Sunday, November 27, 2011

Spring 10K/10-Miler Group Training Program Registration OPEN!

Sign up now for the Run Farther & Faster Spring 10K/10-Miler Group Training Program, coached by two experienced Road Runner Clubs of America (RRCA) certified coaches and top-ranked, accomplished runners. We pride ourselves on individualized attention- our number one motivation is helping runners of ALL levels run farther, faster while having a great time and learning to love running!

The third year of our popular 10K/10-miler training program starts on Sunday, February 5 and targets the Cherry Blossom 10-miler on April 1 and the beginner-friendly Pike’s Peek 10K on April 29, 2012. This program is for runners of all levels- beginners who are able to run two miles (no pace requirement) will work towards building endurance for the Pike’s Peek 10K, a net-downhill course down Rockville Pike, beginning at the Shady Grove Metro and ending at White Flint Mall. More advanced runners will train for the Cherry Blossom 10-miler. Beginner runners are encouraged to run the Cherry Blossom 5K Run/Walk. NOTE: Registration for Cherry Blossom 10-miler AND 5K is through LOTTERY selection; runners must enter the lottery between December 1 and December 9 and lottery winners will be announced on December 13. Click here for more information. If you can’t run the two miles required to start the program, contact us and we can help you build up to the necessary base mileage over the next few months!

Programs are tailored to individual levels of fitness and goals, and coaches work with runners to help them achieve their personal goals. Runners of all ages are welcome, and this comprehensive program includes:

• Complete 13-week training calendar, including guidance on cross-training, strength training , stretching and race-day preparation;
• Weekly group runs on Sunday mornings in the Rockville/Bethesda area;
• Discounted entry to the Pike’s Peek 10K;
• Speakers on various running-related topics;
• Technical running shirt;
• Discounts on gear from, and
• Support and encouragement from experienced coaches who are also accomplished, ranked runners

Cost for the 13-week program is $100 (does not include race registration) or recruit a friend who has not taken one of our previous programs and take advantage of the Buddy Program, $180 for both of you ($10 savings each). Registration is available at (select “Spring 10K/10 Miler Program” from drop-down menu).

**Register early, as spaces are limited to maintain personalized attention. Our Fall 5K/15K program closed early so don't miss out on this program!**

Contact Lisa Reichmann ( and Julie Sapper ( for more information.

Here is what past participants have to say about our training programs!

"Thank you Julie and Lisa for all the support. Indeed you have gone above and beyond my expectations during the course of this journey." --Max, Gaithersburg, MD

“With Julie and Lisa's expert advice and relentless support and guidance combined with the camaraderie of a solid team of other runners, I was able to successfully complete my first half marathon.” – Jessy, Boyds, MD

“Julie and Lisa are amazingly supportive and encouraging to all participants and truly want their students to succeed. With their guidance and encouragement, I've run in two 5K races and even placed 1st in my age group in one of them.” – Ariel, Potomac, MD

“Julie and Lisa helped create a realistic training program that helped me not only achieve my goal, but BEAT my goal. Julie and Lisa really believed in me and in turn I believed in myself. The smiles and excitement are genuine and that is what makes them great coaches.” – Caryn, Bethesda, MD

“With only slight exaggeration, I can say that Run Farther and Faster saved my life. After participating in several Run Farther & Faster programs, I am healthier than ever as a result of the expert advice I receive from Lisa and Julie, two world class athletes who really understand the dynamics and strategy of running. This isn't some program sponsored by an apparel store in an attempt to get you to buy more merchandise -- Lisa and Julie actually enjoy training other runners, whether beginners or advanced runners of all different ages.” -Eric, Rockville, MD

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Ready, Set, Go!

You’ve put in months of hard work and dedication, consistently sticking to a sound training program, and now your target 5K or 10K is just around the corner. Assuming you have trained properly, success on race day now depends on proper preparation and execution. Make sure you set yourself up for your best race possible by following these tips:

One week before the race:

The week before the race, focus on your sleep and hydration/nutrition. While the amount of sleep needed to be truly rested is very individual, aim to get 7-8 hours of sleep a night. If you are getting good quality sleep on a regular basis in the week(s) leading up to your race, it won’t matter as much if you don’t get a great night’s sleep the night before the race, which may happen due to nerves.

Keep a water bottle with you and make sure you are drinking enough to stay well-hydrated. Our favorite tip on good hydration is making sure your urine is “clear and copious;” in other words, you are going to the bathroom frequently and the color of your urine is pale. Also aim to eat more whole foods in your diet- fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and other unprocessed foods. These foods will provide you with longer lasting energy and will fill your glycogen stores (your “fuel tank”) for optimal performance. Avoid, as much as possible, sugar, processed foods and alcohol, which will just give you an energy spike followed by a quick crash.

If you strength train, which we encourage, avoid weight training the week prior to the rest. This will further ensure that your legs are rested and recovered at the start line.

If you have not already done so, in the week or two before the race make sure to review all of the race details, including the race course/elevation profile, packet pick-up, race logistics (including parking, gear check, water stops), and the other information typically available on the race website. Don’t be caught off guard on race morning- start planning at least a week in advance!

Day before the race:

Continue to pay attention to your hydration, and plan to eat your last large meal about 12 hours before the race. Make sure that meal includes a higher percentage of complex carbohydrates- if you have been eating properly in the days leading up to the race there is no need to OVERload on the carbs. Instead, just focus on the percentage of carbohydrates and on eating whole foods that will provide you with longer lasting energy. Try and rest your legs as much as possible. Avoid extended periods of walking, if at all possible.

Race Morning:

Eat a light breakfast high in complex carbohydrates 1-3 hours before the start of the race. Eat something that you know will not upset your stomach and that, ideally, you’ve eaten before during training. Suggestions include whole wheat toast with peanut butter, cereal, or steel cut oatmeal with bananas or berries. Avoid too much protein as it can lead to stomach upset, and avoid simple sugars that will lead to a spike in your blood glucose levels and then a rapid drop, leaving you with an energy crash at the start of the race. Drink 2-3 glasses of water with your breakfast. Stop eating 1 hour prior to the race to allow your body to digest before running, and drink 6-8 oz of water 10-30 minutes before the start.

Plan to arrive at the race no later than an hour beforehand; for some larger races, you may need to be there even earlier. Give yourself plenty of time- it takes longer than you think to get parked, use the porta-potties, warm-up, etc.

For a 5K or 10K, warm up for at least 5-10 minutes before you get into your corral with some easy running, followed by a few stride-outs. If the weather is colder, take a little more time to warm-up to ensure that your muscles are nice and warm before the start.


Make sure you’ve “seeded” yourself appropriately at the start line. Faster (5-6 minutes/mile) runners should be at the front towards the start line, and slower runners/walkers towards the back. Some larger races have pace signs so you know where you should start, but if there are no signs, just use common sense to start in approximately the right area. If you do not, you risk going out too fast or getting stuck behind much slower runners. If the race is chip timed, you don’t have to worry about how long it takes you to cross the start line because your time will not start until you get to the front.

At the start of a large race, expect to be in a crowd for the first mile (or more!) Don’t weave around runners in front of you, which will waste energy. Find the path of least resistance and run in as straight a line as possible.

Don’t go out too fast! If you feel like you are going too slow (and you may feel this way before the crowds thin out), you are probably running at an appropriate pace. Plan to run a few seconds slower than your projected pace, then ease into your race pace gradually. If you feel strong the last 1/3 of the race, you can push the pace towards the finish line.

Drink at the water stations, especially during races longer than 5K. The amount of time it takes to grab some water is negligible and significantly helps your performance. Even 2% dehydration can lead to a decrease in performance, and once you feel thirsty you are well past this point, so even in cold weather make sure to take water along the course. Grab the paper cup from the volunteer, pinch it to form a spout, and drink it through the corner of your mouth. Even a small swig will be helpful. You can slow down through the water stations, but if you do (or if you stop), move to the right so other runners don’t bump into you from behind.


SMILE as you approach the finish line- there are often photographers there to capture your achievement and you will be able to look up the pictures by your bib number (another reason to have your bib visible on the front of your clothing) after the race.

Continue walking after you pass the finish line- do NOT stop immediately because (1) you don’t want finishers behind you to collide with you, and (2) the blood that went to your vital organs during the run needs time to return to your extremities.

Make sure to grab some water and, within 30 minutes or so, a protein/complex carbohydrate snack. Lowfat chocolate milk is the ideal recovery “meal” with the proper ratio of carbs to protein (4:1), but any snack with protein and carbs will help repair the micro-tears in muscles and restock your glycogen stores.

Stretch and, if possible, get into an ice bath when you get home to help reduce any inflammation.
Take at least two rest days (active rest, i.e., walking or swimming) after the race before slowly resuming running to the level where you were before the race (reverse taper).

Be PROUD of your accomplishment, and set a new goal for yourself!!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Virtual Coaching

Our virtual coaching programs are perfect for youth and adult runners who prefer to run on their own instead of a formal group program, or for runners who do not live in the Metropolitan DC area. Virtual coaching is individualized to your specific background, experience, goals and schedule and includes:
  • Initial in-person or phone session, typically lasting about an hour, during which we will review your background and goals and go over some basic running fundamentals including injury prevention, form, nutrition, running gear and selection of a goal race;

  • Comprehensive training plan/calendar designed to fit your schedule and based on the principles of progressive overload and including strength and cross-training. Depending on your experience and goals, the plan may include speed and hill work, tune-up races, and other workouts aimed at helping you achieve your goals;

  • Information on strength training, stretching and nutrition to compliment your running and aid in injury prevention;

  • Weekly check-ins via phone or email to monitor and encourage progress, reevaluate the training plan, adjust the workouts, answer questions, etc.;

  • Availability by phone and email to discuss any questions, concerns or issues that arise during your training;
  • Race preparation, including pacing and nutrition strategy;
  • Discounts for selected online running gear retailers and local races; and

  • For local clients, the option of joining our group training programs for their weekly training runs.
Fees for virtual coaching are:
  • $100 for the first month

  • $90 for subsequent months
Please contact us for more information and to find out more about how virtual coaching can help you reach your running goals in 2012 and beyond!