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Old 10-18-2011, 01:09 PM   #31
ChimneysweepGeorge
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Congratulations!
Here is the thing about veteran runners...we weren't born that way. Celebrate!

I'm not John but I am an RRCA certified running coach...you are in good shape. The single biggest piece of advice is to ignore your speed and focus on distance...in other words, you are on the right track. I'll explain for you.

Speed is pretty much a function of two things; overall conditioning and neuromuscular response. The first one will only come as you train your cardio system more. That means a heart rate under 80% of max for as long as you can. If you don't have the base conditioning, trying to move faster is just going to exhaust you faster...and that's the opposite of what you want when facing 13.1 miles. You'll find as you are able to go longer and further, your speed will naturally increase. The second...essentially moving your feet faster, doesn't take a lot of time to train. It can be done in the last three to four weeks preceding your taper period if you find yourself lacking.

Oh and that's the second bit of counter-intuitive but true advice I'm going to give you, gradually reduce the volume of your run for the 7-10 days before the race. It gives your body time to fully recover and restore glycogen so you'll be able to give your very best. This REALLY messes with your head the first time (every time for some people) as your body fills with more energy and your brain starts second guessing the lack of activity but going into a race 10% undertrained is MUCH better than being 1% overtrained. :-)
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Old 10-18-2011, 05:35 PM   #32
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I know it probably wont seem like it to some of you veterans but we just did outm 6.5 mile walk last weekend and I felt like I could have kept going! My right knee was "tired" but not hurting....when I checked my phone (I was using the runkeeper gps guided app) it said we averaged 17 min per mile. I wa a bit dissapointed that we were a full min off pace, but I tried to concentrate that we actually did 6.5 miles!! That in itself was an accomplishment for two women who until last month would NEVER have even dreamt w could do this! We have 131 more days to train - hopefully we will be able to pick up the pace when we do the 3 miles this weekend...any advice out there? Hey John - think we are too far behind the pace to actually finish the race and not be swept up?
Excellent job with your 6.5 miles, , and csGeorge beat me to it when it comes to base, base and more base. Many people convince themselves that because they feel so good after doing X-miles they think they are ready to speed things up and what they really wind up doing is injure themselves instead. Get a little more base, then shorten your stride length along with quickening your steps and the times will come down.
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Old 10-18-2011, 06:40 PM   #33
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I just want to thank the walking gurus -- I took up fitness walking (if that's what its' called) a little over two months ago. Outside of _Walking for Dummies_ I haven't consulted with experts so your comment are very affirming.

I'm focusing more on heart rate than distance and speed. That being said, I've been pleased to see a pretty natural uptick in how quickly are I can cover my route.

I'm a bigger chicken than OP, though -- I'm working towards the 5K marathon weekend. If I enjoy that experience, then I'll start thinking about the Princess 2013!
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Old 10-18-2011, 07:05 PM   #34
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I'm a bigger chicken than OP, though -- I'm working towards the 5K marathon weekend. If I enjoy that experience, then I'll start thinking about the Princess 2013!
Starting smaller isn't about being chicken. You are already moving out of your comfort zone. That's always heroic...never forget that.
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Old 10-18-2011, 08:09 PM   #35
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Starting smaller isn't about being chicken. You are already moving out of your comfort zone. That's always heroic...never forget that.
Golly, beaten to the punch again.

DW and I did our first 5K at WDW's 2010 Marathon Weekend the Up and Away Family Fun Run 5K. We had a blast and from there it was then the first Wine&Dine Relay then this year's 5K again, 1/2 marathon on Saturday and I walked the marathon on Sunday.

Everybody has to start somewhere and the 5K was the best for us so go for it and feel great about your accomplishments.
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Old 10-19-2011, 08:36 AM   #36
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Golly, beaten to the punch again.
Sorry my friend, a slow day at work means that the IT guy with the upcoming WDW vacation is obsessing at various forums

But yea, I re-started with a 5k myself. Logan's Run (March) 2010...and I was unable to run the entire distance.

It's interesting to note though. 5k is my very LEAST favorite distance. As a matter of fact, I HATE that distance. I like to race when I have a bib on and when you have a race of 10k or more there is a bit of a strategy that involves conserving your energy since no one but elite athletes can go all out for that kind of distance. So there is always some portion of longer races where I can just relax and watch the scenery roll past. On a 5k it's PUSHPUSHPUSHPUSH.
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Old 10-19-2011, 01:53 PM   #37
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Thanks!

Thanks CSGEORGE and JohnVN for the advice and the encouragement. I guess we will just keep plugging away! I am glad to hear that you think the speed will come when the distances get longer. Out training schedule calls for a long walk one weekend and then 3 miles the next weekend and then a long walk - then 3 miles .... the 3 miles just dosn't seem enough anymore should we lengthen it to 5 miles now or just trust the training schedule? Only 130 more days....yikes somehow that does NOT seem like enough to get ready for this!! I am totally making myself crazy now!! I need to just keep putting one foot infront of the other and go! Thanks for the help guys...anything else we should know?
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Old 10-19-2011, 03:14 PM   #38
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Out training schedule calls for a long walk one weekend and then 3 miles the next weekend and then a long walk - then 3 miles .... the 3 miles just dosn't seem enough anymore should we lengthen it to 5 miles now or just trust the training schedule?
Stick with the plan. I'll even give you the SCIENCE.
Your body adapts to training indirectly. The long walks break down your muscles, overstress your heart and lungs and generally beat the heck out of your body. Your body responds to this overstress by rebuilding stronger during periods of rest. Shorter runs/walks are what's known as active rest. This way, your body won't lose any fitness but has more time to fully recover. When I'm training for running a full 26.2, my training week includes a 3 mile run or two for exactly this reason. For someone starting out, the rest is even more important and that's why you aren't seeing all mileage all the time, your body needs recovery time to stay healthy and uninjured more than it needs more miles.

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Thanks for the help guys...anything else we should know?
My pleasure! I love this stuff.
Let's see, we talked training, we talked taper...the only thing I can really thing of is race nutrition. I expect that given the lower intensity but longer duration that walkers encounter, their needs are slightly different and I'll defer to John here BUT once long training takes more than an hour, it's a good time to start experimenting and see which brand and flavor of gels/gummies/beans your body does best with.

I'll go on the assumption that it's similar to running.

In a nutshell this is prepackaged...sugar. Usually more than one type of sugar so it will be easily absorbed but stay in your system for 30-45 minutes. Any strenuous activity that lasts more than an hour uses HUGE amounts of energy and refueling as you go will prevent you from, quite literally, running out of gas. The reason it's good to start experimenting (you can buy individual packs from most sporting good stores) is that the flavors and textures are largely unwholesome. Imagine swallowing two tablespoons of double thick, double sweet jelly or icing to get an idea. So it's good to know in advance what you don't find objectionable. Most races give samples at the start or on the course but trying anything new during a race is a rather bad idea. GU Energy, Clif Shots & Honey Stinger are popular brands and a decent place to start. Marketing aside, they are all equally effective so it's just a question of flavor and texture.
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Old 10-19-2011, 08:01 PM   #39
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Got to keep the body energized for the longer times we walkers take so for me what works is a banana, Gu Gel packs, Shot BlOCKS, Hershey's Dark Chocolate chips with raisins added and I prefer just water.

As CSGeorge said, experiment now so you are set. I have experimented with eating before I exercise and found that Egg Beaters on whole wheat with a slice of American cheese and ketchup about 1.5 hours before a long training walk works well but before an event I have to have it about 2.5 to 3 hours before start. I even went so far as to see how my system would react to a lasagna dinner then getting out 90 minutes later and walking a fast 10K. No problems after the first 2.5 miles of burping.

Find your comfort foods and zones way before events and that's one less thing to think about.
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Old 10-20-2011, 02:37 PM   #40
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So much to learn....

Thanks guys! I have begun to trying to figure out a little of this - on our 6.5 walk we tried the shot block - it was ok in taste but rather large to just put a whole one in your mouth at once. Carrying the leftover piece was awkward - so I cut each block in to 3 pieces for the next walk (hope thats ok?) - On the last walk we had one at the halfway mark (even though niether of us felt we needed it) and it was fine - My question is how do you know when to take it and when not to? Someone said if you wait until you "Need" it - its too late....Should you just take it at regular intervals the entire long walk? What intervals? Since I have cut the remainder into thirds will this affect the timing? Maybe I will try the Jellybean type next since they are smaller.... Also since we usually go out for our walks very early - I have been doing them on an empty stomache. I do drink plenty of water during the walks (long & short) - have not had a problem yet - is this a bad thing to do? Like I said sooo much to learn - I am sure glad the two of you are there for advice!! Thanks so very much!
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Old 10-20-2011, 03:32 PM   #41
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Cutting the blocks is like eating the beans, a little at a time but more frequently compared to the gel.

When I intend to go out from the start really fast and plan to continue that pace, I will down a gel around 15 minutes before I start. Then every 45 minutes or so there after. Again, this is only when I am really cooking, meaning that I am trying to maintain a pace in the upper 9:00s.

Please remember, this works for me.

When I walked the DL 1/2M with DW last month, I had a few sips of water and shared a Gu with DW. Ate my breakfast, drank plenty of water before hand and the weather was so nice I had no need to replenish.

There can alsobe a problem if you drink too much water.
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Old 10-20-2011, 03:33 PM   #42
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My question is how do you know when to take it and when not to? Someone said if you wait until you "Need" it - its too late....Should you just take it at regular intervals the entire long walk?
I fuel the entire time I run, at regular intervals. The usual recommendation is 100-150 calories per hour. You are using more than that but that's about all your body is going to be able to metabolize.

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I have been doing them on an empty stomache. I do drink plenty of water during the walks (long & short) - have not had a problem yet - is this a bad thing to do?
It's not bad in the sense that it will stall your progress or injure you but you won't be at your very best. Usually a small, complex carb heavy but easy to digest meal at least an hour (two is better but if you get up early that can be a problem) before you start puts your blood sugar levels at a good place to do some work. John has his eggbeaterwich, I typically rock some instant oatmeal and a banana. My wife likes a Clif bar because she just wants to be out the door.

There is always much to be learned. There is always more research being done and there is so much already out there. That's what makes it all so interesting. I mean what could be easier than walking or running? Lace up your shoes and go...then someone hands you a copy of Lore of Running and you get the feeling you just took the red pill.
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Old 10-20-2011, 08:55 PM   #43
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I know it probably wont seem like it to some of you veterans but we just did outm 6.5 mile walk last weekend and I felt like I could have kept going! My right knee was "tired" but not hurting....when I checked my phone (I was using the runkeeper gps guided app) it said we averaged 17 min per mile. I wa a bit dissapointed that we were a full min off pace, but I tried to concentrate that we actually did 6.5 miles!! That in itself was an accomplishment for two women who until last month would NEVER have even dreamt w could do this! We have 131 more days to train - hopefully we will be able to pick up the pace when we do the 3 miles this weekend...any advice out there? Hey John - think we are too far behind the pace to actually finish the race and not be swept up?
You are doing awesome!!

To give you some encouragement, my very first 6 miler was at a 17mpm... and I had a very compressed training schedule, so it was only 6 weeks before the race... (I would never recommend anyone intentionally train in this manner, but I was coming back from an injury and trying to get as far as I could in the W&D 1/2 since everything was already booked). I ended up having no problem finishing the W&D... avg'd about a 15:30 pace and took a few bathroom breaks... which put me with a finish of 3:32... I was not TOO far ahead of the sweepers... I could see them... but they never passed me and I finished. So for you ladies to be keeping that pace, with a good 4 months still left to train, I don't think you have anything to worry about! See you at the princess!
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Old 10-23-2011, 06:36 PM   #44
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I just finished my tempo 13.12 miles this morning in 2:18:18 walking and feel great right now. Please don't feel that you have to run to prove something, just get out and enjoy your training and things will jell. Trust me.

BTW, I am 61yo and just started walking 1 1/2 years ago so age does not have to limit your accomplishments. Come on over to Events/Competition and join in there.
Um...I did my first half marathon last week, and with a run-walk combo, came nowhere near 2:18.

That is awesome. Thanks for sharing and inspiring!
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Old 10-24-2011, 12:22 PM   #45
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Should your arms be moving when trying to walk fast?

I know that sounds like a silly question but I was at the gym this morning doing my 2 mile walk ( 4.1 for 30min - may be time to increase since I did not even break a sweat today?) and I noticed others and thier walking styles - I asked each one and got two different answers - #1 Do NOT move arms because that takes energy away from you legs where you want it to go. #2 Move you arms with elbows bent in a comfortable fashion - not overly exaggerated to help propel yourself forward a little more. - so now I am confused since they both make sense...thought I should ask the "EXPERTS" Thanks!!
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