Recent Posts
"Altitude training" masks - worth it?
by on Thursday, March 3, 2016

I've recently seen several people ask about "altitude training" masks. Recently, I was asked by a runner I coach. Because this seems to be a hot issue, I thought I'd cover what I've seen as of now.

What is an altitude training mask?

First, what is an altitude training mask? This is the one I've come across in discussions. Maybe you've seen them around. I've never yet seen someone running with one but I have seen a couple people wearing them while weight training at the local Y.

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Administrative note: registration and forums
by on Wednesday, March 2, 2016

I hope it has mostly gone unnoticed to most of you but there has been a rash of attempted attacks by spammers over the past few days.

Largely, the spammers have been trying to do their thing over at the forums. There have been a few attempts on the blogs also but, as of now, those have not gotten through.

In order to combat these attacks, I made a few changes:

  • Registration (which goes through the forums) will now require email confirmation. Your account will not be active until you confirm your email address.
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    Luke Puskedra's baby has cancer
    by on Friday, February 26, 2016

    On February 13th, I thought the worst news Luke Puskedra could face was that he finished 4th at the Olympic Trials.

    It turns out he faced much worse news not long after when he found out his daughter Penelope has Neuroblastoma. The word right now is that her prognosis is good but she does face a long and expensive recovery.

    If you would like to help the Puskedra family financially, a friend of the family set up a GoFundMe page.

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    When should I run my first marathon?
    by on Thursday, February 25, 2016

    Shortly before the finish of my first marathon in 2002

    This is a question posed by many new runners. It seems like such a straightforward question. Unfortunately, the answer is not as straightforward and, honestly, not what most beginning runners want to hear.

    First, there is the question of what your goals in running are and may be in the future. Very few people run a marathon in their first few years of running and go on to reach their ultimate racing potential.

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    What do we know about injuries?
    by on Thursday, February 18, 2016


    Ask science and injuries are still in many ways a black box. We don't really know what causes them. We have some ideas but there is no concrete evidence. Some will tell you heel striking causes injuries. Others will tell you midfoot or forefoot striking causes injuries.

    The truth is that different injuries have different causes. What we don't know is that there are some overarching causes that apply across the board.

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    2016 US Olympic Trials Marathon preview
    by on Thursday, February 11, 2016


    The US Olympic Trials for the marathon is this Saturday in Los Angeles. The races will be broadcast live starting at 1pm Eastern on NBC or you can check NBC Live Extra for online viewing.

    Below is a bit about some of the favorites in each race, as well as a list of others who I think will run well and be in position if some of the favorites don't come through.


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    "Fatigue" is not a four letter word
    by on Thursday, February 4, 2016


    Are you base training right now?

    Are you experiencing some fatigue?

    Are you concerned about the fatigue?

    In many aspects of our lives, we are told to avoid extremes. Even in running, some will tell you to avoid fatigue. A little tired after a hard day, fine. Relatively constant fatigue? You're risking overtraining.

    I disagree. Fatigue is simply a result of training hard and a sign that you're applying stimulus for your body to grow stronger.

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    January Update
    by on Sunday, January 31, 2016

    Wow what a month! January - even with its very cold days and a bunch of ice and snow gave me some great numbers. I had my highest ever weekly mileage total at 62.89 miles. I also had my highest ever monthly total at 245.17 miles besting my previous high of 229 miles. Unfortunately, I missed one scheduled run of seven miles. The route that I have been using has a number of good hills in it so I got some great hill training as well. Even though the pace was slow at a hair under eight minutes per mile I had plenty of great effort in almost every run.

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    Sometimes we just don't know
    by on Thursday, January 28, 2016

    It's been a while since I've done a recap post. Here's one in a slightly different format than we're used to.

    I've long believed that anyone who says they don't have the answer to everything probably knows more than the self-proclaimed "expert" who claims to know everything. Let's be honest, it's impossible to know everything about every topic that can come up, even in a field in which you're an expert.

    For most questions, you can find an answer. However, sometimes there simply isn't an answer.

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    Cutback weeks
    by on Thursday, January 21, 2016


    When you're in hard training, do you ever get to the point where you're just dragging? You're dead tired and nothing you do can get you feeling good again?

    While sometimes we need to work through fatigue in order to come out the other end stronger, we also need to be careful to not get too deep into this fatigue tunnel. This is why I believe most runners benefit from cutback weeks.

    What is a cutback week?

    A cutback week is pretty simple. The typical suggestion is to reduce your weekly volume by 10-20%. I often find myself reducing volume by even more but that's probably not necessary if you haven't been overreaching in your normal training.

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