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About Terry

Terry is a Charleston native, and descendant of Thomas Hamlin, who
settled here in 1689. Terry was raised here through high school and
then attended the University of South Carolina.
Terry has been a lifelong athlete, and was a competitive surfer before
becoming a long distance runner in the early seventies. When he
returned to Charleston from school, Terry went to work for The Medical
University of SC, as a chemist. It was there he formed the Charleston
Running Club, in 1977.
In 1978, Terry and a Club member formed The Cooper River Bridge
Run. Terry served as the Co- Race Director for the first three years of
the race, and performed as PR Director for the next four years. The race
has now become the third largest road race in America, and the fifth
largest in the world. Terry was a national class runner, and continues to
coach runners, while writing a formal book on training for distance
Seven years ago, Terry suffered a life changing freak accident,
resulting in the loss of his left leg below the knee. A client introduced
Terry to an Iraq War veteran, who was a double amputee. The impact
of seeing the catastrophic injuries from war and the struggle with his
own loss, led Terry to begin the journey of dedication to groups like the
Wounded Warrior Project, Semper Fi and other worthy support groups
for injured veterans, disabled athletes and their families.

In 2011, Terry was selected as an Icon of Ethical Culture. In 2013,
Terry was selected as Charleston Community Catalyst of the Year. He
has been featured in publications such as Realtrends, Charleston
Magazine, Mount Pleasant Magazine, Runner Magazine and has
publicly spoken ever since his accident, in order to help the lives of

Terry considers his amputation to be a blessing of enormous
proportions, for it has helped him see firsthand, the people around him
that needed help. Thus, he now realizes The Blessing of Adversity and
strives to help anyone be their best at anything they do.
Terry is a USA/TF Level 1 Coach, Lydiard Level II, and an RRCA U.S. Certified Distance
Coach. He has studied the sport for decades, resulting in his new book-
“Building a Better Runner”. Terry has trained seven athletes to the U.S
Olympic Trials and is currently working with two more, as well as
children, beginners and any serious runner who wants to improve. He
has athletes in California, Atlanta and Charleston, among other areas.
Terry has a sliding scale coaching fee that is very reasonable. He
interviews the athlete personally, determines their goals and abilities
and writes every workout for them, as part of his service. His email and
contact are on this website.


Upcoming Events

Upcoming Races


Apri 6, 2024.

To get info about the race email:


CCPRC (Charleston County Parks and Recreation Commission) Lowcountry Trail Run


James Island Connector Run- 5k&8k


CCPRC Chili 5k Race


Veterans 5k @ The Citadel- open to Veterans and non-Veterans


Bohicket Half Marathon & 5k


For more information on all these races, they are all on Google or contact:

The Charleston Running Club. 

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Terry's Blog

May, 2024


    It would seem the 5k would be the easiest of all popular races, since there are so many to choose from. Well, if you run them as a casual race, they are. 

    However, what if you want to really burn one down? The first key is to properly train for this distance. This isn't marathon training. A super 5k can be run with less mileage in the Distance Phase, harder strength work in the Resistance Phase and more Interval work in the Speedwork Phase. The taper is shorter, leading to the goal race, as well.

    If you have properly prepared, how do you run this race, which is at 97% VO2 max, with a 120% VO2 max sprint in the last 600 meters? It is a "tunnel vision effect" race, if you have given it your all.

    At the start gun, do not go out in a sprint. You should ease into your full race pace only after 300 to 350 meters. This prevents a quick buildup of lactic acid. Check your pace. You should be able to hold your best pace, while still being on the edge of going anerobic. If possible, choose someone who is running a pace that is at yours and latch on to them. It is easier to PR when one has a pacer. Why do you think the world record track racers have pacers? They are there as a psychological element to keep the pace honest. You can do this, as well. 

    Once you have reached 2.75 miles, it is time to press the gas. Start to build into your final sprint. This is where it is you and you alone. The pacer may be gone, or even ahead of you. If they are ahead of you, stay in contact. Seek to be within 5 meters of this person. At the final 200 meters, it is time to go full speed. You may experience tunnel vision. It is common, as your body is out of oxygen. You are running at a huge deficit of air to the muscles and organs for 30 to 45 seconds. This is the 5k. It is a race where there is literally no time to waste.

    Train properly and you will get there. If you need a coach (and every runner who wants to reach their potential does), contact me. I coach virtually and in person. 


April, 2024


    Sometimes we plan our race season early in our training cycle, only to make a decision to run a different race distance or throw in a marathon, that upsets the apple cart of our training sections. 

    I regularly have athletes announce to me that they have entered a race that was not in the original plan we decided upon. Ugh. However, races do not all have to be run at full pace. Early races in fact, should actually be slower, particularly if the runner is still in the Resistance Phase or early in the Speedwork Phase. These can be used as indicators of what we need to tweak, when we Peak.

    However, if the sections are rushed, we may Peak early. These peaks will not be an indication of how well we can perform, unfortunately. But, there is a trick to use, if you are slowing down,  instead of speeding up in your race season.

    First, you need a recovery week. Then, you need a very slow long run. And I mean slow and long. 20 miles at 30 to 45 seconds per mile slower than you would normally run your long runs. The next day should be a 3-4 mile recovery run. You can then resume your race season maintenance weeks. This long, slow run has the ability to "remind" the cells of your aerobic system's capacity and you can then resume maintenance speedwork for the F1 and F2 fibers to trigger the fast twitch fibers, necessary in shorter distance races.

    Give it a try. It works. But, remember the basics. Fluids, nutrition and sleep also help.


August, 2023.



    A successful runner needs several trained systems in place, to run their best. After base training, the Resistance Phase should be applied. Resistance is just that. It is best achieved by using hill workouts twice a week, plus the one day of tempo training. Fartlek can also be added to this Phase,  but use caution not to over-stress the systems. 

    Adding hill workouts to base training is key for two reasons. Hills build the quadriceps and also put the runner into a higher aerobic area, if done properly. Hills can be up to a half mile long, but they should always be run in a controlled manner. It is not necessary or wise, to race up a hill, while training. Keep the focus on form and reaching the top still not in aerobic distress. My athletes run these hill repeats according to their level of fitness, experience and the race or races they are pointing to do well.

    The next important part of strength training in this Phase, is the Tempo run. This is a run of 20-35 minutes, at 85% of a runner's projected race pace. I use the 5 or 10k as a good measure of how fast one should do this Tempo run. For example, if a runner can do a 20 minute 5k, the Tempo pace would take the runner to a 23 minute 5k pace. Utilizing this run in the middle of the week, is a terrific way to improve both pace and VO2 max. Next time, we look at how weight work can improve all distance running. 

Run well!

July, 2023.



    To run races or just achieve maximum fitness, a solid base is necessary first and foremost. But, when do we know we have enough base training to move into the Resistance Phase or the section that adds strength to the runner? Well, the answer is always "it depends". 

    If the runner is pointing to a good 5k, 40-50 miles of aerobic running for several weeks, is sufficient. Of course, the runner must build to this level very patiently. I have my athletes practice a '2 up/1 down' schedule. That is, we go up 10% in overall mileage for two weeks and then cut the mileage by 30-40% for the following week. This allows for recovery and does not over-stress the bone, biochemical and kinetic elements of the body. Remember, the basic concept of training is to apply stress and then recover. After the 5k runner reaches 50 miles per week, they should stay there for two cycles of '2 up/1down'. The '2 up' is 50 miles per week. The '1 down' is 35 miles per week. 

    The marathoner should work to get to 60 miles per week or higher. The marathoner needs a long run of 18- 22 miles, to be prepared. The shorter distance races can be done well on a long run of 13-15 miles. The bulk of both race distances' base training should have three main elements, during this base Phase. The long run, the mild tempo and the fartlek day are three workouts that are fairly critical to building success. The key run is the long run. I will address this in my next post.

Run well!

Coach Terry Hamlin
I can’t count the number of people who know my history as a
runner and say to me “I can’t run". I always ask why. More than 90%
of the time, the answer is found in the speed in which they attempt
their first runs, before they are trained. Training is exactly what it
says. Adding more loads to the cardiovascular system over time, while
beginning at a level easily handled by the boy for 20 minutes or more,
is the way to start a running program.
I start these people at a much lower level than they tried to start
themselves. The proverbial light comes on in their head, when they
find they can walk fast, walk/jog or jog for 20 minutes without
stopping, when they begin. The issue they had before, was the fact
they began at an anaerobic speed, this not being able to utilize oxygen
for more than a few seconds or at most, a few minutes. I slow these
future athletes down and they (most of the time) begin a slow love
affair with running and fitness.

My first tip to you is to read my book- “Building a Better Runner-
science based training for peak performance “. This book explains the

history of human running, the cellular and enzymatic changes that
occur with exercise and gives a practical way to train for all.

Purchase My Book


To order my book for $14 with free shipping inside the United States, email me at

Building A Better Runner is your ultimate guide to distance running. Whether you are a teenager who enjoys running the mile, a hobby runner who wants to be fitter and faster, or a high-level athlete aiming for Olympic gold, this book has training tips and plans to suit your needs. There is a specific way that the body improves. If the right phases of training are used at the right times, then an athlete (from a beginner or hobby runner to an elite, high-level runner) can benefit from this scheduling. By using a scientific method developed by author and runner Terry Hamlin, this book utilizes physiology, biochemistry, and periods of stress and recovery to create the most effective program for runners looking to better themselves athletically. Hamlin wants runners to understand how the body works on a kinetic and cellular level. Additionally, he hopes to help runners understand that it’s possible to remove your frustration with not improving and make the sport of running an exciting, lifelong pursuit. Are you ready to run the distance?


Phone:  843-830-3946


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