We Tested 6 Weeks Of CHAARG Run Club Workouts…Here’s What We Thought

We had three members of Team CHAARG test the CHAARG Run club for 6 weeks to give us feedback on the training plan + workouts… here is the unfiltered truth. ; ) 

Anais Dominguez [AD], @anaisdominguez

  • My relationship with running: Has been a journey… in elementary school, I didn’t like running, I would get B’s in PE because I couldn’t run the mile. Then in high school + early college, I started running more but for all the wrong reasons. I tried running so I could look a certain way. Then once I joined CHAARG I was so inspired by all the girls who were running half + full marathons, that I set the goal to run a half marathon for myself — I’ve been hooked on running ever since! I’ve run 2 half marathons + will be running the 2020 Chicago marathon.
  • My workout routine: Mostly group fitness studio workouts 5X/week — a mixture of cycling, yoga, interval, + yoga sculpt classes! 

Jill Jernas [JJ], @jilljernas

  • My relationship with running: I ran three half marathons about 3 years ago but have not done a race since! I trained for them very minimally… running about 2 times a week. I enjoyed them, but did not take them seriously!
  • My workout routine: I was running casually [about 30 mins – 1 hour a week] + taking rowing classes 4-5 times a week. I got accepted into the 2020 Chicago Marathon so I was looking to run a half during the first half of the year.

Tori Norris [TN], @torinorris18

  • My relationship with running: I ran cross country + track since 6th grade, + continued running all throughout college. I had previously ran 3 half marathons + 1 marathon, but within the past 1.5 years, I really fell away from running + was running at most 6 miles a week.
  • My workout routine: Cycling classes 3x/week + running 1X/week… + lots of walks!

#1] What did you think of the workouts in CHAARG Run Club?

AD: I thought a lot of them were really challenging [in a good way]. When I was training for my other two half marathons I didn’t focus on tempo runs or speed workouts, so this has been a challenging change, but it is paying off. 

JJ: During quarantine I completely lost my normal routine + access to a gym, so this program came at the perfect time. I had a reason to pop out of bed + get moving ++ without it, I honestly don’t think I would be moving almost daily. CHAARG Run Club made working out a lot more intentional + the accountability of those testing with me [Anais + Jill!] gave me so much motivation. This program made me focus on my body — hydration, recovery, fueling, + more. I felt like I was back on a team + it really helped me physically  + mentally during this time.

#2] What’s been the most challenging aspect of CHAARG Run Club Training, mentally? 

AD: I started training when social distancing was in place, so some days it was hard to get up, ++ run. It was so easy to put it off because of the uncertainty going on in my head, it was easy to stay in bed, ++ not workout with a routine.

TN: Telling myself that the distances aren’t too much, + that not every run is going to be easy! You can’t get stronger + faster without challenging yourself a bit ; )

#3] What’s been the most challenge aspect of CHAARG Run Club, physically?

AD: Honestly, the most physically challenging part was running a few days before my period started. My period is very intense a few days before it is about to start, ++ the first few days. So I was very hard on myself when I couldn’t run, but I reminded myself to listen to my body + take the time I need. 

JJ: Tempo Runs! They challenge my endurance + body so much.

TN: Sprint workouts — I have a hard time controlling my breathing, so I typically had to take longer rests than written to get my heart rate to go down before starting again!

#4] How did you schedule the runs in your weekly routine?

AD: I’ve been quarantined in Florida, so I really plan my workouts around the weather. I schedule my runs later in the evening when it is cooler!

JJ: Recovery runs at the end of work every Monday, tempo runs mid-day when it was finally warm, + speed runs before work on Thursday! For long runs, I used the same route, so that I became familiar with the mile markers to easily compare my times, paces, + how my body feels.

TN: I changed this up week-by-week depending on how I was feeling… in the morning, before dinner, or mid-day as a break from work. I also based them on temperature, wind, + rain! I always made sure each workout was in my calendar to hold myself accountable to getting it done in the day.

#5] What did you think of the strength + mobility routine? 

AD: I enjoyed the strength + mobility routine. I always challenge myself on how many rounds of the circuit I can do in 10 minutes — currently I can get through 2 rounds. I can notice the difference between when I do them ++ when I don’t + how it affects my body. I feel less tight when I do the workouts. 

JJ: DO IT!!!!!! The first week or so I was not super diligent in doing SAM before every run. Soon my hips were super sore + Sarah reminded me to incorporate SAM more often. I started doing it almost daily + my hips were cured! I personalized my SAM to incorporate more hip strengthening movements + it’s really helped my runs. I don’t start a run unless I do SAM first — just DO IT!!

#6] How has Sarah supported you throughout training?

JJ: I was running faster than my pace for a few weeks + she gave me great advice on when to move pace groups or not. She also helped me with my hip problem [above], held me accountable, + reassured me that what I was feeling was normal. Sarah has been immensely helpful!

TN: Sarah is always so enthusiastic to answer questions + is so knowledgeable about running + the body! She is really there for you to help adapt the plan to something that works for you, + remind you that not every run needs to be at a certain pace — movement forward is still progress!

#7] What would you say to someone nervous for signing up for CHAARG Run Club because they are worried that the workouts will be too tough?

AD: This is a great investment in yourself + in your goals if you have ever been interested in running. If you are nervous about how tough the workouts are remember: it is just running, you’ve been doing it since you’ve been walking. You can take any workouts at your own pace + do what’s comfortable for you.

JJ: This plan is SO customizable! If it seems too hard, move to another pace group. This will help keep the enjoyment in every workout. 

#8] What are you most excited for with CHAARG Run Club? 

 

JJ: The virtual race! Honestly I love grassroot races where you create your own path + race yourself. I am super excited to have motivation leading up to this day + I am excited to prepare for something again! 

TN: The community! I am more motivated when there are other people doing the same thing as me, versus me just working towards a goal on my own.

#9] What advice do you have for girls who have already signed up for CHAARG Run Club?

AD: Hydration is so important. I’ve always known that drinking water is important, but once you start running it becomes so much more important. Drink plenty of fluids before + after your runs, look into the right electrolytes that work best for you, ++ take into account the climate you are in. 

JJ: Hold yourself accountable! Track your times in a spreadsheet. Tracking everything will really help you see improvement + if your pace group is realistic! Also make a friend who is running with you — it’s awesome to share how your workouts went with someone.

TN: Keep track of your times — I PROMISE you will see yourself get faster, + it’s such a rewarding feeling knowing that week by week, you’re getting closer to achieving your goal of running a half marathon!

. . .

Are you ready to join CHAARG Run Club? Registration is open until May 29 — see more details here!

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