Training tips from coach Bill Schroeder

finishkickzilkerrelays2014If you don’t use it, then you will lose it.  This applies to using your body and your mind.  It is always easier to stay in shape, than to get back into shape.  Always.  It is even truer the older you get.

I truly believe that running has given me so much more than I could ever give back to the sport.  By being fit and active I have seen so many places around the world that were only possible because I was a runner.

My mantra is “Focus Up!”  This is a mental as well as physical philosophy.  Focus Up reminds me to keep my head up (good form) and to mentally stay positive!

Running everyday keeps me healthy and injury free but it takes discipline to remind yourself that you can’t have 2 hard days in a row.  When it is an easy/recovery day then no matter how good you feel you must not run hard/fast.  I have 2 long running streaks of running at least 25 minutes every day.  The first was 13 years, 2 months, and 3 days long and my current started on Oct 16, 2011.

Running thoughts:

Some of my best workouts are ones that I almost didn’t start.

The hardest part of the workout is the first step out the door.

If every run was great then they would all be average.

The bad runs make the good ones even better.

Bill has been running since 1974 (from the 300m low hurdles to the 50K and everything in between) and coaching for 35 years! He currently coaches The Jets, a year-round group in Cedar Park that welcome runners of all levels.


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.

Featured Rogue: Dori Livingston

dori-smileIf you’ve spent any time at Rogue over the past five years, then at some point you’ve probably come across the brilliant smile of Dori Livingston. She is one of those rare people whose energy brightens the day of just about everyone she meets, and she also happens to be one of the hardest workers that we have ever had the pleasure of coaching. Dori has overcome more than a few challenges over the years, but her achievements – she’s featured in Runners World!  – have far outnumbered them. See below for a short Q and A:

When and why did you start running?

I began running in 2010 to deal the stress of my job as a State Trooper and my recent diagnosis with melanoma cancer.   My journey with cancer led me to running with friends with similar experiences. In 2011, Rick Nichols introduced me to Rogue and I joined Amy Anderson’s marathon training group. I loved the community of Rogue, and was hooked!

dori-ultraWhat has been your biggest running-related challenge, and your biggest achievement?

One of my biggest training challenges has been learning how to find a healthy balance with running, due to my cancer and other health issues that arose from it. My biggest achievement was running my first ultra, the Rocky Raccoon 50K trail race in Huntsville, Texas, earlier this year.


dori-runners-worldPick one defining moment.

My defining moment was being chosen as a finalist with the Runner’s World Cover Search and had my story featured in the December issue!

What’s next?

My goals right now are to heal my body (I just had shoulder surgery a few months ago), run healthy and tackle the Tahoe Triple in 2017!

I joined a running group to make friends, and instead I found a family

by Jordan Cooper

In August 2014, I decided to join a training group at Rogue Running in Austin, Texas. I had just gotten engaged to my now wife, whom I met on Tinder (which is a story for another time), and was coming to the realization that as I had grown in my relationship with her, I had lost some of the friendships I had previous to meeting her.

Although I graduated from college about a month before moving to Austin, my first four years in the Violet Crown could be viewed more as the “party” portion of my life than the four years I spent in college in my hometown in East Texas. However, most of the friendships I had made during that time were based more around going out and drinking than on something I could consider a healthy and sustainable lifestyle. As I moved down the path towards marriage, my time spent on the bar scene lessened, and I realized I needed a way to meet people that would be a little more conducive to my new, attempting-to- be adult lifestyle.

I learned about Rogue from a friend who had successfully run her first marathon while training with one of their groups. Previous to joining, I had casually trained for and successfully run a number of 10k’s and half marathons, which I did as almost a form of justification for my indulgent lifestyle. It was also somewhat meditative for me, the solitude of pounding the trails or pavement, so I was a little hesitant about running in the Texas heat with a bunch of strangers. I tried to maintain a positive attitude, especially considering I had at times in my life experienced the infamous “runners high” and figured if I could catch that sense of euphoria occasionally, that surely I could meet 1 or 2 people I might be able to bond with.

What happened over the course of the next few weeks, months, and now years is a laundry list of life lessons in connecting with people. Running in a group appealed to my competitive nature in a way I had not seen coming, and also reminded me of my past growing up playing team sports including soccer and basketball. I had not imagined a sport as considerably “solo” as running could be groomed and improved thanks to having a team or group around you, taking pleasure in your progress. I also learned that misery truly loves company, and that “embracing the suck” with fellow runners allowed me to overcome mental barriers to run distances I never could have imagined on my casual solo runs of the past. The accountability these connections provided gave me strength on those early Saturday mornings when I did not want to get out of bed to put in the work I had signed myself up for. Regardless of how I felt along the way, at the end of every one of those runs, I always felt accomplished and grateful for the kind words received from the cheerleaders around me.

Post-run stretches turned into hang outs, dinners, happy hours, holidays, and life events. I even took my turn at assistant coaching for a season. The bonds forged on the roads of Austin have turned into lifelong friendships and a sense of community and family I could not have imagined. As I spent the Fourth of July with over 50 runners who woke up early to run in the hills of West Austin before enjoying some amazing food and fellowship, I could not help but be grateful for the family I have come to feel a part of. As I train for the New York City Marathon this November, I know that I have the support of hundreds of runners who truly want to see me succeed, and it will be those smiles and handshakes, likes on Facebook, and good luck filled text messages that keep me going. I didn’t need an app to find friends; I just needed to go Rogue.


By Fellow Rogue – Amanda Casey 
Congratulations to everyone who ran Sunday! It was a gorgeous day for such a momentous occasion. I can’t wait to read everyone’s accounts…hope there will be a lot of them!! I’ll go ahead and apologize in advance for this being so long…..hopefully, some of you will relate.
I’ll not go too far back in time with how I got into running, but suffice to say, I started this training season still not feeling like a “real” runner, despite having completed a few half marathons in 2012, and having trained for one in 2011 that, unfortunately, was cancelled before I could run it. Anyway, how I got from Saturday, September 1, 2012 to Sunday, February 17, 2013 has become one of the most joyful, memorable, challenging, fulfilling times in my life thus far. Joining Rogue to train for my first full marathon was the best decision ever, and the people I’ve met and formed what I consider lifelong bonds made it so much more than *just* a training group.

The entire season of training was going so well, and I was experiencing so much improvement since starting Day One that I could totally envision slamming the marathon, with a pace time well below my time trail estimate from the beginning of the season. My hard-earned confidence took a hit, though, when I noticed a nagging stiffness in my knee at the end of a regular ol’ 10-miler on Brushy Creek Trails, the week before the Rogue 30K. I was excited to pace in James and Jordan’s 4:25 group at the 30K to see what it would be like, because at that time it was my intention to run with them–or as close to them as possible–for the marathon. In hindsight, I should’ve just laid low and taken my time, considering that whole week my knee had been bothering me. But the competitive side got the best of me, and I pushed it too far. I think it was a combination of an unusually busy week–not sleeping enough (mainly), not paying attention to nutrition/hydration–and not giving an 18.6 miler the respect it deserved. I figured I’d run 20, 22’s with no problems…18.6 “seemed” like no big deal on a mostly flat course. It was a training run, right?!

That race and its aftermath ended up being a wake-up call for me and gave me a very healthy apprehension for attempting to “slam” my first marathon and set a huge PR. I gave in…submitted…to the force that is distance running. And I babied that knee by not running more than a few times between the 30K and the marathon. And it was HARD! Rogues are known for being hard-core, and wasn’t I a Rogue?! Surely this isn’t a deal breaker injury in the 11th hour. I can do this. I WILL do this. Maybe not as fast as I want, but it will be done. I was humbled–I couldn’t even run 7 without it screaming at me all night and in the days after; how was I going to run a freaking marathon like this?!–and sent straight back, mentally, to square one in September, when my mission was simply “to finish.” This injury, or muscle weakness, whatever it is, taught me to let go of what I think I can control, and let the running guide me. Let go of trying to finish with the 4:25 pace group. If I can catch up with them, awesome. But it’s okay if I don’t; by then, my hope was not to be too far behind.
I spent a lot of time thinking (okay, obsessing) about what was going to happen, how it was all gonna go down. And at the pre-race meeting, I allowed myself to start feeling excited again. I listened eagerly as the coaches gave their analogies (Rocky!) and advice (tiers of what’s acceptable so that you don’t fall apart during the race)….it was thrilling again. And the tips for tackling the course in 6 sections felt like secret insider information that we could all use to attack and conquer. Awesome.

In the days leading up to race day, I felt an objective “curiosity” about what the marathon experience would be like, rather than fearing it or getting psyched out about it. And then Sunday arrived…and the butterflies started…and all of a sudden we were crossing the start line and THIS WAS HAPPENING!!!! It was hard to go slower than I wanted, but I was way too worried about ruining my whole race in the first 6 miles. So I repeatedly reminded myself to go “slow and easy’ as long as possible. My two friends–sole sisters!–were right there and so strong. My plan was to stay with them as long as possible and then just do my best if we got separated. But I really wanted to stick together…because they felt stronger than I with the pacing. These ladies, above all, would be able to execute that 6 step plan.
Everything was going great until we got to the turn off 35th Street, and that’s when my mind got weak. We weren’t even to the “Great Northern Mental Madness” yet and I was faltering, feeling like I wanted to slow down or even walk. Those middle miles are largely a blur for me, but they nearly took me down. Today–the day after–I keep thinking of the Rocky analogy, and during that stretch it really felt like a beat down. Peeling yourself off the mat, trying to stay upright, staggering, and holding onto the ropes. I experienced nausea, light-headedness, full leg spasms in both legs…I just wanted to get to mile 20, where it was supposed to get easier, according to the race tactic notes. Except it didn’t get easier, and by then I was alone…one friend had already blazed off in an armor of focus I couldn’t even imagine at that point; the other friend strapped with pain, whom I’d never, ever seen struggle before. Even then, she bore down and managed to keep grinding it out. I don’t even remember how I kept putting one foot in front of the other, but I did.

I kept holding out for Duval…surely Duval will be better. Duval is supposed to be the “Promised Land”…..except it wasn’t. All the downhill grace we were “supposed” to get was met with a head wind that felt like it was pushing me back every trudging step I took….running that was probably slower than some people were walking. I was struggling in a way I did not anticipate on that stretch. But here’s what happened: the bystanders and volunteers called me by name and told me I was strong and handed me orange slices (I accepted as distraction) and made eye contact with me, handing me water, high fiving me. I remember thinking at the time how weak one of my high fives was and just half-chuckled in spite of myself, wondering if that contact imparted to that person how beaten I felt. And even though I didn’t feel the least bit strong, I kept going, gritting my teeth (which are sore today), bearing it, willing myself to remember that “this is what you came for,” my mantra from ultramarathoning great, Scott Jurek’s book Eat and Run. At mile 23 it started feeling like it was going to be okay..still gonna be hard, but it’s gonna be okay. I had no idea what my time might be, and at that point, I didn’t care. I was stripped down to the bare bones of “just” finishing.
The hill on San Jacinto seemed three times steeper the second time around, and of course all the race photographers were in the middle of the lanes at every block..I can’t wait to see those pics and get a good laugh at myself, trying to smile (read: grimace) and not show how completely crushed I felt. I crested the hill, took the downhill at 11th and even then couldn’t get the lead out…I kept whispering to myself the words from the tactic notes, “let gravity do the work”…even then! Could. Not. Speed. Up. And then I got to the turn, the last turn for the remaining .2, and out of some place I can’t describe, I cut loose with my strides as hard and as fast as I could, and managed to finish “strong.” It was probably only 5 or 10 seconds, but it made my whole race. That, and being able to stay with my girls for as long as we did…because I really thought I’d be out there alone a whole lot more than it turned out I was. I will never forget their being with me, and going through that together. Meeting one after crossing the finish line and standing together while we waited for our third, the HUGE smiles we all had upon meeting again……was amazing. The entire experience from start to finish was “brutiful,” a term coined by blogger Glennon Doyle. Brutal….absolutely; but equally beautiful. We’re already talking about coming back for next year 😉



by Elaina Stover, a lululemon contributor

“The rhythmic movement of our feet created ease and relaxation in our bodies, revitalized by the fresh air. We remained alert and constantly aware of our environment, which helped us to be present in the moment. Even though we weren’t saying much, there existed between us the camaraderie of an unspoken language, a deep feeling of appreciation that we were alive and healthy. We felt fortunate to be able to run.” –Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, Running with the Mind of Meditation

Many non-runners wonder what we like about running. And after months of training, sometimes I wonder what I like about running. Wouldn’t I rather (fill in the blank). Sound familiar? My weekend runs at Enchanted Rock have always been my source of inspiration, but during the week—what could I look forward to? Pavement? No thanks.


photo: website

I found my inspiration in Rinpoche’s book Running with the Mind of Meditation. He says simply, “The body benefits from movement, and the mind benefits from stillness. When we give our mind and body what benefits them, a natural harmony and balance takes place.” In his meditation and running workshops, Rinpoche taught mostly ultra marathon runners, prompting him to say, “When I considered their experience, it made sense. After you run for a while, what do you find in there but your own mind?”

So many of us seek running for the catharsis, the runner’s high or the invigorating systemic feeling  that happens after increasing aerobic capacity. There are so many wonderful effects of physical activity, yet it doesn’t deal with everything.  Running can dredge all the worries and stress from our system, but meditation is a practice that allows us to go deeper into the stillness of our mind.


Photo: Stillness at the top of Enchanted Rock on a morning run

Cultivating a meditation practice is wonderful way to balance a hectic life and demanding training schedule. Just 20 minutes of quiet mediation or restorative yoga can create profound changes in your mood, energy levels and mental clarity. If you have never meditated before, it is best to learn from a teacher to get you started.

My favorite places in Austin to be meditative:

  1. AOMA Graduate School of Integrative Medicine – offer free intro classes and ongoing community classes in Qi Gong, Tai Chi and more. Located on 4701 West Gate Blvd.
  2. Yoga Yoga – one of the few places that lets you be in savasana long enough and incorporates healing sounds of the gong.
  3. Austin Zen Center – I haven’t been here myself, but I have friends who go regularly. They hold ongoing classes and dharma talks.
  4. Bfree Yoga – a wonderful list of teachers. Teachers you can’t miss : Omar and Iva. They always guide you through a contemplative vinyasa-based yoga practice. You will leave with a yoga buzz.
  5.  Unity Church of the Hills Austin – Pranic Healing Meet up group leads a Twin Heart Meditation followed by energy healing. The Twin Hearts Meditation changed my life. A very effective meditation.