Countdown to Race Day: Planning Ahead for 2020

Version 2This week, we will be talking to Atlanta Track Club Elite team members competing in the  Indianapolis Monumental Half Marathon this Saturday, November 5. Each will address a different aspect of their training.  Today, Bridget Lyons talks about increasing the distance of her weekly long run.Bridget Lyons ran higher mileage preparing for the Indianapolis Monumental Half Marathon than she did training for her last marathon. And that wasn’t just any marathon. It was the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials in Los Angeles. Lyons topped out at 85 miles a week competing for the University of Georgia and hit 90 for the first time training for the trials. A few weeks ago, she hit 100 after averaging 90 miles a week for the 15-week cycle.“I’m glad I had the stepping stones to build,” says Lyons. She says she started training for Saturday’s race in July with a 30-mile week and gradually added mileage over the course of the summer. “Then we started to add in some workouts and increase the long run,” says Lyons. “Basically every week the mileage increased a little. However there were some weeks, for example, we would run 75 miles, but the next week was harder workouts than we have ever done, and the mileage would go back down to 65. And then the next week was back up to 80. That way, we were able to add intensity to the workouts and add mileage.”The high mileage is part of Coaches Amy and Andrew Begley’s larger plan for the future goals of Atlanta Track Club Elite, which include sending an athlete to the 2020 Olympic Games.  “Leading up the the 2020 trials, there are very few opportunities to go through a training cycle,” says Andrew Begley. “The team will do a marathon in fall 2017, fall 2018, spring 2019 and then the trials.  This doesn't give them a lot of chances to work out the kinks.”Lyons took time away from competitive running after completing her undergraduate degree so she could attend dental school. Now she balances her career as a dentist with chasing her dream of running professionally. That makes rest and recovery even more important. Lyons says she is a big fan of foam rolling. “I spent a lot of time doing physical therapy exercises to strengthen weak areas. I've learned that the key is addressing something small before it turns into something big.”This week, Lyons will run just 40 miles leading into the half marathon. With a personal best of 1:13:49, Bridget hopes to see 1:12 on the clock Saturday morning.Starting today (Thursday), Bridget is taking over the Atlanta Track Club Elite Twitter account. You can follow her throughout race weekend @atlTCelite, and you can follow her every other day on @RunDocLyons.Click here to read about Matt McDonald prepared for his longest runClick here to read about Andrew McLain’s tapering planClick here to read about how Sallie Post fuels for 100-mile weeksAbout Atlanta Track Club EliteAtlanta Track Club Elite is comprised of the Club’s top athletes who train together and represent the Club at local, regional and national races. The team aims to help athletes realize their goals while promoting competitive distance running, track and field and the mission of Atlanta Track Club. For more information on Atlanta Track Club Elite, visit Atlanta Track ClubAtlanta Track Club is a nonprofit committed to creating an active and healthy Atlanta. Through running and walking, Atlanta Track Club motivates, inspires and engages the community to enjoy a healthier lifestyle. With more than 26,000 members, Atlanta Track Club is the second largest running organization in the United States. In addition to the AJC Peachtree Road Race ( – the largest 10K running event in the world, the Publix Georgia Marathon, PNC Atlanta 10 Miler and Thanksgiving Day Half Marathon, Atlanta Track Club directs more than 30 events per year. Through the support of its members and volunteers, Atlanta Track Club also maintains a number of community initiatives including organizing and promoting the Kilometer Kids youth running program to metro Atlanta youth, honoring high school cross country and track and field athletes through Atlanta Track Club’s All-Metro Banquets and supporting the Grady Bicycle EMT program. For more information on Atlanta Track Club, visit