I am now officially in training for the Baltimore Marathon on October 11. I hope that this blog will illustrate what training to race 26.2 miles can look like, at least for this 38-year-old husband/father/teacher. There is no way to know how (or even if) I will finish, but this will be the real journey.
Sometimes when I run a long training run (upwards of 12 miles or so) at the end, I feel like I can "taste" or "smell" ammonia. I've always assumed that this is caused by my body depleting all my glycogen stores and going into ketosis.
Today I had really tough run. At eight miles, it wasn't necessarily the distance this time, but I think I've been a little sore for some time. Anyway, it was the most worn out I've felt for some time and I think I'm starting to lose a bit of spirit and motivation. Lately I've been feeling a little frustrated that I haven't been improving as quickly as I'd like.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
I am on week five of the couch to 5K from coolrunning.com. 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.
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.
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
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?
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.
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.
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?
“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...”
“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?”
“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?”
“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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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!
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 running..so is it ok to reverse the order of my training?
Active Expert, Bruce Hildenbrand previews the Giro d'Italia that starts Saturday
Even with the torch atop Everest, Olympics are clouded
Climbing Everest because it's there is inspiring. Climbing Everest because it's in Tibet is not nearly so heartwarming, particularly to an international audience that is still trying to sort through the ethics of getting enthusiastic about August's Beijing Olympics.Read full story
Make doping a crime, says Lewis
Olympic legend Carl Lewis has called on governments around the world to make the use of banned substances in sport a criminal offense.Read full story
Shave valuable time in you bike-to-run triathlon transitions by installing a quick-lace system:
There have been 19 world records set in the sport of swimming and 18 of them using one suit - the Speedo LZR Racer since its debut in February, 2008. Swimsuit manufacturer/competitor, Arena, is pushing the governing body of the sport, FINA, to ban the Speedo suit on the grounds that it is illegal. The swimsuit debate continues.
It looks like Polo Ralph Lauren Corp. will be the official outfitter for the U.S. team at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. Here is the article in the Wall Street Journal.
Have you heard the latest craze over the detoxifying magic of apple cider vinegar?
Velonews posted the column, Questions about the Cupertino crash... , written By Bob Mionske, that asks some important questions about media bias and cyclist safety resulting from the fatal accident in SF last week.
How would you like to be able to run any race in 4 weeks? Active Expert Matt Fitzgerald gives us the skinny on nonlinear periodization.
Our own Active Expert, Joe Decker gets interviewed by Endurance Planet about taking on Barklay 100, arguably the worlds toughest 100 mile race. Listen to the interview
While were on the topic of impossibly difficult events, check out this video from Pittsfield Peaks Ultra Challenge - Death Division
You can expect barbed wire, mud boggin, wood choppin, tunnels, deep water diving, running, crawling, crying, screaming, and sweating. Doubtful you'll finish but be proud of yourself for trying. www.peakraces.com for more info.
Do you dream of toeing the line in Hopkinton? Check out this discussion of the fastest marathon courses . You just might get the extra edge to qualify for next years Boston Marathon!
TCSD (Triathlon Club San Diego) released a preview of their 2008 race apparel:
For those of you coming down from your weekend runner’s high, check out this article posted by Active Expert Charles Stuart Platkin, where researchers have finally demonstrated the existence of an 'endorphin driven runner's high'.
Hey everyone, Trish and Toby here. This month we've created a guide to our best seasonal articles to help you maintain a healthy lifestyle throughout the holidays. No matter what your active passion may be, we've got you covered.
With holiday feasts right around the corner and weather that can diminish our motivation to train, it is not uncommon to pack on a few extra pounds this time of year. Active Expert Charles Stuart Platkin’s article, The Diet Detective: Fall Into Healthy Eating Habits, offers valuable tips for maintaining fitness without a compromise in performance at winter races and ensures a return to peak form in the spring.
Have you ever heard the saying, “athletes are made in the off season”? Now's the time to target your weaknesses and build proper technique and habits to lead into a successful racing season. Check out Boost Your Endurance in 7 Simple Steps and get the most from your off-season training.
Basketball season is upon us and it’s time for fundamental workouts with and without the basketball. Mississippi State basketball coach, Sharon Fanning, shares a 45-minute Workout that will developing confidence, coordination, strength, timing, and stamina on the hardwood.
Indoor Climbing Gyms Offer Year-round Fun Fitness and a nice break from the treadmill and stationary bike routine. Don’t let the winter elements take you off belay—utilize indoor climbing gyms to build stamina and confidence in a controlled environment. When the weather warms enough to head outdoors, you’ll be in peak condition.
Activities of Interest:
Check out Sacramento Winter Softball Camp by Olympic gold medalists Tairia Flowers and Natasha Watleyto hone your softball skills at the plate and in the field. Focus will be on increasing offensive power, slapping techniques, defensive fundamentals and pitching development. This camp will also feature practice-structure tips and drills along with valuable college recruiting advice from the pros.
Take advantage of The Classic Y-100, one of the last century rides of the year on November 25 in Ormond Beach, Florida. Crank out 100 in this inaugural ride that promises a beautiful route leading north along the Intracoastal waterway through parks and along the Atlantic coast. This event features a great safe route for beginners as well as 65- and 35-mile routes.
Folks in Southern California have already begun to register for the 2008 Carlsbad Marathon and Half Marathon on January 20. This was Toby’s first half marathon back in 2006 and he recommends it for runners of all abilities because of the fast course and beautiful ocean view.
See your training bear fruit at the oldest Ironman-distance triathlon held in the continental United States. Check out one of five 2008 Vineman events: Ironman 70.3, full Vineman, sprint tri at sundown, women's half or Aquabike during this weekend-long triathlon celebration.
Hey everyone, Trish and Toby here. We’re firm believers that the active lifestyle involves more than just being physically active--it’s about being intellectually and socially active too. We compiled a list of 10 tips for being active in all areas of life. Because no matter what stage of life you are in, you should always strive to be the best version of yourself.
1. Maintain a positive mental outlook. There's a clear connection between living well and having a cheerful outlook on life. Research has found that people who think positively about life live an average of seven and a half years longer than negative thinkers.
2. Avoid processed food. Eating processed, boxed, canned and frozen meals guarantee that you are eating unnecessary chemicals, sodium, sugar and fat. Eat fresh, natural food and eliminate trans fat from your diet.
3. Reduce stress. We're so focused on being go-getters that we often forget to de-stress. Spend 30 minutes a day doing something you like--walk on the beach or in a park, read a book, visit a friend, play with your dog, listen to soothing music or watch a funny movie. Don't forget to take some time to focus on clearing your thoughts and giving your mind, body and spirit a chance to rejuvenate.
4. Invest in a quality pair of shoes and socks. Visit a specialty store that understands that every foot and foot strike is unique. When your feet are happy, so are you. Comfortable, supportive and well-fitting shoes and synthetic socks are worth the investment of time and money.
5. Socialize. Having a social network is important to the body, mind and spirit. People who are socially active tend to be healthier, happier and less likely to become depressed. To stay socially active, make a point of getting out of the house. Make plans with your friends to go out to lunch or better yet, make plans to exercise regularly with a friend or group of friends. Exercising with others is usually more fun than exercising on your own--and it can help you stick with your exercise program. Try joining our online community today!
6. Exercise your brain. The key to keeping your memory sharp is continuing to challenge it. Having a book on hand and discussing what you’ve read with friends or a book club is one way to keep your brain in good shape. Crosswords, Sudoku and puzzles are also excellent ways to keep your brain agile. There is always more learning to do. Find out what works for you.
7. Volunteer. Donating your time at an aid station during a race or soup kitchen over the holidays, puts life into perspective. Be thankful for all you have and give to others who are less fortunate.
8. Omit high fructose corn syrup from your diet. Widespread use of this highly modified sweetener is making us and our children unhealthy. High fructose corn syrup bypasses the digestive process and goes straight to the liver, where it gets turned into fat. Combined with the typical American high-fat diet, the result is increased danger of obesity, diabetes and heart disease. Try using honey as sweetener instead. As an added bonus, ingesting locally grown honey before allergy season helps your body acclimate to some pollen levels in advance.
9. Maintain close relationships. Make a point to strengthen ties with your family, friends and loved ones. Volunteer work, religious ties, even petsanything that keeps you involved with othersreduces stress and enhances health. Having a strong network of family and friends and a broad range of activities will support your health.
10. Give yoga a try. You’ll be amazed at the difference it makes when your body is limber and flexible. Plus, yoga reduces the chances of injury. Try a beginning yoga class to enjoy the wide range of benefits--your mind and body will both thank you.
Comments are encouraged--please share your tips for staying healthy and active with the rest of us.
Last night I attended an interview of Normann Stadler, the two-time reining Ironman world champion. The interview was organized by Competitor Magazine and the Triathlon Club of San Diego. The newly-opened Coastal Sports & Wellness Medical Center was kind enough to host the couple hundred triathletes who showed up for the Chipotle burritos and live interview with host Bob Babbitt.
Stadler kept the audience entertained with his German accent and anecdotes of his younger days winning races in his homeland. It was amusing to learn that Stadler actually fears swimming in the ocean and trains primarily in the pool. Among recapping last year’s win in Kona, the controversy between him and Chris McCormick resurfaced once again, because we all love drama and it’s good for the sport, right?
It was interesting to learn that Germany, Stadler’s country of origin, has developed quite the following for triathlon. In fact, last year Germany broadcasted live race-day coverage from Kona, Hawaii--logging over 23-million viewers! The third weekend of October, Germany will again broadcast the Ironman world championship as the sport continues to grow in popularity. Last year, coverage aired in the US on December 9 with a similar schedule expected this year. You can always log-on to the web for live race-day coverage (check out the Ironman website for more info).
What I think worth mentioning is the fact that in most parts of the country (except, perhaps, San Diego, birthplace of triathlon), most people wouldn't recognize this international icon if they passed him on the street. But to the room full of triathletes who gathered for the interview, Stadler represents the pinnacle of triathlon excellence. Each individual in that room who trains and aspires to compete in races of all distances is inspired by what Stadler stands for.
Thus, leaving the interview I was fired up and excited for the weekend as I am an Active Warrior! I drove straight to my local bike shop and picked up my bicycle, which just had the chain replaced. When I got home and flipped-on the television to an interview of Lokelani McMichael, the youngest female Ironman competitor. This got me even more pumped-up so I organized and set out my cycling gear on the floor of my room for my ride into work this morning before calling it a night.
So ask yourself this: What inspires you? I mean, what makes your heart beat fast and gives you goose-bumps? What stirs those bottled up emotions in a call-to-action? What does it take to get you off that couch and outside? Find that heart and feed it what it needs to strive and take you places: physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
Last month we addressed the importance of setting S.M.A.R.T. goals for ensuring a path to success. Whether your goal is to run a marathon, shed some pounds or help your team make the playoffs, staying motivated will get you there. I teamed up with Trish Oberhaus, the team sports specialist, to discuss strategies that will keep you on track to reach your goals.
There will always be obstacles along the way to reaching your goal. When you encounter hardships or setbacks, stay focused by using positive self-talk. Self-talk is the internal dialog that reflects and creates our emotional states. Your self-talk can influence your self-esteem, energy level, performance and even your health.
According to sports psychologist Dr. Andrew Jacobs, a study on negativity and positive thinking found that the average person requires 12 positive statements to overcome one negative statement. For example, if you say that hitting a certain pitcher is "too difficult," you have to say "I can hit this pitcher" 12 times in order to give you a better chance to make it.
So what is the solution? Use awareness and practice to change your negative self-talk. The first step in beating the cycle is recognizing how often you think negatively. The second step is substituting positive thoughts for the negative ones. Instead of telling yourself "I feel slow and tired" remind yourself that "I will keep my pace and finish strong."
In addition to saying the positive statement, visualize yourself being successful in your mind, and see yourself doing it over and over. Once you become aware of your negative thinking, and substitute the negative thoughts with positive ones, you will have a much greater chance at succeeding.