Couch to 5K-ers Weigh Big Question: Are You Going to Train for the Brooksie?
As our group did an hourlong loop, the big question of the evening was whether members were going on to train for the Brooksie half-marathon. Placement night is next week.
The talk inside Rochester High School this week may center on who's going to prom, but outside in the parking lot Thursday evening, our running group talked excitedly about our own Big Dance.
"Are you doing the Brooksie?" was the question of the evening as our six-week training program neared its end, with only one more group run left before the June 2 OPC 5K race.
After missing last week's run because of a business commitment, I felt like the student trying to catch up. But it was great to be running amid the "group" again as we tackled a 4-mile loop, completing it in a little more than an hour.
Much of the talk centered on the Brooksie training, the OPC race (Who are you running with?) and the food. Everyone talks about food when they are running. Did you ever notice that?
The Couch-to-5K training program is meant to "jumpstart" your spring training, but the 16-week Brooksie Training is the big enchilada (speaking of food) with the Brooksie Way half-marathon on Sept. 30 at the end of it. And most of my new running pals plan to go the distance.
Both the Couch-to-5K program and the Brooksie Way half-marathon training program use the popular Galloway method of walk/run intervals to train. And for the majority of the 100+ folks in our Thursday training, that approach has been the perfect way to blend structured training with a method that makes running a race achievable.
Lynn Foss, 36, who I wrote about in previous weeks, not only ran her first 5K a couple of weeks ago to prove to herself she could do it, but she did the Hometown Hustle in Rochester last weekend, shaving 4 minutes off her time in the previous 5K. She had never run a race before this spring, and now she's run two before we even tackle the June 2 culmination of the training program.
I was feeling a little behind, as a matter of fact, as I listened to several participants in my group talk about having already signed up for the 5K Crim Race and several others in the area.
Foss, who entered the 5K program with the goal of running only 5Ks this year, was waffling on whether she'd do the Brooksie training. "I want to keep doing the group runs," she told me. But she wasn't sure of the time commitment for a longer race. When she found out the runs were not longer than what we are currently doing for this training, she was seriously considering it.
When we were done with the run (which, I am happy to report, left me very tired but no longer feeling as I did a month ago – ready to collapse) we ate the now-prerequisite frozen treats and drank water, and group leader Jen Jones shared her favorite race snacks (see video attached to this story).
Tips of the week
Fred, our group crossing guard and the person who drops back and gives me tips when I'm looking tired, gave me a good one this week. As we tackled several hills along the route, he told me: "Keep your chin up." Not staring at the ground as you trudge up a hill does work, I found, to help you conquer the hill. Thanks, Fred!
Interested in the Brooksie Training Program?
The Brooksie Training starts May 24 with a mandatory placement night at Auburn Hills Community Center, where participants are "placed" in groups according to their pace in walking or running at placement night. You can sign up online.The cost, if you sign up by June 1, is $175, and includes entry to the Brooksie Way as well as a number of other discounts and five race entries in summer and fall.
Like the 5K program, the Brooksie training, which actually kicks off with group runs on June 7, is based on weekly group workouts as well as "homework." I never thought I'd be doing homework again, but it works!
There are two locations for workouts: In Rochester (the one I'm doing now) and Catalpa Oaks County Park in Southfield. Both groups will prepare participants to do either a 5K (3.1 miles) or the longer half-marathon (13.1 miles).
The culmination of the program is the Brooksie Way. If you'd like to envision yourself in the race this year, you might take a look at this coverage of the 2011 Brooksie Way.