De-train to Re-train

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by coach Amy Anderson

Fall Marathon training is off to a fantastic start.  Now that you’ve had a chance run with your group a few times, first-time marathoners may be wondering if you’ve bitten off more than you can chew.

Have no fear!  Rogue has trained hundreds of first-time marathoners to successful races and if you follow the plan, you’ll be successful too.

However, veteran marathoners (repeat offenders!) may be thinking, “BUT BUT that’s shorter than I’ve been running on Saturdays!  And those quality workouts?  They seem so… so easy.  What about all that fitness I built up over the spring?”

Well, you can add this to your list of trademarked Amy-isms: “You have to de-train to re-train higher

Wait, what?

Fitness doesn’t increase in a constant like this:

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Instead, it goes up like this:

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You have to de-train to re-train higher” is a concept called “periodization”, where training loads are varied in a systematic way to maximize the benefits and prime you for an optimal performance.

You’re already aware of periodization with respect to microcycles.  We sleep at night and that helps us recover to train more the next day.  We take a day off every week or 10 days and that helps us recover to train the next week.  Every 2-3 weeks we take a “down week” and that helps us recover to train for the next 2-3 weeks.  So you probably get it that time off actually makes you more fit, not less.

The same is true in macrocycles, or the big picture.  We all know people who run a marathon, then immediately (next weekend? next month??) run another, then another, then another.   They’re not de-training, and most of them are not re-training higherTheir times aren’t improving, and may even be getting worse.

Here’s the thing.  You will have rest breaks interspersed in your training.  It can be because your coach asks you to.  Or, you can force it on yourself.  Because even if your coach can’t make you take a break, your body will find a way, either through injury, illness, or burnout.  The thing is, if you do it as part of a structured, periodized plan, you’re still running.  If you do it in one of those other ways, you miss out on another trademarked Amy-ism: Consistency Trumps Volume.  

Of course best of all is Consistency AND Volume, but we’ll save that for another discussion. For now, remember that these early weeks are a critical part of your training cycle. This is the time for first-timers to develop consistency and strength, for the returners to absorb the work done in the spring and for everyone to prepare to push past previous limits – to re-train higher than you ever have before.

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amybostonAmy Anderson has coached and run at Rogue since the beginning, and has enough time-tested words of wisdom – Amyisms – to write a book. She currently coaches Team Rogue PM, a premium group aimed at experienced, goal-oriented marathoners.

Top 10 reasons you should join my group

by coach Chris MacLeod

If you follow me/Rogue on Facebook or Twitter, you may have heard the big news. Starting December 10th, I’ll be coaching my own training group in Cedar Park!

ImageOkay, that’s not me. But I can give a darn good high five, too! Except when I miss. And then at least it’s still kind of funny.

I am beside myself with excitement! Coaching has been a dream of mine from the day I joined Rogue. That said, I realize my excitement alone might not be enough to convince you to sign up. You may be thinking, “Won’t you guys meet at 5:30 am…TWICE a week?”

Or perhaps even, “Why would I want to work with a coaching noob???”

Well, I’ve compiled this handy list to convince you that this program, Rogue Early Birds*, is right for you.

*–There’s a very real chance I will “go rogue” and change our name to “The Highlanders”. Cause we train up north and my last name is MacLeod. Also, I’m immortal. Get it?

1. You live North

Okay, this one is a bit of a cheat. Any of our Cedar Park groups solve the issues inherent to living north and trying to get downtown…ever. Plus, construction on Mopac is starting soon, so things are only going to get worse. Make your life easy. Train in Cedar Park.

2. You have a life outside of running

Granted, now that it’s “winter”, we no longer have to scrape our evening runners off the steaming pavement. But if you have kids, a job, or an all-around busy life, you know how difficult finding “me time” can be.

Well guess what? No one over age 2 really wants to hang out with you at 5:30am. (Except me.) Front-load your “me time” and you’ll feel accomplished for the rest of the day!

3. You want first dibs on cool new stuff

Yes, all Rogue training members get 15% off everything in the store, but how many of them train with a store employee? Want something put on hold for you before it even hits the floor? Want to know exactly when your favorite shoe is due to update? Use me, people! I’m not above that.

4. You want to be entertained as well as educated

Though some around here claim I resemble Tina Fey, I’m no comedienne. What I am is naturally shy. To fight this in public, I overcompensate by telling ridiculously embarrassing stories about myself! I’m serious…when I decide to “turn on the people skills”, I have NO SHAME. Want to hear about the time I sent a computer virus to half the student population of UT? Well, you’ll just have to sign up.

I also have a really cute dog who makes occasional long run appearances. You can’t say no to a puppy, can you?

5. I am not a morning person

Yes, 5:30 is early. Yes, I hate it too. I’m the type who could sleep 12 hours a night, wake up to eat, then take a nap. There is NOTHING that will get me out of bed in the morning. Except running.

I love this sport to an irrational extent. Possibly an unhealthy one. And I want you to love it that much, too! So, my clothes may not match and my hair may not (WILL NOT) be combed, but I will be here for you. Because I love you guys! Even though we haven’t met yet.

6. This is what I read for fun

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I like to read. And do research. Got a running-related question? I have a library. Please try not to break the spines.

7. I’m “in” with some awesome people

If somehow my fanaticism and study skills aren’t enough to persuade you, don’t worry, I’m not going this alone. Remember that bit about how I work in the store? That means I’m surrounded by excellent, experienced coaches day in and day out.

Okay, I’ve never run a marathon in the 2:25…but Warren has. I’ve never run 50 miles in one stretch…but Kim has. I can’t keep up with Jimmie at a Team Rogue workout…but I can corner him later that day. And, despite my oft-professed love for the Brooks Adrenaline, my own coach, the other Chris, has graciously agreed to be a sounding board whenever I’m in need.

Yes, I’m new to coaching. Yes, you might stump me. But I seriously doubt you can stump ALL of us.

8. I’m a worrier

I was going to say “I’m a perfectionist”, but let’s be real. I worry. About everything. Which means I will worry about YOU. I will take notes on where you’ve been and where you want to go. If you have a bad day, I’ll ask myself if what I could have done to prevent it. In short, I will go all Mama Bear up in here.

9. I’ve been there

Look, I know a bunch of people who’ve been winning races since middle school. Their race plans include things like “take the lead at mile 9.”

I’m not one of those people. I was a fat kid. My marathon debut involved lots of walking and took almost 5 hours.

BUT!!! I have seen what hard work and training can do. Thanks to Rogue, I’ve completed 7 more marathons since that inconspicuous start (and now run closer to 4 hours than 5).

I’m not a natural speedster, but I know this program works. And I know that it can work for you.

10. Running will change your life

I swear here and now, running has changed my life. Cheesy, I know. But I’ve met my best friends, found a new career, and learned a whole lot about how far I’m willing to push myself, all through running. I’ve learned new definitions of “hard work”, “confidence”, and “fun”. And I will do my best to force all these joys on you! ;)

What are you waiting for? Make the commitment. Set the alarm. Come run with us.

Sign up now! 

Seriously, NOW. Before you have second thoughts…