Long Live the Long Run

11 Jul

It’s not just for Marathoners.

Anyone else remember how Arthur Lydiard trained his 8oo meter runner Peter Snell? Snell won the 800 meter Olympic gold in 1960. Lydiard decided that was not enough and made Snell train for a Marathon. Two months later Snell ran a world record in the metric mile and went on to win gold in both the 1500 and the 800 meter races. You might not be out on the track in London two weeks from now, and you might not want to join the mileage hogs you see training for Boston, but the long run is still for you.

What is it?

A standard Long run is going to be 18-25% of your weekly mileage and at 70-80% of your 5k race pace. It’s also good to try and make your long run at least one hour to get the full physical benefits from the effort. So, if you run 30 miles per week and hope to break 25 minutes (8:02 pace) at the next Chick-fil-A Connect Race in the series, you might have one 7.5 mile run per week at a 9:50-10:50 pace per mile. In order to ensure that you don’t torture yourself, take the first fifteen minutes to stretch out and ease into things, keep it steady in the middle, and quicken things up a bit the last fifteen. And of course, masochism never pays off. Thanks to the law of diminishing returns, if you push too hard, run too long, or don’t properly refuel, then you can cancel any plans for decent speed sessions the next week.

What is it good for?

You can probably imagine that the ability to run for two hours will give you a fair share of confidence the next time you run a 5k, but LSD (Long Steady Distance) can do more than that. It has a powerful ability to teach your body efficiency. First off, running more than normal will strengthen your muscles. What is even better is that the most important muscle of all, your heart, will begin to pump more blood per beat. This increased stroke volume results in more blood, more oxygen, and more fuel for the rest of your muscles. In addition to that, the long run stimulates your muscles to burn fat more efficiently, build more capillaries, store more glycogen and myoglobin, stimulates your cells to form more mitochondria (where most aerobic process take place), and increases the efficiency of the enzymes within that mitochondria. In other words, you will be able to both distribute and process more fuel.  With that increased facilitation of fuel, your body will better resist fatigue.

The carry-out?

Build up your long run. Get excited to See David Rudisha set an 800 meter world record in London. Eventually taper your training so that you can set your own record at the next CFA Race Series 5k.



Northeast Georgia Circuit Winners!

6 Jul


We are excited to announce the speed winners of our Northeast Georgia Circuit of the Chick-fil-A Race Series!



  1. Tom Eskey
  2. David DeChamplain
  3. Walter O’Brien


  1. Abbie Patterson
  2. Chelsie Patterson
  3. Lloyd Sheffer



  1. Mark Townsend
  2. Arthur DeChamplain
  3. Rick Villamater


  1. Pamela Wilder
  2. Cindy Allen
  3. Paula Blackwell



  1. Hoby Daniel
  2. Tracy Carswell
  3. Lloyd Sheffer


  1. Georgia Robinson
  2. Ena Weinsten
  3. Joan Walls

Beat the Heat

4 Jul

Happy 4th of July everybody, we hope you have a blast with your friends and family!  When you think of the 4th images of fireworks, cookouts and boats come to mind.  Another thing is the July heat….

Six pounds lost in one day. You have to give credit to good old southern heat. The sad thing is that I have no interest in losing weight, and even less in miscalculating my schedule and having to run in the afternoon during a nation-wide heat wave. But, if any of the rest of you are as addicted to running as I am, then even a 7:00 pm run that leaves you sopping wet, dehydrated, and plastered with bugs is better than no run at all.

If you do end up battling the sun and humidity, here are a few recommendations from a guy who has done most of his life’s training in the South. The first and only rule is: Always run in the morning if you know that it is going to be hot that day. Seeing the sunrise during a run does so much more for your morning than a cup of coffee.

However, if for some reason you miss the first light, there is still a way to ensure a nice run before the next cycle of the clock. Hydrate. Try to weigh yourself before and after your run every once in a while. The scales will put every weight loss program to shame and probably scare you into drinking enough water.

So, why is water important and how much is enough? Human life depends on blood flow and the nutrients that it brings our billions of cells. As we sweat and become dehydrated, our blood volume decreases. This results in less blood circulating and fewer necessities reaching our muscles. Thus, the heart has to compensate with a higher rate of pumping and hinders you from moving as quickly or as far as you can in cooler temperatures. This issue also means that we need to focus more on rehydration and recovery to avoid excessive fatigue over a period of days.

As a general rule of thumb, it is good to rehydrate by drinking the 1.5 times the weight of water that was lost on the run in your subsequent post-exercise hours. Simply replacing the same amount of water weight is insufficient because our bodies can’t absorb 100 percent of what it takes in. Our lack of precise timing in that process doesn’t usually help either. If that really irks you, or if you have a love of sugary drinks, then you probably also know that drinks like Gatorade can help. This aiding process is due mainly to the fact that fluids with large amounts of sodium increase our muscles absorption capacity.

So, if you find yourself at the Peachtree tomorrow and just can’t get the race officials to let you start with the elite field when the sun is still sleepy, then make sure you are hydrated before going to bed, run happy, drink lots of water when you finish, and (if you are lucky enough to be caught on camera wearing a Chick-fil-A Race Series shirt) enjoy a free milkshake.

Josh D

Shake the Peachtree

2 Jul

Are you running in the AJC Peachtree Road Race on July 4th?

Do you have a Chick-fil-A Race Series Shirt?

Do you want to earn a free Chick-fil-A milkshake?

If you answered yes to all those questions, then we invite you to participate in Shake the Peachtree!

So what do you do?

  1. Wear your Chick-fil-A Race Series Dri-Fit on Race Day
  2. Have a friend take a picture of you in or around the race.
  3. Post your picture on our Facebook fan page (Chick-fil-A Race Series) or @reply us on Twitter (@cfaraceseries)
  4. We will get in contact with you and mail you a Chick-fil-a Milkshake coupon.

Thats it!  If you have any questions please feel free to leave a comment below.

See you at the starting line!

Summer Training Tips

27 Jun

With a fist bump from a cow and a warm Chocolate Chunk Cookie, I celebrated the finish of the Chick-fil-A Connect Race series in Asheville, NC. I didn’t get to race, but certainly covered some ground as I ran around helping out hard working volunteers and police staff. The last time I was running in the in the Blue Ridge was while doing a summer’s worth of training on the Parkway before my sophomore xc season in college. So, the familiar scenery and a race series tweet from someone looking for training tips got me thinking about ways to get ready for September 22 (the next race in the Chick-fil-A Connect Race Series).

If your planning on coming to our Gwinnett race on Sept 29th, then you have about 12 weeks to rest and prepare. With a timeframe like that, a little motivation, and proper training, you can make big strides towards lowering your best time and improving chances of winning Chick-fil-A for a year.

The following are 3 quick tips:

1. Listen to your body

No matter how great the scenery is and no matter how much motivation you have, remember to listen to your body. Your legs might get a little upset if you give them unreasonably demanding tasks day after day. Carefully increase your mileage though, and you will see nice improvements.

2. Speed is different than Endurance

While a healthy body and more miles can help endurance, speed takes another kind of training. Dedicate one or two runs a week to developing turnover. Perhaps you can finish a run and do about five 100 meter strides (about the length between two telephone poles). Start off easy, increase to top speed by about halfway, and finish easy. Another great way to get some leg speed is by incorporating some faster segments into the middle of your run. Run your normal pace and mix in several one or two minute sections at a quicker tempo before slowing back down to your normal speed.

 3. Have fun

In addition to training hard and smart, remember to have fun. Recruit some training friends, run in pretty places, and by all means, make sure that you get a cookie from Chick-fil-A every now and then.

Josh (click here to learn a little more about Josh!)