Terry Hamlin Merges Old And New Principles To Build Better Runners


Terry Hamlin will be joining me on the show today and we certainly aren’t lacking in potential topics to discuss.

Terry’s background as an author, runner, coach, and speaker provides him with enough running knowledge to make him dangerous.

I am looking forward to going a few easy miles with Coach Terry Hamlin.

Terry Hamlin

Surfing Shape

Running was not Terry Hamlin’s first love.

For as long as Terry can remember, he loved to surf and had a lot of talent in the sport.

Terry started running around the age of 13 as a way to stay in shape for surfing.

Terry’s choice in college moved him away from the ocean and therefore running took the forefront.

He continued to run while at college and increased his mileage.

While running around campus, the cross country coach noticed his natural ability and offered him a scholarship.

Terry’s previous experience on a running team was in high school and the coach was abusive.

The college coach promised to make this experience a better one and Terry agreed.

Then Versus Now

In his prime, Terry was fast enough to have likely been able to make a living from the sport.

The era that he raced during was not supportive of runners trying to make it as their day jobs.

Most runners, Terry and other notable names included, had full-time jobs along with trying to compete at high levels.

Runners weren’t allowed to accept money and had to be careful about what they could and couldn’t take.

The professional runner lifestyle as most know it now didn’t occur.

Recovery periods had to be shorter and miles were squeezed in when they could.

Steve Prefontaine was one of the first runners to fight for more support.

Terry Hamlin In His Early Years Running

Social Sport

“Retirement” for Terry meant not competing as much and embracing the social side of the sport more.

Terry came up with the idea to start a running club at a time when running groups weren’t common.

His first official gathering of the Charleston Running Club was in January of 1977 and 11 people showed up.

The group grew rapidly and by November of that same year, he had 464 members.

The Charleston Running Club went through some ups and downs over the years and is now going strong.

The club is also a co-sponsor of one of the biggest 10k races that exist.

The Cooper River Bridge Run is the 3rd largest 10k in the U.S. and the 5th largest 10k in the world.

The bridge connects Charleston, S.C., to Mount Pleasant, S.C. and has up to 40,000 runners participating each year.

A Race With Meaning

The Cooper River Bridge Run is a well-known race thanks in part to Julian Smith and his race directing and marketing talents.

Julian took over the race director position in 1993 and sadly passed away from cancer this past year.

His memory will remain in and around the race.

The race also offers a Terry Hamlin mobility impaired division.

Ten years ago Terry lost his leg in a freak accident.

There was not a single moment during that time where Terry ever considered giving up running.

He has since learned how to run on a blade and logs 30-40 miles most weeks.

The race takes place during one of the most beautiful times of the year in South Carolina.

Charleston has a lot to offer tourists along with a deep history, scenic beaches, and great cuisine.

Building A Better Runner

Along with all the other things Terry does to keep busy, he also found the time to author a book.

“Building A Better Runner. Science-Based Training For Peak Performance” was recently released in September of 2019.

Terry wanted to take all of his knowledge and experience regarding the sport and reach more people than he could by coaching alone.

His book is loosely based on the Lydiard style of training that developed in the 1960s.

Terry is so dedicated to helping runners that he put his coaching email at the back of the book and answers every email.

As a way to honor his former race director, Terry is donating 5% of all the book proceeds to a Glioblastoma Foundation.

Terry Hamlin’s Book

Fit Is Not The Same As Healthy

Terry bases his training on the Lydiard style of training and includes other principles he has learned over the years.

When writing a plan Terry separates training into different phases and includes relatively high mileage.

The phases include:

  • Base Training
  • Resistance Phase
  • Speedwork Phase

His plans effectively merge and overlap each different phase of training.

Terry also stresses the importance of strength training.

More strength equals a better runner.

Strength training ensures that athletes are both fit AND healthy for their races.


Mentioned In This Episode:

Stay connected with Terry Hamlin by following him on Instagram and Twitter.


Terry Hamlin is an author, runner, coach, and speaker. He has experienced running through all the different decades while also bringing communities together. Click To Tweet


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