A few words with Greg Meyer

25K Training Begins

24 Weeks!   That's how much time you have to get ready to run the Amway River Bank Run 25K   The snow will have come and gone (hopefully), and you'll be toeing the line in the largest and greatest 25K in the country....if you do your training!

For those of you who have established running as part of your life, this is a normal cycle that you will begin again.   You'll set some intermediate goals, test yourself in some races and basically try to tweak what you did in the past to improve in the coming year.

If you're new to running, or looking to make the jump from 5K's to the 25K, you want to use every day and week you have to build the strength to successfully achieve your goal come next May.  It's not easy!

As you get ready, you'll hear horror stories about the pain and soreness you'll endure, the winter weather, the cold and flu that might interrupt you, but if you make a plan now, one that is rational, you'll make it across that finish line next May.  There are four things I think you need to do to be successful:

  1. Have a plan!  Talk to someone if necessary to help draft a plan that is right for you.  Everything in moderation.  Slow and steady wins!  (Take a look at our training guide.)
  2. Stick to the plan.  This means get out and do your runs!  By being disciplined in your training you build physical and mental strength.  Obviously, you gain the physical strength to cover the distance by running, but what people fail to realize is that making those decisions to run on days you don't feel like it, when its cold and snowy, those decisions define your mental toughness.  You don't create mental toughness by reading a book on it, you build that through consistent decisions that move you closer to your goal.
  3. Be prepared to adapt!  Things will get in the way over the next 24 weeks.  The key is to minimize the interruptions.  If there is an ice storm approaching, adjust your training schedule to make sure you get your important runs in.  If you get sick, focus on getting healthy and gradually back to running.  Same thing if you have an injury.  The immediate goal is to get healthy and back to training.  Things will happen, but its how you adapt that will determine your success.
  4. Take advantage of help being offered.  The race offers monthly training runs as well as other group events.  Take advantage of these.  There are clinics as well as medical help should you need it.  Don't be shy, ask for help!

So, 24 weeks and the clock is ticking!   Time to get started!

Running in the Dark
It's that time of year again, the days are getting shorter, we lose daylight savings time, and most of us often run in the dark. (Some say I've been in the dark for a long time!) Here are a few reminders to be safe while running in the dark.

Wear reflective clothing! Most outer shells for running have reflective sections, but you can also add on to this. Motorcycle shops have extremely bright reflective stick on material that works great.
The other device I've come to love is the lighted reflective vests. I like my LED Light vest. Owned by a local runner, it is reflective and throws a great deal of light to see where you're going, as well as lighting your back so drivers can see you. It's worth the cost...and it's rechargeable. Headlamps are another tool, and while I like them for walking, often I find myself constantly adjusting them when I'm running. (Maybe I pound a little too much in my old age!) Finally, know that most people run a little more tense in the dark, especially at the beginning of a run before your eyes adapt to the lack of light. Always start slow, give your eyes time to adjust before dropping the pace.

Best advice is be as visible as a Christmas tree. Drivers can't avoid what they can't see.

Signs of Fall 2019
The first signs of fall are showing up as some of the trees have a tint of color with the cooler temps!  This begins what I think is the perfect time of year for running!  The fall marathon season is upon us and many are planning the year ahead for long term goals!   I can’t wait to see River Bank Run alums Parker Stinson and Dathan Ritzenhein in Chicago this fall, which will be exciting!

The Amway River Bank Run is also planning for next year…hard to believe registration will open October 1.   For those who have never run a 5K or want to move up to the 25K, the fall is a great time to begin a program to get you ready for next spring.   Starting early gives you plenty of time to build up your leg strength, and you’ll be in the habit of training before the winter weather hits.  No better time to start a training program than now.   Gotta stop typing now as I’m late for a run at Pickerel Lake!  Go run!

Bump in the Road 2019
If you’re like me, at some point in your training you hit a bump in the road, an injury or strain that just seems to not want to get better.  I remember being stubborn thinking I can just run through this, or it’ll go away.  As I got older and wiser, I realized the folly in this.  When something seems to not be getting better after 3 days, consider getting looked at by a professional.  It can be a doctor, physical therapist, even a massage therapist.   I tell people I train that they need to be as committed to their recovery as they are to their training.   It’s all part of the training really.  Fixing a small problem before it becomes a big problem is the logical thing to do... but it’s hard to overcome that stubborn runners mentality that “I can run through it”.   If your car was acting up and not running right, you’d get it in to the shop before you make it worse.  Same goes for your body!   Don’t wait, that care of the small stuff!  Stay healthy.

The New Year 2019
I hope everyone is healthy and energized for the final 4 months of training for the Amway River Bank Run   If you’ve slacked off a little over the holidays now is a great time to resolve to re-dedicate yourself to the training. It all starts with the decision to get out the door and run... so get out there.

Winter seems to be returning minus a lot of snow.  Remember to layer up when you run, protect your skin, and try to run into any wind at the start of the run not the reverse!

25K Training Begins 2018
As we get ready for winter in Michigan, spring is around the corner ... And time to think about getting ready for the greatest race in Michigan, the Amway River Bank Run!   Training guides are available online …a training program for about every level and talent. Also, we have our first training run on Saturday, December 1 - 8a at the David D. Hunting YMCA in downtown GR.  A short talk followed by a nice run…followed by me leaving for Hawaii and the Honolulu Marathon! Yes, hate me if you must, but someone needs to go every year and remind those Hawaiians how lucky they are!

Remember to dress warm and in layers…choose your running routes with care as the snow piles up and run with some people! We don’t all bite…but if you don’t train, the 25K will certainly take a bite out of you!

See you on the Y on the 1st