Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Runner Profile: Karyn

Karyn running the Philadelphia Half Marathon in November
Karyn, a busy mother of five, including 2-year old twins, joined us for our Fall Half Marathon training program in Summer 2010 and successfully completed not one, but three half marathons this past fall!

Name: Karyn

Age: 40

When I started running: I ran track in way back in HS (20+ years ago) for one year, but the first long distance running I did was when decided to run the Marine Corps Marathon in 1998. After that I ran after my pregnancies to lose the baby weight.

Why I run: Now I run to maintain my sanity/clear my head, to stay in shape and because I really love it. I feel that it is empowering that I can accomplish anything that I set my mind to.

Favorite local race: Even though it’s been years since I’ve run it I’d have to say the Marine Corps Marathon because it has such great spectators cheering everyone on and that in itself gives you so much energy.

How I stay motivated: I have to just get up early and go and not think about it. I know that I’ll feel better afterward and have less stress then if I decided to blow it off. And I know I’ll be a much calmer and nicer mommy to my 5 kids if I keep up with my runs.

Most memorable running moment: Probably the most memorable moment I have had so far was when I was on the downhill coming into downtown Baltimore to the finish line and becoming so overwhelmed and empowered because after such a challenging course, I knew that I was going to finish and most likely beat my goal time. It was a great feeling!

Future goals/race plans: I plan on running the National Half Marathon, the Maryland Double (Frederick/Baltimore) and hopefully a full marathon because I’d like to do at least one more to prove to myself that I can do it again now that I’m in my 40’s.

Advice for new runners: 1)Train with a group because it will help you stay on track and you’ll be accountable to someone other than yourself. 2) Start small and slowly add more to your mileage – you’ll be amazed at how far you can go. 3) Anything is possible, set a goal and go for it!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Making the Most of the "Dreadmill"

Although summer running is challenging because of the oppressive heat and humidity, we often long for those days as we throw on layer after layer and use hand warmers to run in temps that are only balmy for those living in Alaska. Let's face it; winter running is tough, even for the heartiest of runners, but when dressed appropriately, outdoor winter running is possible and can even be enjoyable.

Inevitably, though, every winter there are bound to be a few days where running outside is just not practical- or safe. Last Tuesday was a perfect example: ice storms and running outside do not mix. The risk of falling during an icy run far outweighs any benefit to running outdoors, and that's when the treadmill becomes a welcome alternative. If the thought of running like a hamster for a few miles at your local gym makes you want to crawl back into bed, we have a few workouts to throw into your treadmill running routine that will help relieve some of your boredom--some good trash TV helps, too!

1. Hill Run Workout: (40 minutes total): (1) slowly run for 10 minutes to warm up at a 1.0 incline; (2) run a steady pace for 2 minutes at any incline higher than 1.0 that challenges you to feel/breathe like you are pushing up a hill; (3) recover at an easy pace for 1 minute at 1.0 incline. (4) Continue alternating 2 minutes hill/1 minute recovery until you reach 30 minutes (5) Slowly run for 10 minutes to cool down.

2. Cardio Interval Workout: (30 minutes total): (1) slowly run for 10 minutes at an easy pace (should be able to talk while running); (2) run for 30 seconds at a fast pace/high intensity; (3) recover at an easy pace (or walk) for 30 seconds; (4) repeat high intensity/low intensity for 10 minutes total (can be increased to 15 or 20 minutes for non-beginners); (5) slowly run for 10 minutes to cool down.

3. Stride workout: (1) run at an easy pace (should be able to talk while running) for a few miles; (2) during the last mile of your run, accelerate your pace to almost your maximum effort for 20 seconds (this is called a stride); (3) run slowly to recover and lower your heart rate; (4) repeat each stride/recovery 3 more times (5) run at an easy pace for a few minutes to cool down.

Remember that running on a treadmill is different than running outside- the lack of wind resistance, assistance of a moving belt, and the flat, smooth predictable surface of the treadmill work together to impact the level of effort required at a particular pace as compared to running outside. We’ve found this treadmill pace conversion chart to be a helpful tool to estimate equivalent efforts between running on a treadmill at different paces and inclines and running outdoors on a level surface.

Just think--in just a few months, the weather will turn milder, the treadmill will accumulate dust, and we can all start complaining about challenges of running in the heat and humidity again.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Try a Tri!

Lisa exiting the water after the swim portion of a triathlon- often the most nerve-wracking for runners!

We are always advocating the benefits of cross-training for runners; in addition to helping prevent injury, cross-training can fend off boredom and even improve performance. While the world of triathlon may seem intimidating to many runners, adding swimming and biking to your fitness routine is actually a fun way to mix up your running routine.

"Trying a tri" doesn't have to be a scary prospect- there are numerous local beginner-friendly triathlons of shorter distances ("sprint" distance triathlons typically have a 750 meter swim, 12 mile bike, 3.1 mile run; there are "super sprint" triathlons with shorter distances, as well). Some triathlons even have pool (vs. open water) swims and there are others that are female-only, catering to women who are first time triathlon participants.

One of the most popular and best-organized beginner-friendly, women-only triathlons is Iron Girl Columbia. Held in August in nearby Columbia, Maryland, the 2011 race sold out in just 6 hours but there are a few charity spots still available through Uniting Against Lung Cancer and Team Broderick, in honor of Coach Mike Broderick. Coach Broderick was a much-loved and renown local coach (often called the "coaches coach," he led our coaching certification course) who lost his battle with lung cancer in November. Race entries are pre-paid, and the fundraising requirement is $650- if you or anyone you know is interested in one of the spots, or in a spot in the equally popular (and sold out) Columbia Triathlon, contact Julie at

Get a taste of triathlon and an expert overview of all three triathlon disciplines at Fleet Feet Gaithersburg's upcoming Triathlon Seminar Series. The series is FREE and includes sessions on "Triathlon 101" (overview of the sport), Run Training Tips and Injury Prevention (we will be speaking at this session!), a Bike Clinic and Training Sports Nutrition, Swim Training and Transitions. Whether you are just thinking about adding biking and swimming to your exercise routine or you've already raced a triathlon, these free seminars will be a great way to get expert advice and ask questions. RSVP to each seminar by emailing or calling 301-926-6442.

Try something new this year- try a tri!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Runner Profile: Dana

Dana with two of her fellow Fall Half Marathon participants and running partners at the Jolly Fat Man's Run in Bethesda, Maryland, December 2010

Dana completed our Fall Half Marathon training program in the summer of 2010, having only run indoors on the treadmill prior to beginning the program. She is currently training for her first marathon, the ING Miami Marathon, as part of Team Chai Lifeline in memory of a close friend. Dana has finished the bulk of her training and heads to Miami for the marathon on Sunday, January 30!

Name: Dana

Age: 34

When I started running: I have been running and swimming for a number of years, but only running inside on the treadmill. I started training for outside running on June 6, 2010.

Why I run: I run to stay fit and healthy. It also gives me more energy and mental clarity!

Favorite local race: I enjoyed the Heritage Half Marathon in Gainesville, VA on October 3, 2010.

How I stay motivated: I pick future races and set up a training calendar and plan to stick to. It also helps to find other runners who can join you for long weekend runs.

Most memorable running moment: It has to be finishing my second 20 mile training run on December 12th . I started at 6 AM and ended at 9:20 AM, just in time to stop in to give my kids a kiss and hug before Hebrew School!

Future goals/race plans: I am training for the Miami Marathon to raise money for Chai Lifeline. I am dedicating my run in memory of Mrs. Zlata Geisinsky, z"l a close friend who died in June. She was a remarkable woman and a source of inspiration to me. You can see my page:

Advice for new runners: Find a group to train with for your first race. You will build relationships and meet other people who can help you achieve your goals.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The New Perfect

This week, we were guest bloggers for The New Perfect, a blog written by Hollee Schwartz Temple and Becky Beaupre Gillespie, a law professor/journalist duo who write the work/life balance column for the ABA Journal and who are co-authors of the upcoming book, Good Enough is the New Perfect: Finding Happiness and Success in Modern Motherhood, due out Spring 2011 by Harlequin Nonfiction.

Check out our article on how to fit fitness into the hectic (and often unpredictable) life of a parent at and if you're on Facebook, you can find Becky and Hollee there too by clicking here!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

JCC Program Registration OPEN!

A few of the runners who successfully completed the Fall 2010 JCC Running Program at the Veteran's Day 10K in Washington, DC

Registration for our program at the JCC of Greater Washington is OPEN—don’t miss this chance to join a great group of supportive running friends while you train to run farther and faster in 2011! While the goal of this program is the Pike’s Peek 10K in Rockville, Maryland on Sunday, April 17, it is open to runners who are also training for the Cherry Blossom 10-miler on April 3.

Runners need to be able to complete two miles without walking but there is no pace requirement- in the past we have had runners of all levels and all paces, from those just reaching the 2-mile base to those who have already completed several longer races but who want to work on their speed at the 10K level. Programs will be tailored to individual levels of fitness and goals. Runners of all ages are welcome, and this comprehensive program includes a 10-week training program, weekly organized and coached group runs on Sunday mornings, entry to the Pike’s Peek 10K, speakers on various running-related topics, a technical running t-shirt and a discount at co-sponsor Fleet Feet Gaithersburg.

Group runs will take place at various locations in Gaithersburg, Rockville and Bethesda on Sundays at 8:00 beginning on February 13 (no session on Sunday, March 20). An orientation will be held on Wednesday, February 9 at 7 p.m. at Fleet Feet. For more information, see To register, go to and enter code 11WSHF01. Cost for JCC members is $99 and $125 for the general public.

Of course, feel free to contact either of us with questions- hope you can join us!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

In The News

For articles written about or by Run Farther & Faster, visit:

Town Courier, March 30, 2012, "Local Women Make Running a Career," (page 7)

Rockville Macaroni Kid, September 2010, "Getting Motivated to Start and Stick With an Exercise Program,"