About Speed Through Spring and the Beginning Runners Training

EVR is providing a spring training program for beginners as well as intermediate/experienced runners. The program is called 'Speed Through Spring'.

The  intermediate/experienced runners training is primarily focused on improving one’s speed for the 5K or 10K distances, however, the speed improvements gained can be carried into training for longer distances, like a fall marathon.

The training for intermediate/experienced runners spans three 14 weeks and has three levels:

Level 1 helps runners move from the 5K distance up to the 10K distance.

Levels 2 and 3 help those who can at least run a 10K improve their running both in terms of endurance and speed.  The difference is that level 3 is higher mileage and harder workouts than level 2.

Levels are recommended based on each runners' recent running history (last 3 months).  Runners are also provided paces to do their workouts at based on a recent race time or a mile time trial.

The beginner program starts a few weeks after the intermediate/advanced runners and starts with alternating walking and running.

The group meets on Tuesday evenings and Saturday mornings and we provide an additional run option on Thursday mornings.  There are additional group runs that you can attend.  If you can't make a workout you will have a schedule so you may do the workouts on your own.

The cost of the program for non-members is $55, $40 for current members.   In addition to a semi-custom program schedule and recommended training paces, the fee includes: dues to East Valley Runners for the remainder of 2019 for non-members, a program shirt, a post-program pizza party, weekly group runs targeted to the training program and presentations covering topics including: shoes, nutrition, injury prevention, massage, safety, racing techniques.

The Intermediate/Experienced group begins on Tuesday, March 19th, 2019 at 6:30 pm.

The Beginning group begins on Tuesday, April 9th, 2019 at 6:00 pm.

Both groups meet at the Mesquite High school track on most Tuesday nights and behind the QT at the intersection of Warner and Gilbert Roads on most Saturday mornings.

Program Registration

Please send us an email at evrcoaches@gmail.com letting us know that you are interested in joining our program.

We will send you a link to a Google form to collect information we need.

Payment of $55 for non-members/$40 for current members may be made in one of the following ways:

  • Credit Card (we will send you the link to pay using PayPal)
  • PayPal: send it to evrpayments@gmail.com
  • Cash
  • Check (make out to East Valley Runners)

Please note that there are no refunds and the fee does NOT include any race registration.  Race registration is separate.


When does the program meet?

Our primary group workouts are Tuesday evenings and Saturday mornings.  There are additional group runs that you can attend or you may do any or all workouts on your own if you choose.

On Tuesday evenings, we will meet at 6:00 PM for presentations and we will start running at approximately 6:30 PM.

On Saturday mornings our start time will vary.  This is because we want to run when there is some light in the sky but before it starts to get hot.  The sunrise time changes throughout the year.  In March, our start time will be 6:30 AM and by June we will be meeting at 5:00 AM.

Where does the group meet?

On Tuesday evenings, our primary meeting spot will be at the Mesquite High School Track (500 S McQueen Rd, Gilbert, AZ 85233).  On some Tuesday evenings we will meet at Paseo Vista Park (corner of McQueen and Ocotillo Roads).  We will announce in advance when we will not be at the track and will let participants know where we will be.

On Saturday mornings, our primary meeting spot will be behind the QT at the intersection of Gilbert and Warner Roads.  This is close to the Consolidated canal where most of our long runs will be conducted.  Occasionally we will meet at other locations and these locations will be announced in advance.

Runners are encouraged to attend other East Valley Runners group runs if they would like in order to get their weekly mileage in.  Other East Valley Runners group runs are posted on Meetup.

Who puts on the program?

The program is put on by East Valley Runners, a local non-profit running club which is a member of the Road Runners Club of America.

East Valley Runners exists to promote and encourage long-distance running through education of the community on the benefits of physical fitness and sport.

The program is led by club volunteers.

Who directs the program and what are their credentials?

Cathy Blessing is the program director.  She is a Road Runners of America certified coach as well as a Lydiard Foundation Level 1 & 2 certified running coach.

Cathy has been directing the program since the spring of 2013.  The program is based off of a similar program conducted by the Montgomery County Road Runners club in Maryland called 'Speed Development'.  Cathy was a participant in that program prior to becoming a certified coach and then joined their coaching staff prior to moving to the Phoenix area in 2010.

Cathy also serves as East Valley Runners’ Training Coordinator and directs their fall marathon training program (Fall Into Winter).  She also has experience coaching beginners through experienced marathoners as well as ultramarathoners.

Who is the program for?

The program is for those wishing to start running  and return to running after a lay-off (Beginning Runners), and those wishing to improve their running - whether the runner can do a 5K or an ultramarathon.

The program is semi-custom, and provides paces based on each participant’s ability.  Walkers may also participate and we’ve had walkers take part.

The program is geared toward adults, however, we have had some teenagers participate in our club training programs and we welcome focused athletes.  Please note: when we run on the canal there is no guarantee that a participant will have supervision.  Participants need to be responsible enough to run safely alone.

Are headphones permitted?

We discourage the use of headphones while with the group and ask that you do not wear them at the track.  We hope to get you to tune-in to what you are doing while with us, and we want you to hear any faster runners who may be coming up on you and asking you to move out of your lane on the track.

On Saturdays, we hope you will have someone to do your long run with but even if you are on your own, ask that you consider leaving your music at home or turn it way down - you want to be able to hear anyone (especially bikes) which are coming up behind you!

Can I bring my children to the workout?

We discourage children from attending unless they are participants in the program.  There is no one to watch them at any of the workouts.  At the track we have had issues with children getting in the way of runners doing their workouts.   Older children who can sit quietly in the bleachers may be fine.  Please use your best judgement.

Can I cross-train during the program? (Lift weights, do Orange Theory, participate in CrossFit, train for a triathlon)

It all depends on your fitness level, how well you recover from your workouts and what your running goals are.

The coaches are happy to discuss with each participant how to best work other activities into their training.  Participants, however, need to judge for themselves how taking part in other activities impacts their running training.  While some activities help with injury prevention and leave you ready to run, others may leave you tired or sore and unable to complete your running workouts.

I’m unable to make the group workouts. Can I still participate?

We understand that schedules don't always allow for participants to train with us.  You'll be provided a schedule to follow and directions on how to read it so you can do your workout on your own.

How long are the workouts?

Workout lengths may vary.

On Tuesdays, participants have the option of attending a weekly presentation which begins at 6 PM.  The running portion of the workout will begin at 6:30 PM.  Beginners will workout typically from 30-45 minutes; those transitioning from the 5K to 10K 45 minutes; while intermediate and advanced runners should expect their track workouts to last at least an hour but no more than 90 minutes.

Long run days will vary from 30-60 minutes for beginners, approximately 45-60 minutes for those transitioning from the 5K to 10K, and more intermediate and advanced runners may have long runs that take take between 120 and 150 minutes to complete.

Workouts  on one's own can vary between 30 minutes and 110 minutes, again depending on one's ability level.

Send us mail

Click here to add your own text