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AIDS Marathon Training Pace Group
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Training for the 2005 AIDS Marathon Program starts in May so I currently train on my own for fall, winter, and spring running.

At the first National AIDS Marathon Training Program group run, each person runs/walks three miles at a pace that will not cause them to be huffing and puffing at the end. The AIDS Marathon Training staff times the run so the minutes per mile pace can be determined. Each person is then placed in a pace group that will train at a pace one minute per mile slower than the first run. Jeff Galloway says that first-time marathoners should have "completion" as their only goal, rather than being time-oriented. This is great advice and almost guarantees success.

Each pace group is named after a famous marathon runner. One of the reasons the pace groups are named is so that every single run site (there are 7) has the same group/pace options. A visitor should fit right in no matter which site they attend as long as they find their designated pace group. That means that Miki Gormans should never go faster than 12:30 minutes per mile for any of the training sites.

But What Does "Pace" Have To Do With Training?
EVERYTHING! The way that the AIDS Marathon Training Program successfully takes us from 3 to 26.2 miles in six months is to make sure we do our weekend runs at a "training pace." Adding at least 2 minutes to the pace at which we could "race" the mileage is the only safe and effective way for us to train the distance, to recover in time for the next weekend, and to make sure we arrive on Marathon Day injury free. Hopefully the AIDS Marathon Training Program's 98% success rate proves that! (Much higher than the average for people who train on their own.) Our pace groups are structured so that every member within the group feels comfortable and at the end of the run, feels as though they could even run another mile or two!

Pace Group Basics
The effectiveness of a pace group is only as good as its members. Each pace group has one person who has volunteered to be a Pace Group Leader for the six months training program. It is best not to alternate this position but rather to have one permanent person. This leader should have the Timex 100-lap Ironman watch and keeps track of the run and walk breaks, the mile splits, and when it is time to hydrate and eat. The pace group leader is a valuable source of support and encouragement when it is needed most. Each week the Pace Group Leader will ask a different person to volunteer as "Designated Driver." This person will agree to stay back with anyone who may be having that rare bad run or just needs an extra walk break or two. The Designated Driver should be very aware of how everybody is doing with their run and may want to run towards the back of the group so that it's clear when someone may need him or her to stay back. What goes around, comes around in the AIDS Marathon. If you stay back for someone one week, they might be doing it for you the very next week.

The Miki Gorman Pace Group at Chevy Chase
Over the past three years, I have run in the"Miki Gorman" pace group at the Chevy Chase training site.

The following table shows the estimated times for each of our training runs. As we actually perform the training runs, the run time will be recorded in the table. The training run has been changed this year to include a warm-up and cool-down walk of about 0.35 miles. These walks will add 0.7 miles and 11 minutes to our training runs.

Week Miles Date  Estimated Time   Actual Time 
1 3 Miles May 1 37.5 Min.  
2 4 Miles May 8 50 Min.  
3 5 Miles May 15 62:30 Min.  
4 6 Miles May 22 75 Min.  
5 7 Miles May 29 87:30 Min.  
6 8 Miles June 5 1:40:00 Hr.  
7 9 Miles June 12 1:52:30 Hr.  
8 10 Miles June 19 2:05:00 Hr.  
9 12 Miles June 26 2:30:00 Hr.  
10 6 Miles July 3 75 Min.  
11 14 Miles July 10 2:55:00 Hr.  
12 7 Miles July 17 87:30 Min.  
13 16 Miles July 24 3:36:00 Hr.  
14 8 Miles July 31 1:40:00 Hr.  
15 18 Miles August 7 4:03:00 Hr.  
16 9 Miles August 14 1:52:30 Hr.  
17 20 Miles August 21 4:50:00 Hr.  
18 10 Miles August 28 2:05:00 Hr.  
19 10 Miles September 4 2:05:00 Hr.  
20 23 Miles September 11 5:33:30 Hr.  
21 8 Miles September 18 1:40:00 Hr.  
22 10 Miles September 25 2:05:00 Hr.  
23 26 Miles October 2 6:20:00 Hr.  
24 8 Miles October 9 1:40:00 Hr.  
25 8 Miles October 16 1:40:00 Hr.  
25 8 Miles October 23 1:40:00 Hr.  
26 Marathon Day October 30 5:27:30 Hr.  

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