Ragnar Training Tips

We asked Coach Lora, the “Blonde Runner”, how she preps for Ragnar and what advice she gives to her clients. Check out her informative response.

When anyone approaches me about training for any Ragnar event, I always suggest to prepare as if you were going to do a half marathon.  Many runners will tell you that the half marathon distance is the perfect race distance. It’s long enough for a challenge, but short enough to recover from, quicker than a marathon. However half marathons take more preparation time than a 5K or 10K, so it is important to keep some things in mind when you are training for one.

Take time to get in shape. It is not wise to enter a race out of shape, and let’s face it, you can really hurt yourself. Running a race unprepared is rarely enjoyable and might prove to be a downright horrible experience souring your feelings towards ever doing one again. To avoid this take the time to get in shape so it can be a great experience that you will want to repeat again.

Training correctly for a half marathon usually takes a number of months; so you can properly build your mileage gradually over time to prevent injury. You’ll find that the average program takes 3 to 5 months to complete even when starting it in pretty good shape. That is running about 15 miles a week consistently. Follow the standard rule increasing 10% of your mileage each week and taking an easy week every three weeks. Allow enough weeks to run one or two long runs consisting of 14 or 15 miles each. This way you will go into the race confident that you can complete the distance. Make sure to incorporate speed work, cross training and strengthening exercises into your routine to keep you strong and injury free.

Train for the race route terrain. Nearly all races have the race route available in advance for you to review and adapt your training. Are there some considerable hills? If so, you will want to add hill repeats into your training plan. Will you be running on loose gravel, a trail, sand, grass or mostly pavement? Most likely there will be a variety of terrain; so practice on various surfaces. This may also effect what shoes you race and train with. You may need to consider altitude differences and add in some high altitude training sessions.

Create a race plan or strategy. Too often runners go into races with no plan in place; no race strategy. Even if you are not out to win it, you should still have a plan. The plan should include, pace variables, and a re-hydration/glucose strategy. Plan out how much water and electrolyte fluid you need to consume at each water stop. Study the map and learn where the water stops will be and what type of carbohydrate sources may be offered. Then practice with the same brand at the same intervals to see how your body tolerates it. Nothing is worse than having to stop and go to the restroom in the middle of a race. Having a plan can also help prevent you for “running out of gas” or “hitting the wall.”

Run your own race. In college, my coaches would often tell me to run my own race, which means to go the pace that I have trained for and not get caught up in the “race,” starting out too fast. It’s important to know your pace and stick to it, follow a plan. By varying your terrain and taking the time to train properly you will find that your half marathon experience will prove to be much more enjoyable.

Coach Lora Erickson is a USATF certified running coach and nationally ranked triathlete. Visit her website  for more information or email her directly: lora@blonderunner.com. Live healthy!


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Why I Ragnar

by Anne Ciccio, a Ragnar Ambassador

The reason I participate in the Ragnar Relay Series has changed since the first time I participated 3 years ago.  I was first introduced to the Ragnar Relay Series by my sister in law who had a friend that was putting together a team and was looking for “extra legs”.  She knew I ran and as soon as I heard about and did a bit of research I was in.  I did not know what to expect but just went with the flow.  Luckily I had a “seasoned” overnight relay runner in my van who made the sleepless night fun and enjoyable.  The hours flew past and when I was done I had not only made 5 new friends but had accomplished something that I never thought possible.  I continue to run Ragnars for the experiences – I have specific fond memories of each Relay I have run – the places and the friends that I have made.  Some people asky why I would  use my vacation time, fly half way across the country, run and fly back home in time for work on Monday and I tell them – because I can! 


This is why I run – how many other people can say that they have run in the desert as the sun set, heard nothing but the sound of their foot hits the ground, run through the Everglades in the middle of the night and still have a smile on their face.  Not many – and it is those experiences that keep me running and keep running fun for me.


Why do you Ragnar? Tell us in the comment section below.

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Ragnar Runner of the Month

Our August Runner of the Month is Angela Singleton!

She’s a dedicated Ragnar team captain who loves planning her team’s Ragnar Runcations. She believes that these Runcations create¬†friends-for-life. As a captain she works hard to organize and plan everything needed to make each running adventure safe, memorable, and easy for everyone.

Wondering how she pulls off these memorable Ragnar experiences? Leave a comment with your questions!

Runner of month_Aug

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