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RunnerDude's Blog



A running blog providing running, fitness, training, racing, and nutrition tips, ideas, plans, suggestions, and recipes for runners of all ability levels.



Updated: 2018-04-26T07:50:56.891-04:00

 



Last Week To Register!

2018-03-12T08:14:33.227-04:00

We have almost 60 members in the RunnerDude 1000 Mile Club covering 6 states (NC, SC, GA, FL, OH, MO)! WeeDoggie! To Guarantee a club t-shirt, be sure to register for the club by this Friday (3/16). For more information and/or to register go to 
Did you start counting mileage in Jan or February? No Prob. Then your 1000 miles will end 12 month from your start date. 




RunnerDude's 1000 Mile Club!

2018-02-21T10:49:10.334-05:00



 For More Information Click Here!






RunnerDude Reviews Endurance Xtreme

2017-12-08T11:19:44.261-05:00

I've never been a big user of supplements. I eat a pretty well-balanced and fairly clean diet.  Through my diet I get well above the recommended amounts of macro and micro nutrients needed on a daily basis.By no means am I a nutrition expert, but I've had 100hrs of nutrition education and I've attended many sports nutrition related workshops and seminars including a weekend seminar by Nancy Clark a well-respected sports nutrition guru and someone I've followed for years and have read most of her books. She provides great practical nutritional advice for athletes. I feel I have a great handle on my own sports nutrition needs. Occasionally I've looked at sports supplements, but I've always questioned what's actually in them.  Do they actually do what they say they'll do.John Ivy presented at one of the Nancy Clark seminars I attended. John Ivy has a Phd in Sports Physiology and has done a lot of research on the use of Beet root as a sports supplement. Beet root  has been shown to increase nitric oxide levels which improves blood flow and circulation. Nitric Oxide is a naturally occurring molecule that's found in plants. The amount varies from plant to plant. Research has shown that incorporating plants high in nitric oxide such as kale, beets, and spinach into your diet can support healthy blood pressure, cardiovascular health, and exercise endurance."Exercise endurance" is the part that gets my attention. If there is a natural way to help increase endurance, I'm all ears.Dr. Jeffrey Blair, PhD; Certified Nutritionist and Master HerbalistRecently, Jeff Blair contacted me about a new sports endurance product he's developed, Endurance Xtreme. This product contains beet root for its nitric oxide benefits. This got my interest, so we met and he shared with me how he as an athlete he had struggled with endurance and finding the right supplement to help increase endurance and decrease recovery time. Jeff has a Phd in nutritional science and is the author of Runology and several other books. While doing research for his book Runology, he came across studies conducted on ancient herbs from Asia being used by athletes with great success. He began experimenting with doses and combinations of these ancient herbs. He was amazed to discover that a precise combination and dosage of these herbs dramatically increased his endurance and improved his recover time. And so Endurance Xtreme was born.The ingredients in Endurance Xtreme have been clinically proven to increase oxygen uptake and utilization in the lungs and muscles. More oxygen uptake in the lungs and muscles means greater endurance. The herbs in Endurance Xtreme have also been shown to increase circulation during and after a workout and reduce lactic acid build up while reducing cortisol to speed recovery.So what's in Endurance Xtreme? There are four main herbs used:Cordyceps: A powerful mushroom that grows in the high altitude of the Himalayan Mountains and used by elite Chinese athletes for endurance. It has been clinically proven to increase oxygen uptake and utilization as well as increase circulation.Beet Root: Beet root powder can increase nitric oxide levels in blood vessels and improve blood flow and circulation.Schisandra: Used by Asian athletes traditionally for strength and endurance.Ashwagandha:  An herb from India traditionally used for energy, endurance, and cortisol reduction from stress and overexertion. I've used Endurance Xtreme on several runs and while I can't say in this limited time frame that yes, the product was the direct cause of a good run, I can say that all of the runs on which I've use Endurance Extreme were good runs and my recovery time was quicker leading into my next run.So, if you're looking for an endurance and/or recovery supplement that's made from natural ingredients, I definitely recommend you give Endurance Xtreme a try.[...]



Yea Taper Time! Boo Taper Time!

2017-10-10T19:22:41.312-04:00

During a past training cycle, I overheard one of my runners telling another runner (who sometimes runs with us but isn't one of my race trainees), that he was in his marathon taper time. The other runner proceeded to tell my runner, "I never tapered before a race. It's a waist of time. You lose too much of what you've gained." My runner proceeded to say, "I don't know, I really think there is something to this taper thing. I'm going to follow what my coach has planned out for me. I mean I paid for it. Might as well, follow the plan. But, it makes sense what he's telling me."That was a proud moment as a coach. This particular runner did not follow the plan with his previous race. Every run was a hard run. He put in extra runs on his own and didn't taper. Result? He got injured a few weeks prior to race day. He still tried to race on race day and injured himself more. This training cycle, he decided to follow the plan and he was doing great! The other runner is a fast runner. But like my race trainee's former self, he runs every run hard and never tapers. As a result he's often injured. I often kid this runner (but not really) that he's not allowed to talk to my runners trying to lure them to the dark side.More is not better. Never a better example than with marathon taper. The marathon taper is probably THE most important part of race training. So, what is taper time? There are different approaches, but the standard taper for marathon training begins three weeks prior to race day.Typically the last long run (which is often your longest run) is three weeks from race day. The following long run is 75% of the longest run, and then the long run before race day is 50% the distance of the longest run. So, if you're longest run is 20 miles, then the following weekend the long run will be 15 miles, then the next long run will be 10 miles with the following weekend being race day. The mileage of the other weekly runs during this time can begin to decrease as well. My runners usually have a speed workout on Mondays, a tempo/progression run on Wednesdays, and easy run on Thursday or Friday and then their long run on Saturday. During Taper time, the distance of the Wednesday runs begins to decrease and usually I have them run an easy 4 miler the Wednesday the week of race day.So what makes doing less the last three weeks help you on race day? High mileage week after week depletes a runner's glycogen levels. It also decreases levels of enzymes, hormones and antioxidants. Research has shown that these levels return to normal during taper. Even more important is the repair of muscle damage that takes place during taper. Runners that push their training up to race day also run the risk of compromising their immune system increasing the chances of catching a bug before race day. Taper allows the body time to bolster the immune system. Research has also shown that runners that heed the taper tend to have times 5 to 10 minutes faster on race day than those that do not taper in their training.The main problem with marathon taper is what I call the Stir-Crazy Complex. You've been running, running, running, for so many months then all of the sudden, just before race day, you're not running nearly the mileage. It can play with your mind. Doubt begins to creep in. You become insecure that you've done enough. This is normal. This is where you have to Trust in your Training. Believe in Yourself. And Conquer your Goal on race day. Doing more may occupy your brain and your body, but it will only hurt you on race day.Use taper time to relax, recover, and focus on nutrition. Also use this time to think through mental strategies for race day as well as make your race day check list. A check list is particularly important if your running a destination race involving travel.Also use this time to reflect on and appreciate all the hard work you've put in the past several months.[...]



The Lowdown on the Ketogenic Diet for Athletes

2017-09-22T20:36:39.929-04:00

Ketogenics....isn't that what Michael Jackson wanted to do with his body after he died? Oh yeah, that's Cryogenics. My bad.   Well, I'm sure you've probably heard the term Ketogenics, even if you're not sure what it is.The diet world is always a flutter with the newest this and the newest that. Actually, there really isn't anything new, it's just a new name for low-fat, high-fat, low-carb, or only eat Twinkies diet.Many years ago we had the Atkins diet which was low carbs, then we had the Paleo diet which had many eating no carbs and getting in tune with their caveman ancestry, and now we have Ketogenics. All are really pretty similar in theory....Carbs are bad.Ketogenics is all the buzz because it's often pitched as a beneficial diet for athletes. Being a coach and fitness trainer, I'm often asked about current nutrition trends. While I'm not a nutritionist and in the state of North Carolina I legally can't provide individual nutritional advice, I do try to keep up with the reading to be current on the latest research.I've had 200 hrs of anatomy and physiology education and 100 hrs of nutritional education. So, while in no way am I an expert, I do have a good basis of understanding of how the body works and functions physically and nutritionally and my ears always perk up when a diet excludes a specific food group.So when Sanna Delmonico, MS, RDN, CHES wrote an article ""Do Ketogenic Diets Work for Athletes" for the recent issue of IDEA Food and Nutrition Tips (Volume 6, Issue 5), I was very eager to read it.Basically Delmonico addressed the question, "What do you think about a ketogenic diet for athletes? Does it really improve performance?"Her response was pretty much what I thought. But first what is a ketogenic diet?  Delmonico describes a ketogenic diet as a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet, usually including less than 50 g of carbohydrate per day (Paoli 2013). Carbohydrate, which is stored in the body as glycogen, is the preferred fuel for muscle and the brain. When this fuel isn’t available, the body turns to fat for energy and produces ketosis. The theory is that since we store much more energy as fat than as glycogen, athletes have a reliable, steady source of energy if they burn more fat, and this should improve performance.Medically speaking, the ketogenic diet has been successful in treating epilepsy in children and in some adults and has shown some promise in weight loss  and type 2 diabetes. But, and this is a big but, long term, the ketogenic diet has risks. Continued use of this diet increased the chance of kidney stones, increased blood lipids and bone fractures. This diet also leads to constipation in many because it's so low in fiber. The low fiber component can also lead to increased chances of colorectal cancer.Delmonico says that research has shown that over time, an athlete on a ketogenic diet becomes more efficient at burning fat. This adaption takes about 3-4 weeks and during that transition time, the athlete will feel very fatigued. So, this transition should be done well before a race training cycle. The thinking is that an endurance athlete like a marathon runner or triathlete would benefit from this because they'd have a longer sustained source of fuel. However, research has shown that while these athletes have become more efficient at burning fat, it hasn't added any benefit to athletic performance. However, higher carbohydrate diets did result in improved performance.Delmonico concludes that more research is needed on Ketogenic diets for athletes. The positions of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Dietitians of Canada, and the American College of Sports Medicine are that current evidence doesn't support the use of ketogenic diets to improve athletic performance.Delmonico cautions athletes using the ketogenic diet to keep in mind that decreasing carbohydrate intake also decreases intake of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals from beans, whole grains, [...]



Training? Feeling a Little Run Down?

2017-10-10T09:59:09.009-04:00

Runners are notorious for digging a hole and jumping in. We'll push, push, push, thinking that if we just push a little harder, we'll break through that wall hindering us. While sometimes a little push is just what you need, other times, REST is what you need. So how do you tell the difference of when to push and when to rest? Listen to your body, know the difference between, "I don't wanna" and "I can't" and know the signs of fatigue and over training.Do you feel that burn after a hard workout or a hard run? That's from pushing your body past what it's used to. Challenging yourself to harder more intense workouts (resistance training or aerobic training) over a period of time is called progressive overload. Progressive overload is how you train your body to adapt to the new conditions being put upon it. The key, however, is making sure that along with the progressive overload you are also giving your body time to recover. Ever notice how most marathon plans have you run a 20-miler followed by a day of rest and then the following week's "long run" usually isn't as long. That's progressive overload or stress adaptation. Build up. Back off a little. Build up. Back off a little. Overloading the body and then giving it a chance to recover, adapt, and heal before placing more stress upon it, is a great way to train.The S.A.I.D. principle (Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demand) refers to the idea that your body adapts to the specific type of stress put upon it. So, when an endurance runner pushes to finish that 20-miler in a specific time frame, his/her body is adapting to that specific type of stress being put upon it.The problem is many athletes (aerobic or anaerobic) don't give their bodies time to adapt before imposing more stress on their bodies. The create a recovery deficit....that hole they've dug and can't get out of. They're constantly stuck in the recovery period or worse, they become injured. This is called overtraining.Often I hear a runner say, "but it's in my plan" or "but my plan says." Runners often mistake a training plan for LAW. A training plan is merely a guide to help you reach your goal. A training plan sis like a travel plan...a map. Change will most likely need to be made along the way. A plan doesn't know the factors you may be dealing with in a given week...the stress of the job, lack of sleep from a sick child, dealing with allergies, that pothole you stepped in and twisted your ankle, that unplanned work trip thrown at you. Some times life has a different plan for you than what your race training plan had in store of you. A training plan is based on an ideal world. A training plan also, does not know how long your particular body may need to recover after that first 20-miler. The plan is your map. You are the driver and your running coach is your AAA consultant.Some common signs of over training include:persistent achiness, stiffness, or pain in the muscles and/or joints (beyond the typical delayed onset muscle soreness felt a couple of days after a workout)waking up with an elevated pulse (good idea to take your waking resting pulse frequently to give you a base from which to compare)lack of energyfatigued and/or achy musclesfrequent headachesfeeling lethargic or sluggishdrop in athletic performancenot able to complete your normal workoutdepressed, moody, unmotivatednervousnesslack of sleep and/or appetiteweight losslowered immune systemAn elevated pulse is also a good indicator of possible overtraining or even sickness such as a respiratory infection. If your waking resting pulse is elevated more than a few beats, you could have an infection or be suffering from overtraining. In either case, taking a day off may be the best thing. Rest is the best thing for overcoming overtraining. If rest doesn't do the trick, schedule an appointment with your doctor.Other Causes of Fatigue When Training Include:Improper Hydration can also be a source of fatigue. Most[...]



Marathon To-Do List

2017-08-11T10:06:17.131-04:00

If you're in the heat of marathon training, you're probably 100% focused on your workouts. There's another side to preparing for a marathon that often gets overlooked. I'm talking about getting to your race destination. I'm currently training for my 17th marathon and  I've learned a few things along the way that have helped me out on race day.Marathon Trip To-Do List1. Book your room! Marathons are getting larger and larger and it's getting harder and harder to find a room (especially at a reasonable price). Race websites often have special deals at area hotels. If you try to book a room through the race website and all the rooms are full, don't fret just yet. That usually just means the block of rooms the hotel has at the special marathon rate is full. If that's the case, try one of the many discount travel sites like priceline.com, Travelocity, or Airbnb. When it's just been me traveling to a race, I've even used a hostel. One of my Trips to the NYC Marathon, I stayed in a hostel for a fraction of the cost of a hotel room. At this particular hostel, I had my own room, but the floor shared two large restrooms with showers. It was old and definitely had character, but it was in a great location on the upper West Side. Great little bakery next door. While I was getting my breakfast bagel the day before the race, there was an extremely tall man in line in front of me. Turned out to be Conan O'Brien! The day after that race, I was having lunch in a little restaurant along Central Park. While eating my lunch I heard this very distinct voice behind me. Turned around and it was Regis Philbin and his wife, Joy. So, cool!   2. Find out what sports drink and/or sports gel will be provided along the course. Either train using what will be provided at the race or decide to carry your own or have family members/friends provide it for you along the course  (the latter is often hard on larger races or on isolated races where spectator access along the course is difficult). Never train using one brand then switch to another on race day.3. Plan out what you're doing for food while at your race. You've probably figured out your dinner each night before your training long runs. But what are you doing the night before the race day? Will you be able to find food at a restaurant similar to what you've been eating at home? If you plan to eat out the night before the race, research some area restaurants to see which will best meet your needs. Then go ahead and make a reservation. Or better yet, pack your food and eat in the room. If possible, book a hotel with a kitchenette. These rooms usually have a small stove or cook top and refrigerator. Now you'll be able to fix your normal pre-run dinner and breakfast!4. Become familiar with the race course. No need to memorize every street name and turn, but identifying major hills and other course challenges can be helpful.5. Keep tabs on the weather. Periodically check weather.com  or one of the other weather sites or apps to see what the forecast is for race day; best to be prepared with cold/heat/rain gear than not. 30gal trash bags make awesome rain gear and are great for extra warmth before the race too. Just cut out head and arm holes and you're good to go. Don't need it for either? Makes a great mat to sit on prior to or after the race.6. Give yourself plenty of travel time, especially if the race is out of town. If going to a new city, it's best to arrive two days before the race. This gives you time to acclimate to your surroundings and a new bed. It also allows you time to get to the race expo without panic that you're not going to make it in time.7. Pack your race-day clothes and running shoes in your carry-on bag if you're flying. If your luggage gets lost you'll be able to run as planned.8. Pick up your race packet early. No need to w[...]



Let's Cut to the "Chafe"

2017-08-10T11:54:52.232-04:00

"Chafe." There, I said it. One of those words, no body likes. As soon as you hear it, you immediately have a reference point in your memory of an oh-so painful run where you ended up waddling back to you car or even worse a blood curdling Psycho shower scene where you screamed at the top of your lungs during a post long-run shower, only to have your entire family running to your aide for sure thinking you've fallen in the shower or a snake has crawled in with you.Almost every runner has experienced chafing at some point. If you haven't, I envy you greatly. In fact there is an entire industry devoted to anti-chafing products with quite creative names such as Body Glide, Squeaky Cheeks Performance Powder, Gold Bond Friction Defense, SportSlick, NipGuards, Hoo Ha Ride Glide, Boudreaux's Butt Paste, Anti Monkey Butt, and the list goes on. Many of the products target cyclists who have obvious chafing issues, but all the products work the same. Any athlete, no matter the sport, can use any or all of these products.There's also the standard Band-Aids, petroleum jelly, and diaper rash products that work great too. Unlike normal petroleum jelly and diaper rash products, most of the anti-chafe products are designed without the goopy feel and most are designed not to stain your clothing (although some do a better job of that than others). Some of these products are similar in use and feel to that of a deodorant stick, others are creams, and still others are powders. They all work, but some are more effective and last longer than others. Aquaphor Healing Ointment by Eucerin is great to use on a chafed area after a run.Band-Aids are often used by the guys to protect their nipples from chafing. Chafed nipples are extremely painful, if not for the runner, then for the spectators who think the runner has been the victim of a drive-by shooting. OUCH!! NipGuards work similarly to Band-Aids, keeping the nipple covered and protected from abrasive fabric. I had a hilarious incident using band aids in a race once. I found these waterproof circle adhesive bandages just the right size. So, I bought the box, pleased with how much money I had saved. They applied perfectly and the adhesive was great. They weren't goin' nowhere. So, I'm running the race, and I notice my shirt protruding at the chest. I'm in the heat of the race, and I'm not in pain, so I continue and don't give it another thought. That is until after the race. When I finished, my chest was really protruding. I took my shirt off only to find that the waterproof bandages did their job perfectly. They were so waterproof that all the sweat inside the bandage got trapped. I had two nice balloon pasties! Now that's a memorable chafe-free run!So, what causes chafing? There are several things that can set a runner up for chafing. Chafing can result from skin-on-skin contact (very often happens along the inner thigh) and it can result from skin-on-fabric contact (this often is the cause of chafed nips for guys and for ladies chafing along the upper torso and back from their sports bra rubbing their skin). Ladies, I know it's hard enough finding the right jog bra for you and then on top of that you have to deal with chafing issues. Be sure, like with your other running clothing, that your sports bra is made of a breathable technical fabric (usually 100% polyester or a mix of polyester, Lycra, and or spandex.) Test out any or all of the aforementioned anti-chafing products on the areas that seem to be prone to chafing. Body Glide actually makes a Body Glide for Her that is designed for the sensitive areas around the bra line. If you're currently dealing with a chafing hot spot, but you still want to run, try using a product by Band-Aid called Band-Aid Advanced Healing Blister Cushions. You can apply this to the chaffed area and it will protect that area from additional chafing while on the[...]



The 15-Mile Freakout

2017-08-09T15:43:40.902-04:00

Raise your hand if you're in the midst of marathon training. Raise your hand if you had a recent 14, 15, or 16-mile run that freaked you out? Was it a tough one? Were you freaking out, thinking, "That just about killed me! How am I going to run 26.2 miles?"You're not alone. I call it the 15-mile Freakout!Not sure what it is about the 15-mile mark, but it's a common mileage for a mini-meltdown to occur. You're probably about a month into your training and your body is still acclimating—physically and mentally. You're putting a lot of demands on your body and it takes about 4 to 6 weeks for the body to level out and really start to feel stronger than when you started. Particularly if you're a first time marathoner, mile 15 is typically quite a milestone. It's the bridge from that familiar 10-miler to the new frontier of the yet-to-achieve 20-miler.The cause of that hard 15-miler can the result of the accumulation effect, just all those weeks of more mileage than you're used to coming to a peak at the 15-mile mark. You're body is fatigued and telling you so. After a really hard run like this, it's fine to modify your training to allow for some extra recovery time. Typically after a long run, you'll have a complete day of rest in your plan. Definitely take that, but also take a second day of rest, if needed. Or, if the next run after your post long-run rest day is a speed workout, make it an easy short recovery run. Allow the legs time to recover.Often another cause of the 15-mile freakout run is lack of proper fueling or hydration. Up to this point, doing what you normally do for your normal 8 to 10 milers has probably worked fine, but now that you're running longer and your body is needing more fuel and hydration support. This run is often the wake-up call letting you know the one piece of toast and cup of coffe before your long run and maybe a sip of Gatorade or water on the run just ain't gonna hack it. Your 4 months of training is not just for training your body. It's also time for you to figure out how to best fuel and hydrate your body. These training long runs are the time to figure out your fueling regimen--which fuel sources best work for you and your body and how often to take them.So, how do you survive the freakout? First, take a deep breath. Then understand it's natural to feel this way. Your brain has all kinds of protective mechanisms, one of which is to tell you that you can't do something. But remember that just because you can't do something now doesn't mean you can't do something after 2 or 3 more months of race training. Can you run 26.2 miles right now? Probably not. Are you supposed to be able to run 26.2 miles right now? Definitely not. It's a process. I had one runner once who, unbeknownst to me, put in a full marathon about 3/4 of the way through his training because he needed to know he could run 26.2 miles before running the 26.2 miles on race day. Well, lets just say that peace of mind, gave him nothing but grief and injury. He ended up not running on race day. You can't do something you're not ready for without risking injury. It's not worth it.If you're following your training as prescribed, taking rest days as prescribed, listening to your body (and coach) and taking extra rest days as needed, and you're properly fueling and hydrating, then  you'll get where you want be on race day. Trust. Believe. Conquer!Have your freakout. Then move on. You've got a lot of work to do!![...]



If The Shoe Fits

2017-08-10T07:13:39.275-04:00

Finding the right running shoe can be a daunting task. Take myself for example. My favorite Hoka, "Huaka" was discontinued. I was at a loss. Several of the other Hoka models just didn't seem to work for my feet. I had previously run in the Altra Paradigm, so I tried that again. But, Altra did something to the sizing and my orthodic no longer worked in the Paradigm. So for about a year, I struggled to find a new long run shoe. Finally, I discovered that the Altra Bondi 5 worked for me. I'm now on my second pair and love them.the "All that struggle and I know my feet and the type of shoe I need. I have great empathy for new runners who know very little about their feet or what type of shoe they need. So, I've worked up 6 tips to help you find the right running shoe for you.Tip #1: Know the Different Types of Foot Strikes. A runner can be a heel-striker, midfoot (flat foot) lander, or forefoot landing runner.A heel-striker lands with his/her foot ahead of his/her center of mass landing on the heel first and can be neutral, over-pronate, or supinate (under-pronate). A neutral heel striker lands on the heel then the forefoot lands with an even follow-through as the runner pushes off with his/her toes. A heel-striker that pronates, tends to land on the outer heel first, then as the fore foot begins to land, the ankle drops inward and the runner tends to follow through more on the big toe rather than all of the fore foot. And a heel-striker that is a supinator or under-pronator, lands on the outer heel and tends to remain on the outer/lateral portion of the foot toeing off the outside of the fore foot. A neutral runner will typically do well with a neutral shoe with cushion. An over-pronator will typically need a stability shoe that has some type of arch support to restrict the amount of inward roll. There are various levels of stability from mild to strong. Just because you pronate doesn't mean you need a strong stability shoe. A supinator typically uses a neutral shoe with cushion too. A supinator does not need additional arch support which would only push his/her foot outward even more.A midfoot or flat foot runner lands with his/her foot  underneath or closer to his/her center of mass. Because of this, a midfoot lander lands on all of the foot at once. This is why midfoot is sometimes referred to as "flat foot." Flat foot often has a negative connotation, but in running it's a good thing. Landing on more of the foot and not on the heel, often lessens the amount of pronation or gets rid of it altogether. It also lets the runner have more of a fluid push-off instead of a pull-then-push which a heel striker does. This more immediate push creates less impact and lets the body work like a shock absorber. A midfoot lander typically doesn't need a lot of extra support in a shoe because of the fact that they are landing on more of the foot all at one time decreasing or completely eliminating that heel-to-toe movement and chance of inward roll. Now sometimes a midfoot lander can still have ankle issues and may need some stability, but usually not as much as a heel-striker.A forefoot lander is very similar to a midfoot lander in that the foot lands underneath the body or very close to the runner's center of mass, however instead of landing on all of the foot, this runner lands on the forefoot or metatarsals of the foot. Like the midfoot landing, the forefoot landing also lessens the amount of pronation or gets rid of it altogether. It also lets the runner have more of a fluid push-off instead of a pull-then-push which a heel striker does. This more immediate push creates less impact and lets the body work more like a shock absorber. A forefoot lander typically doesn't need a lot of extra support in a shoe because of the fact that they are landing on just the front of the f[...]



A Conversation With My Camelbak

2017-08-08T07:49:03.796-04:00

Funny how some runs are very uneventful while others become quite memorable. Today's was quite a memorable one. Beside, the loose pit bull I made friends with by turning and running in the other direction, the drug deal I witnessed, taking a picture of two cyclists (one from Colorado and one from Virgina) that asked me if I'd mind taking a pic of them (they referred to me as "Nice Guy"),  and seeing fellow runner and friend Amanda Coble at Lebauer Park and a drive-by honking from Lisa Garrison,  I had a lot going on in this run from the get go and I knew that as I started out.First, I was trying my new Bondi 5's without my custom orthodics. I've been wearing Bondi 5s and love them, just wore out the pair I had. This time, however, I was trying the new pair with regular sports orthodics and my metatarsals pads instead of my custom orthodics. The custom orthodics seemed to be pushing my feet outward and I already tend to do that, so thought that extra outward push might be contributing to my Achilles issues.  Love my Hoka Bondi's. Took me a year to finally find a long run shoe after my previous one was discontinued. Yes, I know some don't like the Hoka. There's one professional in the area that seems to think they are the anti-christ. Ha! But for me they have been a savior and work well.Anywho...back to the memorable run. So, first there was the possibility of shoe/foot woes on this run. Second, I was trying out a new method for hydration. I usually carry a handheld bottle. Never have liked how the hydration belts felt on my waist. The only problem with a handheld is that I have to plan my routes where there is either a water fountain on the route or a convenient store where I can get more water/Gatorade. Not too terrible of a problem, but it does limit where I can run. As my 16-year-old often tells me, "First World Problem, Dad." But even still, thought I'd try one of the hydration packs that you wear on your back. Ultra runners wear them a lot. So, the day before the run, I headed over to REI. After picking myself off the floor, upon seeing the cost of these packs, I started pilfering through to find the cheapest one that worked. Not only were they overpriced, they were all big and bulky. Finally, on a separate isle I found a smaller pack that held 50oz. I tried it on and it felt pretty good. My hand held holds about 22oz, So, I thought 50oz would be awesome. This was less than half the price of the others ($50). Pleased with my find I headed home. After getting home, I discovered why this pack was cheaper. It was a hydration pack for kids! Kind of apropos since I often buy my shirts in the kids department. Those are cheaper too! (There are a few benefits to being a small dude.)I'm behind on my marathon training. Lots going on between work, vacation, training my runners for 21 different half and full marathons and going to visit my mom who has Alzheimer's. My training tends to take a backseat. I'm about 3 miles behind in my long runs, so today, I really wanted to get in my 12 miles so I wouldn't get even further behind. Last week's 11-miles was rough. I ended up running later in the day and the heat got to me. Another reason I was looking for a better hydration solution. So, this morning, I filled up the "Kiddie-Camelbak" with 40oz of water and added two Nuun electrolyte tabs. I've found that using plan water with the electrolyte tabs and then using the GU packs (Chocolate Outrage is my favorite) works really well with me and my tummy. Gives me what I need without that Gatorade hangover. After putting in the tabs, I let it sit for a while before closing the top, so all the effervescent bubbles could dissipate and not get trapped in the bladder of the kiddie-camelbak causing a geyser-like eruption when I first opened the hydration va[...]



RunnerDude Shoe Review: New Balance 880v7

2017-10-10T08:08:01.721-04:00

If you've read any of my shoe reviews or posts about my own running shoes, then you know I have
pretty persnickety feet. With my job as a running coach and fitness trainer, I put in a lot of miles each week and I'm on my feet most of the day. It takes its toll. So, when I find a shoe that works for me, I love to share.

Omega Sports our local running store here in Greensboro, asked me to review the New Balance 880v7, I was excited, but a bit skeptical too. Not really in the shoe itself, but whether it would work for my finicky feet.

The first thing I noticed when I tried on 880v7s was the cushion. My feet need a lot of cushion in the forefoot and heel. That's often a hard combination to find. The 880v7 has achieved it.

The things most notable for me about the  880v7 include:

  • Roomy toe box
  • Lightweight feel for a cushioned shoe
  • Stable platform with an ample amount of surface area to make contact with the ground
  • Breathable mesh upper which appears to be seamless adding to comfort
  • Great for both short and long runs

I don't have a wide foot, but many runners will like that the 880v7 comes in wide and extra wide sizes. While not a lightweight shoe (coming in around 11oz), it doesn't feel like an 11oz shoe. I was really surprised when I saw the listed weight of the shoe. Not sure how they made 11oz feel lighter, but they did.

This neutral daily trainer worked well for me on both uneven hard city sidewalks and smooth blacktop greenway. These shoes will handle most any distance. The New Balance 880v7 does have a higher heel-to-toe drop of 10mm, so if you're looking for a lower drop shoe, this may not be for you. It's slightly lower than the traditional 12mm drop, but frankly the shoe didn't have the feel of a higher traditional running shoe.

All-in-all this is a great daily trainer for short and longer distances. Highly recommend you give it a try if you're looking for a neutral, cushioned trainer with a roomy toe box. In Greensboro? Give it a test drive at Omega Sports.



Running Is So Much More Than Running

2017-06-07T16:08:02.674-04:00

A recent article in the New York Times, says running may even be socially contagious! The article is about recently published research by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Sloan School of Management on how runners are affected by other runners on running data collection sites. The article didn't disclose which data collection site was used, but I'm assuming it was one like Strava, Nike, or MapMyRun. Over a 5 year period, researches gathered data from about 1.1 million runners from all over the world. Collectively runners in that time period had run about 225 million miles.

The research showed that similar runners tended to cluster as friends on the data collection site. Also, if one friend ran more than the others, then a spike in the others' running was observed. 

Basically, members in these unofficial circles would work to keep up with each other. Weather conditions didn't seem to matter either. If a runner ran more in one part of the country, a runner in another part of the country would run more (not necessarily more than the other runner, but more than he/she had previously run) even if there were adverse weather conditions.

Men seemed to be affected by this more than women. Males were definitely influenced by what their male counterparts were doing. Males were also influenced by their female counterparts but not to the same extent. Females, however, didn't seem to be influenced by their male counterparts, but they were influenced by their female counterparts. 

Personally, I use Strava to upload and keep track of my running data. It's been fun making friends around the country on Strava, keeping track of what others are doing. Strava (and I'm sure the other sites do it too) also provides challenges for runners to strive for such as running a certain race distance, running a certain number of miles in a month, etc. It's all healthy competition whether it's with yourself or with others. But, nothing, in my opinion, beats the camaraderie of a real "in-person" running group. While the online sites provide some incentive to run harder to keep up with your buddies, a real-life running group provides life-long friendships, support, motivation, and inspiration that cannot be matched in any other forum. Running is so much more than Running.   




Squeaky Running Shoe?

2017-06-07T07:42:04.558-04:00

Ever had squeaky running shoes? This home remedy might just be the quick fix you need!

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Running Shorts Interviews RunnerDude

2017-04-28T13:44:15.849-04:00

I'm usually the one doing the interview, but turnabout is fair play. This week, Eddie Wooten, the senior sports editor of the News and Record and host of the running blog, Running Shorts interviewed me for the anniversary of the blogs 5th year of the Runners Profile series where Eddie features a different local runner. Over the past 5 years, Eddie's featured 263 runners! It was great taking time to chat with another fellow runner. Eddie's blog, Running Shorts has become a great center point for the Triad's running community, be sure to check it out! Blow is Eddie's interview with me as featured on the News & Record Running Shorts Blog.THAD McLAURINAge52ResidenceGreensboroDay jobOwner, RunnerDude's FitnessClick Here to See Video InterviewWhy I run"Growing up, I was never into team sports. ... I was overweight, very inactive. I did play some team sports, but I just never really cared for it. The summer before high school, I decided to lose weight and lost about 40 pounds. Started to feel better about myself, what I could do, my abilities, but I still never really did anything. Back then, there wasn't much athletics that wasn't team-oriented. I just didn't have the confidence. But when I was a freshman at State, I started running on my own. Did my first 10K (Great Raleigh Road Race, 1984). I remember sitting there after the race, on the wall, and just looking at all the different people and different sizes, ages, and it was like, 'I can do this.' That's when I started getting into doing more races on my own. .."But it wasn't until about 10 years later, '96, '97, I got the bug into distance. I trained for my first full, New York, in '97. Got hooked from then on. Did one or two a year pretty much ever since ... I just realized that I could run for myself, I could compete with myself. In a race you might end up competing with somebody you don't know, that person in front of you you want to peg and try to get beyond. I really liked that vs. the team aspect. ..."When we moved here in '98, I wasn't didn't know Greensboro too well. I ran around my neighborhood. I found Country Park. I found Military Park. Back then, you couldn't Google 'Greenways.' I didn't know where anything was. I remember the day I realized there was a cut-through from Military to Country Park, and I was so excited because I had a 5-mile loop. The second marathon I ran, which was also New York, I trained running in Military Park. That gets old after a while."Then Rick King, who started the Blueliners, ... kept bugging me to come with this group. I didn't know who they were. Finally, I thought, 'I'll go so he'll leave me alone.' That first day we ran 9 miles on the greenway; I never knew the greenway was there. ... I joined the Blueliners then and ran with them up until the time I started RunnerDude's Fitness. ... He's the reason I was able to run different areas around here and meet other people and understand about the running community."When Thad McLaurin first joined a group of other runners,the Blueliners welcomed him.A typical week"When I'm not injured (Achilles), it's hard to get in 'me' runs. I do a lot of running with clients, so there's a lot of miles in there, but they're not necessarily 'me' miles. When I get a 'me' run, it's a treat. I try to get in at least two 'me' runs and a long run on the weekends (Sundays). ... When race training season kicks in, 50, 60 miles a week (includes runs with clients). When it's not, 25 to 30."Favorite place to run"Downtown. I love our greenways, I love that we have so many greenways, and I run them a lot with my runners. But as far as a 'me' run, particularly a long run, I call 'em undetermined runs. I'll leave from here or my hou[...]



RunTheBoro: Some of the Best Ideas Come From the Most Unlikely Places

2017-04-01T16:54:10.470-04:00

April 1st is usually known for April Fools Day. I'll always remember it for an unexpected day trip that blossomed into a great idea. This picture  of me having lunch outside of a Hillsborough Street Jimmy John's on the NCSU campus in Raleigh is a great reminder of this awesome day. I love this picture for so many reasons.For one, my shirt speaks to my heart. It's my love of running that has me sitting for this picture about an hour and 20 mins from home. A client ended up having to cancel her mid morning session, so I took advantage of this unusual free time to check out Runologie, a cool independent running store I had heard about in Raleigh.Second, it was this visit to Runologie that inspired RunTheBoro, a two-month eight-run event through the city of Greensboro.Third, it shows that ideas can sprout when you least expect them. A little nugget of an idea can blossom into something that can affect hundreds of people in such a positive way. In just 3 months after taking this picture, RunTheBoro brought together over 300 runners, sparking new friendships, rekindling old friendships, all the while sharing history of Greensboro from the Revolutionary War, to the dawn of Civil Rights in the 1960s, to the present day revitalization of once neglected neighborhoods.Fourth, this picture reminds this Dude to be a sponge, always receptive to new ideas. If this once nonathletic-chubby kid, sitting on the campus of NC State in Raleigh, wearing a Tar Heel 10-Miler T-shirt, after visiting a running store 70 miles from home, can return home with an idea that can affect hundreds of runners in Greensboro in an amazingly positive way, just think what other possibilities lie ahead.RunTheBoro #2 will begin May 6th at 7:00am at RunnerDude's Fitness. Each Saturday during the months of May and June, runners will traverse over 25 different Greensboro neighborhoods and 4 different greenways. There will 12 different pace groups from 7:30 to Walking. For each run there will be a 5ish-mile route and an 8-10ish mile route. Prior to each run, historic information for the neighborhoods explored will be provided in the RunTheBoro Newsletter. (To receive this free newsletter click here.)We are also very excited to have some local businesses as sponsors this year-Green Joe's Coffee Company, Omega Sports, Bill Black Chevrolet, Di'lishi Frozen Yogurt, Junction 311 Endurance Sports, and The Cleaning Authority. With their support we'll have RunTheBoro T-shirts for sale at the runs. A portion of the sale from the T-shirts goes to the Greenway Water Fund. This fund helps RunnerDude's Fitness provide bottled water in four coolers along the Atlantic & Yadkin Greenway year-round. We put out around 8,000-10,000 bottles of water each year for Greensboro runners. For more info and/or to make a donation to the Greenway Water Fund click here.RunTheBoro is a free event. Come out and participate in one or all eight runs! For more information on RunTheBoro click here. To join the RunTheBoro Group Run Facebook page click here.[...]



Goals Keep You Accountable

2017-03-30T15:38:45.439-04:00

Just started running and find it a little daunting or have you been running for a while and find yourself in a rut? In either case, setting a running goal might be just the thing. Sometimes that little push of a commitment is all you need to get you going. Personally, I've found that setting a yearly running goals, gives me the motivation I need to keep running year-round. Plus, it gives me something to look forward to and strive for.When you set a goal for yourself, be it a 5K, 10K, half marathon, full marathon, ultra, or whatever the distance, it gives you something tangible to aim for. Setting a goal, making-a-plan to achieve that goal, and monitoring your progress can help raise your self-confidence as you realize that you have the ability to achieve the goal.Make sure you set a strong goal. Don't be wishy-washy. Goals like, "I'm going to run more this year" or "I'm going to train harder" really aren't very motivating and you'll quickly lose interest. However, committing to running your first 10K, half or full marathon and announcing it to the world...now that's a goal. Sometimes making your goal something that's a part of something even bigger like a charity fund-raiser can help strengthen your commitment even more.Make your goal realistic but at the same time make it a little challenging by selecting something that's attainable, but a little beyond your comfort zone. A challenge like this will give you something to work toward as well as build and increase your strength and endurance. Be careful though not to make your goal so challenging that you'll become discouraged and quit.Making a long-range plan will often help you avoid picking a goal that may be out of reach at-the-moment. For example, if you are a brand-new runner and you'd really like to run a marathon, make the marathon your long-range goal and make running a 5K, 10K, and/or half-marathon your short-term goal(s). This may take a little longer, but it will help ensure that you reach the long-term goal you desire so much. If you're a new runner, achieving these smaller milestones will help build your confidence as you see the progress being made working your way up the ladder.Post your goal for all to see. Let your family, friends, and coworkers know about your goal. Knowing that others are award of your goal will make you more accountable. This positive pressure will help you get out there for a run on those days that you're not so motivated to do so. Try to recruit a buddy to join you in your challenge. Running with a buddy can be very enjoyable and you can help keep each other motivated.Reward your efforts! Attach some kind of treat to your successful completion of your goal. You will have worked hard, so celebrate the fruits of your labor and then get to work setting your next goal.I'd love to know about your running goals. Email them to me at runnerdudeblog@yahoo.com.[...]



Soapbox: Fitness Apps Are Great, But...

2017-03-30T15:22:37.487-04:00

Fitness and nutrition apps are a great way to keep track of your exercise and eating, but be careful with the nutrition info they provide. More than not, they set caloric goals way too low to sustain yoru activity level. The best advice and guidance will come from a nutritionist or a registered dietition.
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Taking That Leap

2017-03-21T14:10:46.774-04:00

I wanted to be an architect like Mr. Brady.This morning I Facebook messaged with a friend who was telling me he was miserable in his current job. I told him to think about what was worse, being safe in his current job but miserable, or (albeit scary) taking a leap of faith and make a change and do what he really wanted to do. It made me reflect on my own past decisions.When someone asked me as a kid what I wanted to do when I grew up, I'd usually say I wanted to be an architect. I think that was because "Mr. Brady" the dad on my favorite TV show "The Brady Bunch" (this was the 70s) was an architect. I didn't really know what that was, but it sounded cool.My early art. Not great, but I really enjoyed drawing, It wasmy escape. Probably haven't drawn anything in 20 years.Of course I didn't become an architect, but dreaming about it was fun. As a kid, I was always making something. My poor dad. While other fathers were in the sports section of Roses (Wal-Mart of the 70s) picking out a glove, ball, or bat, my dad was in the crafts section waiting for me to pick out the next whatever I was going to make. I never had any formal art training. Never even took art in high school, but on my own, I drew. I drew a lot. Mostly pen and ink and colored pencil. I was never secure enough in my talent to take an art class or to take it in school. Ironically, kind of like sports at the time. I was scared to put myself out there.Then all of the sudden I'm getting ready to graduate from High School and I'm expected to have a career in mind.  I really had no idea. I was accepted into App State, NCSU, and UNC-Chapel Hill. Not exactly sure why, but I chose App State. I was thinking I was going to go into "art" not knowing what that really was or meant. There's one thing about me that has always been and will always be and that is that I might not know what I want, but I definitely know what I don't want.My first few days at App were not very good. Now keep in mind, I had really only been away from home by myself once. I was a preacher's kid and while I wasn't really sheltered I was a very naive kid. Looking back I'm pretty proud of that naivete because it really let me be a kid. Problem was that at that point in my life that naivete didn't prepare me for the first couple days of college life having drunk kids fall into my room and lots of other not-so-appropriate-things being thrown in my face full force in concentrated form on day one. Scared the heck out of me. I called home and without much detail, I told my parents that ASU just wasn't for me. My Dad, said, "Well, let me come up there tomorrow, we'll talk about it, and then we'll decide what to do." Dad arrived the next day like he promised. But when he got there, I had my room emptied and my car packed. We headed home. LOL! Like I said, I may not know what I want, but I know what I don't want. Still true today.So coming home, my Dad said I had to have a plan. And so I did. Because school had already started, I couldn't just go to NCSU or UNC even though I had been accepted. I had to reapply. So that semester, I took evening classes at UNC while awaiting my re-acceptance status for the second semester at UNC or NCSU. I heard from NCSU first so, I headed to Raleigh with the idea I'd be a business major. First two semesters were great, then in my third semester, when I took my first "real" business class (some kind of statistics class), I thought "holy crap!" Decided then-and-there that the business route was not for me (kind of ironic since today, I'm a small business owner). I transferred to UNC-Chapel H[...]



RunnerDude Shoe Review: Hoka Bondi 5

2017-03-06T20:32:20.504-05:00

If you've been following me on social media the past year, you may recall, that I've had quite the time finding a long run shoe that worked for me. My long run shoe of choice had been the Hoka Huaka. Then last year Hoka discontinued the shoe and I was lost. A runner without a shoe. Because I put so many miles on my feet and metatarsal issues in both feet, I can't just wear any shoe. Yes, I have very persnickety feet. So when Omega Sports (our local sports store) asked if I'd give the Hoka Bondi 5 a try, I said,YES!Actually several years back just before starting to wear the Hoka Huaka, I had tried the Bondi. I'm not sure what number it would have been. At the time, however, that version of the Bondi didn't feel as good to me as the Huaka, so I went with the Huaka. The Bondi 5, however it nothing like the version I had tired on all those years back. If you are a runner who wore the Huaka and are familiar with the shoe, the Bondi 5 in my opinion, is a close match. The Bondi is a little wider than the Huaka and thus feel a little more stable upon foot landing. After logging several short runs and several moderate distance runs in the Bondi 5, I'm pleasantly pleased with my experience in the shoe. To back up a bit, if you're not familiar with Hoka running shoes, they are known in the industry as a provider of maximalist shoes. Around 2009-2010, with the publishing of the book, Born to Run, the barefoot and minimalist shoe running craze began. Like myself, many runners really wanted to experience the more natural running form of barefoot running or minimalist shoes, but just were not able to run with the lack of cushioning that goes with barefoot and minimalist running. I mentioned earlier that I have metatarsal issues and I also have a neuroma in both feet. As a result, I have to wear custom orthodics and a metatarsal pad in my shoes in order to run without pain. I can run a marathon in my running shoes no problem, but trying to walk across the floor barefoot can be very painful. The great thing about the whole barefoot running craze is the information that it revealed about natural running form. But get this.... natural running form can be achieved wearing running shoes. The problem is that traditional running shoes with a heel-to-toe drop of 12-13mm tends to promote more of a heel-strike foot landing, while natural running advocates for more of a midfoot (flat foot) or forefoot foot landing underneath your center of mass. As a result, many running shoe companies have begun lowering their heel-to-toe drop to 8mm and below in many of their standard running shoes. Problem in lowering the heel is that sometimes cushioning can be lost. So, enters Hoka. Hoka has engineered several different lines of what are now known as maximalist shoes which have a low heel-to-toe drop (shoes in their various lines range from 2mm to 6mm verses 12mm in a standard running shoe). Other running shoe companies also provide shoes in the same heel-drop range, but what sets Hoka apart is the stack of the shoe. Stack refers to the thickness of the shoe's sole. Stack height isn't heel height. Stack height refers to the amount of material between your foot and the ground for the entire length of the shoe. Maximalist shoes typically have around a stack height of 30mm or more. Remember that Hoka shoes heel-to-to drop ranges from 2-6mm. So the incline from from the 30mm  is at most only 6mm. Very little increased heel height. Basically, Hoka's are a low profile shoe similar to a minimalist shoe, but instead of very little [...]



Hydration and Fueling Tips for Before, During, and After the Run

2017-03-05T08:49:54.409-05:00

"Bad" runs can occur at any time with any runner. The causes can be everything from your head just not being in the game to lack of sleep. But, more often than naught, a bad run is the result of improper hydration and/or fueling. I've compiled a few basic hydration and fueling tips in the video below. Take a look. Hope there are a few good takeaways for you. Give them a try and see you have a better run.

allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="427" mozallowfullscreen="" src="https://player.vimeo.com/video/205491209" webkitallowfullscreen="" width="500">RunnerDude's Hydration and Fueling Tips from Thad McLaurin on Vimeo.



RunnerDude Chats with Nick Symmonds

2017-02-16T15:48:55.809-05:00


Over the years, I've been very fortunate in having opportunities to interview Olympic athletes. In 2012, I was able to interview Shalane Flanagan and Kara Goucher just before they headed to the London Games. Yesterday I had the opportunity to catch up with two-time Olympian, Nick Symmonds. 

(image) Nick's first Olympic experience was at the 2008 Games in Beijing, the second taking place at the 2012 Games in London. Unfortunately, Nick was not able to make a third Olympics (Rio) due to an ankle injury just before the Games. In January, Nick announced he'd be retiring from competitive running after the 2017 outdoor season. It's been about 10 years since Nick turned pro and he's had an awesome career as a runner and his legacy will continue with his support of runners (and all endurance athletes) with his new product, Run Gum. Talking with Nick, I got to know a little more about this talented runner and outspoken advocate for athletes' rights. 
Take some time to check out the interview below to learn even more about this pretty cool Dude.

Interview with Two-Time Olympian Nick Symmonds

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Need a Track for Speed Work? Pshaw!

2017-01-27T22:38:24.008-05:00

Not doing speed work as a part of your weekly running because you don't have access to a track? Pshaw! You don't need a track!I hear it frequently from runners. "I don't do speed work because I don't have access to a track." It's a common misconception. Because speed workout mimics most track events such as 800s or mile repeats, many runners think speed work needs to be done on a track.  Well, it doesn't.Except for two weeks of vacation, I do a weekly speed workout with my RUNegades running group year-round! That's 50 workouts. None of those 50 workouts take place on a track. Really, all you need is a fairly straight stretch of greenway, even a parking lot will do.You do need to think a little out of the box, but it can be done and be done very effectively. Not only is it effective, it breaks the boredom that track running often brings. For some workouts such as 400s, 800s, 1200s, mile repeats, you may need to measure and mark some distance points, but there are a ton of timed workouts that do not need specific distances marked.For workouts like 800s or distance-based ladders or pyramids, I'll use chalk or cones to mark various distances. For 400s or 800s, I'll just put an orange cone at the beginning, end, or turnaround points. For runs with varying distances such as ladders or pyramids, I'll usually chalk every 200m. It takes a little prep time, but it works well.But there are many workouts that are time-based that a runner can program into their GPS watch, use an interval timer, or a trusty ole stopwatch. One of the benefits of time-based speed workouts, particularly when used with a group of varying paces, is that everyone is running the exact same amount of time. Some runners may cover more or less distance than other runners based on their pace, but everyone starts and stops at the same time. This is great because newer or slower runners won't feel like they're holding up the pack and faster more seasoned runners won't feel held back. It's a win/win.For most of my time-based speed workouts, I have my runners complete them in a circular fashion such as around a parking lot or I'll have them do an out-n-back stretch of greenway. This works great not only because it keeps the runners in close proximity (like on a track), it also lets the runners continuously see each other. After several minutes into a workouts, runners are spread out continuously passing each other which enables them to support and cheer each other on. Awesome to see. Fast, seasoned runners get inspired by the determination of the slower, newer runners and the slower, newer runners get inspired by the seeing what the faster, more seasoned runners are able to do.Below are some great Time-Based Non-Track Workouts to try:Note: It's best to begin all speed workouts with an easy 1-mile warm-up run and end the workout with an easy 1-mile cool-down run.90/60s5 x  (Run 90 secs hard / Run 60 secs easy)Take a 2-3 min recovery walk5 x  (Run 90 secs hard / Run 60 secs easy)30-20-10s5 x (Run 30 secs very slowly / Run 20 seconds at moderate pace / Sprint 10 secs)2-min recovery jog5 x (Run 30 secs very slowly / Run 20 seconds at moderate pace / Sprint 10 secs)2-min recovery jogUp/Down FartleksRun 1-min hard / Run 1-min easyRun 2-min hard / Run 1-min easyRun 3-min hard / Run 1-min easyRun 2-min hard / Run 1-min easyRun 1-min hard / Run 1-min easyTake a 2-3 min recovery walkRun 1-min hard / Run 1-min easyRun 2-min hard / Run 1-min easyRun 3-min hard / Run 1-min e[...]



Run with Purpose

2017-01-22T11:51:31.540-05:00

I have not run for 4 weeks. For three weeks, I was in New Bern with my Mom and Dad. There was no time to run. My Dad was in his last days with cancer. Mom is in the beginning stages of Alzheimer's. Being with them was 24/7 for me, my brother Tim, and my daughter Rayna. I would not have wanted it any other way. Those weeks were hard, but the memories will be treasured for the rest of my life. Last week, after my Dad's Celebration of Life service, I returned home. I did not run because I was exhausted mentally and physically. I also had this twinge of guilt when I thought about going for a run. With my Dad passing and my mom now living in assisted living, I felt guilt for running. Even though I knew that running would be good for me, relieve some stress, as well as give me time to think through and process the past several weeks, I just could not bring myself to do so.This morning I received a wonderful instant message from one of my runners, Bobby Gettys. Like many runners during marathon training, Bobby was struggling to get past a particular mileage point. Bobby had a great 15-mile run a few weeks past, but was now struggling to get past that 15 miles and feel strong. I talked with Bobby to get a better idea about his sleeping, fueling (the night before a long run, just before, during, and after the long run) as well on what he was doing for hydration. I gave him some tips to try based on the info he shared.This morning, I received this message from Bobby,"I want to thank you for the advice you gave me last week about fueling...it really helped... I took a GU gel every 45 mins and I felt stronger throughout the run yesterday. I got in 18 miles yesterday... my furthest so far this training... I think sometimes my biggest problem is mental.... the long runs are so painfully long.... especially when you do it alone... when you are doing something and you know you are going to hurt afterwards.... your mind tricks you into wondering if it's really worth it... but I feel like it will all come together... thanks again for all your help and especially the good advice last week."Bobby's note reminded me of a couple things. First, yes running (as well as many things in life) are "mental." We can sometimes be our own worst enemy. I too have to remember to "Trust. Believe. Conquer." Second, we are not alone. Even though at times we may physically be alone, we can't forget that there are so many around us ready with support. That was no more evident than when I was in New Bern receiving so much love and support from the Greensboro running community. Bobby helped me remember my purpose. I don't only run for me. I run for others. I will be running this week.[...]



Together We Can

2017-01-19T22:24:58.858-05:00

I don't know what tomorrow will bring, but I do know that together we can overcome great obstacles.