Austin Marathon: The Prep & Pump Recap

You all packed the house at our Prep & Pump pre-race event last week, and walked away with the mental and strategical tools needed to conquer your race on February 15. You can download an outline of the presentation below; read though it, refresh yourself, repeat. Then, get ready to run!

2015 Austin Marathon Prep & Pump: The Outline

Converting a Prius into a Mustang

Ford-Shelby-Mustang-GT500-Coupe_6 by Steve Sisson

You may not know it yet, but you are ready to fly. You’ve nearly completed Rogue’s training program for a marathon, and with some simple training tweaks you can CRUSH your old 10K PR. I am going to convince you that you’d be a fool not to take the huge gains you’ve earned over months of arduous training and capitalize on them in the Capitol 10,000 in April. Below is an argument for why a few more months of focused training can result not only in a huge 10K PR, but will also set you up for your next marathon performance.

Perfect Transition
What many beginner and intermediate runners do not realize is that the training for the marathon is an ideal foundation for faster running at shorter distances. The physiological adaptations that have been developed from the long runs, threshold runs and longer intervals you completed in the fall and winter have your body primed to strike like a cobra. Essentially, you have built a huge base with marathon training that has developed your cardiovascular system into a powerful, yet highly efficient engine. Exercise physiologists will explain in all the increases you’ve developed (mitochondria, capillarization, stroke volume, blah, blah, blah.) from a scientific point of view but I’ll just explain it to you in a simple analogy: you’ve developed the engine of a souped-up Toyota Prius but can convert that efficiency, with a little tweaking, into a Ford Mustang’s muscular power and speed. How, you ask? Well let’s give you a little preview of what an  eight week 10K program will do to help your transition.

Convert the Fuel System & Tweak the Chassis

The two most important differences between racing a marathon and a 10K are distance and pace. While this will seem obvious, what might not be apparent is what is happening in your body and how a training program should address these differences. When training for a marathon you are attempting to teach your body to use your fuel as efficiently as possible for the inevitable wall of low muscle glycogen and low blood sugar that hits late in the race. In the 10K, you aren’t in any danger of running out of fuel; instead, your body runs out of enough oxygen to use the fuel your body has available. Of course, the science is a bit more complicated and I am vastly simplifying for the sake of brevity, but the key distinction is that in the marathon you train aerobically and in the 10K you need to train anaerobically.

While this requires that you train to convert your fuel system to handling the new demands, it is also essential to prepare the body for the faster paces that you will be running in the 10K. Most people will race their 10K at between 40-45 seconds per mile faster than their marathon pace. The neuromuscular system need to be prepared for the greater power needed to initiate and sustain these paces. So training for the 10K means you need to tweak your body’s chassis to handling this different demand. The workouts you’ll be challenged with in the 10K program will be designed to teach your body to run faster and with greater ease anaerobically and to handle the load of running these faster paces.

One of the additional benefits of training these different systems is that, in gaining this greater facility, your body becomes more economical at marathon paces. For example, in adjusting two of my Team Rogue Dawn Patrol athletes’ (Bryan Morton and Marc Bergman) training over the last 18 months to move away from marathon specific training and toward 10K and half marathon focused training, they were able to run significant PR’s at the 3M Half Marathon. More importantly, I am confident that they will also run very well at the Boston Marathon in April now that we’ve transitioned back to marathon training. Keep an eye on their results to see how this plays out in reality.

Seize the 10K

So, are you ready to fly? You’ve already created the opportunity for a huge personal best in one of Austin’s iconic races. The marathon training you have suffered through and are getting ready to reap the rewards of on February 19th is the ideal springboard to an epic result at the Capitol 10,000 two months later. Join us for our 8-week training program and and convert that Prius into a Mustang.


Steve Sisson is a beer connoisseur (read: snob), coach of Team Rogue: Dawn Patrol and the founder of Rogue Running. To pick his brain on all things running, drop him a line at or stop by the Fuel Bar on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday night.

3M: A race plan for first-timers

3MHalf_2015_4cby coach Mae Coffman

It’s here! The 3M Half Marathon, possibly the most highly anticipated race of the winter season for many runners. I’m having some serious race withdrawal as I have to sit this one out, but I look forward to living vicariously through all of the Rogues as a spectator. You won’t be able to miss me on the sidelines—I’ll be the big pregnant lady busting out of her Rogue apparel and cheering like crazy.

The following is some first-timer half marathon advice and a race plan I shared with my runners this week. Hopefully some of you will find it helpful—especially if this is your first time to race 3M!

You have heard over and over how great this course is: relatively flat, downhill and fast. However, please keep in mind that it is still a 13.1 mile race and despite the “flat” description there are some rolling hills—especially at the end as you come in towards downtown near the finish. It will not be easy. If you are planning to really race the 3M, you will feel dead tired at the end and despite the “easy course” description you will need to run smart to hit your goal time or PR.

Pre-Race Week:

As with all races, it’s important that you plan out ahead of time what you’ll eat the few nights before and the morning of the race, and not to do anything different than what you’ve done in training. It will not do anything for you to carbo load the night before—other than to make you feel ridiculously full and sluggish! On Saturday night, eating a sensible dinner w/ a good balance of protein and carbs is perfect (think grilled chicken and rice). This is not the time to experiment with any new foods. Get lots of sleep on Friday night. You might have the jitters on Saturday and not sleep as well, but a good night sleep two nights before is optimal.

Don’t spend all day Saturday on your feet doing yard work, etc. Not that you have to be lazy—you’ll probably be a bit stir crazy and excited…but don’t do something that will lead you to be overtired or sore on race morning.

In planning your race outfit, consider the weather and remember that once you get running, you heat up about 20 degrees higher than the temp outside. That is why running in 50 degree weather feels so great. With the weather as it has been lately, I’d plan to wear layers at the start including a throw-away shirt. For me this is usually an old long-sleeved cotton shirt  (old Turkey Trot shirts are a good candidate) and I usually pick a pair of cheap stretchy gloves that I can toss if/when my hands are too sweaty. Pack a warm, dry shirt, sweatshirt and maybe even sweatpants for your post-race bag. Even if you feel warm while you are running you’ll get chilly at the finish after standing around. By the way, there will be a bag drop at the beginning of the race—you’ll want to take advantage of that so your clothes are waiting for you at the finish of this point-to-point race.

The night before, lay out your race outfit and pin on your number so you don’t have to fiddle with it in the morning. Put the number on the shirt you anticipate you will be wearing by the end of the race. If you have it under an outer layer—you can always flash the cameras as you approach so they catch your number. Same goes for electronic devices—put on armbands and such under your top layer if you think it will end up tied around your waist. You don’t want to be struggling with cords, etc. while you try to strip down layers mid-race.

Plan out how many Gus/gels/blocks/beans you plan to take and where you plan to take them. Check out the course map on the website and plan your nutrition around the water stops unless you plan to run with a handheld.

Race Day:

Eat a breakfast similar to what you have found successful for your previous long runs. Just as with dinner—this is not the time to experiment and find out if you should start a morning coffee routine. Don’t overeat either—you have covered distances similar to this on long runs, so there is no reason to assume you’ll need more for breakfast than you did for those weekends.

Parking can be a pain for this race—not that there isn’t enough, but the location in the cross hairs of 183 & Mopac means you’ve got to take one of the major roads to get there and almost all of them will get backed up by the exits. I recommend aiming to get there by 6-6:15 so if you end up sitting in traffic for a extra 20 minutes (and therefore finally parking closer to 6:30) you still have time to get to the start line. You also want to plan plenty of time to get in a potty break. They will have portapotties at the start, but there will be long lines so plan accordingly! My usual routine is: park, potty, drop race bag, get to start line. Warning….you WILL feel chilly as you stand around waiting for the start. But remember, you will warm up when you start running—don’t start second guessing about putting on more layers or pulling things out of your drop bag to wear while you race—it’s just an unfortunate thing about winter races—the start is cold and  you stand around shivering and feeling miserable until it starts.

3M is a big race—LOTs of folks—so after the gun goes off—don’t be surprised how long it might take to actually get to the start…3-5 minutes isn’t uncommon! When you see clocks on the course you can remember that is gun time—not chip time. I would not recommend starting all the way in the back (so don’t wait until the last minute to go get into the chute to line up…after potty and bag drop—head towards the start line). No need to be at the very front on the heels of the elites, but you don’t want to dodge around folks that are planning to walk the 13.1 distance. For those with gps watches, try to get it to pick up satellites once you are about 5-10 min from gun time. No need to get it picked up too early and waste battery life—but the WORST feeling is to realize as the gun sounds that you are still “searching” for satellites.

This is a point to point race, so if someone is meeting you, you can have them drive you back to your car (unless they also dropped you at the start), but otherwise there is a shuttle service to bus runners back. I have used that option many times and it’s really not so bad—they have it down to a science and the shuttles leave regularly so I’ve never had to wait for long to get on a bus and go.

Race Plan A: Race 3M and Get a PR Baby!

This option is for those of you who are feeling good at this point in the season. You may have had some difficult long run experiences, but you are injury free and feeling strong. Ideally you have not had a major sickness or nagging injury in the past 2 weeks. Going into the race you should know your ½ marathon goal pace as well as your 10K pace (that pace will be important because you want to be able to catch yourself if you start creeping up too fast in pace…).

The general plan is: Progression.

The start-mile 1: Despite the fact that this is a fast course, the race starts running uphill. It’s just a slight hill (on Stonelake Blvd behind the Old Navy, Whole Foods, & movie theater). You’ll run uphill for about a mile. It’s a crowded race so you’ll spend this time jockeying for your position and finding a good pocket to run. Don’t look at your watch or worry about pace. Just start running. Don’t go out too fast (though that will be difficult with the crowd anyway) and if your first mile is clocked in slower than your ½ marathon pace, that is just fine. You have plenty of distance and time to make it up.

Miles 1-4: This section has the most turns in the course. Pretty flat and not all that scenic to look at—you go through an industrial park, blech. During this stretch, focus on getting into your half marathon pace. If you are a 5-10 seconds off pace that is fine. Relax, get into a comfortable breathing pattern and settle in to the race.

Miles 5-8: This section of the race becomes a bit more scenic. You’ll be on Shoal Creek and then Great Northern Blvd (near Northcross Mall) and then back on Shoal Creek. Very straight, few turns. When you are running on Great Northern, you’ll be running the opposite direction from the marathon course. If you are not already there, this is the time to dial in to ½ marathon pace. If you are already there and feeling good, hold it! You can slightly pick up the pace in the next section…why wait until then? You still have a 1/3 of the race to go—if you pick up your pace too soon, you risk burning yourself out and crawling to the finish.

Miles 9-12: Getting into the home stretch! Now you are hitting the central Austin sights—45th street, Intramural fields, Hancock golf course, and UT campus. If you are struggling, then just try to hold steady and maintain your ½ marathon pace. If you are feeling good you can slowly starting picking up the pace with each mile. Again, these should be slight pick-ups of 5-10 seconds per mile. For example, if your ½ marathon pace is a 9:30, you would run mile 9 at 9:25, mile 10 at 9:20, mile 11 at 9:15 and mile 12 at 9:10. You should not be going faster than 10K pace until mile 12.

Last Mile: Coming down San Jacinto and onto MLK. If you have gas left in the tank then turn it on and pick up the pace one last time. This is like running 4 times around a track, or doing the cool-down distance back to Rogue on a quality workout day. It may sound crazy, but try to get your pace into the 10K-mile pace range here. Warning—leading to the finish is a hill up MLK…that part sucks—you can see the finish but you’re headed up hill. Bust that hill out like it’s one of the Rogue hill workouts. After you give that last 400 meters of effort, you can rest. Start chanting your mantra in your head. See how many people you can pass in this last mile. As you near the finish, give it one last burst and stride across the finish line—smile for the cameras!

Plan B: Complete 3M and Keep Myself Healthy

This option is for those of you who are in some state of recovery—from illness, injury, or a break in training. Or maybe you are even feeling healthy but are focused on your 26.2 goal in few weeks so you just want to complete the 3M and check it off the list. You’d like to even feel good while running it, but you don’t plan to shoot for a PR.

The general plan is: Run steady.

Start-Mile 1: Similar to the plan above, start out conservatively. Do not even worry about your ½ marathon pace. In fact, you may purposefully want to hold yourself back to closer to marathon or long run pace at the start. Don’t allow yourself to get pulled along by the adrenaline. Your goal here is being healthy. If you feel good, you can pick it up during the second half of the race.

Miles 1-9: Get into a comfortable pace and stay there. This might be your long run pace, your marathon pace, or even your half marathon pace. Make it your goal to hit steady miles, be as on target as possible.

Miles 10-12: Evaluate how you are feeling, if you feel like you could run this pace for another 10 miles, and injuries aren’t rearing their ugly heads, then you have permission to pick up the pace. Your pace should still be well above your 10K pace, but you can go faster than ½ marathon. If you are feeling so-so, than just hold steady and keep your previous pace. If you are feeling down-right horrible than slow it down. Do not push through the pain and regret it later. Walking is not a mark of shame, sometimes it’s a smart decision if the day is not turning out as you had hoped.

Last mile: Finish proud! You have completed a ½ marathon while most of the rest of the city is still in bed. Hold your pace steady or pick it up one last time if you’ve got it in you. Smile for the cameras as you cross the finish!

Best of luck to all of you! I can’t wait to hear the race stories and to see you looking strong, determined and smiling out on the race course!


Mae Coffman coaches Run Like a Mother at Rogue Cedar Park.

How to Place or AG for the first time

by Mandy Deen

Some of you who have been running with Rogue for a long time might be sick and tired of hearing your teammates/pacefriends/longrunningacquaintances/people you vaguely recognize only in pre-dawn gloom, go on and on about their verified running achievements (Placing in races! Winning age-group awards! Winning races!!!). I mean, honestly. Some of you who are new to Rogue might be highly intimidated by hearing all the victory stories and reading all the blogs. I personally was not told that either placing or age-grouping at some point was a requirement when I signed up. Don’t worry! I myself, a life-long hobbyjogger, have figured out a fool-proof way to place at races; please follow and apply as needed:

FIRST: You should probably decide that it’s something you want to try and do. That’s a good first step for any endeavor, but I thought I’d mention it in case it was news to anyone (some of you may be Aggies).

SECOND: Know what you’re up against and be realistic. If you’re a 25 year old guy, maybe try and pick a race that’s geared exclusively towards women. OR, try to be born with superior endurance genes and have developed these over the course of your life until you’re an elite and finely tuned athletic specimen.

For the rest of us, you can probably manage by picking a small or dangerous or far away race where the least amount of competition will dare to show up. This is probably the single most important step in this process; I can’t highlight this fact enough. This is also the most advantageous time to actually employ all your serious hipster tendencies you’ve been willfully restraining all these years. Go for the off-beat, indie, previously unheard of races. The handcrafted, artisan races, if you will.

Personally, I picked the Rogue Trail Series for a number of reasons. A 10k trail race is enough of a butt-kicker with just a smattering of fear-of-faceplanting to be a fun challenge, but not enough of a serious race that you’d have to actually train for it. Or so I thought. Also, far fewer women run trail races, so just by showing up I’m already top 30. You see?

THIRD: Show up. I firmly believe that approximately 80% of life is just showing up. Really, it’s how I got myself through school. The Rogue Trail Series is a SERIES, requiring participants to show up to not only a single event, but a SERIES of races! This is when it is really advantageous to either a) be a professional runner and therefore have the time and inclination to devote your life specifically to races, b) an athletically-deluded 30ish unattached person without any pets who can’t even be trusted to keep a rosemary plant alive. You’re probably going to be free all of those weekends, is what I’m saying.

FOURTH: Talk about it a lot. Like, obnoxiously. Mention that you’re in race-prep every chance you get until your family and teammates want to strangle you. Plot elaborate methods for further limiting your competition by giving faster people the wrong directions or misinformation about race times. Attempt to manipulate Rogue organizers into joining your plot.

As you talk about your wish to actually place at a running thing for ONCE in your life, you will feel a tightness in your chest and throat begin to develop. Don’t panic, this is just fear and anxiety, brought on by your life-long fear of public failure and history of under-performing when you know people are watching you. This is how you know you’re probably ready. As the race date approaches this feeling will intensify, and you will find yourself dismissing thoughts of the race out of hand. Focus on the fun logistics of the race, what you’re going to wear, what you’re going to eat after, how many beers are ok the day before. You probably won’t have even thought about the actual race until it’s 5:30AM and you’re on a dark highway headed towards Reveille Ranch. That’s the appropriate time for your Come-To-Jesus.

FIFTH: Rope a teammate into driving you out there to the race. Spend the entire hour and ten minute car ride chattering about life, your job, NPR stories, and what is the socially appropriate number of beers and breakfast tacos post-race (probably around 2 each for a 10k. Sneak a third if you can). Fall silent only when you have the your crushing realization that everyone you know knows you’re trying to place at this race. Remind yourself the 10ks are supposed to hurt, then try and make peace with it.

SIXTH: Arrive just as the 30k is starting. Spend 24 out of the next 30 minutes standing in line at the port-a-potty because you got impatient and switched lines when you should have stayed in the one you were in.

Screen shot 2014-07-04 at 3.57.01 PMSEVENTH: Spend the last 6 minutes prior to the start standing awkwardly off to the side, hyperventilating, looking around for your competition, and pretending like you’re not trying to elbow your way to the front. When the start sounds, go out WAY too hard, uphill. All your hyperventilation and adrenaline shoots through your bloodstream and you’re pretty much exhausted by the top of the hill (seriously? An UPHILL start?). Remind yourself that based on the tiredness and instability in your hill-running butt muscles that you probably should have tried and warmed up prior to the start. You saw other people doing that. Remember? They’re probably doing a lot better on this hill than you are. Spend the next 2 miles charging up hills and aggressively pushing forward, trying to pass people. Be sure that most of the other women got out ahead of you at the start.

EIGHTH: At mile 2 your breathing becomes unsustainable. Inwardly accept defeat. Of the paltry 5 people you managed to pass, only one was a girl, and the other 4 guys have already passed you back. Also, you never passed that little 8 year old kid. Slow down, spend the next 2 miles tucked in behind a guy with a “serious trail beard,” recovering. Convince yourself that you just lost all chance at placing for the race AND the series. Console yourself with the thoughts of beer and breakfast tacos. They get you, they don’t care how fast you can run. They’re your only friends.

NINTH: Experience a rebirth during the final 2 miles (this is completely unrelated to the fact that a) the main climbs are over, it’s generally downhill, and b) your body has finally warmed up and kicked over.). Respectfully pass Serious Trail Beard, charge on towards the finish and your friend the beer.

10386379_1435286356725055_1808594032217830950_nTENTH: When you have sufficiently recovered, follow the smell of bacon to where the excellent Rogue organizers are cooking breakfast for an army. Find the beer, and your other 10k friends. Find out how their races went, drink some cold water, watch the 30ks come through. Note how the 30kers are all in much better shape than you. Be happy to be finished and holding a beer, as there are some serious painfaces happening and the clouds have burned off. Discuss the course in detail with the other 10kers. Eventually wander over to the live-results tent. Disinterestedly find your finishing time and placement. Feel very relieved to see that you ACTUALLY finished in the Top 5!!!!! Wait anxiously for the awards ceremony. Make your teammate take lots of pictures of you with your award, and post it to Facebook immediately. Enjoy the rest of the 30k race by hanging out with other people and talking incessantly about your award. When you get home, sleep the sleep of the victorious for the rest of the Sunday.

There you have it. Ten easy steps.


What The Hell Is Cross Country?

IMG_0570by coach & Rogue founder Steve Sisson

So, the other day I was discussing the concept of the world’s greatest race with some athletes I coach. Of course, a topic like this will most assuredly include widely divergent opinions. Kinda like asking who’s the greatest superhero, right?

”Come on?!? Are you serious?!? Of course it’s Mighty Mouse!!!”

We were discussing the crazy-talented field assembled for the London Marathon and what a race would look like that included the best marathoners vs the best milers, with all the other race distances thrown in. At this point, I chuckled…see, most members of this group came into running later in life, after kickball, Pop Warner, HS basketball and intramural Ultimate Frisbee, meaning they have no background in running beyond it being their chosen sport’s punishment.

1477944_10152173185352642_1937235815_nSo, I tell them all that there already is an Undisputed Greatest Human Footrace On The Planet: The World Cross Country Championships.  It is considered by many as “the world’s toughest race to win” because it brings the milers & the marathoners, the track stars & the road warriors to one course, on one day, for all the marbles. It is typically run on incredibly challenging courses, in horrific weather conditions, encouraging fast starts & aggressive racing styles. For decades, almost every significant champion on the track or on the roads, at any distance, competed at the World Cross Country Championships. In 1975, Steve Prefontaine sent a few pairs of Nike’s to an upstart American who had just placed third at World Cross in Morocco. A few weeks later that upstart, Bill Rogers, won the Boston Marathon in an American Record of 2:09:55. It is so tough that the athlete who many considered the greatest runner of all time, aka the GOAT, Haile Gebrselassie, never won a World Cross title.

But I digress… I could make a very compelling case for cross country as the world’s toughest race but my friend over at Flotrack, Mich Kastoff, already made that argument prior to the 2013 World Champs.

I have lived & run in Austin since 1988 & I have always been amazed at the Marathon Madness that consumes this town. Of course, we’ve got a world-class marathon in town and that likely has seeped into the water of every Austinite, but in every training group I have coached the goal is always the marathon. Once someone completed the marathon, they became obsessed with running a personal record. Once that was achieved, it was on to becoming a Boston Qualifier. I am not denigrating that experience. I share the view that Boston is the Olympics for the everyman, which makes that accomplishment the Holy Grail for most runners. It’s just seems to me the two-marathons-a-year-for-years-on-end plan is stale as a popcorn fart.

Now, I’m not trying to offend anyone. I just want you to be aware that there is SOOOO much more running available! Sure, you’ve done the Cap 10K and the Chuy’s 5K, but they are rarely more than a blip on your running radar. You need to get excited for something…for something unusual, something challenging, something crazy. Believe me, cross country is something very different.

RogueAC-64The Varieties of Running Experience

Every physical therapist I speak with laments their initial consultations with long-term distance runners. They point to their tragic inflexibility, their locked hips, intransigent psoas’ & comatose glutes, which they invariably blame on pavement. Firm, high-energy return surfaces like concrete & asphalt are very fast but they also require a significant toll. Because you need only recruit a minimum of tendons, ligaments & muscles, those soft tissues get supremely overworked. Continuously running repetition after repetition with no variability means those soft tissues get overworked while other complementary body parts atrophy.

When doctors & PTs complain about running being bad for us, this is what they mean. Cross country, on the other hand, requires a full body commitment to racing & training. Soft surfaces require your feet, knees & hips to balance & compensate for innumerable adjustments while you are running. The hilly terrain, sharp turns & undulating surface put your soft tissue under every conceivable stress while you are trying to really push off & accelerate. Many athletes I coach who get back into cross country training will tell me that they are shocked that their shoulders & abs are sore. They just can’t conceive that those body parts, so far from ground contact, are getting a workout.

Now, while your body will get worked over pretty good, your mind will get destroyed. Utterly, sweetly – dare I say – divinely destroyed. The best cross country never stops coming at you; whether the course, the conditions or the competition, cross races are relentless. You have to stay alert, focused & aggressive all while racing at what seems like the fastest pace you can sustain (though in my experience, you can ALWAYS go faster), and you are not doing it alone. Believe me, there is a vibrant community of cross country racers of every age all across the country. Just check out these photos from US Club Cross Championships is Bend last December. Every age & ability level is grinding out the distance on a hellacious course, at altitude & having an AMAZING time doing it.

I am sure that after reading the above many of you will be thinking why the hell would I want to subject myself to that kind of torture? Come on, now. You know why…you need a new experience. You need to challenge yourself, mentally & physically, beyond your current limits. But there is also one other reason you should consider cross country training this summer & fall…

There is no “Time” in Team

In my nearly forty years of running experience, nothing is tougher than a well-run cross country race. Because there is little focus on the clock or splits, so much of what makes an amazing cross country runners is their ability to transcend their own suffering & fears in the middle of fierce competition. In cross country, no one cares what your time is; each course is so different in terms of terrain & weather conditions that few really care what time you run…they only care where you place. Where you place plays into the other thing that makes cross country like no other running discipline: the team.

In cross country scoring, each team has seven designated runners. Five of those seven will count in team scoring by adding up the place of each team member. The team with the lowest score wins. Super simple… no confusing rules or strategy. Just seven teammates, toeing the line against all the other teams to see whose got the right stuff. I think this is the coolest part of the discipline. All other running options are so individualistic: there is no community piece, no bigger sting to a poor performance than the personal disappointment. In cross country, you MATTER. Your result is the key to the team’s success. I find that to be so refreshing in a sport that seems to only highlight the first to finish & not the struggle of all the finishers.

So, please consider racing some cross country. Team Rogue will be getting ready for the 2014 US Club Cross Country Championships in Bethlehem, PA on the historic Lehigh Cross Country Course on December 13. This race is open to runners of all abilities, and we would love to see a strong Austin showing!


steveSteve Sisson is one of the founders of Rogue Running as well as head coach for Rogue Athletic Club and Team Rogue.




972084_10151488865679217_1465335757_nBy Callie Langford, with CASA of Travis Country

Rogue Running is a pretty big superhero for kids in the greater Austin community. For the past 4 years as they have served as the official running sponsor for the CASA Superhero Run, supporting our annual event that raises crucial funds and awareness to help children who’ve been abused or neglected. But their superhero qualities don’t just stem from their support for this event.

You may not know that there is a superhero named Rogue. She comes from the Marvel Comics universe and is most commonly known as a member of the X-Men team of mutant superheroes. She is most easily recognized by the iconic white streaks in her otherwise dark hair and was played by Anna Paquin in the most recent X-Men movies.

Her superpower is a unique one: she has the ability to absorb another person’s abilities, memories and powers. And that’s where we believe the common ground between her and our local Austin Rogue end.

While the X-Men Rogue has a habit of taking away other people’s powers, Rogue Running is in the business of giving powers. They take non-runners and transform them into runners. They take good runners and turn them into great runners for whom tremendous distances are no obstacle. They create unique and fun race experiences that add tremendously to the list of opportunities for Austin runners. They even plan very non-local running expeditions to take runners on incredible experiences across the world (including their upcoming trip to Morocco this spring)! And of course, they regularly support charity causes and events, including our CASA Superhero Run.

Rogue Running, unlike Rogue of X-Men, is all about giving back. And that’s why we’re big fans of their work and very happy to have our own local superheroes on our side, because their superpowers extend far beyond being able to run as fast as The Flash!


The CASA Superhero Run is Saturday, September 21 at Mueller Lake Park and offers a chip-timed 5K, a Kids 1K, and a Superhero costume contest. All proceeds benefit CASA of Travis County, an advocacy organization for abused and neglected children. Details and registration here!

Meet the Coach: Marilyn Faulkner

At Rogue, we believe that the success of our training programs rests not just upon expertly designed schedules and the huge network of resources and support on offer, but also upon our incredibly knowledgeable and dedicated coaches. These people put heart and soul (and a lot of time!) into helping you reach your full potential, and we thought you might like to learn more about them.


MarilynWhen and why did you start running?

I started running in 2004 to get into better shape and to get outside while doing it.  I had heard so many great things about the Town Lake Trail, so I thought I’d better go check it out.  The rest is history!

How did you get into coaching?

My first Rogue experience was as a beginning triathlete in the Iron Chicks training program.  I was so positively affected by the experience as an athlete, I knew I wanted to be a part of that type of motivation and education on a leadership level.  I educated myself in the sport of triathlon and started out as a beginning coach for Iron Chicks the following year.

Why Rogue?

Rogue is one of the most, no, the most authentic organization I have ever been a part of.  From day one of stepping into Rogue I knew it was different.  This place and these people allow you to be yourself, support you in your goals, and are there for you every literal step of the way, no matter your experience level.  And they do it because they love it.  That was so obvious and unique.

What is your trademark coaching philosophy and/or style?

I’m a motivating and caring coach.  I help you to find what you do really well and help you to recognize and believe in it.  I also highlight and help you with what you’re struggling with, all in a positive way.  I consider it an honor and privilege to be a Rogue coach and treat it as such.

Most memorable run?

Wow – so tough!  Probably would have to be the Austin Marathon in 2012.  It was my first marathon so you know that’s special.  There’s nothing like it.  Close runners up would have to be my first triathlon ever, the Trek Women’s Tri, and the Big Bend Ultra Run.  Time just hasn’t touched Big Bend and it’s amazing to run there.

Favorite post-run meal?

The immediate gratification of eating a Clif or LUNA bar while doing footdrills around Rogue’s little footdrill track is my fave.  Seems like I begin visualizing that bar around the last 3-5 miles of my LR and can’t wait to have it!  After I get home, whatever leftovers are there and an Odwalla SuperFood green drink.

Favorite Rogue long run route?

St. Ed’s route!  It runs right through my neighborhood so extra bonus points for me each time I don’t veer off the route and run home to snooze.

If you could give one piece of advice to a new runner, what would it be?

It’s your run, it’s your race.  Don’t worry about what anyone else around you is doing.  Focus only on what you’re doing and keep positive forward motion, in both mind and body.

What are you coaching next?

The Austin Half Marathon program on Wednesday nights downtown and the Thursday night core classes.

What do you do when you aren’t running or coaching?

Seeing live music, playing with my pups (see below), hanging with friends and fam, keeping up with to do lists, swimming, loving life in ATX!

Any pets?

Two awesome little blonde dogs from Blue Dog Rescue, Rosie & Keith, 19 fish

What’s the last book you read?

Start Something that Matters, by the founder of TOM’S, Blake Mycoskie

What is one item that is ALWAYS in your refrigerator?

Orange Juice.  Some people need coffee in the morning.  I need OJ!

If you were a vegetable, which one would you be?

Lettuce!  Flexible, but can still hold its own.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?

Someplace exotic, wild, and cultural.  Somewhere where we’d have to be brave to go. That could be a lot of places.  You tell me what you think that is and I’ll add them to my list to check out.

What is one to-do on your bucket list?

Start my own business and love it.

Favorite quote?

I can’t decide so I’ll give you my two favorites:

“May the good Lord shine a light on you, make every song you sing your favorite tune.” –Rolling Stones

“Be excellent to each other, and party on dudes!”

–Abe Lincoln in Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure


Marilyn’s next program is Austin Half Marathon training, which will prepare runners for this Austin favorite. Training begins September 11 – details here!