Recent Posts
Beet juice for the brain, pre-exercise dynamic stretching
by on Monday, May 18, 2015

Beet juice for the brain

You're late in a race. Maybe you're running a 10 miler, shooting for 80 minutes, and you just went through 9 miles in 1:11:34 after going through mile 8 in 1:03:42. Quick. How much time do you have to cover the last mile and is that faster or slower than you covered the prior mile? Right now, that's easy to answer. You know as well as me that it would be a far different story if you were trying to do the math during the race.

I'm sure we've all heard about the likely endurance benefits of beet juice and its key ingredient, nitrate (also found in dark leafy greens and some other foods). What if there were another benefit?

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Another honor for Coach Conway
by on Thursday, May 14, 2015

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Coach Conway - inspiration, role model, mentor - working the finish line, one of the many jobs a high school coach fills

A personal post this week. As anyone who knows me as a runner knows, my middle school track and high school cross country coach has been a huge influence on my life. To be honest, he has been inside and outside of running.

To explain what Coach Conway has meant to me would take far more words than anyone wants to read in a blog post. To try to keep it short, I highly doubt I would have found my way to distance running without him and it's no secret how big a part of my life running is. He has done much more for me, though. He taught me to be confident in myself, to be proud of what I've accomplished while remaining humble. He's been an amazing role model on many levels, from the way he freely shares his incredible wealth of knowledge to his work ethic and desire to excel personally as well as be as helpful to as many others as possible.

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This week's post is all about pain...???
by on Monday, May 11, 2015

I hope nobody gets the wrong impression. I really don't think running should be such a painful thing. That said, I have two pain related topics for today. Gender specific injury prevention and our memories of painful events.

Gender specific injury prevention

This seems like an interesting topic to me. Let's be honest. As much as I love the sport of running because it's so open to all people, all ages, all genders, men and women are different even when it comes to running. There are some differences in our physiology that simply can not be overlooked.

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Haile Gebrselassie has retired from competitive running
by on Sunday, May 10, 2015

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I will always remember both the ferociously competitive spirit and the huge smile

In case you haven't already heard, the great Haile Gebrselassie has officially retired from competitive running. He says he will keep running and will remain involved in the sport but he is done competing.

As many runners of similar age, I grew up as a fan of running watching and cheering for Geb. Actually, I was split between Geb and Paul Tergat, his chief rival through most of the 1990s on the track and into the 2000s, first on the track and then in the marathon. Off the top of my head, I can't think of a better two person rivalry in distance running history. Geb always seemed to have the upper hand but Tergat was always there From trading world records to the legendary 2000 Olympic 10,000 meter finish, they were always neck and neck.

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What makes a champion?
by on Thursday, May 7, 2015

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Last year, I listened to a TED Radio Hour podcast episode titled Champions. I wanted to write about it at the time but never got around to it. That episode ran again last week and I'm not going to let it slip by again.

In the podcast, the host interviewed three speakers, two athletes and a sports journalist. All had some interesting comments on what makes a champion. I highly recommend listening to the whole episode but I'd like to highlight a few points raised.

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Eau Claire Half Marathon
by on Monday, May 4, 2015

If anyone wants to run a really well organized race, I would recommend this highly. I had the chance to run it on Sunday with my daughter. She had been trying to get me to run this throughout her tenure as an undergrad at EC, and we finally got it done. She wanted to run under 2 hours and I thought that was doable. Several things were against us though. It was unseasonably warm for NW Wisconsin, with a high of 83. Added to that was the fact I wasn't the greatest pacer, and her lack of training did her in a bit. But we went after it, with her mom and brother and all her sorority sisters cheering us on at various points during the race. Our first 5 miles were about 8:40 pace, pretty much right on. It felt really slow to me, but Megan said she was ok. She began to struggle at that point, and she was not sure she was going to be able to finish. I told her whatever pace she could handle was fine, we would get through it together. We did a bit of walk 1-2 min run 10 min cycles. Then I had to make a pit stop and it took about 10 minutes to find her and catch up. When I did reach her I could tell she was laboring even more, and our overall pace dropped below 9 min. Then the 2:00 hour pacer passed us, and she was still struggling. This was very weird for me, because I felt good. But I began to understand that it wasn't about me. My daughter, who rebelled against any running advice from her dad during her high school career, needed me to get to the finish line. We saw her mom and brother at the 11 mile mark, and then the gauntlet of sorority girls 5 minutes later gave her a momentary energy boost. But we were walking more frequently and for longer periods. I got a bit harder on her, challenging her to keep moving forward. Finally I knew we had just 1/2 mile, and we turned into Carson park to see finishers walking back towards us. She saw a women with a finisher's medal around her neck - pointed at her and said " I want that!" So I said 'then let's go get it" We did run steadily to the end, and finally she kicked it in at the finish. 2 hours and 6 minutes after we started, we cross the line together. It was a great moment for me as a father. Megan was pretty spent the rest of the day, but you could tell she was really happy. She wouldn't take the medal off. And I had run my longest run in perhaps 7 or 8 years. As I mentioned at the beginning, nothing but good things to say about this race. Well organized, wonderfully scenic course, and the best spectators I have experienced in 35 years of running races. Maybe next year I could come back and run again, but alas, our daughter is graduating and moving out of state to Minnesota to become a Nursing Home Administrator. I am very proud of her for many reasons, and yesterday was but one of those. Ryan you said you'd love to have that opportunity to run with your kids, and I truly hope you do. It was one of the best days of my life. Now my 24 year old son wants to run the Madison Mini (13.1) in August. Of course, I'd love to run at MY pace this time. We'll see how that goes....

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Lactate is NOT that bad, more on carbohydrate mouth rinses
by on Monday, May 4, 2015

A couple interesting things I want to point to today. One on that old boogeyman, lactate. Another on the idea of rinsing your mouth with a carbohydrate drink after exercise.

Lactate

For decades, lactate has gotten a bad rap. While some of us have known for years that lactate isn't the boogeyman that it's been made out to be, it can actually be used as a fuel for one thing, it still has that bad rap.

To be clear, when your muscles are sore the day after a hard workout, that has nothing to do with lactate. Once your workout is over, lactate is cleared from your body very quickly as it is used for fuel or converted to other substrates that can later be used for fuel.

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Larry Rawson's weight comments at the Boston Marathon
by on Thursday, April 30, 2015

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Lightweight? Yes. Also and more important: powerful, extremely fit, amazing stamina.

Did Larry Rawson do a disservice to young and likely not so young runners across America? In my opinion, yes.

I didn't see the coverage live. I saw a lot about the topic as it was happening via Twitter, though, and it reminded me of previous races I did see live where Rawson constantly focused on the weight of the elite female runners. When I saw some replays of the race, I heard at least some of his comments and heard what I feared but also expected given his history.

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Nutrition
by on Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Hey,

I have been very consistent with my trainig, but my diet is terrible, i am 192 pounds and when I ran my best times I was about 155-160 pounds, so I think the only way that I ll run that fast again is in that weight.

Could you please put an example of the food and snacks that you eat on a daily basis, do you eat junk food here and there?


Thanks a lot

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Become a writer
by on Monday, April 27, 2015

Just one link this week but I think it's a very good one.

We've probably all heard by now about the importance of keeping a training log. I hope we all are keeping a training log.

In addition, have you considered writing before a race about not just your training but also your upcoming race? Especially if you're nervous about the race, it could be helpful.

This article about writing about your running makes a good case for writing more about your running.

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