7 Bridges Marathon


October 15, 2017

The 7 Bridges Marathon will begin in Coolidge Park on the North Shore of Chattanooga. Crossing the Market Street Bridge, the race will lead runners on a scenic tour of downtown Chattanooga’s bridges and riverside neighborhoods.

The half marathon course (13.1 miles) will accompany the full marathon (26.2 miles) over three bridges, splitting off at the Chattanooga Food Bank on the Tennessee Riverwalk. While the half will return over the Walnut Street Bridge and finish in Coolidge Park, the full marathon will continue over three more bridges (the C.B. Robinson, Thrasher, and Riverpark Bridges, respectively) before returning downtown to cross Walnut for the Coolidge Park finish. Come on and race!

Galloway Training Method

"Will the Galloway Method help me to complete a half marathon faster, or to complete a full marathon at all?"
This is a tough question. I'm loathe to suggest any particular training plan or specific solution, because everything needs to be individualized and catered to each person. However, let me break down the key element to Jeff Galloway's philosophy of racing.
Mr. Galloway believes that, in order to stay fresh for the entire race, you need to take a walk break every so often. His charts for pace vs. distance and how frequent walk breaks should be taken are readily available on his website (www.jeffgalloway.com), so I'm not going to get into that. 
The benefits to walk breaks seem obvious: your body is given an opportunity to recharge the batteries and you're able to continue to compete for longer than if you ran the whole way through.
Truth be told, there are no shortcuts to distance running. The "trick" to becoming a better, faster distance runner is to run more. That's where a thorough training plan comes in. Long-term, if you want to be able to compete faster, you're going to need to figure out some long-term training plans and a consistent approach to training.
Short-term, however, if you're under the gun for a specific event, there's nothing wrong with following Jeff Galloway's plan. It will allow you to finish a race which you might otherwise have not finished, and will allow you to be more recovered and be able to more quickly return to training after the event, which will allow you to (long-term, again) run more, and get better for later events. 
Here's a rather pretentious, though unfortunately pretty accurate quote from John L. Parker's novel “Once a Runner.”
"What was the secret, they wanted to know; in a thousand different ways they wanted to know The Secret. And not one of them was prepared, truly prepared to believe that it had not so much to do with chemicals and zippy mental tricks as with that most unprofound and sometimes heart-rending process of removing, molecule by molecule, the very tough rubber that comprised the bottoms of his training shoes. The Trial of Miles; Miles of Trials. How could they be expected to understand that?"
Mr. Parker could have maybe phrased it differently (although his target audience was collegiate and post-collegiate competitive distance runners), but the truth remains: long-term, the secret to running fast is to run more. And it's as simple as that. The more you're able to run, the better you're going to be.

For more information about Trainer Will, including how he can give you private, personalized coaching as you train for your next race, including the 7 Bridges Marathon, 4 Bridges Half Marathon or 2 Bridges 5k,  visit http://runCHA.co/ today.


1.) You described the nervousness you felt the morning of the triathlon. How do you deal with this nervousness?
I do two things when dealing with the nervousness; first, I sign up for the event I am nervous about. By signing up for the event I force myself to realize this is going to happen and I must defeat it. Secondly, the nervousness does not go away for me until I’m about a mile into whatever event I’m in.
2.) During the triathlon you said that you didn't want to walk, which you succeeded at. How did it feel when you were trying to keep one foot in front of the other?
I get into a zone when I make a goal. I feel like my mind and body are two vastly different parts. My mind becomes my cheerleader and my body just follows the commands and encouragement. I feel like I knew I was going to accomplish my goal because I told myself prior I was going to make the goal, and then my body just listened. 
 3.) What is your favorite healthy meal to eat while training?
My favorite meal while training is spaghetti. I have two little girls and our family makes a big deal about eating before events. We sit down and end up making a big mess. My girls are 7 and 5; my wife and I just let the fun come out. Yes it is messy, due to spaghetti being a hard meal to eat when you are enjoying the company of a young family, but I find it encouraging because this meal means that my family is involved in my training. When it all comes down to the reason why I train, it is for my family.
4.) While doing your running distance is your most comfortable? Which really pushes you?
My favorite running distance is between 7-8 miles. I feel most comfortable here because I have a path by my house that takes me this distance. I have to laugh because what pushes me is anything longer.
5.) Have you always been a larger person, or was it an ongoing process of life choices and circumstances? 
I have always been a large person. I played football and wrestled in high school. I did not have to cut weight in wrestling because I was in the heavyweight division. I did gain about 80 additional pounds after high school, from poor choices and lack of exercise.
6.) What do you think is the biggest factor in your success so far?
My biggest factor in my success is my family. It’s hard to sit by and realize that if I do not eat better and exercise, I’ll die early and not see my own children’s weddings. I come from a family that has heart disease, diabetes and strokes, so I knew my future if I didn’t change anything. In the summer of 2011 I had a physical that scared me badly. I was, for the first time in my life, in the red for my blood pressure. Though it was only one number in, I saw my future slap me in my face. I got scared, honestly, and decided to fight. 
7.) Will this be your first full marathon? 
This will be my first marathon. I did the half in Nashville in April.
8.) What is your personal goal for this race?
My personal goals are to finish and not walk. That doesn’t sound extremely challenging, but I need to set realistic goals. I know I will not finish close to first; it will most likely be closer to last. But as I have read and put to heart, I will have lapped everyone who sat home on the couch.


Every summer this question comes up: how can I safely train during the dog days of summer when the mercury is hitting triple digits?

The initial, primary response is simple and somewhat obvious: hydrate. Keeping hydrated is important all year and cannot be stressed enough. It is especially important when you will be sweating up to a quart of fluid out of your system during your run. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with drinking 1.5-2 gallons of water throughout the course of your day to prepare your system for your training run. At first, this will also cause you to have to run to the restroom on a regular basis, but you’ll adapt.
Secondarily (and also a somewhat obvious answer) you should look to change when you run. If you can run first thing in the morning, that’s the best, as it’s the coolest time of the day. Second best is at night as the sun is setting or has set. There was a summer during my high school years when I accomplished my entire summer training between 10 p.m. and 12 a.m. My parents hated it! It’s a tough schedule to maintain, so if it doesn’t work for you, find one that does.
If you’re running on a loop, you can leave a water bottle at one point so that you can douse yourself in water and take a couple of sips during your run. One place to pour cool water is on the veins in your wrists. This will cool your blood and, as it runs through your bloodstream, it will cool the rest of your body.
Another trick is to take a cold shower right before you head out the door for your run. By pre-cooling your body, you are giving your system that much longer before it reaches the overheating stage. Famed coach Alberto Salazar gave his athletes ice vests to wear before their events at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. If you remember, the staggering heat was a big topic of conversation before those Games, and Salazar wanted to make sure his team had every advantage possible. An ice vest (or cooling vest) will cost you close to $200, so an inexpensive replacement is a cold shower.
Some people like to retreat to the indoors and the treadmill when the temps get high. Personally, I can’t stand running on a treadmill, but it is an option if you can swing it. Go for it!
Whatever method you choose to beat the heat, be smart and listen to your body. If at any point you stop sweating, stop exercise immediately and get water in your system. Also, try to run in shaded areas. As always, good luck!
For more information about Trainer Will, including how he can give you private, personalized coaching as you train for your next race, including the 7 Bridges Marathon, 4 Bridges Half Marathon or 2 Bridges 5k,  visit http://runCHA.co/ today.


From Trainer Will: energy supplements

Each of those items (gels, gummies, beans) are designed for the same purpose: quick, easily digestible energy. The different forms are only to cater to various individuals' personal preferences. Some don't like the texture of gel (like Gu), some don't like gummy-type stuff (like Shot Bloks), and some don't really like chewing on jelly beans in the middle of a race. These provide energy through caffeine and simple carbohydrates.
When to use them is also a personal preference situation. Most of these products say to take one serving 15 minutes before you start, and then one every half hour of exertion. There's nothing wrong with that strategy, however, because these supplements all use caffeine (they have non-caffeine options, but...let's be real here: why use it if not for the caffeine, which can cause a significant performance boost), you don't really want to stop consistently taking them until your exercise is finished. Also, sometimes you can only ingest so much caffeine before you start feeling "off.” Because of that, some people like to settle for a good breakfast before the race and then wait a period of time (maybe 60-75 minutes into the race) before starting to use energy supplements. 
Whatever race day strategy you decide upon, you should be careful to test it in training. Use your long runs as you lead up to the race to practice and test various strategies and see which works best for you, so that you have no questions or indecision on race day.
Good luck with your training!

  • Trainer Will

For more information about Will, visit runcha.co! 

7 Bridges Marathon       © 2017

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