This spring I had the opportunity to be an assistant coach for girls high school track and field. The young ladies I worked with were awesome! For three months they trained to improve themselves and contribute to their Westmoreland, NY team. Honestly, every one of them is just a great person and it was my privilege to work with them. This was the first time I’ve coached since early in my teaching career thirty-five years ago. Back then as life’s adventures accumulated, a house, kids, dogs, etc, I stepped aside from coaching so that I could continue my own training. A point to be noted here is that most coaches are juggling all those obligations and still choose to spend their time helping kids develop their own skills, fitness, and passions. Appreciate your coaches and thank them for their dedication.
There are so many things I don’t know. No parent would want me to teach their young athlete how to pole vault. I know nothing about it. Zip. Nill. Nada. Triple jump? Same. One thing I do know is how to train for endurance sports. I’ve been swimming, bicycling and running for more than four decades. In that time, I’ve run several marathons, including Boston. The last time I ran the nearby Utica Boilermaker 15k, which is every local runner’s ‘A’ race, I placed fourth out of 838 runners in my age group. Twice I earned a silver medal at the Empire Games, race walking the 5K in 23:45 (7:38/mile) and the 10K in 48:49 (7:51/mile). At 48 years old, I completed an Ironman distance triathlon. That’s a 2.4-mile open water swim, followed by a 112-mile bike ride, followed by a 26.2-mile run. Training is something I do nearly every day, all year long. I’m not a particularly talented athlete, just eager to learn and determined to achieve.
As I look around I see many young athletes with a boatload of running potential. I’d like to pass on to them, and their parents, what I’ve learned about training to run. In upcoming blogs, I will explain the science of training as well as advice on nutrition, cross training, and racing. Hopefully, I can help aspiring runners to meet with success and maybe spark a lifelong passion for fitness.