Recent Posts in Training
Even on vacation, don't ignore your auxiliary training
by on Thursday, July 20, 2017

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As this post appears, I'm on vacation. I'm on a trip that involves a lot of bike riding and a lot of walking.

Don't worry, I'm still running. I love running while on vacation because I get to explore new areas in ways I find I just can't by any other means.

As of the time I'm writing this, I'm also planning to place a focus on stretching. Why? Because what I call "auxiliary training" matters that much.

Sure, I won't be doing my full strength training routine while on vacation, though I hope I'll get a short routine in at least once while away. However, personally, the stretching matters enough that it will be made a priority.

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Balancing running and strength training
by on Thursday, July 13, 2017

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Following my "Ask me anything" post, I received a great question that essentially boils down to balance of training.

To summarize the questioner's dilemma, she was increasing her running training over the summer. During that time, she was reducing her strength training. She wanted to know if this was a problem. I'd like to explore that topic a bit here.

As I've found myself stating often recently, we can only handle so much stress in our lives. Whether it's running, strength training, or even work or family matters, our bodies and minds can only take so much. Go beyond what you can take and bad things begin happening.

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Please lay off the NSAIDs
by on Thursday, July 6, 2017

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For as long as I can remember, taking some form of NSAID was a popular thing with runners. An ibuprofen late in a marathon to dull the pain or as an anti-inflammatory after a run was pretty much a given. I even admit that, before I knew better, I'd at least occasionally take some ibuprofen, thinking the anti-inflammatory affects might help me recover from races faster.

Some time during my college years, I read an article about anti-inflammatories and how harmful they can be to the kidneys. This article featured a runner who died from kidney failure and, as I recall, included the words of at least a couple medical professionals who explained how harmful ibuprofen and, really, all NSAIDs can be to the kidneys. I went off ibuprofen cold turkey after reading that article.

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Why running slow on easy days matters
by on Thursday, June 15, 2017

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I find myself repeatedly talking about the importance of running your easy days slow enough. There's a two part reason for that.

1) It really is that important.

2) Most runners don't run slow enough on their easy days.

Why is it really that important? Let's think about building your running fitness like building an engine. You want both a big engine that can produce a lot of power (aerobic capacity) and one that is fine tuned so it performs at its best (fine tuning for speed).

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Warm weather racing
by on Thursday, June 8, 2017

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Summer is here! School is out, family vacations are planned, and the summer racing season is firing up!

The summer racing season is a fun time. All runners, from high schoolers to masters, come together at the same races. We're all out of season as the younger runners are thinking of the upcoming cross country season and the older runners are planning out their fall marathons or other fall plans. However, we're all together giving it all we have in the summer.

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We are all individuals
by on Thursday, June 1, 2017

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Where are the training plans on HillRunner.com?

I get asked this frequently. My answer? I hate pre-canned training plans and will never place one on HillRunner.com.

Ok, hate is a strong word. Maybe I don't "hate" them. I just strongly dislike them. Never is a long time. I guess I can't completely rule out the possibility. But don't count on it.

Why do I so strongly dislike pre-canned plans? Because those plans assume everyone will benefit from the same things. In short, they assume we're cookie cutter people. We're not.

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Summer running
by on Thursday, May 18, 2017

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Summer is here! Or so we hope here in Wisconsin. It's time for vacations, beach time, camping, and all kinds of outdoor fun!

It's also time for the summer racing season, big workouts to prepare for those races while working through the heat and humidity, and all the other running considerations.

We all think of winter as the challenging and dangerous season for runners but there are challenges and safety considerations we need to keep in mind during the summer also. As well as the adjustments that we need to make not for our safety but to ensure we're getting the most out of our summer time training.

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Take chances
by on Thursday, May 4, 2017

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Recently, I wrote about running practice races. This is incredibly important for many reasons. One of the reasons: taking chances.

Wait, what? Aren't we supposed to be practicing how to do things the right way? Aren't we supposed to be practicing what we want to do at our goal race? I don't want to take chances and risk all my hard work!

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Max recovery days
by on Thursday, April 20, 2017

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We all have hard and easy days in our training plans, right? We all have workout days, long run days, and those other days we just call easy days. Some call them junk miles but they are anything but junk miles. We know they aid our recovery from those hard days while helping to build the aerobic fitness that we all know is so important for racing any distance from the mile up.

But do you include at least an occasional max recovery day? You should, especially if you're an every day runner.

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Racing is a skill - practice it
by on Thursday, April 13, 2017

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Saturday, I ran a race. I wasn't really race ready. I feel like my general fitness is pretty good right now but I haven't done enough race specific workouts for my race fitness to be ready.

So why did I do this race? Because I needed some practice before my important races.

Racing is different than even the hardest workouts. While workouts are good opportunities to practice the skills we will bring to racing, no workout takes you to the place a race will. As a result, there are simply some things that can't be practiced any time other than on a race day.

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