined the level of success.

Unfortunately, I became quite sick, so our scheduled meeting was delayed for a couple of weeks. When we finally met this is what she said: “I typically have a great deal of anxiety before and during a race and I had none!” She went on to say the pacing zones worked perfect, but her legs got tired around mile 20. Overall, she said: “I felt totally prepared and run my best race ever.”

I could now declare that our new elements of training were a total success! While I am happy with the new elements, I must say, Chloe did the hard work and deserves all the credit for running a great marathon. Working together was such a great partnership, we will continue working together with a plan of getting Chloe stronger and running faster in a fall marathon next year.

Today Jennifer Curran is in DC to run the Marine Corp Marathon and I will be following her on an App. Because of her circumstances we decided not to use heart rate pacing and I am confident she will do great. Each runner has their own circumstances and we must take the time to understand them and determine the best method for training. Have fun Jenn!

A long but fun coffee & chat.

Have a great Sunday and an even better week!

God Bless!