Posts Tagged Coach Dan

THANKSGIVING DAY PIPELINE RUN

The Race Before Us and Coach Dan invite you to join us tomorrow – Thanksgiving Day – for our Thanksgiving Day Pipeline Run. This is the 3rd year of this event and it continues to grow. This is a fun 10k walk/run event that starts / ends in the parking lot across from Browns Island. We run along the edge of Browns Island, cross the Pipes that run next to the island, run along the flood wall, cross the 14th Street Bridge, back across the flood wall to the Mayo Ruins, climb the ruins (or you can go around), and continue through the woods to Belle Island, then cross the footbridge back to Tredgar where we start. There are plenty of coaches guiding you along the course so you will not get lost. If you have not done this run before, I encourage you to do so since it is a unique way to see parts of Richmond that most people never see.

Here is more information on this run:

Meet: Parking lot across from Browns Island, on Tredegar Street next to the Civil War Museum.

When: Thanksgiving Day, November 27, at 7:00am

Distance: 5 mile loop or 6 miles (depending on if you decide to run around Belle Island)

Cost: Free, but please consider bringing a non-perishable food item, which will be collected and given to the food pantry at Gayton Baptist for distribution to the needy.

Registration: Not needed – just show up. There are no race bids, t-shirts, or anything fancy for this walk / run. You are simply joining a group of runners/walkers in Richmond to begin your celebration of Thanksgiving….plus this allows us to eat a little more on Thanksgiving day without the guilt!

Below are photographs from last year’s run.  See you tomorrow!

Coach Dan and Bruce

Coach Dan and Bruce

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Celebrate National Running Day 

Tomorrow, Wednesday, June 4, is National Running Day.

National Running Day is held annually on the first Wednesday in June, and is a day when runners everywhere declare their passion for running. This tradition was started in 2009 to give tribute to our sport and to unite those of us that love to run. For various reasons, many can’t, so I give tribute tomorrow to those that can’t but want to.   My run tomorrow will be dedicated to you.

I run because

 

For more information on National Running Day visit: http://www.runningday.org/

If you are looking for some things to do to celebrate National Running day, the top five (5) things I plan to do to celebrate National Running Day are:

  1. Sign up for a race.
  2. Tell my running partners how much I appreciate their company.
  3. Get a massage – reward my legs and give thanks that I am able to run.
  4. Buy a pair of shoes and donate a pair of shoes to a charity.
  5. Eat junk food and not feel guilty about it! I earn it.

What are your top 5 things?

Whatever you do, do it with passion. Whether you are slow or fast, don’t forget to thank God for giving you the gift to run.

 

– Coach Dan

Coach Dan Blankenship

Coach Dan Blankenship

 

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Walk – Don’t Run II

 

The Race Before Us on the Camino de Santiago

This blog – The Race Before Us – feature posts on running (especially for novice runners), the Christian faith (especially for amateur apologists), and on the intersection between running and faith. For the next six weeks though, this blog is going to walk, not run.

See below – Coach Dan (frequent contributor here) and I will be walking the Camino de Santiago. I will post more frequently here at this site but under the temporary title: “My Camino – Thy Camino.” More on that with the next post.

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On April 4 my good friend “Coach Dan” (Blankenship) and I leave Richmond, Virginia for Paris, France. Upon arrival we take a train to southwest France, passing through Bordeaux and stopping in Biarritz. There we catch a more local train to the village of St. Jean Pied de Port at the foot of the Pyrenees Mountains, which mountain range generally establishes France’s southern border with Spain.

St. Jean Pied de Port has become the most popular starting point for people to begin the “Camino de Santiago” – a 500-mile walk to Santiago de Compostela in northwest Spain. It recalls the route that hundreds of thousands of Christians took in the middle ages (and since) as a pilgrimage to the great cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. More specifically, this route is called the “Camino Frances” because it is the route that people coming from France and northern Europe would have used to reach Santiago. In that sense, St. Jean Pied de Port is the gateway (or the “port”) to Spain.

Santiago de Compostela

Santiago de Compostela

After an evening in St. Jean Pied de Port we will throw a 20-pound pack on our backs and start climbing over the Pyrenees and into Spain. Then for 30 days we will walk 15 to 20 miles a day heading for Santiago (and ultimately to the “end of the earth,” which is a three-day additional hike to Finisterre on the Atlantic Ocean.)

Come along as we walk through fields and vineyards, as we climb a few mountains and many hills, as we pass through tiny villages and some bigger cities, as we sample wine in Rioja and see where the bulls run in Pamplona, as we enjoy the journey and struggle with a foreign language, and as we become pilgrims or “peregrines” on the road to find out.

Finisterre  ("End of the Earth"

Finisterre
(“End of the Earth”

 

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An Inspiration

When you stand at the starting line, you join the club. When you stand at the starting line, you earn your membership. Millions dream of being where you are. You are no longer a dreamer. You are a doer.

Thousands more started a training program but never finished. They started with the same enthusiasm (or more than) you had. They started with more or less the same physical gifts or disadvantages that you did. They had no more and no less reason to be successful than you.

But somewhere along the way, they lost that enthusiasm. Somewhere on the road or on the track or treadmill, they decided that the rewards just weren’t worth the effort. They decided that they could live without finding their limits, without challenging their expectations of themselves, and without taking a hard look at their image of themselves.

You didn’t. If you’re standing at the starting line, you’ve not only accepted the challenge, but you’ve beaten back the demons. You’ve conquered your imagination and self-imposed limitations. You’ve gone farther, gotten stronger, and gotten tougher than you ever imagined.”

-John Bingham, “The Penguin”

John Bingham is an American marathon runner and author, nicknamed “The Penguin”, who has achieved widespread recognition for promoting the walking of long-distance race courses to the general public.

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EDITOR’S NOTE:

For all of you that will lace it up on Saturday at the Monument Avenue 10K and especially for all of you that participated in the YMCA 10K Training Team — you are an inspiration.  Have a great run or walk.

And a final note — a special thanks to Coach Dan who served as Head Coach for the entire 10K Training Program.

Coach Dan Blankenship

Coach Dan Blankenship

 

 

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Five Mile Journey in 8 Weeks – Week 8

 

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You are a Stallion!

“For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” – 2 Timothy 1:7

Week  8

Be sure to read weeks 1 -7

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This is our big week.  For the past 7 weeks, you have been embarking on a journey to walk or run 5 miles.   This is the week.  Whether you are running in a race or running on your own the principles this week still apply.  Mentally you should try to relax this week and work up to your big event.  Depending on the training program and the distance you are walking or running, we will slow down the intensity this week to conserve our strength, allow our muscles to recover so that we are much stronger on race day.  This is called “tapering”.   That does not mean we become couch potatoes this week, it simply means we are cutting back on the distance and intensity.  I still want you to continue with the core exercises since these are very important as you build up your strength around the core muscles.

 Day 1

  • Walker – Walk for 2 miles
  • Walk/Run  – Walk/Run for 2 miles alternating between running and walking
  • Jogger – Run easy for 2 miles

Day 2

  • All – Core Exercises
    • 12 push-ups and 12 set-ups.  Do 3 times.
    • Leg lifts (lay on back and lift both legs 6” off the ground), hold for count of 30 seconds to 1 minute.  Repeat 3 times.
    • Planks – Hold plank exercise for 30 -60 seconds.  Repeat 3 times.
    • Side Planks –  hold for 15 – 30 seconds.  Repeat 3 times.

Day 3

  • Walker – Walk for 2 miles
  • Walk/Run  – Walk/Run for 2 miles alternating between running and walking, easy
  • Jogger – Run easy for 2 miles, easy

Day 4

  • All – Core Exercises
    • 12 push-ups and 12 set-ups.  Do 3 times, each.
    • Leg lifts (lay on back and lift both legs 6” off the ground), hold for count of 30 seconds to 1 minute.  Repeat 3 times.
    • Planks – Hold plank exercise for 30 -60 seconds.  Repeat 3 times.
    • Side Planks – hold for 15 – 30 seconds.  Repeat 3 times.

Day 5

  • REST DAY

 

Day 6 – RACE DAY

  • Treat this walk / run like any training run.  If you are running in a race, I hope the crowds are large at the end to motivate you.   If you are running on your own, imagine walking or running in a race, your race.   The Race Before Us, your journey is just beginning.

Day 7

  • REST DAY – CONGRATS for completing the race.

 

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Five Mile Journey in 8 Weeks – Week 7

Dan Week 7

Be Your Own Olympian 

The best thing about running (or walking) for exercise is that you are only competing with yourself.  As you run or walk this week, think about working harder to beat your time from your last run/walk.    That should give you a sense of what is it like to compete in the Olympics.    You may beat your previous time or you may feel like you are defeated and not making progress.    Just don’t give up.   It doesn’t matter how you do as long as you are giving it your best.   You are a champion and God is proud of you.    As you progress through your workouts this week, please keep the following in mind:   I am able to do all things through Him who strengthens me. – Philippians 4:13

Week  7

Be sure to read weeks 1 -6

This week’s schedule – This week you will be the same as last week, running up to 4 miles.  Like we have done before, we are sticking to the same schedule to help build up your endurance since next week is our goal.

Day 1

  • Walker – Walk for 2 miles
  • Walk/Run  – Walk/Run for 2 miles alternating between running and walking
  • Jogger – Run easy for 2 miles

Day 2

  • All – Core Exercises
    • 12 push-ups and 12 set-ups.  Do 3 times.
    • Leg lifts (lay on back and lift both legs 6” off the ground), hold for count of 30 seconds to 1 minute.  Repeat 3 times.
    • Planks – Hold plank exercise for 30 -60 seconds.  Repeat 3 times.
    • Side Planks –  hold for 15 – 30 seconds.  Repeat 3 times.

Day 3

  • Walker – Walk for 3 miles
  • Walk/Run  – Walk/Run for 3 miles alternating between running and walking, easy (you should be able to carry on a conversation easily; if not, you are going too fast)
  • Jogger – Run easy for 3 miles.

Day 4

  • Walker – Walk for 3 miles
  • Walk/Run  – Walk/Run for 3 miles
  • Jogger – Run easy for 3 miles.

Day 5

  • All – Core Exercises
    • 12 push-ups and 12 set-ups.  Do 3 times, each.
    • Leg lifts (lay on back and lift both legs 6” off the ground), hold for count of 30 seconds to 1 minute.  Repeat 3 times.
    • Planks – Hold plank exercise for 30 -60 seconds.  Repeat 3 times.
    • Side Planks – hold for 15 – 30 seconds.  Repeat 3 times.

Day 6 – Long Distance Day

  • Walker – Walk for 4 miles, steady
  • Walk/Run  – Walk/Run for 4 miles
  • Jogger – Run 4 miles, steady.

Day 7

  • REST

CONGRATS, only 1 more weeks to go!

Reminder:  Always stretch after your workout:  Simply a good habit and practice to get into.  Lite stretching of the same muscle groups you did in your warm up for 15 to 30 seconds and repeating two to three times will help keep you flexible.

Training Tips for the week:

  • Don’t expect every day to be better than the last.   Some days will be slower than others, and some days might even hurt a bit.   But please try to be consistent with your running program – as long as you’re on the road, it’s a good day.
  • Head Position – Your head sets your body’s posture which influences your walking/running form.  This determines how efficiently you walk/run so your head position is crucial to how the rest of your body performs.  As a general rule, let your gaze guide you. Look ahead naturally, not down at your feet, and scan the horizon. This will straighten your neck and back, and bring them into alignment. Don’t allow your chin to jut out.  A good technique to practice when you get tired and find your body slumping over, raise your arms above your head, bringing them back down, and relaxing your chest about 10%.  That usually helps realign your body again.
  • Legs/Stride – As a distance walker/runner, you do not need to lift your knees as high as sprinters do in typical track and field races. Instead, efficient endurance walking/running requires just a slight knee lift, a quick leg turnover, and a short stride. Together, these will facilitate fluid forward movement instead of diverting (and wasting) energy. When running with the proper stride length, your feet should land directly underneath your body (as mentioned in last week’s email). As your foot strikes the ground, your knee should be slightly flexed so that it can bend naturally on impact. If your lower leg (below the knee) extends out in front of your body, your stride is too long.
  • Uphills – Walking or running uphills should be part of your training program but most people don’t know how to properly walk/run uphills.   We can learn a lot from cross-country skiers and cyclists who shift their weight uphills.   Learn to lean forward slightly when going up hills. Focusing your eyes on the top of the hill will help shift your weight slightly.  Run with a slightly higher knee lift.  Also slow your tempo down when running up hills; otherwise, you will not have the stamina to run faster after reaching the top.

Motivational Quote of the week: “You only ever grow as a human being if you’re outside your comfort zone.”, Percy Cerutty, World Leading Olympian Coach

Stay committed!  Stay Motivated!  And most importantly this week, BE POSITIVE!  You have almost reached your goal!

See you on the streets,

Coach Dan

Coach Dan Blankenship
Coach Dan Blankenship

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Five Mile Journey in 8 Weeks – Week 5

Our Skeletal System in Action

Our Skeletal System in Action

Our bones need regular exercise to stay as strong as possible and exercises like walking, jogging, running and other physical activities are important in keeping our bones strong and healthy.   You can strengthen your skeleton by drinking milk and eating other dairy products (like low-fat cheese, frozen yogurt, and ice cream).  They all contain calcium, which helps bones harden and become strong.

Week 5

Be sure to read weeks 1 -4

This week’s schedule – This week is similar to last week, why?    Because we are establishing a base and from here, we’ll build slowly over the next 4 weeks.

Day 1

  • Walker – Walk for 2 miles
  • Walk/Run  – Walk/Run for 2 miles alternating between running and walking
  • Jogger – Run easy for 2 miles

Day 2

  • All – Core Exercises
    • 12 push-ups and 12 set-ups.  Do 3 times.
    • Leg lifts (lay on back and lift both legs 6” off the ground), hold for count of 30 seconds to 1 minute.  Repeat 3 times.
    • Planks – Hold plank exercise for 30 -60 seconds.  Repeat 3 times.
    • Side Planks – (NEW) – hold for 15 – 30 seconds.  Repeat 3 times.

Day 3

  • Walker – Walk for 2.5 miles
  • Walk/Run  – Walk/Run for 2.5 miles alternating between running and walking, easy (you should be able to carry on a conversation easily; if not, you are going too fast)
  • Jogger – Run easy for 2.5 miles.

Day 4

  • Walker – Walk for 3 miles
  • Walk/Run  – Walk/Run for 3 miles
  • Jogger – Run easy for 3 miles.

Day 5

  • All – Core Exercises
    • 12 push-ups and 12 set-ups.  Do 3 times, each.
    • Leg lifts (lay on back and lift both legs 6” off the ground), hold for count of 30 seconds to 1 minute.  Repeat 3 times.
    • Planks – Hold plank exercise for 30 -60 seconds.  Repeat 3 times.
    • Side Planks – hold for 15 – 30 seconds.  Repeat 3 times.

Day 6 – Long Distance Day

  • Walker – Walk for 3 miles, steady
  • Walk/Run  – Walk/Run for 3 miles
  • Jogger – Run 3 miles, steady.

Day 7

  • REST

CONGRATS, only 4 more weeks to go!

Reminder:  Always stretch after your workout:  Simply a good habit and practice to get into.  Lite stretching of the same muscle groups you did in your warm up for 15 to 30 seconds and repeating two to three times will help keep you flexible.

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Stairs make for great strength training!

Training Tips for the week:

2 Tips to think about this week while you are exercising – focus on these this week.

  • Cadence – Your cadence is measured by the number of strides you take over time.  For runners, an average cadence of 85 – 90 strides per minute is a very efficient cadence.  For walkers, this will vary depending on how fast you are walking but let’s say 75 – 85 strides in 90 seconds is a good target to achieve.  If you are slower, don’t worry.   Aim for what you can do and look for improvements.
  • Hands – One of the common things that I see with walkers/ runners is they cross their centerline (a straight line between your chin and your bellybutton) with their hands.  Your forearms should swing slightly across your body as you drive back and forth, but your hands should not cross your centerline.  When you cross the centerline with your hands, you create a side-to-side motion in your upper body, causing you to spend more energy with each stride.  Obviously when this happens, your pace slows so when you walk/run, check your hands to make sure you are not crossing the centerline of your posture.

See you on the streets,

Coach Dan

Coach Dan Blankenship

Coach Dan Blankenship

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