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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

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.




    Runners will invariably become injured at some point, if they train hard enough. We have a hard time putting down our sport, however, even when we are hurt. Here are a few tips for keeping the injury as minor as possible and recovering as quickly as possible. 

    First, ascertain the type of injury and severity. It is easy to say 'I have a pulled muscle'. But, isolate the muscle or ligament, etc., and then determine whether continuing running will aggravate the problem. Start rehab right away. The old adage about rest, ice compression and elevation still holds true. 

    If the injury is a traumatic one, seek medical care. An MRI or examination may be in order. Try to choose a good sports doctor. Here, we have a number of them, fortunately. If "active rest" is necessary, the so be it. 

    One great thing about our sport is that nearly every run inflicted injury is repairable. It is better to take quick action than to let an injury become chronic. Study injuries. Knowledge is definitely power in this sport. Most can be cured with antagonistic strengthening and reduction of inflammation. Stay in the fight, but stay healthy!

Many runners do two types of running, in preparation for racing. They either run long and slow or fast intervals. Mind you, these are integral to a well balanced race and training plan, but there is a huge missing piece of the puzzle.

    Resistance Training does a number of things to connect the ability to run long and fast at the same time. So what is this type of training and how does it fit into our long term goals?

    Some runners live in very hilly areas and feel they are in this Phase all the time. Not so. Even more runners live in flat lands and have to seek out a hill ot use a treadmill to achieve this higher level of fitness, to supplement the Distance Phase. 

    Resistance workouts consist if hill repeats at 60-70% race pace uphill. Start with four repeats and by the fourth week, one should be doing 6-12 uphill repeats at a 5-6% elevation gain and at a distance of 400 meters to 800 meters each. Jogging easy downhill should recover one for the next uphill. If it takes 2 minutes to run up the hill, recover 2 minutes.

    These repeats will get easier and you will find yourself running faster, at the same perceived effort by week 8.

    So, what is the effect of these repeats? They strengthen the quadriceps and improve the "push off" of the gastrocs and soleus muscles. Additionally,  they encourage the lungs to produce more alveoli, to absorb more oxygen and supply the muscles with same, thus creating a more efficient muscle.

    If you have a safe area to practice downhill running,  it should be added to about half of your repeats, not as recovery,  but to teach the runner to run fast downhill without understriding or overstriding. The recovery in this section will be done by jogging on flat surfaces.

    Read more about this and other techniques in Building a Better Runner.

Good training, all!

Many new runners and even experienced runners make a new resolution to become fit or get fitter, with the beginning of a new year. Sometimes these resolutions stick, but more often than not, they are gone by February. 

    I encourage my athletes to make short term goals, leading to long term decisions and improvements. This approach relieves the pressure of having to think about a whole year or a whole lifetime of sticking to the schedule. Don't get me wrong, the schedule is what makes us better. But, if we finish a workout and then have to figure out which workout we have to do tomorrow immediately, it can trigger anxiety and a process of finding an excuse not to do tomorrow's workout. 

    One of the beauties of the Lydiard System,  is that the workouts are broken down into Phases and the Phases are broken down to the daily workouts. As a coach, I utilize a great deal of this system with my own athletes,  coupled with individualized attention to each runner's situation, fitness, injury risk and lifestyle. Arthur Lydiard did the same. His program is fabulous, but he also knew that all athletes are different. 

    So, if you are planning to make a New Year's Resolution on your running goals, try the above. If you don't have a coach or good mentor, get one. Two of my athletes are actually coaches themselves. Lets put it this way, if Tiger Woods needs a coach, why wouldn't you?

    My email info is at the bottom of the site, if you want to talk with me about working with you. I coach athletes across the country and even in the UK.

    Take care and read the book and if you have questions, I am available.

December, 2022

      The Post-Race Recovery Period 

    The thinking athlete knows to stress the body only when ready and just as important, knows when to cease racing, recover and prepare for the next season. 

    For instance, my November blog addressed fitness during the race season of the Fall. A smart runner will point toward the Spring and Fall for racing and use the periods between, for recovery and rebuilding. If one has achieved a high level of fitness and raced through a season, the body is ready for some downtime. Do not be afraid to rest. The body needs to heal after these high stress seasons. I recommend my athletes stop racing by mid December and (active rest) through the holidays. I then have them start their Spring buildup. Each year, the buildup is quicker and the Phases can be be shortened a bit. So, if the athlete has taken six months to go through the Phases the first time, they can safely go through them in four to five months the second time and four months the third and subsequent times. 

    The key point to be taken away from this, is to plan plan plan. A haphazard training system will break an athlete down. Use the Phases. They work.

Good running!

November, 2022

              Staying Fit While Racing

    The Fall is a traditional racing season for most competitive runners. Many runners face an issue during this period, however. How do we stay fit, while continually racing? If we taper every two weeks or so, how do we get the necessary workouts in, to stay in racing form?

    The answer is, more recovery. This sounds contradictory, but the body is taxed in races, so according to the distances raced, the recovery periods should be parallel to the effort. I have my athletes schedule their races from shorter to longer, through the season. For example, if a high goal race is a marathon for the Fall, it should be scheduled late in the season. In order to run a good marathon, shorter races actually help the body acclimate to the stress of the coming longer distance. 

    Also, make sure you don't over race during this season. 5k to 10k races can be done safely, every two weeks. The period between should include 2-4 days of rest or easy running post race and then, the normal buildup schedule should resume. If one has done the proper buildup, consisting of the Distance Phase, Resistance Phase and Speedwork Phase, the runner should be strong enough to run easier between races and still maintain high fitness. The two critical workouts that should never be sacrificed during all Phases, are the long run and the fartlek day. These address endurance and speed, keeping the athlete fit for racing.

    Be sure to sleep well, eat well and listen to your body, during all the Phases and seasons. You will experience more success, with planning the entire year and making sure you are ready to toe the line. Good racing!



    Runners are the most active people on the planet, so naturally we don't do well when we are told to 'social distance' or not use our regular training sites. Plus, many runners were planning a great Spring race season, only to see it dissipate in an instant. 

    There is actually a positive way to look at this unusual time. Frankly,  most 'local to any region runners' like to race too often, without taking the time to make sure they are completely ready and/or recovered from the last race. Racing well takes planning. If a runner prepares thoroughly through the Summer and into early Fall, their race season for the Fall and Winter will be more successful and they will have time to recover and peak again in the following Spring. 

    Right now, I have my athletes back in the Distance Phase. I am slowly building them for twelve weeks, then moving them into the Resistance Phase for six weeks and finishing their preparation with a Speedwork Phase of four to six weeks, according to their 'goal' races in the Fall.

    They are still able to run outside,  away from folks and do their strength work at home. Many are doing 60-70 miles per week now and will go higher in some cases, by Mid Summer. In this first Phase there is indeed, some high quality speed each week, so don't think this Phase is boring.

    Give this Phase system a try. The worst that will happen, will be a runner who is better prepared than usual.

Good running!

Purchase My Book


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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