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Recent Posts
Ask me anything
by on Thursday, June 5, 2014


I've decided to open the discussion up a little every once in a while. I'd like to do this at least twice a year, possibly more frequently if it becomes popular. So here it is, your chance to ask me anything.

If you have a simple, quick question, I can answer in the comments. If you have a question that needs a more comprehensive answer, I'll probably spin it off into a separate blog post for the near future.

Currently, only registered members can post comments*. I'd encourage registered members to post questions in the comments. However, if you'd prefer to ask anonymously or you're not registered and you don't want to, you can use the contact form to ask your questions.

3 comments | View Entire Post
Announcing the HillRunner.com Training Podcast!
by on Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Yes, I'm podcasting now. The HillRunner.com Training Podcast is now up and running!

In the first episode, I talk with Renatta of the Seattle Marathon about goal setting.

If you use a podcast app, the RSS feed is ready to go for you. If you subscribe to podcasts through iTunes or Stitcher, it's been submitted and I'm waiting on approval. I'll let you know when it's available. If you subscribe to podcasts through any other service, just let me know and I'll get it submitted.

3 comments | View Entire Post
Exercise: Good for your brain, not bad for your body
by on Monday, June 2, 2014

I read three interesting articles over the past couple of weeks pointing out the value of exercise for keeping your brain in good shape. Add to that an article pointing out that "extreme" exercise isn't bad for the body and the message is clear: keep running!

I think the benefit of exercise for the brain is a very fascinating topic. Given that we used to think brain decline was inevitable as we age, it's fascinating to see that we can improve our brains as we age - and the key is exercise.

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Interview: Goal setting and some marathon training
by on Thursday, May 29, 2014

Last week, I joined Renatta from the Seattle Marathon on a Google Hangout to discuss primarily goal setting, though we also touched some on training.

You can view the talk here if you'd like:

Please be gentle. This is the first public speaking I've done in quite a few years. I do think I loosened up around 25 minutes, though, and had some fun with it. I also don't think I stumbled over myself too badly.

If you don't want to see that much of my face with a bad camera angle and poor lighting, I also have a copy of the audio and will soon have it available online.

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The best coaches (and runners) never stop learning
by on Thursday, May 29, 2014

In the summer of 1999, I got a call that seemed strange to me. My old high school coach, Coach Conway, was asking me to help him write a training plan for the cross country team. I was a college student and runner with not a day of coaching experience. He was a coach with decades of experience and state champion teams and individuals in his past. Just over a year earlier, I was present as he was inducted into the Wisconsin Cross Country Coaches Association Hall of Fame. Why would this very experienced, very accomplished coach come to me asking for help writing up a training plan?

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Muscle memory, protein and muscles & strong hips make happy knees
by on Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Wow, did I get to read a lot of great things this past week! So many, in fact, that my Thursday post may be a second installment of this type of post. Here are four of my favorites on three very interesting topics.

Muscle memory

For many years, I've believed it's always easier to get back to a level of fitness once you've been there than it is to get there the first time. I remember talking about this idea with teammates in high school and college.

Now, we know at least part of why that may be physiologically.

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Is the placebo effect a bad thing?
by on Thursday, May 22, 2014

What a ridiculous question, right? We don't want the placebo effect, we want the real thing. The placebo effect is all in your head. You're not really benefitting from it. Or are you?

Suppose a study (as some do) says runners perform better when they believe they are getting a certain supplement or treatment, even if they are getting the placebo. Is the treatment a benefit? Is the placebo? If you're running better or remaining healthier, does it matter?

Is the placebo effect really a bad thing? If it leads to you running faster or it leads you to being healthier, isn't that a good thing?

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The new look is here!
by on Wednesday, May 21, 2014

I already covered many of the benefits of the new look of HillRunner.com when announcing it would be happening today. I won't rehash that. You can read it there.

Right now, I just want to say it's here as you've already noticed I'm sure. If you have any comments on it, positive or negative, don't hesitate to share. I'm sure it will take some time to get used to the new look but I think we'll find it to be more streamlined, easier to read and convenient to navigate to key areas as we get used to it.

4 comments | View Entire Post
Polarized training and the benefits of having a coach and teammates
by on Monday, May 19, 2014

Sorry beet juice fans but no news on beets or juice derived from them this week. I hope you don't mind.

What I do have is still interesting, though.

Olympic speed skaters and polarized training

I've often talked about making your easy days sufficiently easy so your hard days can be sufficiently hard. Ed is probably sick of this topic and I'm sure others are ready for me to stop harping on it also.

Well, here's a review of the training programs for Olympic speed skaters over a 38 year period. The main factor in performance isn't time spent training or time spent on skates. In fact, there seemed to be no relation (of course, Olympic speed skaters are all spending a lot of time training obviously). The difference in times at that level was most closely correlated to how polarized their training was.

8 comments | View Entire Post
HillRunner.com is getting a new look!
by on Friday, May 16, 2014


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.
1 comment | View Entire Post
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