Monday, October 13, 2014

Team Juan Step!
Perfect weather, great attitude, a well run event - this is what you can expect out of the Chicago Marathon. But what makes this race successful are countless hours, countless miles and countless ice packs which allow 45,000 people to tour 26.2 miles on foot through the heart of downtown Chicago.

Coach Hailey!
For the past three years, the FlagRunners have volunteered to be running coaches for Team One Step, a program to help kids with cancer go to camp. Our coaching is a great opportunity for us to help runners to reach their marathon goal while raising awareness for Team One Step. It is an exhilarating feeling to see Team One Step runners on the course!

The Chicago Marathon is the one sporting event where a runner can participate in the same field, in the same event, as the pros. This year, Eliud Kipchoge crossed the finish line in 2 hours, 4 minutes and 11 seconds (2:04:11). Last year was completed in 2:03:35. It is safe to say, for most runners, completing the 26.2 mile journey is cause enough for celebration.

After many years of coaching and 3 years with Team Team One Step, we thought we would answer some of the questions that we receive most often. If you are considering running the 2015 Chicago Marathon, this might be a good place to start.

If you feel inspired to cross off the Marathon on your to-do list at the Chicago Marathon 2015, send an email to Hailey at and ask for more information on how you can be a Team One Step Marathon Runner next year!

So admit it running the Chicago marathon is on your bucket list?

1) Lifestyle choices are a major contributor to personal happiness. You set goals at work, you have hopes and dreams for your family or your future. Why not set goals for your fitness? Training and running the marathon can be an event of a life time with countless memories!

2) Running a marathon is the ultimate 'get out of jail free' card. Want to leave that party early? You have the excuse - You are training for a marathon. And you do not like to eat your Aunt Sally's bean salad this Thanksgiving? Just say, "Oh no! I am training for a marathon". People ask you why you look so good? Say the same thing. You are training for a marathon.

3) At the end of the marathon, your mind and body may be at their limit. However, You will have an amazing feeling of accomplishment and community of marathoners. Along the way, supporters and fellow runners alike will find you at your lowest moments and lift you up. You will tell yourself I can not believe I've come this far, then it will suddenly surprise you to find your skills almost automatically that will carry you home to the finish line.

How do I know if I'm capable of running a marathon? 


The marathon is special, which is why it is so popular, but it doesn't stop here. Being qualified to run a marathon is both a physical and a mental question. First, it is important to be aware of your body's physical limits.  Training mileage is essential.

If you are willing to adjust your expectations and pay attention to your body, stay disciplined to your running practice, you are qualified to be a runner. You will not at first be your fastest but you will make progress, every step counts/adds in your training.

Why should I run for charity?


Whether you have run one marathon or even two dozen, you can always benefit from a community of runners. A charity provides you that. The right charity, like Team One Step, will offer benefits to the Marathon experience that help you.

Not only is signing for a charity personally and strategically beneficial for running a marathon, it is also a great way to get your family, friends and co-workers involved in the experience. Having your friends contribute to the charity makes them a part of your story. They become more than fans on the side of the road, they're part of your journey too. That means your running is good for everyone.

Oh yeah did I mention that Team One Step is a very good + cause.

Why do I need a training plan?


A great training plan can take you from 3 miles to 24 miles gradually over several months. It is nearly impossible to do this without a steady plan and goal. You can find free training plans online, or talk to other runners.

Look for a training plan that doesn't just give you a list of miles and/or workouts, but one that looks at nutrition, recovery, injury prevention or therapy. A great training plan is 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Believe me, there will be days when it is too easy to quit. That is when accountability to your training program becomes crucial. Those are the days you'll remember and those are the days you will surprise yourself.

When do I start?


Many people ask us, when should I start? The answer is now. Don't wait for the weather to turn or some official race welcome packet. Start with a small goal. Get outside and see what you can do. Like all the wonderful One Step Runners at the 2014 Chicago Marathon, you'll soon be at that starting line, proving to yourself that you can do it, carrying an entire community of support through to the 2015 Chicago Marathon finish line.

Email Hailey and ask to be put on the list.