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Before you head out for your weekend, check out some of this week's best posts from the Cool Running and Active communities:


•     Trail shoes, might buy mailorder for first time

“I need some shoes for offroad running. I'm not an "Ultra" guy, but I do all my running on fields and through forests. I need some new shoes but don't really have much to choose from at stores here, so I'm thinking of going mail order and would really like it to work out on the first attempt, which is why I'm asking here.”

•     Beer for my horses, whiskey for my men!

“It has been a while since we skirted this topic and with the many new faces I decided to start a good beer thread. Tonight I had a beer that I picked up in California. It's a brew I have never heard of but man is it good.”

•     Everyone's next race?

“What are others planning on running next? My next one that I call official is in Vermont at the end of January(I mean July). I plan on running a fast 2 mile race on July 4th. but the big event is in Vermont.”

•     Wish me luck at the U.S. women's Sprint Tri this Sunday

“I'm as ready as one can be for this triathlon on Sunday. I'm excited about it. My goal is to make it under 1 1/2 hours. I can do the swim in 12 minutes or less, bike in under 40 and run in 30. The transitions will get me as I have to go to the bathroom more often and think I'll have to go each transitions. LOL!”

•     How can I swim faster?

“I've done about 5 sprint tri's and I'm really slow on the swim. I can do the distance. I don't know if I should focus on kicking more or there is something about my form, or I'm just not strong enough.”

•     Too soon to run a 1/2 marathon?

“I am on week five of the couch to 5K from There is a half marathon on Oct 11 I want to run. That would mean I would finish my couch to 5K program the third week of July and jump right into the build up for the half-marathon.”

1,661 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: training, running, toby-guillette, triathlon, endurance, active-toby, best-of-endurance

American triathlon's elder statesman Hunter Kemper qualified for his third straight Olympics this past weekend, fending off Andy Potts to place sixth and be the top American finisher at the Hy-Vee ITU Triathlon World Cup race in Des Moines, Iowa.


Kemper, who last year became the first triathlete to be featured on a Wheaties box , joins Jarrod Shoemaker and Matt Reed as the three Beijing-bound American male triathletes.


Sarah Haskins joins Laura Bennett and Julie Swail Ertel on the women's Olympic triathlon team. Haskins, who won the silver medal at the 2008 ITU World Championships in Vancouver in early June, finished sixth in Des Moines and punched her first Olympic ticket by beating Sarah Groff.


More race info can be found on the ITU website , including video wrap-ups of both men's and women's races (click here and then click on Hy-Vee in the list to the left of the video player).

3,914 Views 1 Comments Permalink Tags: olympics, triathlon, des_moines, hunter_kemper, matt_reed, sarah_haskins, laura_bennett, julie_swail_ertel, jarrod_shoemaker, hy-vee

Before you head out for your weekend, check out some of this week's most best posts from the Cool Running and Active communities:


•     Performance drinks

“What are your preferences and why? I've used Accelerade (power). A little too chalky and it seems difficult to disolve. And it's nasty in a Camelbak since it's too hard to clean. Yesterday I bought some Cytomax.”

•     Long Runs in San Francisco, Water Stops?

“I'm going to be in San Francisco later this week (6/19-20) and would like to do a long run (maybe 16 miles or thereabouts). I'm staying at the Westin Hotel, Market and 3rd. I would like some recommendations for a route and also any info on water availability”

•     1/2 Marathon Trainers, Week of June 15th

“Question for all - in your training for HM's have you ran the actual distance before race day? A lot of the plans seem to have you run the distance for the first time on race day. I take some comfort mentally in knowing I have run a distance before. Thoughts?”

•     Long Run Updates (Version 2008)

“As many of you remember from last year, we started a thread dedicated specifically to comments on our weekly long runs. I know that it was a consistent source of motivation for me, and the requisite deviations off topic were often hilarious. Anyway, I thought it would be fun to bring it back as we start getting into our training for this year's MCM.”

•     I've run 2 5K's this year. Is a sprint triathlon to ambitious?

“Question: There is a sprint triathlon in Sept (.4 mile swim-13 K bike-5K run) that I have been eyeing. Is this too ambitious for a newbie? The most daunting tasks seem to be the transitions from swim to bike to run.”

•     Bike cases for airplane travel

“I would like to avoid buying the most expensive bells and whistles case on the market, but I also don't want to sacrifice the safety of the bike by buying something too cheap. Any thoughts on specific brands or models? Styles (soft case versus hard case) Caster wheels? Any pitfalls experienced traveling triathletes can note for me to avoid?”

2,076 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: best-of-endurance

Before you head out for your weekend, check out some of this week's most best posts from the Cool Running and Active communities:


•     Why was the swim so hard?

“Ok, so I'm not the greatest swimmer, but I raced ina tri today (first time) and the swim was only 200meters... I thought I was well prepared, but I got in and started swimming and around the first buoy all of a sudden I felt like I was about to have an asthma attack...”

•     Calcium Question

“I know our resident nutrionist is a busy little beaver these days, but maybe someone else can help. I've been thinking of cutting out red meat and dairy all together. I'll still get my protein from seafood and the occasional chicken, but is taking Vitamin D and calcium supplements good enough to cover the dairy loss?”

•     Time or distance?

“Do the posters here run distance? Time? A combination? I have always set my runs for just distance, but I am beginning to think that I need to change my schedule to get better times . . .”

•     Trouble with my running

“The problem that I keep getting into is when I run I will be doing great at first, but then my side will cramp up and my legs will sort of ache up, leading me to walk for a second. When I go to run again my side is fine but my legs are more sore than when I stopped to walk. Does anyone have advice of what I can do to get past this threshold and run for a much longer distance?”

•     Why am I gaining weight?

“I am training for a marathon. I am now up to 35 miles a week. I thought I'd lose weight but I was surprised to weigh myself today and find I have gained 4 lbs.”

•     Want To Run 50k On My 50th (Apr '09) , Realistic or Not?

“I want to do my first 50k on the weekend I turn 50. Is that a realistic goal? I am not really doing any training right now, my time line to start seriously is August 01.”

•     Want a Protein snack low in fat yet easy to carry

“Does anyone know of a good low fat, high protein snack that is easy to carry and eat? Until I find something better, I'm using South Beach High Protein bars (Peanut Butter) but they have 5 grams of fat, and worse, 2 of those grams are saturated. So I'm looking for something with characteristics of Kashi Go Lean cereal (13G protein, 1G fat) BUT that is easy to carry to an informal meeting at work.”

•      I can't help it, I have to.

“I tried this running malarkey one before - i think I got to about week 6 of c25k, but it was so painful for my knees I ended up so I was supposed to walk with a stick. The doctor did a test for arthritis and ruled that out, then said "don't run then." which I sulked about for a while and eventually tried to forget about running.”

•      Dog attack

“Forgive me if this is a repeat. I just can't get the experience out of my mind. I was out in my own neighborhood Saturday morning for a jog. I had my MP3 player on with a great song. The weather was hot, but beautiful. All of a sudden something tackled me from behind.”

•     1/2 Marathon Trainers, Week of June 8th

“I have a funny MRI story. Last October I was at my job (nurse in a convelescent home). I had been running my usual, about 12 miles a week, and I had this pain behind my knee for over a week. I bent down at work to crank a bed, and when I stood up, the pain behind my knee went away.”

1,148 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: best-of-endurance

Before you head out for your weekend, check out some of this week's most best posts from the Cool Running and Active communities:


•     Other Sunday Runs

“I went into this with no great expectations. It was advertised as a "challenging" course (we all know what that means - it ain't flat) and I had a mediocre 13 mile run last weekend.”


•     Breast stroke versus freestyle

“Hi I was hoping to get some ideas and thoughts on my swimming. I am hoping to complete an Olympic triathlon this summer after completing 3 sprint triathlons in the past. I am 44 years old and have never learned how to swim freestyle but so far completed the races by swimming the breast stroke.”


•     Donating blood

“Ok, I'm due. I need to donate blood. Why? Because I can and I should. After donating blood, I will not run for at least 2 days. Obviously the O2 carriers are on the rebound so the body will need to rest a bit.... thus I'll cut back on effort for a little while. But how long?”


•     MCM/SD 100-mile relay!

“Idea: Toby is running 100 miles by himself this weekend. We support our community and we're all runners ourselves. We should have a nation-wide 100-mile relay... we could all chip in some miles to morally support Toby!”


•     Little encouragement needed on lack of speed

“First, let me start by sharing my victorious start to the weeked.....I went out this morning and completed week 5, day 3 of the C25K program, and made it through the 20min!! I am elated!”


•     bike before swim training

“i just started training for my first sprint and am finding that it is easier for me to bike and then swim, as opposed to swim then bike (as my training plan tells me). i feel strong in both areas, mostly worried about the is it ok to reverse the order of my training?”


•     Marathon Trainers, Week of June 1st

“A general question to all. As my runs are increasing in distance and time, I am wondering when I need to start thinking about carrying water. Thoughts?”

1,225 Views 1 Comments Permalink Tags: best-of-endurance

After representing the U.S. at the Olympics in swimming and triathlon, Sheila Taormina will once again proudly wear the stars and stripes -- this time in modern pentathlon. She was recently nominated (though not officially finalized) to her fourth Olympic team in her third sport by the USOC (full story, including an explanation on why it isn't yet "official," here.)


Modern pentathlon consists of shooting, swimming, running, equestrian and fencing. Taormina was a gold medalist in swimming at the 1996 Games in Atlanta in the 4x200 relay. After making the transition to triathlon for the 2000 Sydney Games, she placed sixth. In Greece four years later, Taormina again participated in triathlon, finishing 23rd.


Sheila Taoarima prepares for the swimming event of the modern pentathlon competition at the 2007 Pan Am Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. AP Photo/Armando Franca


Taormina's ability to adapt to new sports seems uncanny. The progression from swimming to tri may be natural, but to take up shooting, fencing and equestrian shows dedication and the willingness to learn and try new things. But she's also overcome more than having to reinvent herself as an athlete. As ESPN reports, Taormina's ordeal with a stalker has led her to become a stronger person.

1,504 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: olympics, swimming, triathlon, sheila_taormina, modern_pentathlon