Recent Posts
HillRunner.com is getting a new look!
by on Friday, May 16, 2014

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It's been a very long time coming but HillRunner.com is finally going to get a new look!

For the past 15 years, HillRunner.com has pretty much always looked the same with some form of the crowded blue navigation bar on the left. It's time to modernize the look, which will offer many benefits:

  • Easier navigation - the key parts of the site will be easy to find on the top navigation bar, the rest will still be available via links at the bottom of every page.
  • Easier to read on all screens - More white space, which is shown to make sites easier to read. Also, fonts will change depending on your screen size, making things easier to read on small screens such as phones. The menu bar also adjusts depending on your screen size to ensure it will be functional no matter what size screen you're using.
  • More modern look - It's just nice to have HillRunner.com look more like it belongs in the modern era instead of being stuck in the 1990s or early 2000s.
  • Easier for me to maintan and modify - This will allow me to more easily fine tune the look of HillRunner.com so it can evolve with modern web development standards and adapt to our growing knowledge about what makes sites easier to read.
  • A more dynamic menu - As you can see in the sample linked to below, I can dynamically control what is in the menu, allowing it to include things like the latest blog posts and, if you're logged in, personalized links.
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26-30 mile weekends for a marathoner?
by on Thursday, May 15, 2014

Recently, I encountered two separate discussions elsewhere that raised an interesting idea. The idea is of covering the marathon distance or more in a single weekend while training for a marathon.

As anyone who knows me well knows, I'm a big fan of back to back "long" runs on the weekend. However, I believe you need to have a sufficient base for this kind of training. It's not for everyone. Most importantly, it's not for those who aren't already sustaining a high base of training volume. If you're running 50 miles per week, I'd much rather see you do a light run of 3-5 miles the day after your long run, which may not be more than 18 miles. It's "only" a 21-23 mile weekend but you still get the feel of running on tired legs. In addition, you have 27-29 miles to spread out over the remaining 5 days. With that much training capacity for those days available, your overall training will be much better and more well balanced.

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Injuries, antioxidants and more on beets
by on Monday, May 12, 2014

To think, by Friday morning I was worried that I might not have anything to post this week. Then I got flooded Friday and Saturday morning with some interesting research.

First, a couple studies on injuries:

This meta-analysis of studies on the effectiveness of different kinds of exercises to prevent sports injuries had some interesting results.

In general, physical activity was shown to effectively reduce sports injuries. Stretching proved no beneficial effect, whereas multiple exposure programmes, proprioception training, and strength training, in that order, showed a tendency towards increasing effect. Strength training reduced sports injuries to less than one-third. We advocate that multiple exposure interventions should be constructed on the basis of well-proven single exposures and that further research into single exposures, particularly strength training, remains crucial. Both acute and overuse injuries could be significantly reduced, overuse injuries by almost a half. Apart from a few outlying studies, consistently favourable estimates were obtained for all injury prevention measures except for stretching.
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Do only what you can now
by on Thursday, May 8, 2014

Recently, I wrote that you should do what you can now. Don't wait until the time is perfect. This is the flip side.

We all get caught at times wanting to do more. Life has gotten in the way and we feel like we're behind or we've rolled through a strong phase of training and we want to do more to take advantage of our unexpected boost in fitness. Often, though, when we get in these situations we end up doing too much.

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Fantasy track and field
by on Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Would anyone be interested? If so, I could set up a league.

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60 years ago today
by on Tuesday, May 6, 2014



Still one of the legendary performances in track and field history.

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Beet juice, kinesio tape & have athletes gotten better?
by on Monday, May 5, 2014

Here we go, I'm going to give this a shot. This week, we have a study on beet juice, a study on kinesio tape and David Epstein giving a TED Talk on whether athletes have gotten better over the years.

Beet Juice

For those of you who haven't been following recent research into beet juice, studies have been showing that the nitrate in beetroot juice appears to improve performance by reducing the oxygen cost of exercise. Unfortunately, more recent studies in more well trained cyclists haven't been able to find these gains. Are these studies just an anomaly or is it not as effective for well trained athletes? There is reason to believe a well trained athlete may have already maximized the body's ability to reduce the oxygen cost of exercise so the juice may not benefit this athlete.

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Interested in seeing more studies?
by on Friday, May 2, 2014

I'm looking for some feedback. Off and on, I've posted on a few studies that have caught my eye. However, I see a lot that I don't share. I've been thinking of coming up with a way of posting these more often.

As you have probably figured out by now, I usually plan one blog post a week, to appear on Monday mornings. There's no guarantee of a post every Monday but, more often than not, there will be. I'd like to propose expanding to two posts a week. On Monday mornings, I'd like to post a recap of the most interesting studies or related content I've come across in the past week. I would then push back the more general running related posts that now appear on Mondays to Thursday mornings. Again, no guarantees that there would be two posts every week but I'd aim to post twice a week more often than not.

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Race Report: The Deer Run 5K
by on Saturday, April 26, 2014

As always, one of my goals for this year is to extend my streak (currently at 18 consecutive years) with a sub-17 5K. As this streak has grown, so has the importance in my mind of the streak.

As I've mentioned before, I decided for various reasons to go through a 5K season in the spring this year. This was attempt #2 and would be finish #1 after being directed off course in my last attempt.

I arrived plenty early, found a good parking space, then went over to pick up my packet. On my way out from packet pick-up, I saw Ed heading in so we chatted a bit then I went back toward the car as he got his packet. I was relaxing in the car and pinning my number on my singlet when I saw Ed walking over. I invited him to have a seat and we chatted a bit. I think Ed expends some nervous energy before a race so I wanted to get him to just sit down and relax a bit before warmup time.

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Admin note: Updated server software
by on Friday, April 25, 2014

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I just wanted to throw out a quick update. Some system software on the server HillRunner.com runs on is getting updated. I have some time right now where I can run HillRunner.com on either the old software or the new software. I'm choosing to test out the new software now while we can roll back to the old as I troubleshoot if any issues come up.

My initial tests show everything working fine but, if you see anything that doesn't appear to be working right, please let me know. In the short term, I can switch back to the older version while I determine what is going on. In the meantime, if everything is running well, we should see performance, security and stability improvements.

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