Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Your Questions Answered

I am going to answer two running questions tonight.

1.  How did your children get involved in the Spartans Running Club?

About three years ago, when my children had already been running almost 2 years, I heard that there was a lady who was coaching a homeschool cross country team.  Coach Heather had organized this team about a year or more before I ever heard of it.  Heather is a former cross country high school runner and she coached cross country at a public school for a while.  She homeschools her own four children, and she is super fit and a natural at coaching and motivating young runners.  She is now the cross country coach at Blue Mountain College, and she still helps coach (along with Coach Sheri) the Spartans too.

We began attending Spartan practices three years ago, and it has become one of the highlights of my children's lives!  They have made great friendships, learned the importance of teamwork, and improved their physical fitness along the way.  The Spartans have grown to around 65 runners, whose ages range from 5-18.  We have a competitive team for grades 6-12, and a fitness team for grades K-12.  The xc team runs in cross country meets in the fall, and all of the runners participate in local 5K and 10K races throughout the year.

2.  What advice do you have for a beginning runner who wants to train for a marathon?

Well, I was not a beginning runner when I began training for my first marathon, so I am not sure that I can offer advice!  I would Google "beginner runner marathon training plans" or something like that.  I know that this website, Marathon Training, has an 18 week mileage build-up plan that readies you for an 18 week marathon training plan.

When I decided to train for my first marathon (back in early January of this year), I had been running for almost 4 years.  I began running in March of 2007.  Also, I had run 10 half-marathons, and I had a weekly mileage base of 30 miles for around 3 months.  When I first began running, my weekly mileage was 10 per week.  After several months of 10 miles per week, I increased to 15 per week, then 20 per week, and then 25 per week.  When I got to 20-25 per week, I began running half marathons.  After a year or more of half-marathons, I increased my weekly mileage to 30 miles per week.  For all of these years I ran these miles in 4 days.  I only started running 5 days a week about a month into my marathon training (when we got into 35+ miles a week).  Also, for the last year and a half or so, I have kept a long run once a week at 8-10 miles.

So, I guess that I would advise a beginning runner to first of all build up their weekly mileage base, and then read about marathon training from several different sources.  I do recommend the website I mentioned earlier, as well as books by Jeff Galloway.

Happy Running!


  1. You know sometimes things just happen when you need them to. I had asked you about how the kids got involved in the Spartans team a couple of months ago, but it was on an old post and even I forgot about it.

    Then I re asked the question on your more recent post. I also prayed about it, since I was trying to find a way to get my daughters involved in running and your Homeschool team just seemed so wonderful.

    Well, low and behold the day I posted the 2nd question, I was out doing errands and had to stop at the car dealership to get one of my brake lights fixed. While waiting in their waiting room with all my girls, a nice salesman stopped in to talk with the girls and asked them what sports they played. My oldest daughter spoke right up about playing soccer, but then she said she had hopped she could find a running club to join. The man smiled and shared with us that his wife is a running coach and has a team that all of the girls can be on!

    They had their first practice last night! They will be running with the Olathe Express! Now this is a regular Track & Field club, it is for the summer only and will mostly be sprinting and racing short distances. But yesterday afternoon we met another person who shared that there is a Homeschool Cross Country Team that will start practicing about a week after this running club ends on Labor Day!

    Prayers answered!! Thank you for sharing so many wonderful things about your kids! I get a lot of inspiration from you. I am starting to get the running bug myself!