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Champaign-Urbana Training Program

Register for Second Wind Running Club’s 17-week marathon or half training program by December 15. Includes weekly paced long runs, Second Wind Running Club membership, long-sleeve tech shirt, post-race party, and more. Registration will open in the fall.

Tune-Up Races

Many runners like to run a shorter tune-up race some time in the months leading up to their main race. If you are relatively local, check out the Second Wind Running Club race calendar for a list of races in and around Champaign-Urbana. If you live far away, check with your local running club or running store.

Book Excerpts

Race sponsor Human Kinetics has many resources of interest to runners. Read some excerpts below.

Avoid the seven deadly sins of running technique

Dedicated runners have come to expect running-related injuries. In any given year, up to 70 percent of runners sustain an injury serious enough to stop them from running. According to running expert Sam Murphy, those problems are often caused by errors in training and technique and can be avoided. Simple mistakes, including wearing the wrong shoes, increasing mileage too quickly, or not varying sessions enough, are responsible for 60 percent of running injuries.

“By learning the difference between training and straining and honing your technique, you can minimize the risk of injury and the training setbacks it inevitably brings,” Murphy says.

Read more…

Controlling your pace during races

While it’s obvious that a speed and distance device can be used for monitoring and controlling your pace during races, you need to use your device somewhat differently in races of different distances, and you must avoid succumbing to the temptation to rely on it too heavily.

First, before you race, try to get a good sense of your device’s specific degree of accuracy. Most devices are inaccurate by a consistent degree in one direction—either too long or too short. Test your device on measured courses whenever possible to determine its pattern. Races themselves afford some of the best opportunities, but be aware that it’s actually normal to run approximately 0.5 percent too far on certified road race courses because these courses are measured by the shortest possible distance a runner could cover in completing it (that is, by running every turn and tangent perfectly), and nobody ever does that.

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Drills to improve running form

Plantar fasciitis can be such a painful condition that it often prevents any running at all. This sheet of fibrous tissue runs between the metatarsal heads and its insertion in the calcaneus (next to the Achilles tendon). Its weakest part is found at the heel, where it becomes injured. The typical sufferer winces when the underside of the heel is even lightly touched. If the exercises presented in this chapter are ineffective, then a physician’s steroid injection can produce a cure. A better long-term solution, however, is to seek knowledge of why the injury occurred and address that cause.

Read more….

Determine your weekly mileage

In addition to the important ingredients of success in running, I have come up with what I call basic laws of running. I have designed these laws in hopes of allowing runners of all levels of achievement to be able to optimize the benefits of training. Since runners respond differently to a particular coaching treatment, training program, or environment, these basic laws help evaluate and enhance individual training situations.

  1. Every runner has specific individual abilities.

Each runner has unique strengths and weaknesses. Some runners have a desirable muscle fiber design, with a high fraction of slow-twitch endurance fibers, which leads to a high aerobic power output (high V∙O2max). On the other hand, another runner who does not have a particularly high V∙O2max may have outstanding running economy because of ideal mechanics. I think that runners should spend a good deal of their training time trying to improve any known weaknesses, but when approaching important races, the main emphasis should be taking advantage of known strengths. For example, a runner who feels weak in the area of speed but great in endurance should spend early and even midseason time working on improving speed, but in the latter weeks of training, put more emphasis on endurance to take advantage of what works best for this individual.

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Pfitzinger shares tapering strategies

Monitoring your body provides valuable information on your adaptation to training, your risk of injury or illness, and your readiness for the next hard training session. There are several good ways to determine when you are overreaching so you can avoid overtraining and remain healthy. You can use this information to improve your recovery by modifying your training schedule to your individual limits. A variety of apps exist for runners and other endurance athletes to monitor the key factors that influence recovery from training, such as resting heart rate and amount of deep sleep. These apps take just a few minutes each day; they make it easy to track both your training and recovery factors and typically provide warning signs when several factors are heading in the wrong direction for several days.

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Pete Pfitzinger details proper nutrition (podcast)