I tend to be pretty frugal when it comes to my running habit compared to some; I'm still rocking my Garmin Forerunner 305 that I bought in 2008. But, I'm willing to spend some money on a good sports massage a couple of times a year. If I had more in the budget for massage, I'd spend it. A good sports massage from a therapist with running-specific knowledge is worth every penny.
The Thanksgiving Turkey Trot is a turning point, in my mind, from the generally pleasant Fall racing season to the survival-mode Winter season. Unless you live in a place where warm weather is the norm throughout the winter, you're probably going to be racing in some nasty conditions through the coldest months of the year. When it comes to warming up for these races, people tend to skimp on things (in order to spend more time in wherever it's warm). If you take a smart approach, you can ensure that you'll be more comfortable to start the race and therefore run a better time.
It's OK to admit it: You don't do enough strength and conditioning work. Understandably so, since we runners will almost always prioritize the running over other forms of work. But, on the other hand, runners who include more strength training tend to get faster quicker and get injured less often. Even if you find yourself pressed for time and/or you don't have access to a gym, you can still add quality strength training to your weekly routine.
Since we're entering the time of year when treadmills get more and more use, you might be wondering if certain shoes are better than others for your treadmill runs. Here are a few things to keep in mind when you're getting ready for a treadmill run.
If you didn't know any better, you might think that it was cool to hate the treadmill. We even have cute insult names for it. "I was forced to do this run on the dreadmill..." "More going nowhere on the hamster wheel..." I get just as bored as others when it comes to treadmill runs, but there are times when a treadmill run is the best option. Here are three big reasons why choosing the treadmill is sometimes better than running outside.
When it comes to racing, and running in general, my philosophy is something along the lines of, "What's important is that a runner seeks to improve relative to their previous bests, not necessarily compared to others." Of course, times and PRs are inherently the measuring stick for running "success," but that doesn't necessarily mean that an 18-minute 5k runner is a harder worker or more deserving of praise than a 30-minute 5k runner. Sometimes, the faster runners turn arrogant. Sometimes, they turn into a Fasthole.
Forgive me for having a little bit of vulgar fun with today's tip. This is timely, as the weather gets colder and we all pick up a bit of congestion from being in closer quarters with one another inside. I am speaking, of course, about the art of the "Snot Rocket," or "Farmer Snort." A well-executed snot rocket means you can continue running at top speed without so much as a break in your stride. A poorly-executed one means a nasty mess on your hands, shirt, or running buddy. And here's how to do it right:
We're into the time of year where it's getting dark pretty early, and when it comes to an after-work run, that often means that some or all of the session will be completed without sunlight. I enjoy running in the dark as much as anyone else, but I don't really like worrying about where the lines are for my intervals on the track when it's too dark to really see them. If you're lucky, the lights will be on at the track facility, but that's not always the case. Here are a couple of ways to mark your track intervals if you find yourself running around a dark track.
For the better part of 2 years, I've had 5:45 stuck in my craw for marathon pace workouts. It's mainly just a nice, round number, but as I chip away at the Olympic Trials "B" standard of 2:18 for the marathon, getting near 2:30 is the next logical step. In the grand scheme of things, the whole exercise of marathon training is to build efficiency and then extend an increasingly aggressive pace. Lining up in Raleigh was a good test of whether I have done enough work to hit 5:45 pace for a marathon at last.
Coach Caleb's Note: I received this race report from Fionnuala Silke, a runner in Sligo, Ireland who I have been coaching for several months. On October 28th, Fionnuala took part in the Dublin City Marathon with 6 other Team Wicked Bonkproof teammates. This was her first marathon, and she got after it.