Words of occasional wisdom from Bruce Oakley

Archive for the ‘Running’ Category

We need more speed

Posted by boakley59 on May 2, 2012

Getting up to speed found some of you reaching for the gas pedal and others wondering how the brakes work. So, let’s check under our hoods before we step on it.

The basic idea of speed work is that you cannot run fast unless you run well: Smoothly, efficiently, gracefully. Most of us past a certain age (10 or 12!) have to learn how to do that. Children are natural, efficient athletes, but as we get older we learn to strut, shake, rattle and roll—anything but move straightforwardly. So we go to the track to retrace our baby steps.

Tracks in America used to be measured in portions of a mile—the standard being 440 yards or a quarter mile. Tracks were usually built around football or soccer fields, and football fields are 100 yards goal line to goal line (120 end line to end line), so track straightaways are 100-120 yards. A 220 is half a lap, an eighth of a mile; 880 is two laps, half a mile. The world measures distance on the metric system, though, and tracks have shifted to international measurement. One lap is 400 meters, just a little shy of 440 yards. But now we talk about distances in multiples of 100: 100 (still a straightaway), 200 (half a lap), 400 (single lap), 800 (two laps, roughly half a mile), 1200, 1600 (almost a mile).

In speed work, you run these shorter distances hard to teach yourself to run well. You can vary the speed, the distance, the recovery and the number of repetitions to teach your body different lessons. We’ll take a run at each of these ideas.

The faster you run (the shortest repeats), the more your body will insist on efficiency so as not to rip itself up. The fastest humans can run about 22 miles an hour for about 20 seconds, 15 miles an hour for about four minutes and 13 miles an hour for about two hours. We are built for long cruising at something like 2/3 our maximum effort. Training at these maximum bursts over short distances makes it easier to maintain the more modest cruising speed—you raise the level of your mediocrity.

As you stretch the distance, you lower the speed some, still teaching yourself efficiency at better than cruising speed and also teaching yourself where your comfort level will be. You learn to persevere through a degree of suffering and you train your system to carry on at a deficit.

Changing the recovery period helps you fine-tune the lessons. A shorter recovery teaches your body to work faster to restore itself and to tolerate a deficit, but this must be done judiciously to avoid breakdown. A longer recovery allows you to run closer to maximum, which optimizes your mechanics, but doesn’t help as much with lung capacity and circulation.

Last, the number of repeats lets you push toward your total race effort, giving you the feel of a race day without the same toll on the system. More repeats give you the confidence that you can last a whole race at a given speed, let you know how close to the end you can ask yourself for overdrive, teach you how to relax when stress piles up and bring you up to a much happier medium.

So, how fast do you sprint for how long with how much rest and how many times? (Remember to warm up first and to cool down after.) The answers vary with your goals and fitness.

To begin, sprint hard for short distances (whatever that might mean at your fitness level: 20 yards or 120) and recover for an equivalent time or an equivalent distance. If you run 100 yards in 22 seconds, walk or jog either 100 yards or 22 seconds and go again (beginners may find you have to rest for twice the time of your hardest sprint; I think equivalent distance is easier to manage). Repeat five to eight times. Do this for one workout a week, and as your fitness progresses you can throw in longer sprints at manageable speeds faster than your target pace in your target race.

Say you run a 5K in 33:00, but want to get to 30:00; that’s 10:40 a mile now, aiming for 9:40 a mile. That’s 2:40 now targeting 2:25 for a quarter mile (440 yards, about 400 meters). Raw speed now to teach mechanics might mean a few 400s at 2:30, with a long recovery (walk 400 meters or 3:00). Pace work would be 8-10 repeats at 2:35 with less rest (walk 200 or 2:45). As you progress, your raw speed 400s would drop toward 2:15 with 400 or 2:30 walk, and your pace work would be 2:20 with 200 or 1:45 walk.

The pace chart below does the math for you, with workout paces for shorter repeats to take you to your target mile paces. You can also do this all by feel: Your repeats are generally faster and much shorter than your race pace, at a number of repeats that is just barely manageable. You should generally be “not quite ready” for each repeat, and the last repeat should leave you feeling like the cooldown jog is all you could handle. As the weeks pass, you will be working out faster and you’ll get closer to your goal.

A final caution: all things in their season. You can’t train hard all the time. Once a week is plenty (perhaps twice a week in peak season when you become highly competitive) and only for a few months at a time toward a target race. Then you should back off for a few months and do gentle maintenance mileage.

Now, if there are no further questions (and even if there are), let’s make tracks!

Pace chart


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Getting up to speed

Posted by boakley59 on April 26, 2012

So you want to be faster, do you? Not satisfied having fun and getting fit, now roadrunner’s gotta fly besides, eh? Fine, then, let’s beeping get to it! (Eight-week advanced plan below)

To be faster, you must practice faster. To avoid going to pieces, however, you do this a little bit at a time. You let your body teach itself how to be efficient. One day a week, take about a third of your workout time to go much faster than your usual jog. Warm up with your usual jog, maybe even a little slower, for about a third of your usual workout time. Stretch, especially any trouble areas you might have (tight hamstrings, calves, Achilles, IT band). Then, for what totals about half of your usual workout time, do some hard running in “repeats”: short bursts, with equivalent walking recovery time. Cool down jogging about a sixth of your workout time. Stretch again; rehydrate with carb and protein drinks.

A sample plan if you normally work out 30 minutes (as we are doing in the Women Run Arkansas clinic):
Jog for 10 minutes
8 repeats for 15:00 — Run for 1:00, walk for 1:00 (begin cooldown after 8th run instead of doing an 8th walk)
Jog for 5 minutes
Stretch; rehydrate

As your fitness progresses, you can modify the repeats by how hard you run them, how long you run hard, how long you rest in between and even where you run them (hills, trails, track). Every change will improve your conditioning in some way: muscle tone, lung capacity, stride efficiency, mental toughness. You’ll learn to be comfortable moving fast and your usual jog will seem easier all the time.

I’ve got an eight-week training plan targeting the June 16 Go! Mile in North Little Rock, working Tuesdays 3-3:10 p.m. and Saturdays 6:30 a.m. at Batesville High track (no workouts May 12, day of Women Can Run 5K and WRMC Run the Wave 5K). I’m assuming those trying this plan are running 20-25 miles a week and don’t think a 5-6 mile day is an especially big load. Tuesdays will be shorter, raw speed repeats and Saturdays will be longer repeats working on developing comfortable pacing. Target pace is set by your goal mile. If you want to run a 5:00 mile, we’ll be running 400s (1 track lap) in 75 seconds or faster. 100s/200s are always fast as possible (AFAP).

We’ll always warm up jogging 2 miles, then stretch, then do our repeats, then jog a mile and stretch again.

This Saturday: 3 or 4 x 800, current max mile pace
Tue May 1: 200-400-600-800-600-400-200, target mile pace
Sat: 4 x 800, between current/target mile
Tue May 8: 8 x 400, target mile or faster
Sat: 800-1600-800
Tue May 15: 400-800-400-800-400-800-400, target mile
Sat: 1200-1600-1200
Tue May 22: 4 x 100, 4 x 200, 4 x 400, 4 x 200, 4 x 100, AFAP
Sat: 6 x 800, target mile
Tue May 29: 10 x 400
Sat: 3 x 1600
Tue June 5: 2 x 400, 2 x 800, 2 x 400, target mile or faster
Sat: 2 x 1200, target mile
Tue June 12: 3/4 x 400, AFAP
June 16: Go! Mile

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WRRR Challenge Series standings

Posted by boakley59 on March 2, 2012

UPDATED Dec. 10, 2012: Below are the final standings in the 2012 White River Roadrunners Challenge Series after the White River Christmas Half-Marathon & Relay, last of our nine races this year. Members of the club, Independence County residents and regular visitors to our races are included in the results. A runner’s top six race results are counted in the total; an asterisk (*) indicates the score is not one of the runner’s six best. Runners must complete four races to be eligible for awards. Click to check the list of finishers excluded from the standings. NEXT LOCAL RACE: Ken and Michelle’s Less than 4 Mile Prediction Run, Tuesday, Jan. 1.

AMENDED April 16: Hayden Browers, Conway, Tax Run result restored (club member incorrectly excluded). Points for 5 Men’s Overall runners and Men’s 10-14 group amended.

EDITOR’S NOTE, CORRECTIONS: Please use the comment form at the bottom of the page to let me know if there are any corrections: names misspelled, age groups (age as of May 12, 2012), and so on.

Results legend: Pen = Penguin 10K; Hop = High Rock Hop 5; Tax = 1040 Tax Run; Pio = Pioneer Days 5K; Wav = WRMC Run the Wave 5K; SS = Sprint for Seniors 5K; 4M = 4 Mile Classic; SL = Sara Low 5K; HM = Christmas Half Marathon. * = low score dropped; x- = clinched group championship


64 Shannon Box 10 11 11 11 10 11
52 Colyn Bowman 8 1 8 7 8 9 10
40 Joel Tejeda 7 11 1 9 7 5
37 Todd Coleman 2 10 6 6 6 7
29 Matt Walker 10 8 11
29 Bruce Oakley 10 9 10
27 Seth Barnes 9 3 8 7
24 Brenden Bishop 5 8 11
22 Will Henry 11 11
19 Joe Pool 1 8 1 5 1 1* 3
18 Tyler Bishop 9 4 1 4
18 Dale Brown 10 1 1 1 5
17 Sam Cooke 5 1 8 2 1
16 Filemon Tenorio 7 9
14 Geary Paul 1 7 1 3 1 1 1* 1* 1*
13 Shawn PattersonSr 1 1 7 1 1 1* 2
12 Davy Insell 1 5 4 1 1
12 Andy Buschmann 3 9
10 David Tejeda 10
10 Brayden Eckard 1 6 3
9 Rusty Staggs 9
9 Marco Valencia 9
8 Travis Luyet 3 5
8 Tim Oster 4 4
8 Rusty Hinges 1 3 1 1 1 1 1*
8 Brian Yeager 8
7 Tre Brown 1 4 1 1
7 Justin Meskimen 7
7 Dan Driver 6 1
6 Shawn PattersonJr 1 2 1 1 1
6 Hayden Browers 6
6 Gil Mitchum 6
6 Daniel Tripp 6
6 Bruce Mathews 6
5 Shane Tucker 5
5 Ron Cantrell 1 1 1 1 1
5 Preston Thompson 5
5 Bill Holifield 1 1 1 1 1
4 Samuel Beary 4
4 Robert Barber 4
4 Johnny Praught 4
4 Charles Barnett 3 1
3 Terry Smith 1 2
3 Ryan Richardson 1 1 1
3 Mike Hanson 1 1 1
3 Justin Hoskinds 1 1 1
3 Jonathan Dorris 3
3 John Beller 1 1 1
3 Greg Anderson 1 1 1
3 Eric Low 1 1 1
3 Dwayne Dickey 2 1
3 Clint James 3
3 Chris Walls 1 1 1
2 Spencer Rademacher 1 1
2 Roy Ring 1 1
2 Randy Harris 1 1
2 Michael Thatch 1 1
2 Kade Barber 1 1
2 Joel Cannady 1 1
2 Jeff Welcher 1 1
2 Jade Anderson 1 1
2 Danny Dale 2
2 Connor Wheeler 1 1
2 Chris Lorch 1 1
2 Brad Cummings 2
2 Antron Ramey 2
2 Anthony Coles 1 1
1 Zeb Anderson 1
1 Will Carpenter 1
1 Wesley Davis 1
1 Tristen Driver 1
1 Timothy Grant 1
1 Steve Wood 1
1 Rusty Castleman 1
1 Rob Ernest 1
1 Rick Franks 1
1 Regan Paul 1
1 Randy Sharp 1
1 Payton Walls 1
1 Payne Moser 1
1 Mitch Kennedy 1
1 Matthew Adam 1
1 Marvin Miller 1
1 Logan Adam 1
1 Kyler Wade 1
1 Kyler Dickey 1
1 Keith Shireman 1
1 Keith Matthews 1
1 Keaton Wheeler 1
1 Joshua Poff 1
1 Josh Ward 1
1 John Garrison 1
1 Jeff Stubbs 1
1 Jeff Sims 1
1 Jake Ward 1
1 Jacob Penn 1
1 Jacob Doris 1
1 Jace Grigsby 1
1 Greg Smart 1
1 Gary Hughes 1
1 Ethan Anderson 1
1 Eric Barber 1
1 David Wood 1
1 David Butler 1
1 Danny Mitchell 1
1 Daniel Butler 1
1 Colton Taylor 1
1 Colton Rademacher 1
1 Chip McDonald 1
1 Brandon Grant 1
1 Blake Cannon 1
1 B.j. Clark 1
1 Adam Sartain 1
1 Chris Steel 1
65 Joe Pool 11 11 11 11 11 10 10*
62 Rusty Hinges 10 10 10 11 10 9* 11
22 Andy Buschmann 11 11
17 Charles Barnett 7 10
10 Jacob Doris 10
9 Danny Dale 9
9 Brandon Grant 9
8 Mitch Kennedy 8
MALE 50-59
52 Sam Cooke 11 11 11 10 9
39 Ron Cantrell 10 10 7 6 6
33 Bruce Oakley 11 11 11
24 Mike Hanson 9 8 7
20 Tim Oster 10 10
20 Roy Ring 10 10
17 Randy Harris 9 8
15 Joel Cannady 8 7
11 Rick Franks 11
11 Bruce Mathews 11
6 Danny Mitchell 6
5 Rob Ernest 5
5 Gary Hughes 5
4 Steve Wood 4
4 Rusty Castleman 4
MALE 40-49
61 Todd Coleman 10 11 10 10 10 10
60 Joel Tejeda 10 11 9 10 11 9
49 Shawn Patterson Sr 6 6 9 6* 9 9 10
44 Seth Barnes 11 11 11 11
31 Brenden Bishop 9 11 11
27 Bill Holifield 5 5 4 7 6
21 Greg Anderson 7 7 7
17 Ryan Richardson 4 5 8
16 Terry Smith 8 8
15 Dwayne Dickey 8 7
13 Dan Driver 10 3
9 Michael Thatch 5 4
9 Gil Mitchum 9
8 Robert Barber 8
8 David Wood 8
7 Keith Shireman 7
6 Jeff Stubbs 6
6 B.j. Clark 6
5 Greg Smart 5
4 Daniel Butler 4
3 Matthew Adam 3
3 Marvin Miller 3
3 David Butler 3
MALE 30-39
65 Shannon Box 11 11 11 11 10 11
44 Geary Paul 5 10 5* 9 6 7 2* 4* 7
40 Davy Insell 6 9 10 7 8
32 Matt Walker 11 10 11
31 Dale Brown 11 6 1 3 10
24 Chris Walls 8 7 9
20 John Beller 8 5 7
20 Eric Low 8 4 8
19 Travis Luyet 10 9
19 Filemon Tenorio 9 10
17 Jeff Welcher 9 8
16 Justin Hoskinds 7 3 6
16 Chris Lorch 9 7
11 Brian Yeager 11
10 Jonathan Dorris 10
10 Clint James 10
9 Blake Cannon 9
9 Chris Steel 9
8 Brad Cummings 8
6 Jade Anderson 4 2
6 Chip McDonald 6
5 Timothy Grant 5
5 Jeff Sims 5
3 Wesley Davis 3
2 Keith Matthews 2
1 Randy Sharp 1
MALE 20-29
64 Colyn Bowman 11 9* 10 10 11 11 11
39 Tyler Bishop 11 9 10 9
19 Anthony Coles 10 9
11 Rusty Staggs 11
11 David Tejeda 11
11 Marco Valencia 11
10 Shane Tucker 10
10 Justin Meskimen 10
9 Eric Barber 9
8 Adam Sartain 8
MALE 15-19
22 Will Henry 11 11
11 Colton Rademacher 11
11 Daniel Tripp 11
10 Joshua Poff 10
10 Samuel Beary 10
MALE 10-14
50 Shawn Patterson Jr 10 10 11 8 11
34 Tre Brown 9 11 9 5
31 Brayden Eckard 9 11 11
21 Spencer Rademacher 11 10
14 Connor Wheeler 7 7
11 Preston Thompson 11
11 Johnny Praught 11
11 Hayden Browers 11
10 Tristen Driver 10
10 Keaton Wheeler 10
10 Will Carpenter 10
10 Antron Ramey 10
9 Jake Ward 9
9 Jacob Penn 9
8 Kyler Wade 8
8 Kyler Dickey 8
7 Ethan Anderson 7
6 Payton Walls 6
4 Payne Moser 4
3 Colton Taylor 3
2 Logan Adam 2
1 Regan Paul 1
1 John Garrison 1
MALE 0-9
21 Kade Barber 11 10
11 Jace Grigsby 11
11 Josh Ward 11
9 Zeb Anderson 9
63 Crystal Cossey 10 11 11 11 11 9
62 Betsy Tucker 11 11 10 10 10 10
54 Ann Diemer 10 9 9 10 8 8 6* 6*
52 Lindsey King 9 10 8 9 9 7
33 Kristen Treadway 11 11 11
27 Rita Cooke 8 7 2 1 1 8
23 Ashley Beller 7 8 8
19 Linda Dale 2 3 1 5 1 1* 1* 1* 7
18 Sallie Welcher 7 4 4 3
17 Maria McAnally 7 10
16 Lisa Barber 5 2 6 1 1 1
12 Melanie Mathews 3 9
12 Cindy Wade 1 1 3 1 1 1* 5
11 Myra Looney Wood 1 1 1 1 1 6
10 Wendy Dozier 5 5
10 Terri Ann Cunningham 3 1 6
9 Yesenia Gutierrez 9
9 Latricia Williford 3 5 1
9 Kim Knapp 9
8 Isabelle Tenace 8
8 Cailey Cossey 8
8 Bethany Sloan 1 3 2 1 1
7 Tara Pankey 5 2
7 Nicole Driver 5 1 1
7 Melissa Anderson 4 1 1 1
7 Kendra Queen 7
7 Kathy Pickens 6 1
7 Katee Castleman 7
7 Jane Brewer 7
6 Sheila Cantrell 1 1 1 1 1 1
6 Rebecca Patterson 1 1 1 1 1 1 1*
6 Rebecca Kellum 1 1 1 1 1 1
6 Rachel Norton 6
6 Michelle Praught 6
6 Lisa Nash 1 1 1 3
6 Larissa Clark 6
6 Doris Lillard 1 1 1 1 1 1 1* 1* 1*
6 Catina Wood 1 1 1 1 1 1 1* 1*
6 Ann McCaa 1 1 4
5 Shannon Brown 1 1 1 1 1
5 Melanie Carpenter 1 1 2 1
5 Holly Wilson 1 4
5 Erin Beth Hays 5
5 Becky Box 4 1
4 Suzy Oakley 1 1 1 1
4 Shelley Garrett 1 1 1 1
4 Sarah Jarvis 4
4 Reagen Yeager 4
4 Kevan Beth Tucker 4
4 Jennifer Liles Dorris 1 1 2
4 Janie Barber 1 1 1 1
4 Cassie Bradley 1 1 1 1
4 Brandie Merrill 3 1
4 Amanda Nikkel 1 1 1 1
3 Kimberly Elms 1 1 1
3 Beth Christian 1 1 1
3 Angella Hendricks 1 1 1
2 Victoria Mitchell 1 1
2 Tracy Sutter 1 1
2 Stephanie Baxter 1 1
2 Stacey Cossey 1 1
2 Shelley Johnson 1 1
2 Rhonda Sharp 1 1
2 Regina Whiteside 1 1
2 Phyllis Russell 1 1
2 Pam Gramlina 1 1
2 Michelle McSpadden 1 1
2 Kay Reynolds 1 1
2 Jill Coles 1 1
2 Jessica Hogue 1 1
2 Jenifer Walls 1 1
2 Gina Mohlke 2
2 Emily Hoskinds 1 1
2 Donna England 1 1
2 Diane Gschwandegger 1 1
2 Crystal Anderson 1 1
2 Clara Nikkel 1 1
2 Claire Chapman 2
2 Cathy Castleman 1 1
2 Caliene Coop 1 1
2 Becky La Rue 1 1
1 Verena Herrin 1
1 Tina Paul 1
1 Tianna Reynolds 1
1 Teresa Clark 1
1 Tammy Hillis 1
1 Tammy Hansen 1
1 Stephanie Minor 1
1 Stacie Taylor 1
1 Shelly Moser 1
1 Sheila Simpson 1
1 Sharon Ward 1
1 Samantha Buie 1
1 Ricki Gilbert 1
1 Pearlean Mohlke 1
1 Pamala Coltharp 1
1 Nicole Stroud 1
1 Nicole Gilbert 1
1 Natanya Clark 1
1 Natalie Trower 1
1 Melody Carroll 1
1 Mary Ellen Wood 1
1 Mary Cox 1
1 Marie Thorne 1
1 Makayla Thorne 1
1 Magen Griffin 1
1 Lydia Sartain 1
1 Lori Ward 1
1 Linda Mitchell 1
1 Lexie Smith 1
1 Lesley Matthews 1
1 Leilani McAllister 1
1 Lauren Smith 1
1 Laura Richardson 1
1 Laura Garrett 1
1 Lana Hooper 1
1 Kristen Cross 1
1 Kerri Kramer 1
1 Kendra Walls 1
1 Kendele Kramer 1
1 Kendall Box 1
1 Kaylee Wilkins 1
1 Kayla Fraley 1
1 Katrice Grant 1
1 Joy Hodge 1
1 Jennifer Sinele 1
1 Jennifer Moser 1
1 Jamie Richmond 1
1 Hannah Posey 1
1 Haley Hooper 1
1 Freda Keener 1
1 Donna Rolins 1
1 Denise Smith 1
1 Debbie Rees 1
1 Darlene Fowler 1
1 Dana Dowell 1
1 Christina Smith 1
1 Cassidy Garrett 1
1 Carol Earles 1
1 Candace Fulbright 1
1 Brooke Carter 1
1 Brenda Burr 1
1 Bonnie Tucker 1
1 Blythe Keller 1
1 Baylie Moser 1
1 Amelia Bowman 1
1 Amanda Franks 1
1 Allison Brewer 1
1 Alice Kennedy 1
1 Agnes Kleeb 1
66 Linda Dale 11 11 11 11 11 11 11* 11* 11*
60 Doris Lillard 10 10 10 10 9* 10 10 9* 10*
20 Caliene Coop 10 10
9 Verena Herrin 9
9 Joy Hodge 9
8 Pearlean Mohlke 8
8 Agnes Kleeb 8
FEMALE 50-59
66 Betsy Tucker 11 11 11 11 11 11
63 Ann Diemer 10 10 11 11 11 10 9* 10*
57 Rita Cooke 9 10 10 9 9 10
48 Cindy Wade 7 9 9 7 8 4* 8
45 Myra Looney Wood 8 8 8 7 5 9
40 Sheila Cantrell 9 6 8 6 5 6
22 Janie Barber 5 7 7 3
20 Ann McCaa 6 7 7
18 Kathy Pickens 8 10
17 Cathy Castleman 9 8
12 Kay Reynolds 6 6
10 Kim Knapp 10
9 Phyllis Russell 4 5
9 Donna England 6 3
7 Brenda Burr 7
6 Freda Keener 6
5 Teresa Clark 5
5 Sharon Ward 5
4 Debbie Rees 4
4 Alice Kennedy 4
2 Mary Ellen Wood 2
1 Linda Mitchell 1
FEMALE 40-49
46 Lisa Barber 10 11 11 10 4
38 Shelley Garrett 10 10 9 9
38 Lisa Nash 9 9 9 11
32 Latricia Williford 11 10 11
30 Melissa Anderson 11 6 8 5
28 Suzy Oakley 8 7 7 6
28 Shannon Brown 8 9 2 8 1
17 Tracy Sutter 9 8
15 Angella Hendricks 5 7 3
14 Regina Whiteside 8 6
11 Jane Brewer 11
11 Isabelle Tenace 11
11 Carol Earles 11
10 Lisa Drake 10
10 Dana Dowell 10
10 Gina Mohlke 10
8 Lana Hooper 8
8 Diane Gschwandegger 3 5
7 Lori Ward 7
6 Shelley Johnson 1 5
6 Sheila Simpson 6
5 Stacey Cossey 1 4
4 Pam Gramlina 3 1
4 Melody Carroll 4
2 Tianna Reynolds 2
2 Leilani McAllister 2
1 Pamala Coltharp 1
1 Marie Thorne 1
1 Donna Rolins 1
1 Darlene Fowler 1
FEMALE 30-39
66 Crystal Cossey 11 11 11 11 11 11
42 Catina Wood 6 10 3* 7 5 4 4* 10
37 Sallie Welcher 11 9 8 9
30 Ashley Beller 10 10 10
24 Terri Ann Cunningham 10 5 9
23 Rebecca Patterson 5 1 6 1 1 1* 9
22 Melanie Carpenter 7 2 9 4
20 Nicole Driver 11 4 5
20 Melanie Mathews 9 11
20 Beth Christian 6 8 6
19 Jennifer Liles Dorris 6 5 8
17 Becky Box 10 7
15 Michelle McSpadden 8 7
14 Jenifer Walls 9 5
13 Emily Hoskinds 7 6
13 Brandie Merrill 7 6
13 Amanda Nikkel 8 1 2 2
10 Rachel Norton 10
10 Larissa Clark 10
9 Stephanie Baxter 1 8
9 Rhonda Sharp 1 8
9 Michelle Warden 9
8 Claire Chapman 8
7 Katrice Grant 7
6 Jessica Hogue 3 3
5 Tammy Hansen 5
5 Crystal Anderson 4 1
3 Kristen Cross 3
3 Becky La Rue 1 2
3 Amanda Franks 3
2 Denise Smith 2
1 Tina Paul 1
1 Tammy Hillis 1
1 Stacie Taylor 1
1 Shelly Moser 1
1 Ricki Gilbert 1
1 Nicole Stroud 1
1 Lesley Matthews 1
1 Laura Garrett 1
1 Jennifer Moser 1
1 Holly Wilson 1
1 Christina Smith 1
1 Candace Fulbright 1
1 Brooke Carter 1
1 Blythe Keller 1
FEMALE 20-29
64 Lindsey King 11 11 10 11 10 11
36 Bethany Sloan 6 9 9 6 6
33 Kristen Treadway 11 11 11
20 Maria McAnally 9 11
19 Wendy Dozier 10 9
19 Cassie Bradley 4 8 5 2
18 Tara Pankey 10 8
14 Kimberly Elms 7 4 3
11 Yesenia Gutierrez 11
10 Sarah Jarvis 10
10 Kendra Queen 10
10 Katee Castleman 10
9 Kevan Beth Tucker 9
9 Jamie Richmond 9
9 Allison Brewer 9
8 Magen Griffin 8
8 Erin Beth Hays 8
7 Natalie Trower 7
7 Lydia Sartain 7
7 Bonnie Tucker 7
6 Samantha Buie 6
5 Victoria Mitchell 4 1
5 Natanya Clark 5
5 Laura Richardson 5
5 Amelia Bowman 5
4 Jill Coles 3 1
4 Hannah Posey 4
3 Mary Cox 3
1 Stephanie Minor 1
FEMALE 15-19
65 Rebecca Kellum 10 11 11 11 11 11
11 Michelle Praught 11
11 Lexie Smith 11
10 Makayla Thorne 10
10 Haley Hooper 10
FEMALE 10-14
11 Kayla Fraley 11
11 Cailey Cossey 11
11 Lauren Smith 11
11 Nicole Gilbert 11
11 Reagen Yeager 11
10 Kaylee Wilkins 10
10 Baylie Moser 10
9 Kerri Kramer 9
8 Cassidy Garrett 8
7 Kendele Kramer 7
6 Kendra Walls 6
22 Clara Nikkel 11 11
11 Kendall Box 11
10 Jennifer Sinele 10

EDITOR’S NOTE, CORRECTIONS: Some of these excluded runners are our neighbors and frequent guests from such places as Mount Pleasant and Melbourne. Please use the comment form at the bottom of the page to let me know if any of these runners should be counted. Let me know if there are any other corrections: names misspelled, age groups (age as of May 12, 2012), and so on.

EXCLUSIONS: Alphabetical lists of race finishers excluded from the Challenge points tally as nonmembers outside the county:
Christmas Half Men: Brandon Adams, Paragould; Walter Blocker, Heber Springs; Chris Cone, Paragould; Steve Giles, Paragould; Tim Haltiwanger, Wynne; Brice Hammerstein, Sherwood; Mike Huddleston, Rogers; Scott Huddleston, Rogers; Steve Lovell, Paragould; Gary McBride, Paragould; Pablo Paredes, Jonesboro; Josh Poore, Paragould; Chris Roberts, Beebe; John Rutter, Jonesboro; Keith Shireman, Searcy; Clan Weatherford, Mount Pleasant
Christmas Half Women: Audrey Stephens, Little Rock; Callie Slade, Little Rock; Kelli Harris, Heber Springs; Leslie Elias, Searcy; Lucinda Bishop, Salem; Mary Muldrow, Little Rock; Miranda Hurtt, Salem; Morgan Adams, Paragould; Patti Hammerstein, Sherwood; Sarah Holup, Searcy; Shelby Brokaw, Sage
Click for Sara Low 5K Men, Sara Low 5K Women
Click for 4 Mile Classic Men, 4 Mile Classic Women
Sprint for Seniors Men: Matt Adams, Melbourne; Dennis Anderson, Mountain View; Nehemi Brown, Pangburn; Ricky Davis, Searcy; Neil Ford, Williamsport, TN; Micheal Hamblin, Searcy; Kyle Haun, Lakeview; Heath Johnson, Mountain Home; Ely Johnson, Mountain Home; Blaine Kalb, Pangburn; Kenny Loggains, Mount Pleasant; Randy Milligan, Conway; Kolten Smith, Melbourne; Greg Walker, North Little Rock; Tyler Webb, Mount Pleasant
Sprint for Seniors Women: Jewelia Anglum, Mount Pleasant; Alexis Brown, Pangburn; Heather Davis, McCrory; Jill Ford, Williamsport, TN; Rachel Foster, Wheatley; Jennifer Hamblin, Searcy; Debra Haun, Gassville; Lois Hobbs, Glencoe; Joanne Hollowell, Brinkley; Lacey Johnson, Mountain Home; Sonja Jones, Ash Flat; Deborah Kalb, Pangburn; Melanie Loggains, Mount Pleasant; Dezirae Plummer, McCrory; Shelley Rawls, Brinkley; Brenda Self, Brinkley; Lexi Sitton, Mount Pleasant; Lacey Thornton, Mount Pleasant; Carol Woolverton, Gideon, MO; Cassy Woolverton, Gideon, MO; Hannah Woolverton, Jonesboro
Run the Wave Men: Clan Weatherford, Mount Pleasant; Aaron McKellar, Heber Springs; Jordan Brimer, Bald Knob; Kenny Loggains, Mount Pleasant; John Elliott, Athens TN; Jeff Dilday, Tuckerman; Richie Kohl, Russell
Run the Wave Women: Montye Crawford, Bentonville; Arin Carpenter, England; Carla Smith, Sage; Lacey Thornton, Mt. Pleasant; Cassandra Stafford, Searcy; Ashley Dellinger, Melbourne; Kassandra Falls, Marshall MO; Sharon Bradehoeft, Higginsville MO; Julie Kohl, Russell
Click for Pioneer Day 5K Men, Pioneer Day 5K Women
Tax Run Men: Joshua Carroll, Conway; Jim Carroll, Melbourne; Raymond Curry, Cordova; Jeff Dilday, Tuckerman; Shane Gregg, Bradford; Adam Hillis, Jonesboro; Kenny Loggains, Mount Pleasant; Brandon Love, Mount Pleasant; Trey Reely, Searcy; Bob Reely, Searcy; Tyler Webb, Mount Pleasant; Kelley Webb, Mount Pleasant
Tax Run Women: Heather Carroll, Conway; Jennifer Dilday, Tuckerman; Kate Mead, Concord; Kristen Runyan, Clinton; Lacey Thornton, Mount Pleasant
High Rock Men: Stephen Svetz, Bryant
High Rock Women: Jane Gunter, Cabot; Melony Martz, Hardy; Sydney Venable, North Little Rock
Penguin Men: Michael Candler, Cabot; Jason Spray, Franklin; Adam Penman, Pottsville
Penguin Women: Kelli Harris, Heber Springs; Rachael Turner, Mountain View; Deanna Jones, Hardy

Sara Low 5K Male Exclusions:
Terry Allenbaugh, Alexander
Alex Alpe, Crawfordsville
Dennis Anderson, Mountain View
Eugene Atha, Sherwood
Caleb Ault, Maumelle
Eric Baker, Bryant
Wayne Bennett, Quitman
James Bresette, Clinton
Jordan Brimer, Bald Knob
Paul Butry, Alma
Thomas Cameron, Fayetteville
Michael Candler, Cabot
Randy Collins, Bryant
Bill Crow, North Little Rock
Imari Dellimore, Little Rock
R C Fason, Little Rock
Cliff Ferren, North Little Rock
Michael Foster, Jonesboro
John Garbow, Bald Knob
Joey Gieringer, Pine Bluff
Shane Gregg, Bradford
Chris Hall, Alexander
Donald Harrison, Bryant
John Harrison, Conway
Roy Hayward, North Little Rock
Jerry Hester, Conway
Chris Ho, North Little Rock
Donte Horton, Bald Knob
Kim Howard, Mineral Springs
Tim Jones, Sacramento CA
Kenny Loggains, Mount Pleasant
Jeff Maher, Little Rock
Mike Maulden, Little Rock
Hank McLaughlin, Ozark
Donald Middleton, Gans OK
Gene Miller, Melbourne
John Miller, Maumelle
Jim Miller, Little Rock
Paul Miller, Melbourne
Joe Milligan, Maumelle
Joshua Mobley, Jonesboro
Tim Norman, Searcy
Rodney Paine, Little Rock
Jason Pearson, Benton
Brian Polansky, Maumelle
Brad Runsick, Mountain Home
Larry Schmidt, Hot Springs National
Russell Shippee, Cabot
Dillian Smith, Mountain View
David Smith, Newport
Michael Smithson, Austin
Luke Tischler, Cabot
Joe Volpe, Little Rock
Jacob Wells, Little Rock

Sara Low 5K Female Exclusions:
Lorna Armstrong, Van Buren
Darnell Bennett, Pangburn
Mary Jo Brinkman, Fort Smith
Kristen Brown, Maumelle
Mackie Buckelew, North Little Rock
Jaynie Cannon, Little Rock
Amy Caplinger, Jonesboro
Tina Coutu, Little Rock
Lindsey Ducan, Bald Knob
Linda Fason, Little Rock
Chrissy Ferguson, Conway
Kelly Frantz, Perryville
Cymber Gieringer, Pine Bluff
Tara Gilmore, Bald Knob
Debra Haun, Gassville
Mary Hayward, North Little Rock
Tina Ho, North Little Rock
Nicole Hobbs, Lonsdale
Juanita Honey, Hardy
Amy Jones, Sacramento CA
Barbara Kane, Benton
Laura Kluthe, Harvey
Katie Kramer, Not available
Mindy Lacefield, Maumelle
Melanie Loggains, Mount Pleasant
Bernita Lovelace, Conway
Angela Low, Little Rock
Gracie McElroy, Judsonia
Pam McGill, Mayflower
Terrilynn Miller, Salado
Natalie Raysdale, Pangburn
Kathleen Rea, North Little Rock
Dottie Rea, Vilonia
Rosemary Rogers, Maumelle
Lisa Shippee, Cabot
Lexi Sitton, Mt. Pleasant
Stacie Smith, Brookland
Susan Smith, Newport
Melissa Smithson, Austin
Shannon Smithson, Austin
Malorie Smithson, Austin
Illene Stewart, Edgemont
Bobi Taylor, Cabot
Kaci Taylor, Cabot
Janna Tischler, Cabot
Emily Trower, Conway
Tammy Walther, Little Rock
Amelia Williams, Harvey

4 Mile Classic Male Exclusions:
Dennis Anderson, Mountain View
James Anderson, Pine Bluff
Trevan Andrews, West Plains, MO
Jeffrey Asher, Russellville
Eugene Atha, Sherwood
Caleb Ault, Maumelle
Eric Baker, Bryant
Wayne Bennett, Quitman
Bill Biggs, Jonesboro
Robert Blades, Mountain Home
Thomas Bogue, Stonewall, LA
James Bresette, Clinton
Hunter Brokaw, Melbourne
Jordan Bromer, Bald Knob
Robert Bull, Casa
Paul Butry, Alma
Daly Byrd, Fox
Michael Candler, Cabot
Jim Carroll, Melbourne
Nathan Castle, Cabot
Preston Clairday, Melbourne
Randy Collins, Bryant
Bill Crow, North Little Rock
Mitchell Curtis, Mountain Home
Lonnie Curtis, Houston
Chad Curtis, Houston
Michael Douglas, Van Buren
Rick Farrar, Franklin
Rc Fason, Little Rock
Cliff Ferren, North Little Rock
Joey Gieringer, Pine Bluff
Chris Hall, Alexander
Donald Harrison, Bryant
John Harrison, Conway
Kyle Haun, Lakeview
Roy Hayward, North Little Rock
Jerry Hester, Conway
Jack Heston, Southaven, MS
Todd Hink, Clinton
Chris Ho, North Little Rock
Moon Ho, North Little Rock
Kim Howard, Mineral Springs
Jeremy Inman, Pomona, MO
Jordan Inman, Pomona, MO
Frankie Jones, Paragould
Daniel Kirwa, Searcy
Joseph Kopecky, Hope
Joshua Kruse, Mountain Home
Kenny Loggains, Mount Pleasant
Brandon Love, Mount Pleasant
Ricky Martinez, Little Rock
Mike Maulden, Little Rock
Damon Mayfield, West Plains, MO
Clay McDaniel, Little Rock
Bob McKinney, Little Rock
Hank McLaughlin, Ozark
Jeremiah McLaughlin, Conway
Alex Medina, West Plains, MO
Donald Middleton, Gans, OK
Gene Miller, Melbourne
John Miller, Maumelle
Jim Miller, Little Rock
Paul Miller, Melbourne
Gregory Milligan, North Little Rock
Joe Milligan, Maumelle
Wil Norris, Mountain Home
Rodney Paine, Little Rock
Jason Pearson, Benton
Chad Pekron, Benton
Daniel Pevril, Gassville
Brian Polansky, Fort Worth, TX
Jeff Porter, Columbia, MO
Timothy Richard, North Little Rock
Brad Runsick, Mountain Home
David Samuel, Mount Ida
Billy Savell, Melbourne
Bill Simpson, Little Rock
Kolten Smith, Melbourne
Shane Southerland, Bigelow
Brent Southerland, Bigelow
Tim Steadman, Little Rock
Britt Thompson, Little Rock
Luke Tischler, Cabot
Bill Torrey, Little Rock
Sinjun Venable, North Little Rock
Brian Wagner, Vilonia
Gary Webb, Friendship
Tyler Webb, Mount Pleasant
Ron Webb, Sheridan
Garett Webb, Friendship
Kelley Webb, Mount Pleasant
Jacob Wells, Little Rock
Charles Yeagor, North Little Rock

4 Mile Classic Female Exclusions:
Rachel Anderson, Pine Bluff
Lorna Armstrong, Van Buren
Alise Atha, Little Rock
Christine Bennett, Cabot
Mary Jo Brinkman, Fort Smith
Shelby Brokaw, Sage
Kristen Brown, Little Rock
Mackie Buckelew, North Little Rock
Jayme Butts-Hall, Alexander
Emily Carroll, Mount Pleasant
Melody Carroll, Melbourne
Jessica Castle, Cabot
Holly Craig, Fort Smith
Mason Downing, Sidney
Amy Wiedower Eble, Little Rock
Linda Fason, Little Rock
Lalita Flagg, Mulberry
Lisa Ford, Cabot
Kelly Frantz, Perryville
Cymber Gieringer, Pine Bluff
Alicia Gunter, West Plains, MO
Jane Gunter, Cabot
Debra Haun, Gassville
Mary Hayward, North Little Rock
Sandra Herron, Wichita Falls, TX
Tina Ho, North Little Rock
Nicole Hobbs, Lonsdale
Juanita Honey, Hardy
Vicki Ingram, Cabot
Aimee Larkin, Little Rock
Pamela Lee, Hot Springs Village
Melanie Loggains, Mount Pleasant
Josie Love, Mount Pleasant
Bernita Lovelace, Conway
Cathy Martin, Bradford
Pam McGill, Mayflower
Lexie McKedy, Cabot
Janna McKedy, Cabot
Sandra Mims, Little Rock
Kylie Morton, Mountain Home
Sarah Olney, Little Rock
Ginea Qualls, Little Rock
Kathleen Rea, North Little Rock
Dottie Rea, Vilonia
Rosemary Rogers, Maumelle
Joan Scarlata, Cabot
Debbie Scrivner, Hot Springs
Hope Sharp, Little Rock
Tia Stone, Searcy
Angie Swaim, Vilonia
Addy Swaim, Vilonia
Bobi Taylor, Cabot
Kaci Taylor, Cabot
Debbie Thompson, Little Rock
Robyn Thornton, Pine Bluff
Lisa “Pink Panther” Vorwerk, Dover
Tiffany Webb, Mount Pleasant
Mary Wells, Little Rock
Maddy Wells, Little Rock
Jenny Wilkes, Little Rock
Aulbany Williams, Bigelow

Pioneer Day Male Exclusions:
Matt Adams, Melbourne
Jim Baxter, Smithville
Dennis Beaupre, Barbeau, MI
Blake Bledsoe, Mount Pleasant
Jim Carroll, Melbourne
Alex Craig, Roeland Park, KS
Scott Craig, Roeland Park, KS
Rex Darmstaedter, Melbourne
Dallas Dawson, Salem
Dustin Dawson, Salem
Bill Garland, Melbourne
Jeff Gillihan, Mount Pleasant
Owen Harvell, Melbourne
Tim Harvell, Melbourne
Matt Hawkins, Melbourne
John Hunt, Piedmont, OK
Bryce Hutchins, Mount Pleasant
Ken Loggains, Mount Pleasant
Brandon Love, Mount Pleasant
Kevin Marlin, Greenbrier
Jimmy McDaniel, Mountain Home
Paul Miller, Melbourne
Jerry Reed, Melbourne
David Salinas, Olathe, KS
Billy Savell, Melbourne
Caleb Spray, Franklin
Jason Spray, Franklin
Ryan Warner, Melbourne
Will Weatherford, Mount Pleasant
Clan Weatherford, Mount Pleasant
Tyler Webb, Mt. Pleasant
Clayton Williams, Melbourne
Randy Williams, Melbourne

Pioneer Day Female Exclusions:
Kaylee Ables, Melbourne
Loni Beth Cooper, Melbourne
Lucinda Bishop, Salem
Kelsie Bledsoe, Mount Pleasant
Becky Booth, Melbourne
Madison Brokaw, Melbourne
Hayley Brokaw, Melbourne
Shelby Brokaw, Melbourne
Katie Callahan, Mount Pleasant
Melody Carroll, Melbourne
Molly Cooper, Melbourne
Kelly Cooper, Melbourne
Katie Cooper, Melbourne
Holly Cooper, Melbourne
June Craig, Olathe, KS
Leslie Craig, Roeland Park, KS
Becca Duckett, Mount Pleasant
Laura Edwards, Mount Pleasant
Theresa Fun, Ola
Connie Garland, Melbourne
Bailey George, Melbourne
Jayden Gillihan, Mount Pleasant
Carmen Gillihan, Mount Pleasant
Carrie Goode, Melbourne
Lisa Harber-Hurtt, Salem
Amanda Harvey, Mountain Home
Debra Haun, Gassville
Amanda Himschoot, Cherokee Village
Juanita Honey, Hardy
Charlene Honeycutt, Pineville
Mandy Humphries, Ash Flat
Chrissy Hutson, Melbourne
Kaye Jackson, Ash Flat
Jude Lindsey, Calico Rock
Josie Love, Mount Pleasant
Amy Love, Mount Pleasant
Lisa Manry, Melbourne
Alarra Matthews, Piedmont, OK
Wendy Paton-Beaupre, Barbeau, MI
Farra Rowden, Viola
Cara Shaw, Sidney
Maddie Smith, Melbourne
Carla Smith, Melbourne
Jennifer Stickles, Mountain Home
Sandra Taylor, Melbourne
Harley Thomason, Sidney
Elizabeth Thomason, Sidney
Lacey Thornton, Melbourne
Stephanie Weatherford, Mount Pleasant
Kiley Webb, Mount Pleasant
Jordan Webb, Mount Pleasant
Tiffany Webb, Mount Pleasant
Susan Williams, Melbourne
Janet Wood, Mountain Home

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Know the score

Posted by boakley59 on January 19, 2012

The first race in the 2012 Arkansas RRCA Grand Prix series is Sunday’s One Hour Run in Russellville. The White River Roadrunners have quite a few runners racing, enough to constitute men’s and women’s teams in the club team competition. Team results are tallied using cross-country scoring, so for those of you who did not run cross-country in your younger days or do not have children on school teams, I’ll explain what that means.

In cross-country scoring, every eligible runner is given points matching his place in the finish order of all eligible runners. (For the ARRCA Grand Prix team series, eligible runners must be Grand Prix registrants and dues-paying members of their local running club, and their team must have a minimum number of scoring runners.) The points are added for the first few eligible runners of a given team (high schools and colleges usually count five runners per team; the Grand Prix counts four men or three women). The team with the lowest point total wins the event. A team may enter more than the required number; a team with fewer than that number of finishers is not figured in the standings. The additional runners on larger teams do not count toward their team’s score, but they can push runners from other teams farther behind, thus increasing those scores and helping their own team win.

An example will help. Say the White River Roadrunners send eight eligible runners to the Hill Lovers 1-Mile Stumble, and Team Bandylegs sends the minimum of four. WRRR takes 1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th and 14th places, with TB taking 2nd, 4th, 6th and 13th. Unattached runners finish 11th and 12th. The unattached runners are irrelevant to the team count, so their finishes are discarded and for the team tally, 13th and 14th places become 11th and 12th among eligible runners. The first four finishers for WRRR score 1 + 3 + 5 + 7 = 16 points. The four finishers for TB score 2 + 4 + 6 + 11 (was 13) = 23. WRRR wins 16-23. The WRRR finishers in 8th, 9th and 10th didn’t count in the WRRR score, but they pushed the last runner in TB back to 11th place, fattening the TB score. The WRRR runner at the back of the pack gained valuable racing experience and will outkick the last TB runner next time!

It’s good to have a fast team, but it’s great to have a deep team. A team is only as good as its weakest scorer. A team that runs well together generally scores better than a team with a hotshot and some other guys.

That’s how single events are scored in the Grand Prix team challenge. For the yearlong challenge, the teams are then awarded position points for 1st through 10th against the other teams in a given event. The first place team gets 30 points in the “championship” races and 20 points in the non-championships. Each subsequent place is worth 3 points less in championship races (27, 24, down to 3 for 10th place) and 2 points less in the others (18, 16, down to 2 for 10th). At the end of the series, the team that has accumulated the most position points is the winner.

Teams win individual races with low point totals, which gain them high position points in the overall series. The team challenge includes 21 races, but a maximum of 16 will be counted toward a team’s total, and a team must have 10 scores to be eligible for year-end awards. This rewards teams that are persistent and prevents loaded teams from accumulating big points in a few races and then dropping out of the competition.

The Grand Prix, of course, is built around its individual challenge, where Grand Prix registrants are awarded position points for 1st through 10th places in a number of men’s and women’s categories: Overall (every runner), Masters (age 40+), Grand Masters (age 50+), Seniors (age 60+) and five-year age groups. The 30 by 3 and 20 by 2 scales described above apply here as well. The major categories are “topless”: A Senior can tally points in Grand Masters, Masters and Overall, a Grand Master can score in Masters and Overall, a Master can score in Overall. The five-year age groups have floors and ceilings, no overlap from other groups.

The individual challenge includes 20 races, but only a runner’s best 10 will count, five championship and five non-championship. An individual must have at least five scores to be eligible for year-end awards. Again, persistence and series participation is favored over mere speed.

This year, the White River Roadrunners are renewing our own challenge series, with men’s and women’s overall, 60 and older, 0-9, 10-14, 15-19 and 10-year age groups. We have nine races in our list, with only a runner’s best six counting. A runner must finish at least four to be eligible for year-end awards.

Click for the combined schedule of Grand Prix and White River Roadrunner challenge races, and a Grand Prix WRRR teams-tracking page.

Roadrunners! Beep beep.

Posted in Running | 2 Comments »

A bit of a stretch

Posted by boakley59 on January 17, 2012

So now you’ve left the holidays and the offseason behind and you’re digging back into your routine, ready to chase after new distance and speed goals. Please don’t leap from the couch right into a workout as if you haven’t been slacking for a week or two. Remember to warm up and stretch those muscles, or they’ll snap back at you!

How and when do you stretch? Different times take different actions, but simple principles apply.

First, different strokes for different folks. Research (Does stretching prevent injuries?) suggests that you need to do what works for you: If you usually stretch just a little, don’t decide to do twice your normal routine before a big race. If you usually stretch a lot, don’t skip it before trotting to the start line. Bad stretching is worse than no stretching. Make a just-for-you routine, paying special attention to areas where you have a history of trouble.

Second, conquer the cold, feed the fire. When you’re cold and tight, do gentle dynamic stretches to warm up. Don’t do long, slow stretches or jerky, bouncing, quick moves or you’ll tear muscles rather than loosen them. Before a run, you should do dynamic limbering motions, rather than long slow stretches. These are gentle dance-type moves just to get the blood flowing and wake up those tired areas. Work your way top down, from your neck to your shoulders to your arms, back, butt, thighs, calves, feet.

When you’ve finished a run, then do slow, steady stretches while your muscles are warm and at their most receptive, because this will build suppleness and prevent injury. You may ease some post-workout soreness besides.

Third, get to the core of the matter. When you’ve got a spare half hour or even in stolen moments as you go through your day, do some core strengthening exercises and stretches to build support areas. You will run easier and more efficiently with strong, supple muscles and connecting tissues.

Fourth, you know it flows downhill. Injuries generally indicate a problem farther up the chain. Trouble with the feet may come from the Achilles tendon or an imbalance with the calf; knee pain often starts with the iliotibial band at the hip. When you start feeling strain, think about what’s going on higher up and look for ways to build strength from the top down.

The five most common running injuries are knee pain, ITB syndrome, shin splints, Achilles tendinitis and plantar fasciitis. Easy exercises for these are half squats for the knee, side leg raises for ITB, heel walking and big toe raises for shin splints, calf drops for the Achilles and the tripod arch raise for plantar fasciitis.

Check out Runner’s World online for a fantastic years-deep archive of articles and videos on proper stretching and strengthening exercises. The site is easy to navigate with category tabs, pull-down menus and a search engine that will guide you to a specific solution to any strain, injury or fear you might have. Another great place for running information is the Furman Institute of Running and Scientific Training, with training programs built on the best and latest research.

A little advance work will pay off handsomely in the home stretch.


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On the road again

Posted by boakley59 on January 15, 2012

Holiday overindulging already a distant memory? Back on the roads wondering what happened to all that energy and that trim look in those flashy racing threads? Suddenly gasping for air after a short burst that you were knocking off without a care a couple of months ago?

Yeah, it happens. You get knocked off your schedule for a few weeks and you wonder (worry) if you’ll ever get it back. It won’t be easy, but the good news is it should be easier than it was before. You have been through the routine now, so you know what to do; you know what you can take; you know what it takes to move forward. You’ve marked out a trail; you’re just returning to it after being away for a while.

So, reconnect with your running buddies, revisit your startup schedule from last season and get going. If you haven’t gotten restarted yet, run a few days a week of gentle mileage for a couple of weeks to re-establish your base, then step back into your training program with your new farther, faster, funner (!) goals.

The ladies of Women Run/Walk Arkansas Clinic Batesville are meeting at 8 a.m. Saturdays on the Penguin 5K/10K course. Some meet at the Southern Bank parking lot to avoid running over the river bridge until race day; others are meeting at the starting line across the bridge in Kennedy Park to run the whole course. That’s every week until race day, Feb. 25. The clinic will be starting about that time as well, with Tue-Thu-Sat runs in store. The speed group is at BHS track most Mondays at mid-afternoon, and general road runs are Tue/Thu mid-afternoon. Updates to the schedule are at Run-Coach.

I’ve also updated the White River Roadrunners Challenge series schedule and rules (10-19 age group is now 10-14 and 15-19, to even things up for still-developing younger legs), and we’re still putting together a schedule for the team competition in the statewide Grand Prix. Let me know if you’re in the Grand Prix and planning to run any of the races on the schedule and I’ll add you to the listing at Take one for the team.

In case you missed it, I have my own Facebook page now (not sharing Suzy’s anymore), so you can catch me there for comments or advice if you’re not looking in here regularly. For what it’s worth, I note that Facebook is not like real life: On FB, it’s when you stop cohabiting and separate that your status updates to “married.”

Anyway, I hope everyone’s getting the kinks out and enjoying a new year, eager to get back into top form. Don’t fret that you’ve missed some time or stepped aside from your program for a while, because we all need to take breaks to recharge. The February Runner’s World has an article talking about the twice-a-year training breaks one elite coach imposes on his teams so that their legs are fresh at peak season. They break from the hard stuff for one to two months each time, so they do “maintenance only” for about a quarter of the year. Stepping back is part of the plan. Enjoy the rest and recharge, then go back to it with new strength. You’ll find you’re starting off this year at a place you were struggling to get to last year.

Don’t forget your stretching and core exercises!

Beep beep!

Posted in Running | 2 Comments »

WRRR Challenge Series

Posted by boakley59 on January 9, 2012

The White River Road Runners welcome 2012 with a revival of the club’s yearlong points challenge. (Click for current standings.)

The championship series encompasses nine races, and all club members and Independence County runners finishing any of the nine will automatically be entered in the competition. Visiting runners at local events will also be able to register to join the free challenge series.

Runners will be scored at each race against other competitors in men’s and women’s overall categories and men’s and women’s age groups of 60 and older, 50-59, 40-49, 30-39, 20-29, 10-19, 15-19, 10-14, 9 and younger. Points will be awarded on a decreasing scale to the top 10 finishers in each category, and every runner will receive one point for finishing.

The series is designed to encourage the broadest participation and give runners of all training levels a chance. Nine races are in the series, but only a runner’s best six scores will count toward the final total, and a runner must complete four races to be eligible for final awards. Some of the events offer additional races, but only one race (noted in the list below) counts in the points series. Runners who complete all nine races will receive “Iron Road Runner” recognition.

Age group for the competition will be a runner’s age on May 12 at the fifth race in the series, the White River Medical Center “Run the Wave” 5K in Batesville. Some races do not yet have firm dates; any series changes will be announced well in advance on the running club’s Web site,

The nine races in the series are:

Penguin 10k for Special Olympics, Feb. 25, Kennedy Park, Batesville (This event also offers a 5K not in the series)
• High Rock Hop 5+ Mile Trail Run, March 31, The Farm, Batesville (This event also offers a 10-mile run not in the series)
• 1040 Tax Fun Run/Walk, April 14, Eagle Mountain Elementary School, Batesville
• Pioneer Day 5K, May 5, Court Square, Melbourne
• White River Medical Center “Run the Wave” 5K, May 12, Batesville
• Army National Guard 5k, July date to be determined, Lyon College, Batesville
Sprint for Seniors, June 23, West Baptist Church, Batesville
• White River 4M Classic, Aug. 4, Main Street, Batesville
• Sara Low Memorial 5K, Sept. 8, Batesville High School
• White River Half-Marathon, Dec. 8 Dec. 1 (NOTE: Date corrected 10/26/12), Main Street, Batesville (This event also offers a two-runner relay not in the series) | Course map

Posted in Running, Sports | 1 Comment »

Take one for the team

Posted by boakley59 on January 1, 2012

White River Road Runners, many of you know the club is hoping to make a showing in the ARRCA Grand Prix team series in 2012. This year, our own 4-Mile Classic and Sara Low 5K are both in the series. We had a men’s team for the opening race, the Hour Run in Russellville, Sunday, Jan. 22; and we’ve got men’s and women’s teams lined up for River Trail 15K Feb. 4 and the Chase Race 2 Mile in Conway on March 10. (Team schedule update below, last updated: Feb. 10)

The team competition encompasses 20 races, but only the team’s best 16 races are counted. A team must compete in 10 races to qualify for series awards. (You can’t win eight events and rest on your laurels, nor can you outnumber a faster team by running more events.) Grand Prix registration of each team member at least five days before that runner’s first race is required; there’s a $15 fee and online registration is available at The Hogeye Marathon Relay is a team event only, four runners (all male or all female, no mixed teams) go 6-7 miles each; no individual Grand Prix points are awarded.

For men, a team is four runners. We can have different sets of four at each race, so if we have more members willing to run a few races each, no one will need to stretch their calendar. Colyn Bowman plans to try to meet the Iron Man challenge of running all 20 races, and Brian Yeager will run as many as he can. Matt Walker is planning to enter 4 or 5, with his preference being trail runs and longer distances. I’ll flesh out the list below if any of you are willing to represent the club in a few of these races.

For women, a team is three runners (except at Hogeye Relay), with Betsy and Kevan Beth Tucker planning to run several of the races and needing another few runners to take a few races each. Betsy has picked out 13 races and Kevan Beth will likely run several of those. Claire Chapman and Betsy’s friend Sarah Ward Jarvis also plan to join the Tuckers. My dear Suzy has signed up for the Grand Prix but not yet chosen any races. Likely candidates are the 5Ks, Go! Mile and 2 Mile Chase. I’ll fill out the list below if any of you can help out.

I expect that fielding a team will offer chances to carpool and such, plus I’d be happy to work out group training if anyone has improvement targets. You needn’t think you’re not fast enough; our fastest runners may not be able to get to enough races to qualify us for final awards, so even a slower team at a given race will push us forward in the competition. If you’re planning to go to several of these races anyway, please consider joining the Grand Prix and helping us represent the club around the state.

The 2012 Grand Prix schedule and our committed runners:


Jan 22: Hour Track Run, Little Rock Russellville, Colyn Bowman, Brian Yeager, Brenden Bishop, Tristen Driver
Feb 04: River Trail 15K, North Little Rock, Colyn Bowman, Brian Yeager, Davy Insell, Shane Tucker
Feb 11: Valentine’s Day 5K, Russellville, Colyn Bowman, Brian Yeager
Feb 19: Run the Line Half Marathon, Texarkana, Colyn Bowman, Brian Yeager
Mar 10: Chase Race 2M, Conway, Colyn Bowman, Tristen Driver, Dan Driver
Mar 24: Spring Fling 5K, Cabot, Colyn Bowman
Apr 7: Capital City Classic 10K, Little Rock, Colyn Bowman, Davy Insell
Apr 14 15: Hogeye Marathon Relay (team event only — need 4 runners; 1040 Tax Run date), Fayetteville, Colyn Bowman
May 5: Toad Suck 10K, Conway, Colyn Bowman
May 26: Rock Run 8K, Little Rock, Colyn Bowman
Jun 16: Go! Mile, North Little Rock, Colyn Bowman
Aug 4: White River 4M, Batesville, Colyn Bowman, Davy Insell, Matt Walker
Aug 11: Watermelon 5K, Hope, Colyn Bowman
Sept 1: ARK 5K Classic, North Little Rock, Colyn Bowman
Sept 8: Sara Low Memorial 5K, Batesville, Colyn Bowman, Davy Insell, Matt Walker
Sept 15: Arkansas 20K, Benton, Colyn Bowman, Matt Walker?
Oct 13: Chile Pepper XC 10K, Fayetteville, Colyn Bowman
Oct 20: Survivors Challenge 10K, Fort Smith, Colyn Bowman
Oct 27: Soaring Wings Half Marathon, Conway, Colyn Bowman, Matt Walker
Nov 3: Mid South Marathon, Wynne, Colyn Bowman, Matt Walker
Nov 17: Spa 10K, Hot Springs, Colyn Bowman


Jan 22: Hour Track Run, Little Rock Russellville, Betsy Tucker
Feb 04: River Trail 15K, North Little Rock, Betsy Tucker, Carol Earles, Sarah Ward Jarvis
Feb 11: Valentine’s Day 5K, Russellville
Feb 19: Run the Line Half Marathon, Texarkana
Mar 10: Chase Race 2M, Conway, Betsy Tucker, Nicole Thomison-Driver, Suzy Oakley
Mar 24: Spring Fling 5K, Cabot, Betsy Tucker, Suzy Oakley
Apr 7: Capital City Classic 10K, Little Rock, Betsy Tucker
Apr 14 15: Hogeye Marathon Relay (team event only — need 4 runners; 1040 Tax Run date), Fayetteville
May 5: Toad Suck 10K, Conway
May 26: Rock Run 8K, Little Rock, Betsy Tucker
Jun 16: Go! Mile, North Little Rock, Betsy Tucker, Kevan Beth Tucker?, Suzy Oakley?
Aug 4: White River 4M, Batesville, Betsy Tucker, Kevan Beth Tucker?
Aug 11: Watermelon 5K, Hope, Betsy Tucker, Suzy Oakley?
Sept 1: ARK 5K Classic, North Little Rock, Betsy Tucker
Sept 8: Sara Low Memorial 5K, Batesville, Betsy Tucker, Kevan Beth Tucker?, Suzy Oakley?
Sept 15: Arkansas 20K, Benton
Oct 13: Chile Pepper XC 10K, Fayetteville
Oct 20: Survivors Challenge 10K, Fort Smith
Oct 27: Soaring Wings Half Marathon, Conway, Betsy Tucker
Nov 3: Mid South Marathon, Wynne
Nov 17: Spa 10K, Hot Springs, Betsy Tucker, Kevan Beth Tucker?

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On Your Marks

Posted by boakley59 on December 6, 2011

2012 Grand Prix/WRRR combined schedule

The list below (UPDATED, June 18) includes races on the White River Roadrunners and Arkansas RRCA Grand Prix series 2012 calendars. The Grand Prix competition awards points to the top 10 series runners in each age category at each race. “Championship races” are scored on a scale from 30 points to 3 in 3-point steps, with the other races scored from 20 to 2 in 2-point steps. WRRR is resuming its own series in 2012, with nine races included. Full rules are explained on the ARRCA and WRRR Web sites and in WRRR Challenge Series. The 4-Mile Classic and Sara Low 5K are featured in both collections. Links to race Web sites will be added as sites become active.

WRRR Race | WRRR Points Race
Grand Prix Points Race | Grand Prix Championship Race
Grand Prix Points & WRRR Points Race
Grand Prix Championship & WRRR Points Race

Jan 1 Ken and Michelle’s Less than 4 Mile Prediction Run, Batesville

Jan 22 Hour Track Run

Feb 4 River Trail 15K, North Little Rock

Feb 11 Valentine’s Day 5K

Feb 19 Run the Line Half Marathon, Texarkana

Feb 25 Penguin 5k/•10k for Special Olympics, Kennedy Park, Batesville

Mar 10 Chase Race 2M, Conway

Mar 24 Spring Fling 5K, Cabot

Mar 31 High Rock Hop •5+ mile/10 mile Trail Run, The Farm, Batesville

Apr 7 Capital City Classic 10K, Little Rock

Apr 7 Faith, Friends, and Fun 5k Night Run/Walk, Ash Flat City Park

Apr 14 1040 Tax Fun Run/Walk, Eagle Mountain Elementary, Batesville

Apr 14 15 Hogeye Marathon Relay (team event only), Fayetteville

May 5 Toad Suck 10K, Conway

May 5 Pioneer Day, WRMC, Melbourne

May 12 WRMC “Run the Wave” 5k, WRMC, Batesville

May 26 Rock Run 8K, Little Rock

Jun 16 Go! Mile, North Little Rock

June 23 Sprint for Seniors 5K, West Baptist Church, Batesville

Aug 4 White River 4M

Aug 11 Watermelon 5K

Sept 1 ARK 5K Classic

Sept 8 Sara Low Memorial 5K, Batesville

Sept 15 Arkansas 20K, Benton

Oct 13 Chile Pepper XC 10K, Fayetteville

Oct 20 Survivors Challenge 10K, Fort Smith

Oct 27 Soaring Wings Half Marathon, Conway

Nov 3 Mid South Marathon, Wynne

Nov 17 Spa 10K, Hot Springs

Dec 8 1 White River Half-Marathon and 8k, Main Street, Batesville

Posted in Running | 1 Comment »

The more the merrier

Posted by boakley59 on August 29, 2011

Beep Beep. Roadrunner. Beep Beep. Beep Beep. Roadrunners.

Here a beep, there a beep, everywhere a beep beep — roadrunners everywhere. For all that running is an individual sport, it is nevertheless undertaken by social animals. Those of us who find contentment in running alone generally find something even better in running with others.

We seem to find it easier to run in a pack. If you are plodding along with little motivation or progress, find a mentor, partner or apprentice to share the road. Whether you are learner, leader or pal in your pack, you are very likely to find yourself having more fun and getting faster and fitter.

In the past year, I’ve had the chance to share a lot of training advice with runners from state record-holders to struggling beginners. The constant for all of them has been strength in numbers: Improvement has come in the company of others. Having someone to chase, someone to pace or just someone at the same place has made all the difference. Runners at training plateaus have suddenly made great strides (sorry, couldn’t resist), largely by having someone to share their trials and triumphs.

For the beginners, it helps to have guidance or mutual accountability. For the racers, it helps to have someone pushing. And every little success is that much more enjoyable when it is amplified by the chorus.

So, roadrunners, if you really want to do better, get the flock out there!

Beep beep.

Posted in Running | 1 Comment »