How They Train!

Amy Hines - July-August 2014


  • 33

Did you compete in high school cross country or track?

  • Colquitt County High School in Moultrie, Georgia

Did you compete in college cross country or track?

  • Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee

How many years have you been running?

  • 17

Lifetime personal records

  • In college I ran a 4:23 1500m, and a 2:12 800m. In graduate school I trained with FSU for a year and ran a 16:20 5k, since taking on a normal life I have run a 17:37 5k and a 1:23 Half Marathon.

What running events do you train for or what are your training goals?

  • I like to pick goal races that can double as a fun vacation or memory for my family. My favorites are 5ks, but I ran the New York City Marathon last fall, and it was one of the most amazing experiences of my life.

Consider your training over the past 6 months to one year.  How many miles a week do you typically run when not injured and consistently running?

  • 40-50

What does your typical week of running look like?

  • Monday: Rest 
  • Tuesday:  Intervals at Leon, The last workout I did was 1 mile at 5k pace, 1 min rest, 400 at 1 mile pace x 4 with 2 minute rest in between sets, weight training in the pm.
  • Wednesday:  Easy run with strides
  • Thursday:  Either meet a group on Thomasville road for 7-9 miles OR a second workout. I like 4 sets of 3×400 (easy, medium, hard)
  • Friday:  Pilates at 5:15 am followed by 4 easy miles
  • Saturday:  Race or a 3-5 mile tempo run. My favorites are at Forest Meadows with Lisa Johnson, weight training afterward.
  • Sunday:  10-12 mile easy long run

How does your training vary over the course of a year?

  • I am pretty relaxed about it when I don’t have a goal. During these times, running is mainly a social outlet, so I just go along with what my friends want to do.

Do you take recovery or down time?

  • Yes, I think the time I spend running casually with friends gives me both the mental and physical break I need to head back into training excited and focused when the time comes.

Do you peak for certain races?

  • Do you peak for certain races? No, I choose them depending on what sounds like a fun family activity, trip, or memory. I like Turkey Trot, Palace, and Breakfast on the Track, because they are fun events even if you aren’t running.

How much sleep do you usually get at night?

  • Not enough, 6 hours

What time of day do you normally run?

  • I love, love, love the mornings. 5:15 is my favorite time. Ill go earlier, if I can find someone crazy enough to join me.

What injuries have hampered your training over the past year? 

  • Hamstring grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

Do you take any dietary or medical supplements?

  • I sometimes take Prenatal vitamins. I am not a fan of bars and gu. I’d rather eat real food.

What type of running shoes do you prefer?

  • I like Mizunos, but I usually run in what is on sale.

Do you race in a different type of running shoe?

  • I wore the same pair of Nike racing flats for four years, until people starting making fun of me. Now I have some new Pumas and I am feeling pretty fancy.

Do you use weight training?

  • Yes, I shoot for twice a week. I use a combination of free weights, machines, and body weight exercises. I know I am in good shape when I can do 10 pull ups. I try to cover most of the muscle groups with the major goal being injury prevention.

Do you stretch? 

  • Parts of my favorite Pilates class could be considered stretching. So, once or twice a week.

What are your favorite running routes?

  • I spend a lot of time on Thomasville Road and Betton Hills, but I love the trails at Forest Meadows and Tom Brown Park. Those are probably my favorite parts of living in Tallahassee.

What running resources do you like that would benefit someone else?

  • I use McMillan for paces and training ideas. I look at old running logs from when I trained under good coaches, ask advice of people I trust, and waste the occasional hour reading running blogs.

How has your training changed over the years?

  • When I trained in college, and post collegiately running was a top priority. Now my family, job and faith come before running, so sometimes the long run doesn’t happen or I might spend 6 months without going to the track or doing a race. I loved my more serious running days and am thankful for what I learned then, but I get more satisfaction out of my accomplishments now.

What examples can you give of specific training methods, and what were the results?

  • I work best with a structured plan where volume and intensity take turns increasing. Longer sustained efforts are difficult for me, so tempo and steady state runs help improve my performance, especially when followed by some speed work on the track.Improved 5k and half marathon times. I also feel like when I follow a plan, racing becomes less painful and more fun.

What advice do you have for beginning or experienced runners to help them with their training?

  • Pick attainable, short term goals to start. Then get a plan in writing. As you accomplish smaller goals, you will gain momentum and be able to zero in on the goals that will be most meaningful to you.  If you are sacrificing important parts of your life for running, something is out of balance and you will eventually quit or be grumpy and lose all of your running buddies. Happy people run fast! Have fun, and keep it all in perspective.