Week 1 – 2020 Winter SLR Kickoff Run

Happy New Year! Boston is 15 weeks away, its time to ramp up the mileage as you make your way to the starting line. The Melrose Running Club invites you to join us for our Sunday Long Run program, a proven series of long runs that will get you ready for your big race. All our welcome to join us each Sunday from Brueggers on Main Street in Melrose, regardless of which running club you belong to, if any. All we ask is a verbal agreement that you won’t hold the Melrose Running Club liable for anything you do while you’re out on the streets. You join us for the run, but you’re responsible for what happens out on the road.

Running a Marathon? While Boston isn’t the only marathon out there, Patriot’s Day is the focus date of the SLR training plan. If you’re running a different marathon, you can cater your mileage to your race date by adding and subtracting a few miles each week. The SLR plan is designed to walk a novice marathoner up to the mileage to be able to complete a marathon. If you’re a more accomplished marathoner you might want to alter your mileage to a different plan. Feel free to take advantage of our water stops as you complete your training.

Running a half? The SLR will also walk you up to a half. If you’re new to halfs, the plan will get you to the starting line with the goal to finish. If you’re a more experienced half runner, I suggest you stretch the miles out to 15 or so before your half. It will make 13.1 feel easier!

The Training Plan – We’ll help you get through your long runs. Most weeks the SLR will alternate between a step up of 4 miles from the week before to stretch out your miles, or a step back 2 miles for a recovery week. I recommend you run these about 30-60 seconds/mile slower than your goal race pace. The goal is to get the miles in on Sundays, the speed you should work on at other times. Running all your runs at the same pace is a recipe for an injury about week 12 or 13. So what should your other runs be? How many runs should you do each week? What should your weekly mileage be? There is no one answer, everyone’s situation is unique. I will recommend a training app I have used that got me a PR in a half marathon recently. A Strava app website TO-GETTHERE.com has you enter the number of days per week you want to train, your goal race, and your goal time to set out a dynamic training plan. Note, if you can’t keep up with the training plan they recommend, it’s likely your goal is not in reach. As you run the training runs, the site will adjust your upcoming training based on how well you’re doing. If you’re looking for a plan, I suggest you mix the TO-GETTHERE training plan and the SLR long runs to get to where you want to be.

About our Meeting Place – Brueggers allows us to meet for our run within their place of business but Brueggers is not at all affiliated with the Melrose Running Club or the Sunday Long Run. Please be respectful of their property and their customers. Do not gather along the customer line or waiting areas. Keep the restroom facilities clean. Wipe your feet before entering. Keep your voices low as you wait for the run. Let me repeat that, it is human nature to raise your voice so you can be heard by the person you’re talking to, and when everyone does that we tend to make a lot of noise, at 8AM, when customers are trying to eat their breakfast. You’ll have many miles to talk to each other, please limit the conversation in the few minutes we gather at Brueggers. After the run feel free to talk as much as you like. Please consider purchasing food and drink from Brueggers. Refrain from bringing in outside food into their restaurant, respect their business. If you plan on hanging out after, please bring a change of clothes. Would you want to sit next to a sweaty runner when you go out to breakfast? If we follow these suggestions we’ll continue to meet at Brueggers, if we don’t we’ll have to meet in the street, in the cold, and rain and snow.

About our Runs – The weekly running route is listed to the right in the sidebar of the Sunday Long Run page at the Melrose Running Club site. If you just follow the link you’ll only see the blog post. Each week I’ll post about the run, reviewing the route, and requesting a reply if you’re in. Over the years the standard has become to post IFTF if you’re “in for the full” route, of IFTH if you’re “in for the half”. These responses will be used to gauge what to buy for water stop supplies. Please reply. The morning of the run we’ll gather slightly before 8AM. I’ll collect $2 from the full route runners and $1 from the half route runners. This money goes towards the supplies I just bought. We’ll quickly head outside to Main Street and I’ll review the route. At this point you acknowledge you know where you’re going and agree you are on your own from there. If you wander off course you will become lost and you won’t be found… because you’re lost. Know the route, and become familiar with the area so that you can find your way back. Each week a link to turn by turn directions of each section of the route will be available. If you tend to get lost, bring your phone so you can follow the directions or find your way back on course. The water stops are typically manned. Have a drink and a snack to keep fueled. If the stop is used more than once you’ll be asked to initial the bottom of your cup and reuse it. When you hit that stop for the last time please throw away your cup. When the cups are gone the volunteer will know they can leave the stop. If you plan on skipping a stop, let the water stop attendant know, or post it in your reply to this post. It is very helpful to know. Also, for slower pace runners, it is suggested you get a head start. Some runners opt to meet a half hour to an hour earlier to finish up earlier. The water stops roll along the course so you may be ahead of them, but review the map and plan for the ones you think you’ll make. We’re out there to help you.

This week’s route – We’ll start the season off with pleasant weather for a run to Breakheart. Oh yeah, if you’re new to this, I forgot to mention you’ll be running a lot of hills.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15

Start – Heading North on Main Street in Melrose, the group will start together running up to Ell Pond where you’ll cross over to the right side of the road and veer off onto Green Street. At the traffic lights where Green Street meets the Lynn Fells Parkway you’ll take a right. Follow the Lynn Fells into Saugus, up to the Saugus entrance to Breakheart on your left. If you see Target and Kelly’s you’ve gone too far! The entrance to Breakheart will take you up to the parking lot in front of the Breakheart Headquarters Lodge where you’ll find the water stop for this week. Have a drink.

Half Finish – The half route runners will turn around and return to Brueggers along the same path. Run back down to the Lynn Fells Parkway where you turn right. Continue into Melrose, turning left on Green Street and merging on to Main Street. Grab a bagel and coffee, the rest of the group will be back soon.

Full 2 – The second part of the full route run is a lap around the outer loop of Breakheart Reservation going counter-clockwise. Head in along the path to the right, when you approach the beach, keep to the right, circle around and run through 5 (at least) major hills before heading back out to the parking lot for another water stop. Have another drink, you deserve one!

Full Finish – Now you’ll return to Brueggers the way you came. Run back down to the Lynn Fells Parkway where you turn right. Continue into Melrose, turning left on Green Street and merging on to Main Street. Grab a bagel and coffee, the rest of the group will be back soon.

Water Stop – I’ll bring the supplies to Breakheart and backtrack along the route for a run myself. If anyone wants to volunteer to man the stop they are welcome to but if there is no volunteer feel free to find my car, pop the trunk and help yourself. The car will have an MRC Jacket in the back window.

Roll Call – Who’s in for this week’s run? Let me know by responding to this post!

35 Responses to “Week 1 – 2020 Winter SLR Kickoff Run”

  1. Andrew Nagelin says:


  2. Regina Curran says:

    Hi Jim

    Myself, Julie, Thuy, Mary are in for the full, Steph for the half please!

    Thank you!

  3. Jackie says:

    IFTF. Let’s do this!!

  4. Bernard J. DeCunha says:

    IFTH! Looking forward to joining the SLR for the first time!

  5. Haecha Donnelly says:

    IFTF! Thanks!

  6. Joe Terranova says:

    In for full. Jim can you confirm Saturday or Sunday? Earlier version said Saturday but now silent. Thanks as always!

  7. Jeanne Boisseau says:

    In for the full Thank you!

  8. Andrea Twomey says:


  9. Lynne says:

    I’m in for the half

  10. Man says:

    I am in for the half. This will be my first time running with the club. Looking forward to the run.

  11. Valerie says:

    In for the half thank you!

  12. Jim says:

    This week is on Sunday! Cut and paste error, sorry for the confusion.

  13. Joe Terranova says:

    Thanks Jim. See everyone on Sunday

  14. Marlene Morris says:

    I’m in for the full.

  15. Melanie Marinello says:

    I’m in for the full. Thanks!

  16. Christina DiCalogero says:

    Jess and I are in for the full. Thank you!

  17. Donna Leggiero says:

    Going to plan for the full. Thank you!

  18. Mike Quigley says:

    I can volunteer. Assume 0800

  19. Dan Slattery says:

    In for the full 🙂 . Thanks, and Go Pats tonight!

  20. Paul Locke says:

    Lynda Field & I are in for a modified half!

    And by modified, I mean we’ll leave from a different starting point at a different time and cover some of the club route… HOPEFULLY seeing you all at some point along the route. We will likely hit the water stop once.

  21. Mike Quigley says:

    Need to cancel me for volunteer as I have my car to my son this weekend. Will catch you another weekend. Very sorry

  22. Jenny Boshco says:

    In for the full. Thanks!!!

  23. Matt Sazama says:

    IFTH-, but may go short and return to Brueggers via Howard St.

  24. Daniel says:

    Happy new year. IFTH.

  25. Michael McLaughlin says:

    In for the full. Thanks

  26. Diana Mirabello says:

    In for the full!

  27. Wack A. Mole says:

    So I’ll be running the full

  28. Brendan and Company says:

    2 IFTF.
    3 IFTH.

  29. Maryanne Martin says:

    Running the half…thank you!

  30. Ginny says:

    I’m in for half.

  31. Audrey H says:

    IFTF thank you!

  32. Sarah, Marty, Jess says:

    3 IFTF! Thanks

  33. Fred Burpalo says:


  34. Amy says:

    Ifth. Thanks!

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