Back around 2012 I decided to become an RRCA Certified running coach. I got the certification but in the process I figured out that I’m really not interested enough to do things according to the book so I never used the coaching certification and don’t plan to.
I’ve had some success as a runner, usually finishing 1st in my age group, but I really don’t do anything too special in the way of training. I’ll go into a little more detail below.
I usually run about 30 miles per week on no particular schedule. In the wintertime it might drop a little because I hate cold weather, but if it’s cold I’ll usually end up doing some miles on the treadmill while watching TV. During the warmer months I have four or five group runs a week with my local running group (Gaston County Runners). I really like the group runs and I’m able to run more miles like that. We usually run at an easy pace, maybe 9 or 10 minutes on average, but that varies according to who’s running. I’m pretty comfortable at any training pace from about 8:30 to 10:30.
I do a long run on Sunday unless I do a long race (10 miles or longer) on that weekend. My long run is usually 10 miles. I try to run at least one half marathon each month with no additional special training. I ran a couple of full marathons (2009 and 2010) but I’m planning on just sticking with half marathons in the future.
I run around 40 races each year and that’s usually when I do my fast running. If I only ran a small number of races then I’d need to do more speed work training, but that’s almost one fast run each week so it’s usually my main speed work. My running club has a speed workout every Tuesday and I usually do that also, but I tend not to run as hard in a speed work session as I do in races. As I’m writing this I’m 65 years old, and I feel more comfortable doing longer tempo runs as opposed to fast and short intervals.
For the first year or so that I ran I followed Jeff Galloway’s Run/Walk/Run method, which I really like. I gradually drifted away from walking quite so much during races, but I still do it anytime I feel like it. Walking in a race gives me a few seconds to regroup and catch my breath.
If there’s any “special” training that I do it would be the heart monitor training. It’s something that I’ve done since my second year of running and I believe it’s made more difference in my running than anything else. I’m a simple man and most of the heart monitor training I’ve read about has made my eyes glaze over, but I use a simple plan that takes practically zero time to figure out. It’s the John L. Parker method, and I’ll include a link to his book below. It was written in 1998 and might be out of print now since all I see on Amazon is used copies, but to me this is the greatest book on running I’ve ever read and I would attribute most of my success as a runner to following the guidelines in the book.
Here’s a link to where you can find it on Amazon: