How far do I need to run to be able to complete this training program?

Currently, if you can comfortably run/walk three miles, you can begin this program!  If you are running more than that continuously, this program will help you improve with minimal risk of injury.

How fast do I need to run to be able to complete this training program?

Groups are divided by pace and ability.  All groups will be lead by a Pace Group Leader (PGL) who will help guide your training at the pace that is appropriate for you.  The goal is for all participants, regardless of pace, to stay conversational during the long group training runs.  This means that you should be exerting yourself at a low enough level that you can talk.  It’s okay to take deep breaths between sentences, but you don’t want to “huff and puff” between every word.

How will I know I’m in the right group?

With ARW, you will run a Magic Mile a couple of times during training.  A Magic Mile is just one mile completed after a warm-up that you run a little harder than your normal pace, taking walk breaks as needed.  Your mile-time helps to ensure you are placed in the right group with other runners near your pace.  Your MM time can also show your progress as the program progresses.

When and for how long does the group meet to run?

ARW meets Saturday mornings. The time it takes on the run will progressively increase through the program.

Depending on the mileage covered, time with the gorup will vary from 40 minutes to over 5 hours in the later stages of training.  Your group will ALWAYS run at a training pace for the longer distances.  This training pace is slower than your timed-mile pace, but allows your body to adjust to the distance slowly and safely.

You will also need to complete at least two short runs per week.  Three miles or 45-minute runs is all you need to keep you ready for the longer distances with the group on weekends.

What if I cannot attend every week?  What if it’s raining or cold?

Attendance is encouraged every week, but not mandatory.  As long as the weather is not hazardous, we will run.

The group atmosphere will definitely help keep you motivated on cold, hot, or rainy mornings.

It’s hard to make excuses when there are others out there waiting for you!

What is a walk break?

Most runners will record significantly faster times when they take walk breaks because they don’t slow down at the end of a long run.  By using walk breaks, you are breaking 13.1 or 26.2 miles into segments, which you know you can cover.  Instead of thinking at 20 miles that you have six more to go, think of it as only one more minute until your walk break. Even when it gets tough, this mentality helps to keep you going.

The Jeff Galloway Method requires every group to observe 30-second walk breaks.  Why so short?  The greatest benefit of the walk break comes in the first 30 sec. Our heart rates come down, the running muscles relax, we catch our breaths, and the fatigue melts away. After 30 seconds of walking, we tend to slow down.  In order to stay on pace, walk breaks should be no longer than 30 seconds.

By using muscles in different ways from the beginning, your legs keep their bounce as they conserve resources.  Shifting the work between walking and running muscles distributes the workload among a variety of muscles, increasing your overall performance capacity.  Walk breaks speed up recovery because there is less damage to repair.  The early walk breaks erase fatigue and the later walk breaks reduce or eliminate overuse muscle breakdown.

Do I need to take the walk breaks on the short runs during the week?

If you can run continuously now on shorter runs, you don’t have to take the walk breaks.  If you want to take them, do!  Walk breaks on midweek runs will insure that you recover from running longer distances at the fastest rate.

Can I bring my pet to run with the group?

Unfortunately, no.  While you may train with your animal during your own runs within the week, our group runs are pet-free.  We love our animals, but they can be a distraction to the rest of the group while training.  Also, there are allergies, asthma and simple fear of animals that others in the group may possess.

Can my child run with me?

If your child is at least 16 years old, they may register and run with us.

There are no strollers or young children permitted on the ARW group runs. Please respect others’ commitment to training without these distractions.  Instead, bring photos and stories to share!  Families, jogging strollers, and pets are welcome on a few runs marked on our schedule. These runs are around the holidays when family may be visiting and would like to share in your training – or at least get an idea of how you spend your Saturday mornings. 🙂