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Dennis Kimetto: 2:02:57
by on Sunday, September 28, 2014

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For those of you who haven't heard, Dennis Kimetto this morning shattered the marathon world record in Berlin with a 2:02:57. That takes 26 seconds off the former world record, held by Wilson Kipsang. With his customary second place finish (his sixth time finishing second at a major marathon) Emmanuel Mutai also went under the former world record.

I see three things with this world record.

First, what an amazing run. Notably, Kimetto had Mutai to run with until he broke away with about 2.5 miles to go based on reports I've seen. In fact, Mutai was the one pushing the pace for a while. Even when Kimetto broke Mutai, he had to push the whole way because Mutai didn't just disappear. Direct competition in a fast race like this can do one of two things. Sometimes, it causes the pace to slow as runners size each other up and play the tactical game. Other times, someone decides to just lay it on the line and go all out. In this case, obviously, the latter happened.

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Race report: 1st annual Hootie Hustle 5K
by on Saturday, September 27, 2014

I'm always nervous about inaugural events but this is a fundraiser for the scholarship program at my daughter's school district. She will possibly benefit from this program in the future so I kind of felt obliged to make a showing.

Of course, any time I toe the line at a 5K, I'm thinking about breaking 17 minutes. Given that this was an inaugural event and that this is in a town where "flat" is a relative term, though, I was a bit skeptical. As it turned out, the course was about as flat as you can make it here but that's not necessarily saying much.

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Personal and Team HillRunner.com race report: 2014 Al's Run
by on Tuesday, September 16, 2014

As always, this is one of my highlights of the year. The great people who are willing to sign up to run as members of Team HillRunner.com always amaze me. While our numbers and depth were down a bit this year, the greatness of the people I was surrounded by on Saturday never disappointed.

This year, we definitely had some turnover on the roster. I counted 5 team mebers from last year who were not on the roster when I picked up packets a week before race day. Woody and Laura made it to the race and Woody attempted to get himself on the team but we're not sure if he succeeded. Regardless, it was great to see them and thanks Woody for the attempt. Other holdovers from last year were Tim, Jerry, Ed, Charlene and of course myself. New to the team this year were Peter, who is a team veteran who had not run with us for a few years, and newcomer Josh. Josh is an interesting story. He actually came across HillRunner.com when he found my Al's Run report from last year while searching for another runner.

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Ask me anything: Strains
by on Thursday, September 11, 2014

Some time ago, I posted an "Ask me anything" post, soliciting questions. I'd like to continue doing this on occasion so, if you have any questions, keep an eye out (or ask any time if you don't want to wait). One question I received was about strains:

During the last year I have tweaked/strained my left calf twice. I couldn't tell you the muscle group but the long and short of it is I have had to ice and park myself for a few weeks and then start again. Any specific stretch or strengthening exercise you would recommend to stretch and strengthen that part of my leg?
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Age related performance decline/strength training and mental training
by on Monday, September 8, 2014

So I'm still a bit behind but I'm getting back on schedule. However, I wanted to ensure I didn't rush my writing about these topics.

Interestingly, within my coaching, I wanted to focus on going a little deeper in a few areas next year. Two of those areas are addressed below. I wanted to focus more on strength training and the mental aspect. I'll explain more below but I did find it interesting that, as I was thinking about these aspects of training, I came across these.

First, one of my favorite bloggers Alex Hutchinson wrote about age related decline.

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Race report: 2014 UW-Stout Jamie Block Alumni Meet
by on Wednesday, September 3, 2014

First, I realize the blog has been a little silent recently. I just got overwhelmed with things going on. From end of summer vacations to commitments to runners I'm coaching and various other things, I just didn't have the time. The blog should return to its normal schedule next week.

It's always fun to go back to my old hangout and see how well I can hang with the guys who are running the same routes and, in at least some cases, the same meets I once ran now over 15 years ago. This year, I had a little extra bonus of talking with the team at my old high school the day before.

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Pain tolerance, sleep and nonlocal fatigue
by on Tuesday, August 19, 2014

I came across some interesting topics in the past week. Here are three of my favorites:

Pain tolerance

I remember for some time hearing about how runners are tough. We can withstand more pain than the average person. The question I always had was whether this was simple correlation or there was some causation involved. Do people who are more tolerant to pain choose running or does running increase our pain tolerance?

Recent research has suggested that running does increase our pain tolerance. Then, the question became through what mechanisms? Does experiencing low levels of discomfort and/or pain in our legs toughen our legs up or does something change in our central nervous systems that allows us to withstand more pain throughout our bodies?

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Training capacity: other considerations
by on Thursday, August 14, 2014

Over the past two weeks, I went over how to define training capacity and how to find your training capacity, as well as what to do when you've found it.

This is the part 3 of a 3 part series on training capacity:

1) What is training capacity?
2) How to find your training capacity and what to do when you have found it?

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Team HillRunner.com: 2014 Al's Run important dates
by on Tuesday, August 12, 2014

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Teammates,

The time has come again! Most of you probably have already heard through some form of communication that team registration is open. We already have a strong team of 6 members registered. I'd love to see that hit at least 10 by the close of registration. Please see the important dates below so you register in time.

As usual, I will be inviting all team members to my house after the race. It's a great chance to socialize with your teammates away from the race course.

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Race report: 2014 Hank Aaron State Trail 5K
by on Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Every year, I tell myself I'm not going back to this race. Every year, it draws me back in. This year, I was going back and forth when Ed offered me a free entry if I run on the Potawatomi team. So I was back.

This course always frustrates me. I know by now it's just a slow course and I'm running for place, not time. The field is also deep. Over the past several years, at my best I would struggle to get in the top 10. In recent years, top 20 or 25 would be the best I could hope for. So my goal was set. Top 25 finish and see if I could win my age group. I finished a close second in the age group last year.

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