Friday, May 30, 2008


The latest edition of Running Times arrived today in the mail. Although they have great online selections, I still like to get the print version. In this issue, there is a very interesting article by Greg McMillan titled, Double Your Pleasure, Two-A-Days Could Be Your Marathon Secret Weapon. He talks about that if you want to run faster, you need to run more. Now I know that there are many training theories out there about running faster and also about running more. But what he has to say makes good sense. He states that most of the "best" runners run a lot. We all know that you can increase your mileage slowly over a period of time to increase your endurance. Then we also know that on week three or four depending on your training plan you cut down on the number of miles to do some recovery and to avoid injury. Your training plan needs to have a cycle to increase and decrease mileage.

Here's where he got my attention. He talks about that at some point you just can't add more miles to your daily run. Other things get in your way, time, other responsibilities, etc. The answer to greater mileage comes in the form of "doubling" your runs. He suggests to add doubles to your hard run days. For instance, if you are running 8 miles for example (or more depending on your training plan) in the morning, add a late day run of 30-45 minutes at an easy pace. Try doing this two times a week at first for a month and then if it goes well and if you really want maximum effect add it three to four times a week avoiding your long run days. This will help you as you train for that fall marathon or ultra-marathon. I also think it can be very effective for runners wanting to run 10K's and half-marathons. Of course, training run distances will vary.

I would also make the suggestion that it would be an interesting opportunity to also maybe add a spin every now and then or some hill work as long as they are not at or above the efforts of the morning run. Try a swim also, see if that adds a punch to your workouts. As always, listen to your body! You may require more calories, more stretching time before each training session, and also increased hydration.

I am going to be "Doubling" on Tuesday's and Thursday's the next few weeks so I will report back on how it is going and what benefits I see.

Forward we go! May your roads and trails be happy and safe!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Man on a Mission- Dean Karnazes

I always enjoy following Dean Karnazes' latest adventures in running. Currently he is on a mission. He is actually running from California Mission to Mission in his latest quest to test his endurance. It all started on May 18th when he took off from Sonoma, California on a 700 mile run that takes him through 21 of the state's historical Missions on a target to finish in San Diego on June 1st for the San Diego Rock 'n' Roll Marathon. He is actually recreating a very historic pilgrimage. The daily accounts are worth your time to read. You can find them in the Runner's World blogs.

Dean (or a family member) gives you an up close and realistic look at just what happens on a daily basis when you run that many miles. He has incredible crew support and many friends along the way that meet up with him and then run with him. It's a dream of mine to someday share the road with such a remarkable runner.

But I have to say this, I have been very lucky to share the road with many of you out there that read my posts. I look forward to many more miles with you! You too, are all remarkable runners!

Forward we go! May your roads and trails be happy and safe!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The North Face Endurance Challenge 50K Trail Race

All it took was a suggestion that The North Face Endurance Challenge Race in Madison, Wisconsin would be a great ultra trail race to do. Took a look at it. Liked what I saw. So Andy and I will be doing the 5oK race on October 25th along with Brett who works with North Face. What makes this even more of an adventure is that Andy and I will have just finished the Marathon2Marathon race a week earlier on October 18th. Crazy? Yes! Surprised? No! It will be a great adventure. Training plans are in the works and travel plans are getting put together. It will be great to share the adventure with Andy and Brett.

I have included in this post the race clip from YouTube that pushed me over the edge as far as convincing me that I just had to be there. It is titled Explore Your Hidden Potential. Whether you are running a 5K or 50 miles, this clip will get you going! Enjoy!

Forward we go! May your roads and trails be happy and safe!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

The Five S's of Sports Training

A quote by Ken Doherty on Runner's World online really struck me as some important information today. I really like quotes that make you stop and think. His quote goes like this:
" The five S's of sports training are: stamina, speed, strength, skill, and spirit; but the greatest of these is spirit." When I first read this I thought it was a really good quote, but then as I did my afternoon run it kept coming back to me how important the "spirit" part of the quote is. The word spirit appears in many things but is often overlooked. I know people and things that lift my spirit, and people and things that challenge my spirit. I grow from that lifting and challenging. However, sometimes people and things impact my spirit in a negative way. The spirit of running and life in general burns deep inside of all of us to some degree or another. Sometimes it's up to us to keep the spirit fire burning. Other times we depend on others. It effects our daily training and also both long and short term goals.

It would be easy to turn the five S's into a training plan. Each day work on one of the S's. The new five day S workout. Maybe we should. It would make sense. It's a good fit actually when you think of what we all do now. We do long runs, tempo runs, cross training/ strength training, work on pace and form, and then do some mental preparation for our training.

So in the spirit of running, cycling, or whatever adventure you undertake, take your spirit with you. Take care of it. If you need help, ask for it. There are those days, and it's ok. Sometimes there's nothing better that running with your buddy or running group. I think I'll start my S training plan tomorrow. How about you?

Forward we go! May your roads and trails be happy and safe!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Websites to Check Out

The latest Marathon and Beyond (May/June) just arrived today in the mail and as usual it's a fantastic issue full of great articles. One article in particular caught my attention. A Luddite's Guide to the Best of the Running Web by Duncan Larkin. The article reviews what he considers the top websites for running. Here they are: Information on Kenyan marathoners living, racing, and training together races, results, running calculators, and training advice news, photos running in motion a running bulletin board marathon schedules, race results, race reviews New York Road Runners- sponsored web Largest online directory of races, results, and clubs Free articles

It's always interesting to see a list of favorites from someone else. Hope these sites provide you with some good information. I really got caught up in a couple of them. They were really good. I'm sure you have ones that you like too.

Forward we go! May your roads and trails be happy and safe!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Mud, Rocks, Roots, Splat, and Deer

So today I went on my first really authentic trail run. New shoes ready. Mickey was going "off road". Yes, I know some of you that know me have been thinking that it would never happen, but it did. After years of running many pavement training miles and races, it was time to get off the pavement and onto the path. It was awesome! No stoplights. No Kwik Trips. Just the sights and sounds of nature at its best. Weather was fantastic!

I have been wanting to branch out and try a few new things and trail running is one of them. It was everything I had hoped for and more. Talk about a new challenge. This is running at a new level. Every inch of the way was a challenge. Of course, now I'm hooked on this too. Can't wait to get out there again.

I've got to thank Andy, Adam and Monica for introducing me to this adventure. Also, for not running away and leaving me out there with my bottle of Perpetuem. Mud was everywhere on the trail as well as rocks and roots. Deer were all around us. They didn't seem to mind and probably thought it was amusing that "pavement man" was on the trail. There are few sights as amazing as seeing deer out in their natural habitat. Wow!

There was one slight missed step though that I will simply call a lack of understanding of where I thought the trail should be and where it actually was. I tripped and fell flat on some rocks. Knees hit, then elbows, then the chin was next. There was a hush. Then the age old question everyone asks, "Are you ok?'. Yeah, I'm ok. I thought it would be fun to splat on these rocks just to make my day more interesting. After it was determined that I was only kind of bleeding and that I should just wipe it off so we could get going (Thanks guys), we continued our run and I really didn't feel that I was hurt at all except for the scrapes. Lucky, yes. But the way I see it, it is the first of many encounters with the ground as I try and improve my skills as a trail runner.

Thanks Andy, Adam, and Monica for getting me off the pavement and onto the trail. It really was a great day! A whole new world of adventure has just opened up.

Forward we go! May your roads and trails be happy and safe!

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Shhhhhh....Muscles Rebuilding!

Muscles do the largest share of their rebuilding during the night. Therefore, it is important that your before bed snack contain fairly high amounts of protein instead of just carbohydrates. It is too tempting to grab something before bed that is high in carbohydrates without thinking about the protein side of things. Carbs have been known to occupy a very important place in pre-race meals and training run preparation. Maybe too much emphasis is placed on that gala dinner that we all have gone to. Research is showing that there is growing evidence that we need more protein as athletes than we realize. In a recent Runner's World online article in their Nutrition section titled: Eat More Protein, comments are made about needing a higher amount of protein. The article makes several good points about the fact that 1) Protein helps muscles heal faster, 2) Higher amounts make the immune system more efficient and stronger, 3) Protein taken in the right amounts help make injuries less frequent, and 4) Protein intake should be spread out during the day. I don't disagree with that, but I do disagree about the timing and the lack thereof for any additional protein at night when muscles do the majority of their healing/rebuilding. I felt that the article left us at about mile 20 of a marathon. There is more.

The October 2007 issue of Hammer Nutrition's Endurance News, presents some more information on the protein subject. The article More about Whey & hGH, speaks directly to the point that I am trying to make. In one section, the article states, " Elevating Human Growth Hormone (hGH) levels is the surest way to enhance athletic performance and shorten recovery time". This can be accomplished by taking 1 scoop of Hammer 100% Whey Protein Isolate (possesses the highest biological value of all known foods) in 4-6 ounces of water before bed. It advises that you do not use juice or milk as the carbs in them will hinder the process. This will safely raise hGH levels while you are asleep. I have always felt that if your snack consists of carbs alone, you get a 'spike in the night" and simply want more because the carbs have burned off. The Whey Protein is slower burning. The article also says that, "During sleep 85% of hGH is released, and 6g glutamine in each serving of Hammer Whey is adequate to cross the blood-brain barrier to potentially raise nocturnally-released hGH". Soy Protein can also be used in the same way but it does not have the same high biological value as whey protein. I realize that not everyone can do the whey thing so if you need to do soy, do soy. Just get the protein.

So there you have it. Try getting more protein into your nutrition plan, around 24-40 grams or more in some cases, per day. Most importantly though add additional amounts to your bedtime snack plans. You may be asleep, but your muscles aren't. Shhhhh!

Forward we go! May your roads and trails be happy and safe!