Tales From The Herd: Basic Training Tips


We reached out to Gary Anderson, one of our marathon coaches, about sharing his extensive knowledge and experiences with our community. His first edition will cover the basics of training for a long distance race. We hope you enjoy the series, “Tales From The Herd”, if you have anything specific you want to know about, let us know! 

Running & Endurance training. Why do we do it? How do we do it? We all have our reasons. For me, I love the freedom of running. Just lace up your shoes & go! There is a method to this madness we call training. Let me explain some of the basics that we use in our FW Run Co training programs. Let’s focus on the Easy/Long (E/L) run this month. We use the Jack Daniels methodology which has 5 defined paces: 1) Easy/Long(E/L), 2) Marathon Pace(MP), 3) Tempo Pace(T), 4) Interval Pace(I), 5) Repeat Pace(R).

Pace/Zone Definitions

    • Easy/Long Pace (E/L)
      • Majority of training, “Base training” for ALL endurance sports. Slow steady state, Fat burning zone. Adaptation & recovery. “Conversational” pace
    • Marathon Pace (MP) – Race Day
    • Some work here, good marathon predictor. Steady state with slightly higher intensity.
  • Tempo Pace (T)
    • Steady state, high intensity or long intervals. The pace you can sustain for 60 minutes.
  • Interval Pace (I)
    • High intensity intervals with recovery time. Speed work at the Track- speed, strength & recovery
  • Repeat (R)
    • Very high intensity & short for shorter races. Running economy.

You should notice that as we go through the paces, they get progressively faster. The faster you go, the shorter the distance or the opposite the longer you go, the lower the intensity or slower you go. That’s why we do our Saturday runs at E/L pace. These E/L runs are the basis for all types of endurance training. The E/L runs build endurance and allow the body to recover on the lower mileage days.

The long run, it’s what we do on Saturdays. In any endurance training program whether it be running, cycling, swimming or cross country skiing it will have a easy/long day that is the base for the training. The easy/long day teaches your body how to burn fuel efficiently. At the cellular level your body is creating new paths to transport blood and more importantly oxygen to feed your muscles. Go long and go easy.

What’s up next? Speed Training. Stay tuned!

-Coach Gary

A little about Gary:

Gary is a runner, Aerospace Engineer, and coach. He started running marathons in 2003 with the Motorola Marathon. Since then he’s run 85 marathons, 9 ultras & 360+ races including 5 Boston Marathons (his favorite btw).  He’s raced mountain bikes in the Leadville 100 mile MTB Race Across The Sky and 24 Hours in the Canyon MTB race twice. He’s completed several 100M bike rides in the mountains, including Double Triple Bypass(back-to-back 120 mile rides in the mountains of Colorado) & he just completed his first Full Ironman.  At the end of the day, he likes to run & the marathon distance is his favorite because of the challenge it presents each & every time.  Gary started run coaching with FW Run Co in 2006 and is sponsored by the Brooks ID program. His marathon PR is 2:49:25 (what a day it was). He considers himself an enginerd & OCD. Most of all he’s passionate about running and helping others achieve their running goals. He is a wealth of knowledge. So if you have any questions, ask! He doesn’t know it all (but pretty darn close) and he’ll try to answer your questions.