Monday, May 12, 2014

Week 2: Women's Training Program

Tonight was the 2nd week of the Reston Runners Women's Training Program. I was excited that Margie Shapiro was our guest speaker for the week. Margie is co-owner of Potomac River Running, a triathlete, a running coach, and a mom. Margie was my brother's running coach a few years ago and he told me I should take any opportunity to hear her speak and learn from her. He was right! This is the second time I've heard one of Margie's seminars, and I am a big fan.

Tonight Margie was discussing proper running form and technique, and she covered posture/leaning, footstrike, and cadence. I liked her interactive presentation style - we all stood up and practiced various ways of moving/leaning/shifting our weight to understand the concepts she was teaching us. My favorite part was when we were listening to her metronome app and bouncing up and down to learn about various cadences - 300 women, moving like pogo sticks! It was quite funny and an effective teaching technique.

Margie Shapiro and her metronome phone

Margie and others from the Potomac River Running team give free seminars regularly. If you are in the DC area, I encourage you to check out the calendar for free seminars and events at the =PR= stores. 

After the seminar, we broke into our groups to head outside to run. We were dry before we went outside:

Amy, me, & Tara - BEFORE running

When we started running, the sky looked threatening. As we headed into the woods to follow the 5k race path I've run so many times (most recently in February for Run Your Heart Out), the raindrops began to fall. Slowly at first, but they quickly picked up the pace. We kept going - we run unless there is lightning! Our beginner runner group was running 1.25 miles, and then doing run/walk intervals of 2 minutes/1 minute to get up to 3 miles. Amy & I did the first 1.25 by ourselves, then we figured out it was easier to stick close to a coach so we knew when the intervals were changing. We ran with Coach Sylvia and her crew the rest of the way. There is a big hill when you come out of the woods and we ran up it to the metronome-like drumbeat that was coming from the adjacent baseball diamond. We pretended it was for us and used it for motivation. We were drenched, but proud: 

Amy & me - AFTER running

Afterwards we did some stretching with the group and then we got our reward - our program t-shirts! They are a beautiful turquoise color and remind me of the finisher shirts from the first year of the Nike Women's Half Marathon in DC.

Program t-shirt - so pretty!
Looking forward to week 3!


  1. Glad you are having fun with this training program! Margie *is* amazing, isn't she? Looking forward to hearing about week 3!

  2. I've never used a metronome but people swear by them. Let me know if you like it. Margie is great-I've heard her speak before she's so inspiring.

    1. I'm haven't downloaded a metronome app yet, but I kind of like the idea of checking out some songs that help you set the beat. is a set list that is close to 180, which is the "ideal" cadence (based on a subset of elite runners of a certain body type, so our "ideal" may vary, according to Margie!)