Training Tips from coach James Dodds

424114_307936832597745_902211995_nConsistency trumps Intensity:

As a distance athlete it is so important you show up every day. I’d rather see you execute every quality workout a tad bit slower than planned than dominate once bad ass workout and then skip in the next three days. One workout will never “make you” but it can break you. So focus more on consistency over intensity.
Do what you said you would do:
In training and on race day alike, distances runners will come up against a feeling of discomfort. In that moment it isn’t a matter of “can i do it?” but “will I do it?” Those are the moments you need to do what you said you would do! It’s that simple.
Your race will look exactly like your training schedule:
If you are the kind of person who starts the season committed, disappears for three weeks in the middle, and then shows back up to power through the last few workouts at the end of season; then your race will probably be fun at first, tiresome in the middle, walking next, and then a sprint finish to say you did it. Conversely, those who consistently challenge themselves throughout the season tend to be the people who develop the grit to challenge themselves to new heights on race day.
Discipline breeds Discipline:
Training for marathons takes discipline. As you become more disciplined in your training you create a chance for discipline to spill over into other areas of your life. It won’t “just happen.” You still have to make a conscience choice in those other areas. However, the discipline of running will provide a mental framework that can be easily applied in the other important matters of life.
James Dodds has worn just about every hat that there is to wear at Rogue over the past six years: training director, retail manager, Rogue Expeditions guide and, of course, coach. Known for his incessant smile, words of wisdom and ability to inspire just about anyone, he says that he runs for that sense of accomplishment & to enjoy adult beverages. James currently coaches the Austin Marathon and Austin Half Marathon training programs.

It takes a village

by John Schrup, on Team Rogue (“The Wolves”)

“Running well is a matter of having the patience to persevere when you are tired and not expecting instant results.  The only secret is that it is consistent, often monotonous, boring, hard work.  And it’s tiring.”

-Robert de Castella, former world record holder in the marathon.

Amen, brother.  Especially here in Austin, TX, when the summers make it feel like you’re running directly on the surface of the sun.  And that’s before we consider the humidity.  Which makes it feel like the surface of the sun is also in a jungle.

It is tiring.  Cross-eyed tiring.  Sometimes, in the middle of a marathon block, when our volume is the highest, and we are doing some really big workouts that seem to go on forever, or we’ll do a double and it’ll be, like, 109 degrees or some shit, the look on the faces of the athletes I work with is so vacant, so blank that I know that they are all in.  I know they are in full-on marathon training, the real kind, and not some lame-ass magazine’s template.  Probably, if you aren’t cross eyed tired six weeks out from your race, you’re not doing it right.

And it can be boring.  Especially if you have to do much of it by yourself.  The hardest part, after all, is getting out the door on an absurdly hot and humid morning, to do your 70 minutes easy run all by yourself.  Or, God forbid, it is ridiculously cold, you know, like, 37 degrees or something.  And windy.  It’s hard to get out the door when it is cold and windy.  But they do it.  The Wolves, they do it.  And they do it more than most.  But they have each other to rely on.

This is exactly why having a group to train with is so important.  It takes a village, er, training group.  All for one, and one for all, and all that good stuff.  Honestly, I couldn’t do it all by myself, and I bet most of you couldn’t either.  Maybe you could, but it’s just not the same.  We need others to inspire us.  We need others to need us, to rely on us as we do them.  We are interconnected in that sense.

Without the group, we don’t run as fast, or as fun.  One of the things I look forward to each day is that first water stop, when, most often in the dark, when I can hear the voices of the first group, way before I actually see them, chatting away, laughing, teasing each other.  This is the group dynamic.  It is a mobile, magnetic family, taking over the streets in the mornings, before most families are even up off the pillow.

This is the group dynamic.  This group, these Wolves, they take care of each other.  They make sure that, if one is having a bad day, he or she makes it through the run, either verbally supporting them to keep up, or physically remaining behind with them when they can no longer.  And on race day, that is when the good stuff happens.  Teammates on pace duty accompanying them in the hard parts of the race, teammates bouncing around all over the course to make sure that vocal support is there, teammates at the finish to hold each other up, to give congratulatory bear hugs and to offer that first recovery beverage, if you know what I mean and I think you do.

You could do it yourself, all by yourself.  But why?

The Team Rogue season kicks off this Saturday! Whether you are aiming for a fall marathon or the Austin Distance Challenge, this is the group for experienced, dedicated runners who want a training plan and support group like none other. An easy run followed by a team meeting/info session is happening on Saturday, June 2 at 6am at both Rogue locations.

Riff Raff


Have you met Rogue coach Phil Carmichal (ie “Panther”) yet? If not, you’ve been missing out. Luckily, the Austin-American Statesman has taken it upon themselves to introduce Panther (and explain that name) to the masses!

Read the article, featuring Panther as one of the most inspirational coaches in Central Texas, here.

Rogue in Bee Caves

We’re expanding our horizons!

Rogue is now offering a Bee Caves location for 2010 Austin Marathon training program members. The group will meet for quality workouts on Tuesday evenings at Westridge Middle School, saving those of you who live and/or work in the area from a drive across town during rush hour.

Longtime Rogue coach Cindy Henges will be taking charge of the group; read below and get to know Cindy and her coaching philosophy, then spread the word about our Bee Caves addition!

Name: Cynthia Henges, aka Cindy

What do you coach?
Running 🙂 Usually mixed level marathon groups but I also coach shorter distances as well. My morning groups in the past have been referred to as The Dawn Patrol, but I haven’t really figured out a catchy name for the evening groups. I’m accepting ideas.

What is your coaching philosophy?

1) Runners come first. Their wants, goals & desires are what I am there for not what I think they should be doing. They must develop their own set of goals not me. I am merely there to help them get where they want to be.

2) Develop character & enhance the journey. Marathon training is not easy. If it was everybody would be doing it. The 6 month journey to the start of the marathon is an opportunity to learn more about yourself & what you decide to do on race day. The training process is where that character is developed. Every mile & every workout is an opportunity to learn something about yourself & what is possible.

3) Foster & develop a love for the sport. I love running. It has been an ongoing love affair that began in junior high & has waxed, waned, changed & persisted for 20 years. I strive to share that love with my runners on a daily basis.

4) Relational & Approachable. A coach & an athlete have a unique relationship & how that relationship develops is dictated not only by the coach but also by the athlete. You get what you put into running & the same holds true for your coaching relationships. Asking questions, conversations, giving & receiving information, phone calls, emails etc….all solidify & grow that relationship. Communication is essential on both fronts.

What do you think is the most important thing about learning how to run/train?
Consistency. A big part of this process is learning to listen to your body.

How long have you been coaching? Running?

I have been coaching for 9 years in varying capacities. I started running when I was 12 yrs old in junior high after I was cut from the basketball & volleyball teams & failed miserably at the hurdles. My dad suggested long distance running might utilize my skills of coordination.

What other skills do you have? Interests?

Men. Wait a second…is this a matchmaking service or a running group?
I enjoy backpacking, cycling, swimming & pretty much any outdoor activity. .
Men. I’m very interested in them.
I am going back to school for my second bachelors degree in nursing this fall so my desire is to help people & develop those skills.

How long have you been working with Rogue?
I’ve been coaching with Rogue since it started & was coaching when it was still Runtex University.

What would you tell a newcomer if they asked you about yourself as a coach?
Please don’t hesitate to ask questions. The more you put into training the more you get out of it.

Are you competitive? Do you expect your athletes to be?

I unfortunately am competitive. I try to deny it but it kinda creeps out. I expect my athletes to work hard & do their best given their current situation. Running should be fun. It is not all that there is to life so one must figure out where it fits into their life. Family, work & the stresses of life affect what part of our life running plays into it. I think running should enhance our lives and not cause unnecessary stress. However, if you have unrealistic goals & expectations that you place upon yourself you will not succeed. Sometimes giving yourself a break from the competition is necessary to make running fresh & fun again. I recognize that most of my runners have jobs,wives, husbands, girlfriends\boyfriends, children & a multitude of other stresses that will affect what happens when they come to a workout. You will have bad days but what do you do with those bad days? Do you throw in the towel and quit or do you use those hard moments to build character & strength. I’m not concerned with whether my athletes are competitive or not. I am more concerned with whether they are learning & growing from the process of training.

Why do you run?
Because I was BORN TO RUN! 🙂
I have found that the list of reasons I run continue to grow. I initially started running because I was looking for a place to fit in when I was in middle school. I have run for escape. I have run for acceptance. I have run to explore. I have run so I can eat more.I have run to see how far I can push myself. I have run to not feel yucky. I have run because I was mad. I have run because I was sad. I have run because I want to. I have run because it is fun. I have run to get over boyfriends. I have run to handle stress better. And I have run to beat people. If you haven’t read the book BORN TO RUN yet. I suggest you pick it up.

Let Cindy help you achieve your 2010 Austin Marathon goals! In addition to Bee Caves, Cindy will also be heading a Tuesday morning group at Anderson High School. Get full details and register here!

More on Bobby

Kent Little, one of Bobby Garcia’s athletes, wanted to follow up his introduction with a few words of his own. Here is what he has to say about his experience with Bobby:

Having Bobby Garcia as my coach as I trained for my first marathon was an incredibly enriching and life changing experience. He is a very experienced marathoner who brings enthusiasm and insight into every phase of the Rogue marathon training process. His commitment to his runners is amazing. He knows how and when to push when you need to be pushed and he is able to help illuminate new approaches and provide encouragement when that’s what is needed. He is an amazing guy to be around and I learned tons from spending time with him.

Bobby is a natural leader with a great sense of humor and a keen understanding of the physical and emotional hills and valleys of the marathon training process. He helped the runners in our group bond early on in the training and we became closer and closer throughout the process; that was no doubt a byproduct of his personality and enthusiasm. His inspirational lectures and practically daily training e-mail insights helped keep everyone’s enthusiasm up during the training. He breaks down every workout into understandable terms and explains why the workout is important. Simply put: training for a marathon is an incredibly challenging and rewarding experience. Bobby Garcia makes the whole experience infinitely more special.

As an additional plus: his wife is an amazing cook and if you train hard they will have you over for dinner and it will be very, very good.

Keep an eye out for Bobby as we move into training for the Austin Marathon, and get to know him – there seem to be big benefits for those who do!

Meet the coach

coach Bobby Garcia

coach Bobby Garcia

If you’re currently participating in a Rogue training program, you probably know a few things about your coach – his or her preferred running shoes, favorite race distance and whether or not your coach is actually a morning person or just pretending during those pre-dawn meetings. But how much do you really know? And what about all of those other Rogue coaches, some of whom you may be joining for future programs?

It’s time to start the introductions, and we are going to begin with Bobby Garcia,
The coach of Rogue Team Sole Survivors, a close-knit marathon training group that is open to all levels. Bobby is best known around Rogue for “snack island,” his infamous and glorified water stop, complete with cookies, brownies and fresh fruit towards the end of long run.

Read on to learn more about Bobby, one of this year’s Austin Marathon coaches:

What do you coach?

Rogue Team Sole Survivors – all levels of marathon training

What is your coaching philosophy?
Being authentic. . being genuine in my strong commitment to help and support an athlete through a journey of physical, mental and emotional discovery. Training for and running a marathon takes commitment – real commitment – on the part of an athlete. A coach has to be equally committed to the athlete and put the needs of the athlete first and foremost. Athletes do not follow uncommitted coaches so I make it my priority to make the experience about the athlete and not my own.

What do you think is the most important thing about learning how to run/train?
You will have your good running days and you will have your bad running days. Happens to us all because “life” happens. The more focused, disciplined and committed an athlete is to the long term goal of running a marathon the easier it is to overcome and work through the inevitable valleys that are on the other side of the peaks. There is a direct correlation between the time, effort, and work an athlete puts into training and what she or he experiences through the journey of training for and running a marathon.

How long have you been coaching?

Four years as a Rogue coach.

What other skills do you have?

Other than running, I’m skill-less.

How long have you been working with Rogue?
I’ve been working with them as an athlete from the time Rogue started and as a coach for four years.

What would you tell a newcomer if they asked you about yourself as a coach?
I’m passionate about coaching because I care about people…period. I am very passionate about building a community of Rogue athletes. I love the Sole Survivors and feel we are creating a special community of athletes who enjoy being together, hanging out, running, and living in THE best city in America. I have a very strong desire to help athletes reach their potential as marathon runners. I think athletes who have been part of the Sole Survivors would tell you that I communicate often, am very approachable, and that my personality style is one that others find easy to connect with.

Are you competitive? Do you expect others to be?

I am competitive and expect athletes to run/train at a level where they feel they have given their very best.

Why do you run?

I run because for me running feeds my hunger for spiritual, physical, and mental needs. A wonderfully enriching aspect of running are the relationships one builds through the experience of running and training for a marathon. After now having run 18 marathons my personal goals have changed, but the needs that running provides are unchanged. I truly love the gifts that running has brought to me all of these years.

Look for Bobby’s Austin Marathon training group on our website, and check back often to learn more about the coaches at Rogue!