Training with RVC for the CHaD HERO

River Valley Club (RVC) is committed to supporting the 2017 CHaD HERO, and we are excited to share some of our team’s top training tips with you. Looking for camaraderie and not on a team yet?  You are welcome to join ours!  RVC is offering fundraising incentives to help Team RVC members prepare for the 2017 CHaD HERO, including a 12 week dedicated group training program designed by RVC Trainer, Tara Ebejer for those who raise $250.  Group training runs the week of July 24 through October 29 and will be held every Tuesday and Thursday at noon. In addition to the free training twice a week, you also receive a free membership with full access to the club during the training period dates. Already on a team? Consider developing your own set of incentives to keep your members motivated and optimize their fundraising efforts.

TaraEbejer Head Shot

Here are some training tips from Tara:


  1. Sign up for the CHaD HERO — right now!

Signing up for the race makes it official.  You now have a race date and a training deadline to motivate you. Making it official keeps you accountable to your training schedule and workouts.  Be proud of this first step and share the news with your family and friends – this further helps with the commitment, and your fundraising efforts.

  1. Journal

Keep a running journal noting things you ate, what you wore, weather, how you felt, etc.  This will be helpful for you to look back and see why a run felt not so good or why it felt great.  Note what foods you ate during your run and see what works and didn’t work so well. Journals also help with training for future races – looking back to see if you really trained as hard as you think you did.

Calculate your weekly mileage total to make sure you are following your training schedule and not overtraining. There should be NO big mileage jumps – just a slow steady increase every week and don’t forget to allow for rest days and cut back weeks.

  1. Running Form

Relax during your runs. Don’t worry about your speed; that will come in time.  Running is a natural movement so good running form should feel natural.  Remember the following tips:

Head – is up.   Your chin should be level, not be up, down or forward. Keep your eyes moving and alert. Enjoy the scenery.

Shoulders – keep them low and loose, NOT hunched forward.

Arms – keep your arms moving forward and back; not across the body.

Torso – run tall and do not lean forward unless going up a steep hill.

Legs and Feet – keep your stride short and underneath your pelvis. Do not run with long strides. Efficient runners run 180 steps per minute, regardless of speed.

  1. Mental Preparation

An important part of training for a race is mental preparation. You need to be ready for ‘bad’ days. During training your brain can get ahead of your body which may make some runs feel ‘bad’. Expect to have good and bad days and know that it is OK.

Remember EVERYONE has race anxieties!  Be prepared to face these fears and know that you will overcome them. Common fearful thoughts include:

  • “Everyone is faster then me – I run too slow”
  • “I am going to be the last one to cross the finish line”
  • “What if I fail and cannot complete the race

Putting forth effort and overcoming fear can make accomplishing any task even more worthwhile and gratifying.

  1. Cross-Training

Include cross-training exercises on your run days and/or non-run days.


Many people think of the core as just their abdominal muscles, however, the core consists of 29 muscles including back muscles, gluteus, and pelvic floor muscles..  Think of the core as LEADER OF THE PACK. All movement begins from the core so a strong core is essential.  Core training also helps to protect the spine during functional activities aiding in injury prevention. A strong core is essential for all runners! Include exercises like the plank, side plank, bridges, and glute strengthening exercises (clams, single leg squats, etc.).


Balance is key to all functional movement such as running, walking, getting dressed, climbing stairs, and playing sports. Our balance becomes altered a) as we age b) with muscle imbalances and c) with injuries. Therefore everyone can benefit from balance training, which also helps to improve joint stability and alignment decreasing the risk of injuries. Exercises include any single leg movements such as single leg squats or single leg reaches.


There are so many benefits to resistance training!

  • Improved cardiovascular efficiency – benefits runners
  • Increased bone density
  • Decreased body fat – makes runners FASTER
  • Increased metabolism
  • Increased strength
  • Improved mental state
  • Decreased stress
  • Increased energy & stamina
  • Look and feel better
  • It’s FUN!


 More than before, flexibility training has become a key component in all training programs. Some benefits to flexibility training are: correction of muscle imbalances, increase in joint range of motion, decrease in muscle tension, relief of joint stress, and maintaining muscle optimal length.   It also feels good!

Types of Flexibility Training:

Self-Myofascial Release/Foam Rolling:

When: before & after exercise

What:   a stretching technique that focuses on both the neural and fascial systems in the body which are fibrous tissues that surround and separate muscle tissue.  Adhesions or knots are created in the fascia with everyday activities and exercise.

How:   use a foam roller and apply gentle force to the knots. The muscle fibers are altered from a bundled position into a straighter alignment with the direction of the muscle or fascia. This helps restore the body back to its optimal length of function. Remember to hold the force onto the knot for 20 seconds, keep relaxed and breathe!

Dynamic Stretching:

When: before exercise as a warm up

What:  stretching of muscles using force production and momentum to move the joints through full range of motion

Examples: tube walking, walking lunges, prisoner squats, high knee walk, inchworm, and spidermans

Spiderman Stretch
Inchworm Stretch

Race Day Rules

  1. NEVER WEAR anything NEW on race day. This means NO new shoes, socks, shirts, pants, bras, etc.  Make sure you have worn all of your clothing at least once and that it is comfortable.
  2. NEVER EAT anything DIFFERENT on race day.  On your weekend runs practice eating different things and find what works for you.
  3. Make sure you are well hydrated; increasing fluid intake few days prior to your race. You should be sipping water continuously so that your urine is a clear color. On race day start sipping water as soon as you wake up. No need to chug water — just sip—you don’t want to get bloated.
  4. Be prepared to run in any type of weather.   You never know what to expect in New England.
  5. Mentally prepare yourself, have fun, and enjoy the journey!