Pittsburgh Marathon Lessons and Woman of the Year

Before I begin, my thoughts and prayers are with those in  Oklahoma. I can not imagine the pain of what they are going through and will continue to as they rebuild from the ground up.


I mentioned that during the Pittsburgh Marathon, I struggled with turning my legs over from the pain my back was giving me from leaning into all the hills. So as soon as I landed back in pancake flat Savannah– I called Coach Jane!

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{and don’t worry– she doesn’t always look blurry!}

Coach Jane was my coach for my first Full marathon and is a certified trainer, plus has a slew of years of running under her belt. So I wanted to run my theory of “I leaned too much into the 26 miles of rolling hills which pulled on my lower back and therefore I couldn’t turn my legs and I am super bummed because my legs wanted to GOOOOOOOO, Coach!” theory. Thankfully, that super duper scientific theory was right ūüėČ

So without further ado— here is MY Coach…. {and stay at the end…. for a brief closing from another sidekick— up for WOMAN OF the {FREAKIN’} YEAR!!!!!!}

Hello fellow runners and fellow fans of Victoria!

Let’s talk total core training. When referring to the core, I am referring to everything along the trunk of your body, from shoulders to hips, front and back and sides. ¬†Movement along the spine is central to the core, naturally, but so is movement around the hip joints and shoulder joints.

There are three fundamentals to training any muscle group. They are, in order of importance, mobility, stability, and strength.  Stretch and mobilize the joints, stabilize the joints so they can hold steady when needed, and then strengthen them.

A quality, overall core training plan will incorporate stretching for the muscles involved in forward bending, back bending, side bending left and right, and rotation. Stabilization is achieved with planking exercises and balancing postures, keeping your trunk elongated and still under loads in different directions. ¬†Strengthening the core musculature, especially for runners, involves lower resistance/higher repetition to enhance the endurance of these muscles. ¬†A variety of planks, pikes, hip bridges, crunches, side bridges, and twists in seated, standing, inclined, and lying positions will do the job. ¬†Yoga and Pilates exercises are GREAT for providing all three pillars for quality movement. ¬†That’s three pillars, in five directions ūüôā

If you have a history of spinal problems or back muscle injuries, anywhere from the neck to the tailbone, please minimize your risk of injury by consulting a certified trainer or physical therapist to assess your function prior to starting a core training program.

Living in a pancake-flat city and training for a long distance run in billy-goat country? A lot of people in Savannah will tell you to run the Talmadge Bridge every week or every other and that’ll do it. ¬†And if your goal race is less than 10 to 12 miles and only has two hills, I’d agree with them. ¬†But if you, like Victoria, are looking at “rolling hills” over a marathon distance, I would have to differ. ¬†Do not take the word of the event description when it says “mostly flat” if your race takes you away from the coast of the Southeastern United States. ¬†They will fudge the truth to entice you to register. ¬†The coast out west is hilly. ¬†The coast up north is hilly. ¬†Almost everywhere but here and Kansas and southern Illinois is hilly. You have to look at the race course elevation chart. ¬†If you see more than two hills on the chart, read on.

{Inserted by Victoria—-}

Savannah 2011 Course- Full #1

RocknRollSavannahMarathon_e (1)

Pittsburgh 2013 Course- Full #2

Marathon_Elevation(website) (1)

Hill repeat workouts are the way to go.  That means find a hill that takes you around 60 Р120 seconds to climb.  If you know your goal race pace, use it going uphill.  Then run back downhill at race pace or better.  You have to train your muscles to tolerate going downhill too, you know.  Then easy jog on a flat for a minute.  Repeat.  Start with 6 repeats.  Work your way up to 12 Р15 repeats over the course of your training.  Try to get to the hill repeat every other week.

Do you lean when hill running? Only from the ankles. Keep your spine long, no slouching, lead with your chest.

No hills around? ¬†Stair runs work. ¬†Sixty seconds up, try to jog (safely) down instead of walk down. ¬†Same parameters as above. ¬†Please, Savannians, don’t use the River Street stairs of death for stair climbing repeats. ¬†We have stairs and stadiums around, with nice, evenly spaced, 21st Century-human sized steps.

What about treadmills or stair climbers or ellipticals? ¬†They should be a last resort. ¬†They don’t train you for those downhills, for one thing. ¬†For another, they do too much of the work for you. ¬†The movement of the tread belt, or the automatic movement of one foot pedal up while you push the other down, reduces the work for your legs. ¬†If you can find a stair climber that uses detached pedals, that’s a better choice for uphill training. ¬†But no, sorry, going backwards is not the same as going downhill.

If you have questions, comments, concerns, or a burning desire for an appointment for a consultation, you can reach me, Trainer Jane Ogle, at¬†912-247-9500, or at¬†trainerjane1@gmail.com. ¬†Feel free to check out my inconsistent blogging at ¬†http://trainerjanesez.blogspot.com. ¬† And you can find me coaching the C.R.E.W. intermediate half-marathon runners again, starting this June :-)——–> that’s the group I help with too– for all those non- local readers!! ūüėČ


Thank you Coach Jane! You are a wealth of knowledge and so much fun to run with! AND if you are local— her personal stretching is amazing…. so I would hit for up for a session. Just sayin!

You better believe I will be incorporating all of the above…. and hey, it’s almost summer time anyways. Did¬†someone¬†say swimsuit AND core work? ūüėČ


And Woman of the Year!

I am so super proud of my dear friend Jamie!

Jamie Smith headshot Jan. 2013

Jamie is fundraising for our Savannah Woman of the Year for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s annual fundraiser. As you all know, I am a huge advocate for cancer research and programs that directly impact a cancer patient’s quality of life. So if you have 5 or 10 bones you can donate to her campaign that would be awesome.

And on a sidenote– LLS is my other cancer charity of choice. Most of the kiddos at camp have a form of blood cancer, so I fully support the work they do day in and day out. So thank you Jamie for working tirelessly for this campaign for eight weeks. I am super proud of you and your accomplishments.


One thought on “Pittsburgh Marathon Lessons and Woman of the Year”

  1. OMG the elevation distance is crazy!! That’s how I would feel too…I run on pancake flat ground and I couldn’t imagine running in a place with crazy hills without proper training! So glad you had someone to help with your training!

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