Dalton Half Marathon

July 17, 2010

Doug Hawley: Steady increases in training runs is best

As area runners prepare for the first Dalton Half Marathon, they are encouraged to abide by the 10 percent rule. No, this does not relate to tithing. Sorry, preachers!

It means not running more than a 10 percent increase in total miles from one week to the next.

Let’s say that in four weeks of training, you have built up to 20 miles per week on five days of running. Try to hold the next week to 22.

This seems like a minimal increase. However, this 10 percent rule has stood the test of time for world class runners and those who simply seek personal gratification.

It keeps runners, for the most part, from extra strain on their bodies and creates less chance of injury, particularly to the lower body.

Some years ago, I attended the Florida Track Club’s distance running camp at North Carolina’s Brevard College. Roy Benson, who later became the Gators’ head track and cross country coach, was the director for activity that encompassed high school, college and adult runners.

Those Floridians, who made up the majority, did find the mountainous area in western North Carolina quite different from their native flatlands. They seemed to endorse the terrain for altitude training.

With little to occupy their time except running (and some heavy eating), virtually everybody ran at least twice a day. A few even ran three times a day. It seemed unlikley that anybody abided by the 10 percent rule from the week prior. Some of us paid dearly with fatigued bodies by the time we returned home.

Nevertheless, I looked at that week as an “exception to the rule.” There was too much fun involved.

Early every morning at that camp before breakfast, participants ran in several groups of comparable speeds. One man who chose to run with the slower females was asked why.

“Their sweat smells better,” he said.

We had been warned all week about a challenge on the final day: a one-mile run up infamous Agony Hill. In Dalton, it compared to Mount Sinai, except this was a winding trail.

Getting up Agony Hill did not prove that daunting for me. Perhaps I was overconfident on the way back down. My pride would not allow a couple of stellar high school boys to pull away. Wrong decision.

Abruptly, I fell down the hill. Fortunately, there were no broken bones.

When I arrived at the bottom of the hill battered and bloodied, a runner exclaimed, “Where have you been? In a scrimmage with the Chicago Bears?”

Yes, running can be a contact sport — at least with the ground.

Pride is good. Nevertheless, may those training for the Dalton Half Marathon show more common sense than yours truly did on Agony Hill.

This is the fourth in a 16-part series of instructional columns leading up to the first national Dalton Half Marathon on Oct. 16. Its focus is primarily for those running their first 13.1-mile event. Doug Hawley, a competitive distance runner for more than 50 years, was a top 10 percent finisher in each of the Boston Mara-thons from 1976 to 1981.

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Dalton Half Marathon
  • Time to roll out the red carpet

    Organizers are expecting nine states to be represented Saturday at the fourth annual Dalton Red Carpet races, where the action — which starts and finishes downtown — will include a half marathon, 5K and 2K.
    “I feel sure that it’s the most states that we’ve had represented for this event,” said co-race director Rick Little. “It’s become so well-known. People outside our area know that it’s a quality event.”

    October 25, 2013

  • Run back for concert downtown

    Get ready to rock with the Austin, Texas-based band Fastball at the Saturday night concert following the Dalton Red Carpet Half Marathon/ 5K/2K races and the Liberty Tree Festival in downtown Dalton.

    October 25, 2013

  • Half marathon male winner.jpg Red Carpet Half Marathon: Phillips outkicks the field

    Isaac Pacheco stuck with Geno Phillips for around half the race.
    Then the Chattanooga resident “broke” the North Murray High senior.
    Phillips was the first person to cross the Dalton Red Carpet Half Marathon finish line in downtown Dalton on Saturday morning, running the 13.1-mile race in one hour, 12 minutes, 1 second.

    October 7, 2012 1 Photo

  • Chris Stephens: Ready for a good run

    The best part about running your first half marathon? Finish the race and you automatically set a personal record.

    October 3, 2012

  • s-MartinezFamily1-3x-col.jpg Racing runs in this family

    If officials for Saturday’s Dalton Red Carpet races are looking to award a family for having the most participants, a local contingent rates as quite a favorite.

    October 11, 2011 1 Photo

  • Runners can try out half marathon course

    Area runners are invited to help test the reconfigured course for the second Dalton Red Carpet Half Marathon, 5K and 2K event, which is scheduled for a downtown start and finish on Oct. 15.

    June 7, 2011

  • 5k 3 mlh.jpg Tight finish

    October 17, 2010 1 Photo

  • Doug Hawley: Firsts not only bests

    October 17, 2010

  • 5k 12 mlh.jpg Perfect day for a race

    They came mostly from the Southeast and a few from as far away as Colorado and South Dakota. Some ran Saturday’s half marathon for the first time, while one Dalton podiatrist used it as a tune-up for the real Marathon race in Greece later this month.

    October 17, 2010 1 Photo

  • Dalton Half Marathon2010.jpg Day of distance near

    Lauren Sain was already planning to run a half marathon in a city halfway across the country when she saw an advertisement for one in her own backyard.
    On Saturday morning, Sain will find out how far her training has taken her in preparation for the first Dalton Half Marathon, which will also serve as her first attempt at a distance race beyond a 5K.

    October 14, 2010 2 Photos