Thursday, October 8, 2009

Training for the 2009 Davis Turkey Trot

Personal Training for the 2009 Davis Turkey Trot

So you’re thinking of doing the 5K fast, or maybe the Davis Turkey Trot will be your first attempt at a 10K, better yet, you’re going to run the 5Kor 10K and then come back to your two best running partners and take on the Chipotle Challenge*. .

Whatever you decide there are so many wonderful ways to prepare for the Davis Turkey Trot. The best news is, you have plenty of time to get ready. You may have heard how hill repeats, speed sessions, tempo and other runs are great training tools. In fact, you may have heard about so many different training runs that you can't figure out how to fit them all into your week.

A couple of facts to think about… working a variety of runs into your routine will do more than get you faster and stronger - it'll keep you motivated. But you don’t have all day to train and that means being selective. It is best to plan your run in the morning, there are no excuses (had to work late/my turn to take my kid to soccer/had a 3 martini lunch). Several of my clients have a personalized training plan, the constant in each individual program is “how to fit several training components into your program”:

Long Runs. Increasing the length of one run per week will boost your endurance. Slowly work up to one to two miles longer than your race, then run this distance every other week.

Social runs. To stay motivated, do these with a running group (can be friends, family, neighbors, your MissFIT Bootcamp class). If you want to mix it up a bit, try some of these fun-run ideas:

  • Give one person a 30-second head start, then chase him or her down. The first person to touch the leader becomes the leader. Take a walking break after every tag.
  • Have a joke contest. The person who tells the funniest joke gets a free lunch or dinner, courtesy of the training group.
  • Add some upper body work – stop at a bench and do some tricep dips, run a mile and stop and do 10 push-ups
Hills. They'll make you stronger. Run longer hills - a half-mile to a mile long - a little slower than your 10K race effort, and any shorter hills at 5K effort. Start climbing slowly (only a little faster than your training pace) and accelerate gradually as you go up. If you’re staying in Davis only have small inclines, think parking garages or our three overpasses, approach them at race pace for 100 to 200 meters, then move up the hill with a quick turnover. Do three to eight hill repeats only once a week.

Tempo Runs. These help you to run smoother and to maintain your pace in races. After an easy warm-up, run a half-mile at around your 5K/10K race pace, then jog slowly until you completely recover; repeat these "tempo" intervals two to three times during your run. Do this workout once a week.

Speedwork (or Speedplay) it’s all in the attitude…right? Speed sessions done on trails or roads teach you to maintain pace. During the "speed" segment of your interval workout, start at your goal race pace, speed up slightly and then return to race pace. Rest and repeat. Each speed segment should last two to four minutes. Starting with eight to10 minutes of total speed segments, increase the duration of each workout by two to three minutes until you can do 20 to 30 minutes of speed.

Putting It Together

You don't want to do all six types of runs every week because you'll risk injury. Instead, pick workouts based on your goals. Here are some examples:

  • Fitness and “I want to lose a couple pounds runners: Schedule a long run once a week, plus two or three fun runs that last 45 minutes or more.
  • Marathoners and half-marathoners (Davis Stampede is coming up in Feb): Do a long run every 14 to 21 days and two or three fun runs each week. Work in a speed session, tempo run or short race on the weekends when you don't have a long run scheduled.
  • Short-distance racers: Run a 5, 8 or 10K race (or do a race pace run) every other week at most, inserting slow, long runs on the alternate weekends. Do strides twice a week as part of your other runs and work in a midweek speed session.
  • All of the above, every other week mix it up and run “Mount Poleline”

- Jennifer Miramontes CPT, MES, PRES is also certified strength, conditioning and form coach.

Friday, April 17, 2009

This May be the First Generation That Does Not Outlive Its Parents

The statistics are staggering.71.5 % of California grade students in the 2007-2008 School Physical Fitness Test failed to achieve the criteria set to be in the “Healthy Fitness Zone.”

Childhood obesity rates have tripled in the last three decades, and studies show that 80% of overweight children become overweight adults. The possible outcomes are sobering. The associated health risks range from Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, coronary heart disease, and stroke to gall bladder disease, osteoarthritis, sleep apnea, respiratory problems and some forms of cancer. The occurrence of these diseases in youth is on the rise and the age of onset is getting younger. An overweight child can suffer developmental changes that are not reversed even if they lose the extra weight and get fit. These include changes to bones and bone growth plates, metabolism, and the number of fat cells a person has for the rest of their life. For the first time in history, American children may have a shorter lifespan than their parents.

A person who is unfit or overweight can get in shape and lose weight. Now is the time to involve your kids in a fitness program. So where do you begin? We have some ideas….


All of these suggestions lead up to one real solution. Spend real time with your kids. When kids are young, we go to the park with them, play in the front yard with sidewalk chalk, go for bike rides, etc. They can’t do these things on their own and they are not yet in school or involved in team sports, so it is truly up to us as parents to get them outside and moving. As our kids get older, we become their chauffeur, their swim/baseball/soccer/softball coach gets more time with them than we do. This doesn’t have to be the case. Even though they are busy with their activities, whether it’s sports or the arts, I will bet there is some time in the day to be active together. Ask yourself this question, “Do we spend time during the week watching TV together?” If your answer is yes, then you can be active together….


To inspire your children to put on their sneakers, be a role model. Watching you do it -- and seeing the benefits you get from being fit -- is likely to make them want to try it. Show them how exhilarating running can be by taking them to a high school track meet. Once they're ready to try something, whether it is running, swimming, biking, or shooting hoops in the front yard, ease them into it. Start out slowly, build up gradually, and allow kids to stop and rest anytime they want. When the kids are younger make it a game…freeze tag with the whole family, or hopscotch on the sidewalk will yield great fitness benefits and you’ll have fun together.


There are kid’s fitness programs popping up everywhere.
Your child doesn't have to belong to a sports team to become fit. Competitive or team sports aren't for everyone. Some children feel too self-conscious to play on a team, or they fear they will embarrass themselves. Some kids might not be coordinated enough -- or believe they aren't -- to play on a team. Still others just aren't interested in team sports. What's important is that your child is active in some way.Physical activities that a child can take on to adulthood include bicycling, running, hiking or the martial arts. They offer a good aerobic workout, but don't require a team to participate. In Davis, kids can sign up for CrossFit Kids at Davis Athletic Club. CrossFit Kids is the principal strength and conditioning program that is, by design, broad, general, and inclusive. Parents, you too can sign up for the adult CrossFit program….now that is leading by example.


We all work best when we have a goal. Whether you sign them up for a local fitness program or have decided to become your child’s fitness partner, find a goal event. This can be a local 5k run/walk, a kayak event or a kid’s triathlon. “The Positive Energy Kids Triathlon has served as a great motivator for my daughter to get in shape. Every day she is asking us if she can run, bike or swim” states, Kerry Hickerson, “in fact the first year she participated, she had so much fun that she wanted to do it again…..that day!”