Full / Half Marathon Training Week 15

April 12, 2013

Bongo to Bongo

We now move our runs back to the East Side.

April 13/14

Where: Bongo Java East

When: 8 a.m.

What: Everybody – 10 miles with a fast finish. (Last 3 miles goal pace or faster.)

“Bongo-to-Bongo” is a ten mile route that leaves Bongo Java East, crosses the river, goes up Demonbreun/Music Row to Belmont Bongo Java and then back.


When I ran cross country in college, I would get so nervous on race morning that I wouldn’t eat.  Unfortunately, most collegiate cross country races start mid to late morning.  So by the time I toed the starting line at 11 am, I was not only nervous, but I was running on fumes and was racing terribly.

One Friday afternoon, we had a race at 6 p.m. This meant that there was no possible way for me to not eat before the race.  So even though I was still nervous, I ate a normal breakfast and lunch.  I PR’ed by about a minute that afternoon.

Why do I tell this story?   Because you need to eat before your long runs/races, and many of you are not eating before your weekend long runs.   This weekend is a good time to practice you race morning nutrition routine.  In terms of what you eat and how much you eat, you need to find out what works for you, but here are a couple of suggestions:

1) Eat 200 – 400 calories of mostly carbohydrates about 1:30 – 2:00 hours before the run/race.  Stay away from bacon.

2) If you normally drink coffee, drink coffee!!   Seriously.  The last thing you want to do is remove caffeine from your diet the morning of a race.

3) Drink water that morning, (of course) but your body can only process so much.  If you try to super-hydrate the morning of the race you just end up peeing a lot, and you’ll still be dehydrated at the starting line.    Be diligent about hydrating the days leading into your race.  Drink 8 – 10 glasses of water on Thursday and Friday and you won’t need to overdo it on race morning.

Those are just three easy tips to try this weekend.  Everyone is different and you don’t want to be trying something new on race morning.  If any of these ideas are new to you, try them this weekend and see how it goes.

See you on Saturday/Sunday!


Week 12 – Half and Full Marathon Training

March 22, 2013

Please Read!

There is a minor change in our meeting location for Saturday, March 23.  We are going to meet by the McDonald’s right at the edge of Centennial Park.  Also, do not try to park in the Park.  You will need to find street parking somewhere nearby. 

Saturday March 23 / Sunday March 24

Location: Centennial Park

Time: 8 a.m.

Workout:  Long slow endurance.  Conversational running, 1:30 – 2:30 minutes per mile slower than 5k pace.  We will be running on the 1/2 marathon course, so you need to know the course.  Go to the race website and learn the course!  There will be gatorade at 17th and Wedgewood (mile 4-ish, and 8-ish), but you may need to consider carrying water with you as you run.  Take with your pace group leaders for advice.

Novice:  10 miles.  Run the first 8 + miles of the course.   Continue straight on Wedgewood to Blakemore, turn right on Natchez Trace back to the park.

Intermediate: 13 miles.  Run the first 10+ miles of the course through the Gulch.  Turn right left (whoops) on Charlotte, run up to 25th.  Turn left on 25th into Centennial Park.

Advanced: 16 miles.  Run the entire 1/2 marathon course.  Make a u-turn at LP field and run back to Centennial Park via Church street.    (Over Woodland street bridge onto Union.  Turn left on 5th, turn right on church.)

If you look at the training plan, intermediate runners will do this weekend’s 13 mile run and a 14 mile run in two weeks.  Advanced runners did 14 last week, they will do 16 this week, and 14 two weeks from now.  Why?  Most intermediate/advanced runners are looking to run well, and not just finish.   Which is great!  I’m excited when people move from “I just want to finish” to “I want to run fast!”   But in order to run well at a half marathon, the distance cannot be an issue.  Completing 13.1 miles should not be intimidating.  That is (one of the reasons) why we do runs that are longer than the race distance.   After the next three weekend runs, you should feel very confident in your ability to finish 13.1 miles.  Once the distance is no longer intimidating, you can focus on hitting a specific time goal.

Looking ahead

Next Saturday we will have our first Saturday morning brunch.   Stay tuned for more details, and plan on joining us for a post-run brunch.

Also, next Saturday (March 30) we will have our final injury screening.  Leah Sawyer, our physical therapist/1:45 pace leader who is on injured reserve herself, will be around next week to give advice on those inevitable aches and pains.

Post-race party.   Plan on joining East Nasty for our annual post-race party extravaganza.  It will be a great time!   Once again, more details later, but leave the evening of April 27th open!

Week 7: Drop Week

February 15, 2013

Half/Full Marathon Training

This week will be our last week at Percy Warner Park.  We will meet at Shelby Park for two weeks, then we will head to Centennial Park for 5 weeks in a row.  HEADS UPS: When we move to Centennial Park, we will move to start time up to 8 a.m.  

February 16/17

Location: Percy Warner Park

Time: 9 a.m.

Workout: Easy Distance Run.  60, 70 or 90 minutes.

This is one of our two drop weeks (The next one is March 9/10).  That is where we run shorter and slower than normal to allow our bodies to completely recover.   Running is all about recovering from working hard.   You don’t become a better runner by running hard.   You become a better runner by recovering from running hard.  Both parts are necessary:  hard workouts and recovery.    This week is recovery!

So enjoy the park…run slow (especially up the hills) and head out to brunch afterwards.



CMM training week 4

January 25, 2013

Location and Time

Saturday 1/26 or Sunday 1/27

9 a.m. outside the nature center in Shelby Park

Injury Screening

Once a month, Leah Sawyer, a PT from Results Physiotherapy and one of our 1:45 pace group leaders, will be offering free injury screenings!  This week it will be on Sunday either before or after the run.  She will be arriving at 8:30, and staying after the run until everyone has been seen.   If you want to get a free screening, either come at 8:30, or bring a warm change of clothes and stay after the run.

The workout

Most of our weekend runs will just be conversational long runs.  But we will have: one time trial (last week), three tempo workouts, one 8-mile goal pace run and two long runs with fast finishes.  This week is our first tempo workout.

During this workout, we will be running at three different paces:

E Pace (easy) = 1:30 to 2:30 minutes per mile slower than 5k time trial pace.

T pace (Tempo) = 25 – 40 seconds per mile slower than 5k time trial pace. (Or better yet, 90% max heart rate)

R (recovery) = barely running or walking

The workout

novice: 20 minutes E + 5 x (5 minutes T + 1 minute walking) + 20 minutes E (70 min total)

intermediate: 20 minutes E + 5 x (5 minutes T + 1 minute recovery) + 30 minutes E (80 min total)

advanced: 20 minutes E + 5 x (5 minutes T + 1 minute recovery) + 45 minutes E (95 min total)

Here is an example for an intermediate runner who ran 8 minutes per mile last week at the time trial.

20 minutes (9:30 – 10:30 pace) + 5 x (5 minutes @ 8:30 pace + 1 minute slow jogging) + 30 minutes (9:30 pace)

How do you pace yourself?

This is a great question.  GPS watches do a great job with distance and average pace – but I think that the instantaneous pacing function is only okay.  It’s better than nothing, but it’s not perfect.  I think that a better way is to learn your pace per 1/4 mile, and then watch your stopwatch.

For example:   If I want to run 8:24 pace, that means that I need to run every 400 meters in 2:06.  So having a stopwatch and knowing the quarter mile marks, allows you to lock onto your pace pretty accurately.

We’ll be running the 3 mile loop in the park, and the quarter miles are marked with cones, so work with your coach if you need some help with pacing.

See you this weekend.



January 19-20. CMM training week 3

January 18, 2013

Where and When:

Saturday or Sunday.   9 am   Shelby Park outside the nature center.

(marathoners meet at 8:30)


5k time trial.


I’m glad that you asked.  Most new runners (and even many experienced ones…) get to the starting line of a race and have no idea what to expect.  Basically, they just start running without a plan, and hope for the best.   This is especially true when you are attempting a new distance, a 1/2 marathon for example, and it is certainly not a good way to race.  You need a plan when racing.  Every distance is a little bit different, but for 1/2 marathon and marathons, that involves starting a little bit slower than your goal pace, running most of the race right on pace and speeding up as the race near the end.  (I’ll blog more about this as the race gets closer.)

But how do you determine a realistic goal pace?   Well, the only way to truly find out your 1/2 marathon potential is to run a 1/2 marathon.  That is a bad idea.  The next best way to evaluate your potential is to run a shorter race and extrapolate that result.   So by running a 5k or 10k time trial, you can get a pretty good estimate of your half marathon potential.  And that is what we are doing this week, running a 5k time trial.

Obviously, you cannot run a half-marathon at the same per mile pace as a 5k.  So how much will you slow down?   Let me introduce you to the McMillan Running Calculator.   This is an amazing tool that allows you to input a recent race result, (or to make one up I guess) and it will estimate your race times for other distances.   Not only that, it will determine your proper training paces based on your input.

So let’s try.  Click on the above link and type in 26 minutes for a 5k and press calculate.  You should see that it gives you estimated race outcomes of 7:29 for a one-mile race, 54:00 for a 10k, and (most important for us) 2:00:23 for a 1/2 marathon. (There are lots of others you can see by clicking on “show all” which is located on the right corner of the box below your results.)  Clicking on the “training paces” in the upper left corner, you will see that you should run your long runs between 9:35 and 10:52, your tempo runs at 8:37 – 8:52 and you mile repeats at 8:08 to 8:25 pace.

So what is the bottom line?  Running a 5k gives you great feedback on (1) your current 1/2 marathon potential and (2) the paces that you should be training at right now.  That is why we are doing a time trial.


We still have 14 weeks of training ahead of us, and we will gain fitness.  So if your 5k time trial this weekend is slower than it needs to be, don’t worry you will get faster.  BUT…if your 5k time is WAY slower than it needs to be, you may need to rethink your time goal for the half…

We will not do any more time trials as a group, but I would encourage you to do a race sometime in March.  A March race will give you a realistic goal time for CMM in April.

We will NOT be doing our time trial on the greenway this year.  We will run a 5k loop around the ball fields and the lake (and up a hill…) that more accurately simulates the 1/2 marathon course.

See you this weekend!



Wednesday, November 14

November 14, 2012

Dog Food Drive

Remember the mission of East Nasty:  “We love our neighborhood, and we exist to make East Nashville a great place to live and run, and to make running accessible to everyone in our community.”  In that light, sometime this week, Drew Landerman from the TN CO-OP is going to drop off 960 pounds of dog food for East Can.   That food, purchased with your donations, combined with the bags of food you brought last week, yielded well over 1200 pounds of food for East Can. Thanks guys!

Tonight’s Run – Route #7

Little Hollywood – 3.2 miles. Meet at 6 p.m at 11th & Holly. Wear reflective gear (and even a headlamp, too).

NRC Pint Night

After the run, everyone is invited down to Nashville Running Company for the monthly pint night.

2013 Half and Full Marathon Training

Once again, remember the mission of East Nasty:  “We love our neighborhood, and we exist to make East Nashville a great place to live and run, and to make running accessible to everyone in our community.”   To that end, we offer free half-marathon or full marathon training starting in January. While the training is free, it does not mean that everybody is ready to train for a half-marathon. Right now is the time that you need to be thinking about whether you want to try it or not. If you want to join us, we ask that you be capable of running 5 miles without walking before January. Even better, would be if you were running 3-5 miles at least 3 times a week. This is not because we are elitist – it’s pretty obvious that we are not.  This prerequisite is to keep you, the runner, uninjured and excited about running. Going from 3 miles to 13.1 miles might not seem like a lot, but in reality it is a huge jump in mileage and can lead to serious burn-out/injury.  So if you are not at 5 miles yet, you have 6 weeks to get there, and then join us in January!


Thursday is the last day to order our Fall hoodie. Try one on at Nashville Running Company after the run tonight to find your size, then order one online here.

See you tonight! ENFL!
– Mark


October 31, 2012


Today is Halloween.  I don’t know exactly what to expect, but I do know that 5 Points is going to be packed.  There is a pub crawl, tons of trick-or-treaters, and of course, our weekly Wednesday night run.  It’s an exciting night to be around East Nashville.  Run #6 takes us onto Eastland, which is swarming with kids on Halloween.  This is why we are going to repeat last week’s Run #5.  (We’ll do run #6 next week.)  Come on out and enjoy the festivities!

6 p.m. at the corner of 11th and Holly.  (Wear reflective gear!)

1/2 Marathon/Marathon training

East Nasty started as a group of friends training for the Country Music Half-Marathon and we have offered free training ever since!   This year we are going to train for the Country Music Full Marathon as well as the Half, and there is also a group training for the Rock and Roll New Orleans races.  We’ll have details about training for the Country Music races up soon.  Plan on joining us (did I mention it’s free..) beginning the first weekend in January.   NOLA training begins this weekend!

NOLA training:   Sunday, November 4th at 9 a.m. Shelby Park.

Dog Food Drive

On November 7th, we are going to have a dog food drive for EastCan.  If you are able, please bring a bag of dog food to the run on that night.   EastCan uses this food to help alleviate some of the financial burden of fostering or adopting an animal.


December 12th is the date for our annual Christmas party.   We’ll have a bunch of great stuff to unveil.   Mark the date in your calendar!

New Hoodies

We will have new hoodies available for order in the Store later this week!

See you tonight!
– Mark