Tag Archives: coaching

Accepting New Coaching Clients

Dave is currently accepting new coaching clients. If you are interested please email daveberdanrunning@gmail.com

Here is some information from the “Coaching” tab of the website:

Dave coaches runners of all levels both in person and online from all over the country. In addition to private coaching Dave serves as the Head Men’s and Women’s Cross Country Coach and Assistant (Distance) Track and Field Coach at Stevenson University.

Coaching Philosophy:

I believe that no two athletes are the same. For that reason my coaching philosophy is an individualized one. Knowing that every individual is different and knowing how to modify their training appropriately is essential to an athlete reaching their full potential.

The major influences on my coaching philosophy have come from both personal experience (previous coaches as well as training myself) and extensive research of other coaches’ philosophies. I consider myself a student of the sport, therefore I am always looking to improve on my own knowledge to help the performances of my athletes and myself.


I’m Alive…Update on Life and Training

I’m alive! I apologize for the delay in updates. It has been a whirlwind since Vermont City with the end of the school year and then starting my new position at Stevenson University. I had not been training much either. I had a scare with my peroneals on my right side and then it switched over to my left. I still have some lingering pain on my left side, but it has been getting better day by day. The promising sign is that it is getting better each day even with me increasing training volume and intensity.

I am going to make a longer post in the near future about my new position at Stevenson University and my journey leading up to this point….

Below is my training from last week and the first part of this week. The two weeks before that were all over the place, but significant workouts included 6 x 1:30 uphill one day and 3 x hill circuits on another. Everything else was just easy running with my peroneal issues.


–          53 minutes on roads/sidewalks


–          55 minutes easy on roads/sidewalks

Wednesday: (Grass Athletic Field at Jemicy School)

–          20 minute warm-up

–          12 laps of athletic field alternating 1 lap hard with 1 lap moderate (hard lap was around 1:20 and moderate around 1:40…I do not know the distance)

–          15 minute cool-down


–          1:22 on hilly roads/sidewalks


–          55 minutes easy on grass


–          20 minute warm-up

–          16 x :30 HARD (3k effort) with :35-:40 recovery on flat section of dirt road (last 2 were run HARD!)


       – OFF (Traveling back from Pocomoke City, MD)


–          1:46 minutes at Soldier’s Delight (25 minutes there and back, but everything else on trails) (1 x :35 HARD over last 2 minutes)


–          30 minute warm-up

–          6 x :12 Hills sprints with 3:00 jog in between

–          12 minute cool-down

Wednesday: (Grass Athletic Field at Jemicy School)

–          22 minute warm-up

–          8 x 3:00 moderateàhard with 1:00 recovery jog (going through each lap around 1:23-25)

–          5:00 jog

–          1 lap Hard in 1:05

–          15 minute cool-down


–          2:15 in Soldier’s Delight (pictures below) (2 x :20 HARD/UPHILL over last 5 minutes)





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Vermont City Marathon

By now most of you know that my Vermont City Marathon experience did not go 100% as I expected it to go. I want to start by saying, it’s only a race…everyone has bad days….there are many more races to run in the future. A friend of mine (Mike Simonds) brought to my attention that it is okay to have “off” days and everyone has them. He also mentioned that another thing that has helped him keep things in perspective is thinking of people like Sarah Defren who lost her life at the Frederick Half Marathon. When you think of it like that it really is just a race and you should take some time to enjoy the fact that you are actually able to be out there doing it and working together with every single other person in the event. Another example, my wife’s grandmother (Nanny) has been sick over the past couple months and today, after my wife had been through the stress of hearing about me being in the medical tent and wondering if I was okay, she received a phone call from her father saying that it did not look good and she should come down to see her asap. Now, I’m in Vermont and my wife and kids went to go say goodbye to Nanny without me… It is also not normal for me to travel without my family and I miss them immensely! I love experiencing new places with them…

About the race:

After going out in 5:30 for the first mile I ran 5:11, 5:11, 5:07, 5:18 for the next four miles. My original goal was to run 5:17/mile and I definitely think that those early faster miles could have been a little “too” fast. I noticed I did not feel “right” as soon as 3 miles into the race. I’m not sure exactly what happened, but it was definitely a feeling of the pace not being right. In hindsight I should have probably gone out a little slower, but it sounds like the heat eventually got to everyone. By 10 miles I knew it was going to be a “long” day and I started to slow down significantly. I told myself that I was still going to finish the race as I had come all the way up to Burlington and did not want to let down the race organization, my family, and anyone else that was pulling for me. Unfortunately everything started to go downhill fairly quickly. 6:00/mile ended up being hard and eventually between 17 and 18 miles I almost blacked out twice. After the second time I almost blacked out I decided to try and continue running until I saw the next race official. When I eventually saw a race official I felt like very muscle in my body was cramping up….from my feet all the way up to my neck. I ended up sitting on the road with the help of the volunteer and they called for medics. I had expected a car or ATV to come and pick me up and take me to an “official” medic tent, but the local fire department paramedics ended up coming to get me. In hindsight I am glad they came as I was not doing well and had never felt that way before.

Now, of course I am trying to figure out what I did differently, why did it happen to me, how am I able to get in 20-30 miles in training and not have issues like this….. I can say that one main fact that stands out is in training I do not take any fuel. I complete almost every workout in a “fasted” state and only take in electrolytes and maybe some caffeine. I have to get over the fact of thinking that during the marathon I should take in carbohydrates and go crazy with carbo-loading in the days prior. I need to stick with what works. Sure I think it might be beneficial to take some carbs later in the race, but I need to stick with what works. In the future I am going to do that….and maybe carry a gel or two and use them late in the race when I actually feel like I need them…..

With all of that being said I do realize that it is just a race and that there will be many more opportunities to run races like Vermont City in the future. 

I also want to thank the organizers at Vermont City….Joe Connelly, Lyman Clark, Zeke Tucker, and all of the other wonderful volunteers for making it such a great experience for me. It is definitely a race that I would love to come back to in the future! I’m glad I had the opportunity to come up to Burlington and be part of such a great event!


Incredible Marathon Specific Workout Today

I’m finally feeling fit again! I had a great marathon specific workout today. I ran it on my flat parking lot loop at Valley Centre. The loop is 715 meters around so it makes it a little tough with figuring out the paces, but I have done enough workouts on that loop to know what the actual mile pace is per loop. I also know that 5k is just short of 7 laps.

Here are a few lap splits with actual per mile paces: 2:35/lap= 5:48/mile, 2:30/lap=5:37/mile, 2:20/lap=5:15/mile, 2:15/lap=5:05/mile, 2:08/lap=4:48/mile. I know this is confusing, but it puts an actual pace to times that may seem irrelevant.


-10 minute warm-up

– 4 laps at (9:17–4:44/4:33)

– 2 laps recovery (5:11)

– 4 laps at (9:14–4:38/4:36)

– 2 laps recovery (5:04)

– 10k at   (32:17——->16:18–>4:42/4:40/4:39/2:17  15:59–>4:35/4:34/4:36/2:14)

– 2 laps recovery (5:10)

– 4 laps at (9:08–4:33/4:35)

– 2 laps recovery (5:06)

– 4 laps at (9:04–4:34/4:30)

– 1 lap recovery at 2:30

– 1 lap hard at 2:08

– 1 lap hard at 2:28

– 1 lap hard at 2:08

– 6 minute cool-down

Combining the hard running along with the moderate recovery you get 30k worth of work at an average pace of 5:17/mile for a total time of 1:38:40.

Great workout and great confidence booster. This is really my first marathon specific workout in a long time and it was a big one!


George Washington Parkway 10 Miler on Sunday

I’m getting excited for the GW Parkway 10 miler on Sunday! I have not raced since my failed attempt at the Shamrock Marathon. I had been sick with what was later found out to be a sinus infection. After over 7 weeks of being sick I was given antibiotics and felt better within 3 days. The 10 day course or antibiotics was completed last Saturday and ever since that day I have been feeling better each day. 

I really have no clue what to expect as this past Monday was the first workout I actually felt “okay” on since Shamrock. The workout consisted of: 4 x 800 at 2:15-17…4 x 400 at 64-65…2 x 200 in 30/29 (all with 2:00 recovery jog). It felt good to run faster as most of my workouts in the previous several months has been long and at half marathon-marathon pace. 

I want to go out there and run smart, give a good effort and be competitive. As of right now it looks like it’s already going to be in the 60s at race time. That is much warmer than I or anyone else is used to…it will definitely affect how the race is run. 

I ran this race back in 2009 and absolutely loved the course. I’m looking forward to being out there again! 

After the race, me, Amanda, and the boys are spending the day in the Alexandria/DC area. I’m not exactly sure what we are doing yet, but we are excited to be spending such a beautiful day there as a family. It sounds like the cherry blossoms are in full bloom as well! 

Pictures and report coming after the race. 


What Can You Get Done in 40 Minutes?

I’ve become pretty creative when it comes to fitting in harder workouts in shorter periods of time. Today I had only 40 minutes to change, get my workout in and get a really quick shower. The workout went great and consisted of the following:

-5:00 Warm-Up

-2 miles at 5:15-10/mile

-1:00 jog recovery

-2 x 200 in 31/30 with 1:00 jog recovery

-2 miles at 5:08-4:58/mile

-1:00 jog recovery

-2 x 200 in 30/29 with 1:00 jog recovery

-5:00 Cool-Down

What similar workout stores do you have? I would love to hear them. I am always looking for creative ways to get in a short, but meaningful workout.

Training Week of 3/31

I had what I would call a “solid” week of training last week. It was not incredible, but I did get in 2 quality workouts. I was happy to finish my course of antibiotics on Saturday as I feel they were definitely affecting my training….I noticed a huge difference in the workout I was able to complete today.

This Sunday I am going to run the George Washington Parkway Classic 10 Miler. I have done this race once before and really enjoyed the course. It is very scenic and it’s a great place to test my current fitness. I am not expecting anything really incredible on Sunday with the way things have gone the past few weeks, but I am excited to compete and see where I need to progress my training from here…

I have also decided on a late spring marathon! I will make a post dedicated to that later in the week.


50 minutes easy on turf



Valley Centre (flat pavement)

– 15 minute warm-up

– 20 x 200 meters in :34 with :35-:40 recovery jog/walk (100 meters)

– 10 minute cool-down

short weight/stability session


50 minutes on turf fields

45 minutes easy on turf fields (last 10:00 barefoot)


50 minutes easy on turf (last 10:00 barefoot)



Golf Course Road

– 15 minutes warm-up

– 2 x Hill Circuit (2:41/2:36) (:20 running…:15 skipping…:20 running…:15 bounding…:20 running…:15 butt kicks…Running Hard to top of hill…10 x Squat Jumps)

– 10 minutes moderate-hard on golf course

– 2 x Hill Circuit (2:33/2:27)

– 5:00 hard (2:00 recovery)

– 5:00 hard (2:00 recovery)

-2 x :30 HARD on road (1:00 recovery)

– 10 minute cool-down

short weight/stability session


85 minutes easy on trails



50 minutes easy on golf course