Sunday, August 21, 2011

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Running Your Best Mile - Race Day Strategy

By Wayne Joness with help from Coach Skip Stolley

Arrive early and warm-up well!  A rigorous warm-up is more important for a one mile race than any other road race distance you run.  Most runners use the first mile of a 5K or 10K to "settle in", to get a feeling for their race pace. Then they wait until the last half of the race to dig-in and really challenge themselves to finish strong.  There is no time to do this in a mile race.  In your warm-up for a mile race, you need to cross-over into doing some fast anaerobic running.  Then, 10-minutes before race time, you need to do several strides of 60-100 meters at a faster pace than you will run during the race in order for the early pace to feel comfortable.  Be fully warmed up when you step up to the starting line!

Be prepared for a fast first quarter mile:  Whether you run 4:20 or 7:20 for the mile, the pace for your first quarter mile is going to be fast. If you have never run a road mile before, take your best 5K mile pace and subtract :30 seconds to approximate your mile goal time.  For example, if you run a 5K in 21:45, your pace is around 7:00 per mile.  Therefore, for a road mile, you should aim for a time of 6:30 or faster.  In this example, the first timing clock at the ¼ mile mark should display around 1:38.

Halfway there - the half mile mark:  The most critical portion of the mile is between the half-mile and the three-quarter mile mark.  If you simply maintain your effort, you will find that you are actually slowing down in this third segment of the race. As you approach the half mile timing clock, you will be feeling tired, but should be inspired by the fact that you are halfway to the finish of your best mile run ever.  If you are near your goal time (for a 6:30 mile, an even pace would be 3:15), stay in the moment and hang in there.  Concentrate on keeping your leg turnover consistent. The end is too far off to start worrying about your finish.

Three-quarter mile mark:  The end is in sight!  Even if you are running on fumes, you have less than 100-seconds of running left before you cross the finish line.  You should be able to see the finish line at this point.  Remember that kick you had when running your best 10K?  Zero-in on the runners in front of you and try to pass as many of them as possible in the last 1/4 mile.  Focus in on the finish line clock and listen to the crowds cheering.  Consider Roger Bannister's battle to break the 4:00 mile...something that was believed to be unattainable in 1954!  It was his sheer will of spirit and determination that carried him across the finish line in 3:59.4.  That same fire resides somewhere inside you too!  And today is the day for you to run your best mile ever!

Post-run cool down:  After the satisfaction of this all-out running, you need to give your heart rate, respiration, and body temperature a chance to gradually return to normal!   As soon as possible, begin to do some easy jogging.  Let your heart rate slowly return to normal. Afterwards, do some light stretching.  (You'll be happy you did tomorrow.)  The crazy thing about running a road mile is this: when you cross the finish line you will believe that you couldn't have run one stride further or one second faster.   But a half an hour later, you will probably want to run it again to see if you could faster! Regardless, it will be better for you to rehydrate and enjoy watching the other runners tackle the unique challenge of running a road mile.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

SCA Board of Directors & Youth Committee Meetings

SCA Board of Directors Meeting
Saturday, Aug 13, 2011 at 1:00pm
Meeting canceled (8/12/11).

SCA Youth Committee Meeting
Wednesday, Aug 17, 2011 at 8:00pm
Downey Senior Center
7810 Quill Drive, Downey 90242
Meeting Agenda

    Sunday, August 7, 2011

    Run OC: A Snail's Pace Laguna Hills and South Coast Road Runners

    As a part of promoting the 2011 USATF Southern California Road Mile Championships, I had a chance to meet up with some of the running groups in the greater Irvine/Orange County area. Last week was a double header, with the Laguna Hills chapter of A Snail's Pace Running Club meeting on Wednesday, August 3, and the South Coast Road Runners meeting on Thursday, August 4.

    Runners meeting at A Snail's Pace running shop in Laguna Hills.
    I wayyyy underestimated the traffic on the 405 as I headed south on Wednesday. After one hour in my car, I had only traveled 6 miles. This is the point when every runner thinks, even on my worst day, I could be running faster than my car is moving right now! I missed the start of the Snail's Pace run, but followed the directions to head out behind the store, and before I knew it I was on the Aliso Creek Bikeway. This beautiful bikepath takes us by Clarington Park to Aliso Park. I started to see runners returning from their run, and soon ran into Bob Morris, manager of A Snail's Pace Running Shop in Laguna Hills. Bob and I headed back to the store, where I got a chance to talk to New Balance rep Monica. Much to my surprise, I also had the opportunity to visit with Rebecca Trahan. Rebecca has been kind enough to volunteer at many of the Road Running Championships races this year. I asked if she knew Bob Morris, and it turns out that Bob is one of her students in her Monday night yoga class! Thanks again for the help Rebecca!

    Rebecca Trahan (left) and Bob Morris (right)

    After enjoying some mix1 recovery shakes (chocolate) we headed over to the monthly meeting of the Laguna Hills chapter, at Antonucci's Restaurant. We arrived to find plenty of pizza waiting for us, and I had a chance to listen in on ASPRC plans for upcoming races and social events. This club has been around since 1979, and it is easy to see why. They keep an interesting and exciting schedule of events for their members, and they are great folks to run with.

    Pizza and Birthday cake at Antonucci's Restaurant, Mission Viejo.
    Thursday I allowed extra time for my drive, and got the chance to see mix1 field marketing specialist Natalie Gatrell at the Peters Canyon run before meeting with the South Coast Road Runners at Heritage Park in Irvine. Natalie provided some extra mix1 for the SRCC Thursday run. I again joined Bob Morris for the run, and this time we headed away from Heritage Park, jumping onto the Walnut Trail. Like Wednesday night's run, I was impressed with the ready availability of paths and trails for running in Orange County. When we hit our 2.5 mile turnaround, I noticed we were just across the street from the El Toro Airfield, site of the Road Mile Championships!

    South Coast Road Runners August meeting, Grand Prix genius Mike Friedl (front row, far right)
    I added the mix1 recovery drink to the well-stocked supplies for post-run refueling. In addition to Gatorade and water we had fresh, warm, home-made cookies! Wow! Then we headed to a large meeting room in the Heritage Park facility. A SCRR meeting is full of current running events: the meeting starts with a run-down of the current leaders in the SCRR running Grand Prix, plus notes on the social calendar, announcement of the runner/member of the month, and more. HINT: hosting a great BBQ can lead to being a runner-of-the-month! After I spoke about the Road Mile, there was a vote for the October SCRR road race, and the winner was the Long Beach Marathon/Half-Marathon/5K. Great choice! The Long Beach 1/2 Marathon is the 2011 USATF Southern California 1/2 Marathon Championships race! SCRR members can participate in any of these Long Beach races, and have their age-graded scores added to the Grand Prix. If this sounds familiar, the USATF Southern California Grand Prix is based on the SCRR Grand Prix, with much help provided by Mike Friedl. As a thanks for their help, Bob Morris, Mike Friedl and Quang Pham received USATF National Team hats, though Quang Pham was not on hand Thursday night.

    The ubiquitous Bob Morris wearing a USATF National Team Hat, courtesy USATF
    The post-meeting feast was at Lampost Pizza, with plenty of salad, pizza and beer for everyone! Dave Parsel  modeled his fashionable USATF Cross Country Championships t-shirt from February of this year, and John Gardiner and Brad Wobig were wearing their USATF Road Mile Championship T-shirts as well.

    Dave Parsel styling the 2011 USA Cross Country Championships T-shirt
    I really had a great time this week, and look forward to meeting with the Fountain Valley Chapter of A Snail's Pace Running Club on August 10! Thanks to everyone for the great hospitality!

    John Gardiner replenishes essential carbohydrates at Lampost Pizza, Irvine CA.

    Friday, August 5, 2011

    LA84 Cross Country Clinic on 8/20 at Mt SAC

    Cross country season is just around the corner, and there can be no better way to prepare for this season while getting excited for the year than by attending the free LA84Foundation cross country clinic on August 20 featuring the absolute best high school cross country coaches in the country.

    Featured presenters include Jim O’Brien of Arcadia HS—2010 California State DI Champions and NXN National Champions; Lalo Diaz of Loyola HS—2010 California State D II Champions; Chuck Woolridge of Campolindo HS—2010 California State D III champions; and Ken Reeves and Bill Tokar, whose teams have won 14 state championships.

    The entire clinic, which is absolutely free to all coaches and interested adults who would like to attend, will be held on Saturday, August 20, at Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, and it will feature a full slate of Advanced sessions, a full slate of Beginning sessions, and a full slate of injury prevention and training sessions.

    Click here for the full clinic agenda, so you can make plans as to which sessions you would like to attend.

    ADVANCED CLINIC SESSIONS: These sessions will feature three great presenters who have all lead their schools to California State Cross Country Championships.

    Jim O’Brien: Arcadia High School - 2010 Cal DI State Champions & NXN National Champions—Arcadia High School produced quite possibly the greatest season in all of California High School sports history last year. Not only were they undefeated but they also set new team course records at both Mt. SAC and at the California State Meet.

    Lalo Diaz: Loyola High School - Cal DII State Champions—There has been no high school in the country that can match the level of success that Loyola has achieved over the past couple of decades, and last year the team once again peaked at just the right time to win the California State D II championship. Coach Diaz is not only one of the great coaches in the sport but he is also one of the absolute best presenters.

    Chuck Woolridge: Campolindo High School - Cal State DIII Champions – Chuck became the first coach in California state cross country meet history to lead two different schools to state championships as his Campolindo squad won the DIII title last season. A true “student of the sport” Chuck has proven he not only knows how to build great programs but also how to guide elite athletes to national success as the same time..

    BEGINNING CLINIC SESSIONS: Bill Tokar, Ken Reeves and Tim O’Rourke have all coached multiple state championship teams that have won at the highest levels of the sport.

    The full slate of beginning level sessions will take the new coach or volunteer and give them not only the physiological foundations of training the high school distance runner but also lessons on how to recruit new runners, what are the rules coaches need to know, and at the end of the day each attendee will leave with their own team’s training plan for this season.

    Bring any new assistants you have or parents who will be helping you this year. They can attend the Beginning Sessions and you can attend the Advanced sessions, and then you can all talk about your upcoming season at lunch time or later in the week.

    HEALTH AND TRAINING CLINIC SESSIONS: Bill Ito, a USATF trainer, will present four separate sessions that will build upon each other. The first session will be on basic preparation to handle health and injury problems that may occur at a cross country practice or meet. Then, the next three sessions will go in depth into what specific drills and exercises your runners need to be doing to not only prevent injuries but also improve performance.

    You can save yourself a great deal of time in the morning of the clinic if you pre-register at our web site: The cost is absolutely free to everyone thanks to the great sponsorship of the LA84Foundation.

    If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Devin Elizondo at the LA84Foundation office (323-730-4618 or or Tim O’Rourke

    Hope you will join us on August 20 at Mt. SAC.

    Tim O’Rourke