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Dumbo Double Dare Training - Week Nine

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Ping. Buzz. Ping. Ping. Ping. Even over the noise of thousands of runners, the unmistakable sound of interval timing devices could be heard during the Rock n Roll Seattle Half Marathon last Saturday. As evidenced by the number of users in the crowd, Jeff Galloway hit on the right idea when he introduced his run/walk/run program.

And itís so easy. You go and buy a timer, set it for your interval cadence, and head out on the road. Couldnít be easier, right? But as I was reminded time and time again on Saturday, there are a few Ďrules of the roadí that everyone should keep in mind when using the run/walk/run method and interval timers especially in large crowds.

Practice using the timing device in a crowd

Some timing devices buzz. Others ping and there are those that vibrate. What works as you are training in either a small crowd or in the solitude of one can be an epic fail in a large, noisy crowd. I observed one poor woman having a total meltdown when she couldnít get her timer to work correctly and her intervals were off. Take the timer out to a noisy mall or other loud, crowded place and make sure that you can either feel or hear it working. Do you know how to change from one form of notification to another? How does it work with noise and music if you choose to run with a headset or ear buds? If you canít use the timer in a mall, imagine what will happen when you are in with thousands of other race participants.

Practice your run/walk interval cadence in a crowd


The run/walk/run method is easy to manage when itís just you or you and a couple of friends. You have all the space in the world (or at least of the road or sidewalk) to move as you like. Not so much in a big race where you are fighting for road real estate in sometimes very small spaces. What is your plan if you are stuck in a crowd and canít run/walk your proper interval cadence? What if you hit a walk signal on your timer in a very tight section of the course where taking a walk break could cause a major backup? What if you need a potty break or want to stop for a character picture (which depending on the line in either situation may take several minutes). Taking part in a local 5k or 10k event before taking on a runDisney race will give you the chance to test out a variety of scenarios before the big day and set a game plan for how to best manage your race.

Remember the rule of the road - runners to the left/ walkers to the right

WhatÖyou werenít aware of this rule of the road? Donít worry, there are many race participants who either arenít aware that runners stay to the left and walkers to the right or frankly just choose to ignore it. Itís a standard courtesy to split the road (if possible) to allow faster folks to keep their running pace up as well as provide a place on the road for those who are walking without fear of being run over. That said, you will find runners pushing their way through on the right and walkers who are impeding traffic on the left. Pushing your way through on the right can be especially dangerous as one runner discovered when he was beaned quite hard in the nose by a walker who decided to stretch just as he was trying to pass. Ouch...

Carefully move to the right side of the road before slowing to a walk

If you are using the run/walk/run method, generally you should position yourself to the left of the walker section for ease in transitioning from one method to another (not quite in the path of the runners but away from those who are walking only). Do take care to make sure you have enough distance with those around you to safely move closer to the side of the road when walking. Look over your shoulder and slow down only if you have enough room. Donít just slam on the breaks in a crowd; hold up your hand as a signal to those behind you that you are slowing down. I canít tell you the number of folks who ended up tripping, being tripped, or just run into because they just plain stopped without considering everyone around them.

Look around you before starting to run and merge back towards the middle / left of the road

Carefully make your way back towards the middle of the road as you start to run; donít just start running and expect those walking around you to part the sea for you. Be as courteous as you pick up the pace as you were when you slowed down.

Those are just a few ideas to keep in mind as you train for the upcoming Dumbo Double Dare weekend that may help you and those around you have a safe and fun event. Class for this week is now dismissed.

We're on another short week and back to a three-day training schedule. Make sure you do your Magic Mile (MM) on Saturday.

  • Monday Ė Barre3 (video)
  • Tuesday Ė 30 to 45 minutes running
  • Wednesday - weight training
  • Thursday - 30 to 45 minutes running (travel)
  • Friday - Barre3
  • Saturday Ė 4 mile run with MM
  • Sunday Ė rest day (travel)

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