Michal (Arieh) Schechter has worked at Camp HASC as a Speech Therapist for 12 + summers and also supervised the feeding program. Michal credits Camp HASC as the place where she was inspired to run her first race- a 5K down in Monticello. Suri Granek A”H, Camp HASC’s Therapy Clinical Coordinator and Michal’s friend, encouraged her to run that race with her and she hasn’t stopped since.

Michal says running has taught her so much – in terms of “digging deep” and then even “deeper”, to reach past her comfort level and to achieve new heights. Being in Camp HASC, running also took on a greater meaning for Michal; she says she found herself running for the children who couldn’t and appreciating every step she took, knowing there were many who only dreamt of it.

Outside of work Michal loves to travel around the world, backpack, hike, dive and run marathons. Some of her travels have included Alaska, Hawaii, the Canadian Rockies, Nicaragua, Peru, Argentina, Chile, Thailand, Nepal, New Zealand, Qatar, Egypt, Kiev and of course Israel.

Michal has coached Team HASC through the Miami, Pasadena, Fort Lauderdale &  Jerusalem marathons. In addition she personally has run 10 full marathons, 2 triathlons, 5 century rides and 1 tough mudder.

Michal looks forward to gearing up with you for the race and meeting you all personally in sunny Fort Lauderdale!

Michal is available to answer all your questions! Her email is

Previous Coach Michal Emails!

Introduction Email from Coach Michal to Team HASC!

Welcome to the TEAM HASC Fort Lauderdale half marathon!  I look forward to working together as a team, meeting you all individually and taking steps towards reaching all your goals!    Our training schedules is geared for beginner and intermediate runners including basic  nutrition, running strategies and helpful tidbits that apply to all runners.  Feel free to ask any questions, share war stories and  ask how to further individualize this program to meet your specific needs:)

In the meantime…if you are new to running (or even a veteran runner), the MOST important piece of gear that you must always buy before a race…is a new pair of running shoes. I cannot stress enough how important this is!  New sneakers that are correctly fitted to your feet, reduces the impact on your legs and joints, while helping to avoid, or reduce, back pain. Visit your local running store to get fitted by the experts. For those of you in New York, check out Jack Rabbit stores.

Attached also Here is some helpful and interesting information regarding the selection of appropriate running shoes.  I personally run in sneakers a size larger that my typical shoes.  This is because as you run many miles (especially in the heat and humidity- South Florida), your toes pound the pavement, swell and keep spreading in the toe box.  I don’t want to get blisters…or even worse- have the “Runners black toe nail” phenomenon that the toenail eventually falls off- DISGUSTING and PAINFUL!

Get your sneakers, start breaking them in (that’s KEY… breaking them in, means -wearing them during practice runs- not just hanging them up as a trophy, collecting dust until race day;), hit the roads/treadmill while jogging/running/walking, and begin your training.


WEEK Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Shabbat
1 2 miles REST 2 miles cross train 2 miles 1 mile REST
2 3 miles REST 2 miles cross train 2 miles 2 miles REST
3 4 miles REST 3 miles cross train 3 miles 2 miles REST
4 5 miles REST 3 miles cross train 3 miles 2 miles REST
5 6 miles REST 3 miles cross train 5 miles 3 miles REST
6 8 miles REST 4 miles cross train 5 miles 3 miles REST
7 9 miles REST 4 miles cross train 6 miles 3 miles REST
8 10 miles REST 4 miles cross train 6 miles 4 miles REST
9 11 miles REST 4 miles cross train 6 miles 4 miles REST
10 12 miles REST 3 miles cross train 5 miles 3 miles REST
11 10 miles REST 3 miles 2 miles 3 miles REST REST
12 13.1 race day :):):) REST Deep Tissue Massage REST Start thinking about training RUN REST

Sundays: This is your long run.  Focus on the mileage, not on the speed. Find a slow but steady pace and get into the groove.  Focus your minds on your goal…your HASC campers!   If you find yourselves getting tired and you want to stop…DON’T…instead, slow down to a speed walk for two minutes and then go back to the running.  This is the most important run of the week. “DIG DEEP”. GO TEAM HASC!!

Cross Training: cross train (e.g. swim, bike, walk, elliptical) for 30 to 45 minutes. (FYI- cross training enhances your total conditioning and running performance that will come in handy for RACE DAY with minimizing burnout from running and injury)!

Dig Deep Team HASC!  You can do this!

Coach Michal


Coach Michal: Email 11/21/16

Dear TEAM HASC Runners (and soon to be “Runners”;)

The official training schedule is up!  Some important things to consider…

This schedule is helpful for people who are working towards reaching the finish line feeling strong, making good time and recovering easily…  Try as much as you can to train whenever possible in order to

1. get into shape

2. prevent injury

3. and recover more easily in the weeks following the race

Realize though that this schedule is a rough estimate of how to train…Feel free to adapt it to your needs (e.g. flipping days, running a little extra when feeling strong, or cutting a run and calling it a day when feeling pain or “just not feeling it”).  

Now for all you Walkers aspiring to be Runners…How to begin running 13 miles when you can not yet run a mile??

Work in intervals!  Jog at a good slow pace, slow down to a brisk walk, and go back to jogging.  Alternate between running and jogging until you reach your mileage goal for the day. For those who need a more specific plan…here it is.

The run/walk method is simple: After you’ve warmed up with a 5-minute walk, run for a short segment and then take a walk break.  Keep repeating your run/walk pattern until you’ve covered your goal distance or time. For example, if you want to run/walk for 16 minutes, you can run/walk at a 1:7 ratio for two cycles.  You should start your walk portion before your running muscles get too tired. This will allow your muscles to recover instantly, which extends the time and distance that you can cover. If you wait until you’re very fatigued, you’ll end up walking slowly and it will be difficult to start running again.  For the walk portions, make sure you’re not taking a leisurely stroll. You should use good running form and pump your arms, so that your heart rate stays elevated. That way, you’ll still be getting a good cardiovascular workout and it will make the transition back to running easier.  As you continue with your run/walk program, try to extend the amount of time you’re running and reduce your walking time until you’ve reached your mile goal:)

Please note:  Start off SLOW and EASY!  The biggest mistake that novice runners do- is take off like the wind and then stop after 100 feet, gasping for air.  We’ll focus on speed work later in the program.  Right now, work on getting a comfortable and slow pace where you can still sing with your iPod and/or talk to a friend without gasping for air. Get into a good comfortable groove…and experience the “runner’s high” that makes this sport ADDICTIVE!!

Now for all you experienced Runners!

The 10-percent rule (10PR) is one of the most important and time-proven principles in running. It states that you should never increase your weekly mileage by more than 10 percent over the previous week.  This is because the vast majority of running injuries are resulting from overuse. They occur when you run too much or increase your weekly training program too quickly.  You need to gradually  adapt your body to stress and constant pounding.  When you follow the 10PR rule, your body will  get stronger and fitter with far fewer injuries!  So, many of you experienced Runners are ahead of the schedule…that’s great!  Keep increasing your weekly mileage slowly and steadily…you may want to work on increasing your speed while keeping the mileage down.

I welcome you all to the official TEAM HASC training program and look forward to hearing from each and every one of you, how you are doing!  Feel free to send comments and questions at any time during your training.

Have a wonderful day…Lace up those sneakers and let’s get out there!

Coach Michal Arieh

Coach Michal: Email 12/12/16

Hey Team HASC:)

It is starting to get COLD…but is not yet actually brutally cold, here in NYC!  Some of you are anxious about running outside in cold weather… You want to know how to do it.  And others prefer running on the treadmill and are concerned whether that can be considered a proper effective training run.

So here’s the information…Running outdoors…its all about the layers and the clothes.  Stay far away from cotton and choose polyester, polypropylene and wick-away clothes.  It literally pulls the sweat off your body and keeps you drier (hence warmer).  Wear a polyester or fleece ski cap and gloves as well.  Start with a base layer (polyester/wick away shirt) with a thin fleece pullover and cover it all with a fleece windbreaker.  As you warm up while running, peel off a layer before you start sweating (you want to stay as dry as possible in order to stay warm). 

Go easier on the legs- lighter polyester pants- legs are usually much warmer once you start to exercise.  If the wind is brutal- use vaseline (or aquafor) on areas that may be hit by the wind (e.g. eyelids, lips, cheeks). And now for the positive treadmill news….marathon competitors in Norway, Alaska and Canada…all train indoors on the treadmill!  So if you choose this route,  what you all want to do is put a SLIGHT incline (0.5-1.0) to mimic the outdoor resistance. And… do still try to get outdoors once weekly in order to teach yourself how to pace yourself without the treadmill doing that work for you.

And now for the quote of the week…

“Running is the greatest metaphor for life, because you get out of it what you put into it.” 

Oprah Winfrey  (who ran a full marathon in 4 hours and 30 minutes…believe it or not!)

Get out there Team HASC…Dig Deep!

Keep those comments and questions coming in:)

Coach Michal

Coach Michal: Email 1/5/17

Hey Team HASC!

I heard a beautiful quote that I would like to share with the team:

“Now if you are going to win any battle you have to do one thing. You have to make the mind run the body. Never let the body tell the mind what to do. The body will always give up. It is always tired in the morning, noon, and night. But the body is never tired if the mind is not tired.”

– George S. Patton, U.S. Army General, 1912 Olympian

And that’s the beauty of a marathon…You are not merely exercising your BODY…but you are exercising your MIND- it becomes a mental race…and you will be amazed how far your mind can take you!

Back to the body-

Nutrition! what to nourish your body before and after your runs…

Carbohydrates will provide glycogen, and protein will help repair muscle tissue.  Before your runs, grab a carb. Best time to eat is approximately and hour or two before your run.  Good carbohydrates include pasta, brown rice, bagels, sweet potatoes and bananas.  Following your long runs, (within 30 minutes of finishing), it is important to replenish your carbs and include protein as well, to help your body recover, and in order to be strong for your next run.  Good proteins include: fish, eggs, cheese and nuts.   A fabulous recovery drink recommended by many coaches, runners and elitist athletes is good old chocolate milk!  Vitamins are also highly recommended to provide adequate minerals for your body.  Many runners and doctors recommend taking extra iron and calcium pills. 

Keep Digging Deep Team HASC…we’re getting closer to race day!! 🙂

Coach Michal

Coach Michal: Email 1/22/17

Hey Team HASC!!!

Hope you NY-ers are getting in some long runs in this frigid weather!  Here’s some important information about hydration- something that some runners tend to  neglect especially when its cold outside…


Never neglect the importance of hydration during marathon training. Even when it is cold outside, and you don’t feel like you sweat nearly as much as if it were 90 degrees, you still need lots of fluid. You need to replace what you lose. A good idea is to weigh yourself before each run and get your body weight back to that same point after a run.Try not to neglect this! While running for longer than an hour, begin consuming 6-8 oz. of water every 20 minutes.  The warmer and more humid it is (as Fort Lauderdale may be on Race Day!), the slower most people go.  FYI- The big athletes follow a Three Minute Rule- where they slow their pace for longer runs in extremely humid conditions.

Water is the preferred fluid.  Sports drinks (powerade, gatorade) are also recommended but only for longer runs. Always drink during the two hours leading up to a run and the two hours following the run. These are your most critical times for fluid consumption. Drink water throughout the day. Sport drinks provide some advantages during the two-hour before and two-hour after windows as well- providing your body with carbohydrates and electrolytes your body needs.  Play around with these drinks now and see how you feel…an important rule is NEVER try something new on race day.  Try everything out NOW to see what works best for you.  And only then- continue with it on Race Day!

Inspiring quote of the week:

“Even Mt. Everest was defeated one step at a time!”-

Keep Digging Deep Runners- taking one step at a time achieving your goals, since running is a metaphor for life!

Coach Michal

Keep those questions and comments coming! Always a pleasure to hear from ya’ll:)

Coach Michal: Email 1/29/17

Hey Team HASC…

IT’S CRUNCH TIME!!!!!!  By now you are all training and logging in some serious miles weekly…right? 😉  You can take it slow and continue to focus on completing the mileage.  However, for the more adventurous and competitive peeps amongst you, use your shorter mid week runs specifically to work on speed training.  The best method for that is once again to work in intervals- running at fast speed for two minutes followed by a fast walk for a minute.  Or…You can also decide to run up a hill repeatedly. FYI –Hill running forces the same muscles used for running flat surfaces to contract more quickly and generate work at a higher rate. When the muscles contract more quickly and work at a higher rate, they become more powerful. While hill training, the muscles can develop two to three times as many muscle fibers than running on flat surfaces.This is fantastic for building up stamina and strength!  Wow- I remember dreading the two monstrous hills outside Camp HASC in the Catskills.  Every morning for many summers,  I incorporated them into my daily morning training regiment.  The bad news is…you kinda always still hate them.  The good news is, you can still feel awesomely accomplished when successful although you still hate them:) – So, you may (and hopefully still) ask, what is the best way to run hills

Don’t start thinking that you want to attack the hill. Don’t tense your body either, in anticipation of the hill…The key to running hills properly is to maintain your effort level (which translates into a slower pace on the uphill), so you don’t waste energy and end up out of breath at the top of the hill (that’s a common mistake among runners).

[if !supportLists]1.  [endif] As you approach an uphill, make sure you have good running form.  Your arms should be at a 90 degree angle and should be moving forward and back (rotating at the shoulder), and never side to side.

[if !supportLists]2.  [endif]Your back should be straight and erect. You can lean in very slightly from the hips, but make sure you’re not hunched over (that can potentially cause serious back aches)

[if !supportLists]3.  [endif] Concentrate on swinging your arms lower and shorter. By keeping your arm swing lower and quicker, your legs will stay lower to the ground — resulting in a short, quick stride.

[if !supportLists]4.  [endif]  The best way to run downhill is to lean forward slightly and take short, quick strides.    Don’t lean back and try to brake yourself. Try to keep your shoulders just slightly in front of you and your hips under you. Although it’s tempting to over-stride, avoid taking huge leaping steps to reduce the pounding on your legs.

So get out there Team HASC…Dig deep and keep running those miles!  Remember this mantra… “Even Mt. Everest was defeated one step at a time!”

See you all soon in sunny and HOT Fort Lauderdale:)

Coach Michal

Keep those questions and comments coming! Always a pleasure to hear from ya’ll:)

Coach Michal: Email 2/5/17

Hey Team HASC!  We are almost there!

To stretch or not to stretch…that is the question

Jeff Galloway, who is cited in the new book, Return to Fitness, (by Bill Katovsky), takes a staunch anti-stretching view; his opinion in all matters of running, is typically worth listening to (most research medical studies concur and also state that stretching can be potentially dangerous and ineffective). In one of his running books, he writes, “Stretching is the third leading cause of injury among runners. You can injure yourself while doing a stretch that seems perfectly safe.” Ouch! “Stretching does not warm you up for a run,” he continues.“The best warm-up for running is walking or very slow jogging.”  I personally got my biggest running related injury from being overstretched by my martial arts instructor three days before a marathon.  So…before you run to stretch…remember some important principles… 

[if !supportLists]1.  [endif]Don’t stretch before your runs.  Instead, warm up by walking briskly and jogging lightly before running your regular speed

[if !supportLists]2.  [endif]Easy does it- Don’t force the stretch! Stretch slowly and hold the stretch for 15 seconds

[if !supportLists]3.  [endif]Avoid over-stretching.  Too much is way worse than too little!

[if !supportLists]4.  [endif]Stretch only after a workout when your muscles are warmed up.  If it is very cold outside, first take a warm shower and stretch indoors

[if !supportLists]5.  [endif]Don’t stretch through pain. Don’t stretch beyond the point where you begin to feel tightness in the muscle. You shouldn’t push through muscle resistance, and never stretch to the point of pain. As you feel less tension, you can increase the stretch a bit more until you feel the same slight pull.

[if !supportLists]6.  [endif]Don’t bounce. It’s a common mistake, but bouncing risks pulling or tearing the muscle you’re trying to stretch. Make sure you stretch your muscles gradually

In addition, check out these stretches out and use them comfortably, easily, slowly and safely:)

So come on Team HASC…DIG DEEP and JUST DO IT!

And now for the inspirational quote of the week…

“Your body will argue that there is no justifiable reason to continue. Your only recourse is to call on your spirit, which fortunately functions independently of logic.”

– Tim Noakes

Professor, runner in more than 70 marathon and ultra-distance events


Coach Michal

Keep those questions and comments coming! Always a pleasure to hear from ya’ll:)


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