At the start of the camp, everyone does a 2-mile "time trial" where you see how fast you can run 2-miles. Then he has a pace chart that shows what pace you should try and run for different types of workouts (easy run, tempo, race pace, 400m repeats, 800m repeats, etc) based on your time trial. Coach Butler sends out a training plan at the start of the camp so you know what to run on the days we don't have camp and so that you can still do the workout if you miss the camp one night. The group of people is very friendly and welcoming and they will really push you to do your best!
I still did quite a few races earlier this year but I did scale back a little and tried to do just races that I intended to do really well at. At the end of the camp, I filled out a survey for Coach describing my progress and what I thought. For reference, the camp went from mid-late January thru mid-May.
- When did you start running with SGNL?
- What were your Personal Records (PR's) before camp?
10k 53:17 2005 Bolder Boulder 10k
15k 1:34:09 2014 Gate River Run 15k
Half Marathon 2:02:33 Melbourne Music
Sprint Tri (5k portion) 25:33 2009 Marineland
Sprint Triathlon 1:30:31 2009 Marineland
- What are your PR's after SGNL camp?
10k 52:25 Bolder Boulder 10k (and I did EoTD 10k in 53:42 mid-camp)
15k 1:24:44 Gate River Run 15k
Half Marathon 1:58:24 Dallas Rock N Roll
Sprint Tri (5k portion) 25:10 Conquistadores
Sprint Triathlon 1:24:44 Conquistadores Sprint Tri
- Describe your overall experience at camp
Coach's evaluation of my running at all stages of camp was spot-on accurate and he was always able to give me a good pacing strategy for upcoming races. I made significant progress in EVERY race distance this year, felt good during each race and avoided any real injuries. Runners in the camp spanned a broad range of abilities but everyone was super supportive of each other. In the past, I couldn't sustain increased mileage or "strict" training regimens without getting burned out after 10-12 weeks. After 16+ weeks of camp, not only am I not burnt out, I signed up for the annual camp! Now the hardest part is deciding which PR I want to tackle next...my college 5k PR or my full marathon PR. Not every run is great, not every run is fun...but every run is progress and there's no better place than SGNL to make progress and friends along the way!
I was most excited about the new PR at Bolder Boulder because my previous PR was at the exact same race 10 years ago! I was hoping to do a little better based on my fitness level but I was still thrilled with the new PR. I had the biggest improvement in time at the Gate River Run where this was the first year I didn't have to walk at all (not even up the dreaded "Green Monster" bridge). And at the Dallas Rock N Roll Half Marathon, not only did I make a few minutes improvements on my time - but I really felt great! The first 9-10 miles felt like i was taking it easy and could have gone faster!
Since then, vacations and work and life in general have gotten in the way of my speedwork so I'm definitely not in the same shape that I was during camp. I actually converted my camp membership to an annual one so I can go to all the camps throughout the year, but sadly I haven't gotten to go to many of them. I have been doing a good job of still getting a decent amount of miles in each week but very rarely do I get any speedwork done.