Getting closer to the finish line

Phynna's journey to the mini-marathon

As each passing day brings the race a little closer, Phynna begins to buckle down on her training. As a level 1 runner, it is important for Phynna to stay active. Level 1 is for first-time runners/walkers and the training generally includes three to five days of running/walking per week and a maximum weekly mileage of 20 to 40 miles.

As Phynna continues training, she is learning the importance of pacing herself and not being too concerned with her speed. On a run she completed March 9, she had an average speed of 3.4 mph and a maximum speed of 5.6 mph.

“I wanted to start slow and I had a very good start today,” she said.

It’s key to listen to your body and manage your pace depending on how you feel. If you feel tired or need a break from running, walking is a great way to catch your breath and regain your energy.

“[Nutritionist] Anna Grouts’ advice on eating something every 2 to 3 miles really made my run/walk amazing,” Phynna said. “I never knew I could feel that much better by eating what I call “Go Go Dots” every couple of miles. She also advised that I drink every 2 to 3 miles. Major difference!”

Cross-training is also an important part of training for a half-marathon. It allows you to recover after a long run by using slightly different muscle movements during your workout. Phynna practices weight resistance a few times a week by doing leg squats with a kettlebell.

Phynna is cautious about her rest days. At least two days a week, she does little to no exercise. It is important to allow your body to rest and rejuvenate and by doing so you will find it becomes increasingly easier to run longer distances. Eventually, a runner training for a half-marathon will want to complete a longer run, so increasing your distance each week is a good idea.

Phynna did just that on a run at Seneca Park on Saturday, March 28, at one of the Kentucky Derby Festival’s marathon training sessions. She completed her longest run yet at 8.70 miles with a speed of 4.1 mph.

“My run/walk was awesome. I used every piece of advice that I received from Dr. Curry and Anna Grout.”

Preparing for a race doesn’t mean just running. Dr. Curry suggested to Phynna that she ride her bicycle for exercise, so Phynna took her advice and invited her husband for a 3.5-mile ride. This was a workout for her legs and great way to get in her cardio for that day’s exercise.

Springtime means the first of many warm vacations for many people, including Phynna. This didn’t prevent her from continuing her training as normal, despite her trip to visit family in Texas. “The weather was gorgeous. Oh, how I’ve missed the sun!”

         On April 4, Phynna completed the Papa John’s 10 Miler with a time of 2:39:36. She learned that for future preparation she will not do leg exercises during the week of the race.

“My legs were so sore and it didn’t help that we took on every hill in Iroqious Park,” she said. “But I did finish and I was proud of myself and my husband was super proud. I used the run/walk method and paced myself.”

Phynna rested the following day and enjoyed Easter with a quiet picnic in the park.

Oh, and sometimes training for a race means you become a local superstar. Phynna met with Today’s Woman Magazine on March 31 for a photo shoot and interview for one of their upcoming articles.

“What an honor. Without Norton Sports Health I would not have a success story. Thank you, Norton Sports Health!” Phynna said.


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