Recent Posts in Roundups
Ditch the ice bath for hot baths? Ditch beet juice for dark chocolate?
by on Thursday, March 24, 2016

I'm having some computer problems at home and I have a backlog of articles I've wanted to write out. So, as I'm in the process of ditching my old computer for a new one, it seems fitting that I write about a couple things runners may soon consider ditching.

Ditch the ice bath?

Who likes ice baths? I'm going out on a limb and guessing nobody. Those of us who use them don't do them because they are enjoyable. We do them because they help us recover.

I do question whether that's always what we want (see here and here). However, more importantly, can bigger gains be made by taking a hot bath or, better, hitting the sauna after your workout? Maybe.

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Slowing down
by on Thursday, March 17, 2016

We don't want to slow down, right? Unfortunately, we all know that there are those things that do slow us down. Two of those things? The hot sun and starting too fast. Well, here's some information on how much the sunlight can slow us down as well as why fast starts slow us down.

How much does sunlight slow you down?

Answer: pretty much when it's already hot outside.

This probably isn't surprising but it's a good reminder that the temperature and relative humidity aren't the only things that matter. Cloud cover, or lack of, can make a big difference in what pace we can hold.

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

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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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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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2015 in Review
by on Thursday, December 31, 2015

Well December was a letdown of sorts but better than last year. I ran 23 times missing out on four planned runs. I only had a total of 160.2 miles and 20.46 hours of total time running. Last December was “zero” runs - so way ahead of last year. Also, December was the third best month of 2015 for total miles. I averaged a 7:39 pace through December as well. A good strong pace.

2015 overall was a pretty good year. Started out very poor with no miles in January/February and only 40 miles in March. But then things improved and I finished 2015 with 1,324 miles a very low total (less than 2014 which had 1,355) but quality miles. I averaged a 7:30 pace for the year – nice and strong.

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A cure for muscle cramps? Sugar and running
by on Thursday, October 22, 2015

In this past week, I came across two articles I just have to share.

Cure for muscle cramps on the way?

Muscle cramps are probably one of the most annoying but least well known problems runners can face. We don't really know what causes them. We thought it might be dehydration but that appears to not be a significant, if any, factor. Same for sodium and potassium. All three of those things might make a difference but, if they do, the difference isn't significant. We thought it might be fatigue. While that seems to be a still leading candidate, it seems like it's more than just that.

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Numbers vs. Perception
by on Thursday, October 15, 2015

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Modern technology is amazing, isn't it?

We have devices these days that can measure all kinds of things. You can get a single device that can measure your heart rate, stride rate and a close approximation of your pace at any moment in your run.

While not running, it's not nearly as hard as it used to be to get a VO2max or lactate threshold test.

You can get an approximation of your body fat percentage in your own bathroom. You can easily track your sleep, your resting heart rate. I'm sure I'm leaving things out.

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Mindfulness training
by on Thursday, September 17, 2015

This is going to be a short post. I'm busy getting myself and Team HillRunner.com ready for Al's Run and with a few other projects. I do have a longer post in the works but it's not ready for today. Hopefully, I'll have it ready for next week. It's one I'm excited about.

This week, though, I came across this interesting article about mindfulness training.

While I haven't always thought of it in this term, I've always been a fan of what is described there. The idea as I view it essentially boils down to being in the moment and remaining calm no matter what is going on. On race day, this means be fully aware of what's happening right now and being ready to respond thoughtfully, not reflexively, to what goes on. If someone passes you, do you surge to get back ahead, do you try to go with them and attempt the pass later or do you let them go with the hopes you can pass them back later or the understanding that you just can't hold that pace?

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Monthly report for August
by on Monday, September 7, 2015

Other than a great race performance August was a terrible month for my running. The month started off while I was camping in the woods - still hadn't figured out the logistics of running and getting cleaned up after the run (got it now). So I did not run the first nine days of August. Then on the 19th I twisted my ankle and needed time off.

Ten days and five runs later I had a phenomenal race (see the race report.) I earned a new PR that was 52 seconds faster than the previous PR and in a race as short as a 5k that is huge.

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