Tip of the Week: What’s Your Pace?

When it comes to endurance training, pacing is one of the most important concepts that we need to learn as long distance runners. Most runners underestimate the importance of easy runs and complete their easy and long runs at a pace that is TOO fast. Many runners, specifically “new” runners, either make the assumption that every long run has to be completed at their goal marathon pace or don’t have the experience to know what their goals are or what their pace should be for a given workout, be it easy, marathon pace, tempo, long run, etc.

Last week, we asked everyone at practice, or on your own, to complete a 5K race at a 5K effort (HARD effort at 2:2 to 1:1 breathing pattern). We completed this 5K to create a baseline of every runner’s current fitness level, regardless of experience. Now that you have a recent “race” under your belt you can utilize the following “pace calculator” to determine your current training paces and learn a little more about your individual pacing. We can even utilize the calculator to determine equivalent race performances for the time you entered. This information is great for measuring your fitness and setting goals in upcoming races based on previous performances.

Here’s how to use the Run Smart Calculator:

1- Go to: www.runsmartproject.com/calculator/
2- Enter distance- 5K
3- Enter your 5K finish time- click “Calculate”
4- Record the following times:

* Race Pace Tab: 5K Pace/mile
* Training Tab: Pace/mile
* Easy Pace
* Marathon Pace
* Threshold (Tempo)
* Equivalent” Tab… Note the following:
* Estimated Half Marathon
* Estimated Marathon

**NOTE: Most running experts agree that your EASY pace is approximately 60-90 seconds slower/mile than your estimated marathon pace (this can vary based on the duration of your workout). It is recommended that you add 60-90 seconds to your estimated marathon pace to determine your easy (long run) pace.

Tip of the Week: Breathing Patterns

Everyone has an opinion on breathing patterns during exercise: breathe in through your nose, out through your mouth! No wait, breathe in and out of your mouth. Use a 2-2 rhythm! Use a 3-3 rhythm! Take 45 breaths a minute! No…60! Breathe in for 2, out for 3. The truth of the matter is that you will ultimately find what works for you, but there are certainly a few times when putting thought into your breathing pattern will help your performance.

In general, we focus a lot of our training at an EASY pace where your breathing can be a little more relaxed at this effort. This type of work can often be done with a 3-3 rhythm (or even a 4-4). A 3-3 rhythm is taking 3 steps as you inhale, and 3 steps as your exhale (R-L-R = INHALE, L-R-L = EXHALE).

As we begin to work harder, however, this rhythm obviously becomes more difficult to maintain. Somewhere around your “TEMPO” pace, you may find switching to a 2-2 rhythm (2 steps with each inhale and 2 steps with each exhale) is more effective. These breaths, however, will have to be a bit more shallow.

A great time to practice these different breathing patterns is during your various workouts, such as the ones detailed below:

4:4- Sunday Recovery Runs
3:3- Easy and Long Runs
2:2- Tempo Runs
1:1- Speed and Hill Workouts

How can this help us? First, it can help you monitor your intensity during a race or a workout. If you plan to run EASY, and you find that you’re not able to maintain a 4-4 or 3-3 breathing pattern as expected, then you can conclude that your effort is too hard. Conversely, if the goal of your workout is to run at a harder intensity (tempo), and you’re running at a nice and cozy 3-3 rhythm, then it’s safe to assume your effort is too easy.

During these workouts, I encourage you not be scared of spending some time with a breath that’s a little more labored than usual as it’s important for runners to be comfortable at “uncomfortable” efforts. Breathing patterns can also help keep you in check when you are running hills. For example, when running uphill, in order to maintain a consistent effort during a race or workout, your breathing rate should relatively remain the same. Your pace would need to slow down, but your effort would stay the same as you focus on maintaining the same breathing pattern on the uphill as on the flat (the opposite can be said about running downhill).

So … whether you’re a 4-4, 3-3, 2-2 or some other combination of inhales and exhales, the answer is, there is no wrong answer. Ultimately, you will find what works best for you, but please take a minute to consider what your breathing is telling you about the intensity at which you’re working (it’s much more accurate than relying on your watch). We want you to be 100% prepared for race day, so by learning the different breathing patterns, you will be one step closer (or is it one breath?) to achieving your goals.

Winter Fest Volunteer Opportunities

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NYRR Team for Kids runners have the exclusive opportunity to connect with youth from the programs your fundraising supports. Winter Fest is a celebration that gives kids the gift of running via running activities and a shoe giveaway.

We still need volunteers for the opportunities listed below.  Please join us in making 2017 special from the start for these exceptional Young Runners!

The volunteer registration deadline is January 16, 2017, so sign up today!

Winter Fest Wrapping at St. Francis College Volunteer
Assist NYRR Youth and Community Services team in wrapping running shoes for the shoe giveaway.  Volunteers will wrap shoe boxes to be given away at Winter Fest.

Date – Friday, January, 20, 2017
Time – 6:00 p.m .- 8:00 p.m.
Location St. Francis College in Brooklyn

To sign up, follow the steps below:

  1. Log in to your My NYRR account https://mynyrr.nyrr.org/login.
  2. Click “Volunteer” on the left sidebar to and scroll down to see the Volunteer for Weekly Races and Events volunteer opportunities displayed.
  3. Click the blue “Volunteer” button next to the “Winter Fest Wrapping at St. Francis College” box.
  4. Scroll through the different options to find the “Winter Fest Wrapping at St. Francis College” opportunity, select, then scroll to the bottom of the page and click “Next” to move forward with the registration process.

Winter Fest at St. Francis College Volunteer
Assist NYRR Youth and Community Services team at this youth event.  175 kids from young runner teams will attend to participate in running activities and the shoe giveaway.  Volunteers will assist NYRR staff in with supervising the running activities and overseeing the shoe giveaway.

Date – Saturday, January, 21, 2017
Time – 9:00 a.m .- 2:00 p.m.
Location St. Francis College in Brooklyn

To sign up, follow the steps below:

  1. Log in to your My NYRR account https://mynyrr.nyrr.org/login.
  2. Click “Volunteer” on the left sidebar to and scroll down to see the Volunteer for Weekly Races and Events volunteer opportunities displayed.
  3. Click the blue “Volunteer” button next to the “Winter Fest at St. Francis College” box.
  4. Scroll through the different options to find the “Winter Fest at St. Francis College” opportunity, select, then scroll to the bottom of the page and click “Next” to move forward with the registration process.

Both opportunities are open to active TFK participants and alumni  and are first-come first-serve. You can also earn +1 credit for the 2018 TCS New York City Marathon 9+1 Program. If you have any questions, please email teamforkids@nyrr.org. We thank you in advance for your consideration and hope to have you volunteer with us in the future!

TFK Fundraising Tip: Blogging

Share why you are running with Team for Kids in a blog posting.

Tips for your post:

President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition Facts and Statistics

  • Only one in three children are physically active every day.
  • Children now spend more than seven and a half hours a day in front of a screen (e.g., TV, video games, computer).
  • Only about one in five homes have parks within a half-mile, and about the same number have a fitness or recreation center within that distance.
  • Only six states (Illinois, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New York and Vermont) require physical education in every grade, K-12.
  • 28 percent of Americans, or 80.2 million people, age six and older are physically inactive.
  • Nearly one-third of high school students play video or computer games for three or more hours on an average school day.
  • Overweight adolescents have a 70 percent chance of becoming overweight or obese adults.
  • Nearly 45 percent of children living in poverty are overweight or obese compared with 22 percent of children living in households with incomes four times the poverty level. (Source)

Disparities in Physical Education in NYC

In May 2015, New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer released Dropping the Ball: Disparities in Physical Education in New York City School that reported:

  • 26% percent of children in grades K-8 are obese or severely obese
  • 32% of NYC’s schools do not have full-time certified PE teachers
  • 28% of NYC’s schools do not have dedicated space for PE

NYRR is addressing these disparities and providing free running programming to 37% of New York City schools.