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What's going on at HillRunner.com?
by on Thursday, April 21, 2016


A lot of things are happening all the time at HillRunner.com. Some are big enough to warrant their own blog post to cover, such as the recent return of more widespread ads (also covered below). Others are small enough to not warrant their own blog posts.

I'd like to occasionally round up some of the recent changes that are big enough to mention but not big enough for their own blog post. Here's my first attempt at doing so.

Training log features for Club HillRunner.com members

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Racing in bad conditions
by on Thursday, April 14, 2016

Craughwell AC - Winter Marathon - December 2013 by Peter Mooney, on Flickr

The 2002 Lakefront Marathon was run on a day with 25-30 mile per hour winds gusting to 50 miles per hour.

The recently run Cherry Blossom 10 miler was run on a day with wind gusts exceeding 50 miles per hour.

Over its history, the Boston Marathon has included snow, historic winds, and extreme heat. On a few occasions, they even have had good conditions.

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Consistency matters
by on Thursday, April 7, 2016


This past weekend, I completed what I would consider my 2016 base phase. Looking over it, I accomplished the following:

7 weeks of 70-72 miles
4 weeks of 66-69 miles
2 weeks of 50 miles (cutback weeks)
1 week of 40 miles (ill)

I can sum up these results in one word: consistency. And I'm feeling very good about where my 2016 racing season will be going for that one reason.

I hope you're accomplishing the same thing.

It's not about the numbers to me. Personally, I respond well to 70 mile weeks and that's what currently fits into my life. I'm not concerned with whether you find yourself saying the same thing about 30 mile weeks, 50 mile weeks, or 100 mile weeks.

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What's the deal with the ads?
by on Tuesday, April 5, 2016

I think it's been well established that I hate ads on HillRunner.com as much as anybody.

That said, I have to pay the bills somehow and I don't think it's fair to ask Club HillRunner.com members to carry the full burden. So, as much as I hate ads, I'm bringing them back.

As you may (or may not - I'll explain below) have already noticed, ads have returned to some of the most heavily visited parts of HillRunner.com. They will return to more areas as time goes on. However, not everyone will see them with the same frequency - or at all.

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Progress is not linear
by on Thursday, March 31, 2016

What a typical runner's progression might look like

In the spring of 1996, I lowered my 5K PR from 17:06 to 16:08 in two races. Afterward, I could consistently run in the low 16s. However, lowering that PR just wasn't happening for the remainder of that track season or the 1997 season.

Then, after a year away from track for reasons that had nothing to do with running, I returned in the spring of 1999 and progressively worked my PR down to 15:43. Sub-16 became routine. I took my 10K PR from 34:12 to 32:57 in a single race. A mid-33, a short time earlier over 30 seconds faster than my PR, would now be a bad race.

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March Update
by on Thursday, March 31, 2016

Hello one and all,

March was a pretty good month overall. While I only got 26 runs in for the month it was my fourth highest monthly total mileage ever. I ran a total of 212.90 miles in a total time of 28 hours and 13 minutes. That is some serious base training (for a recreational competitive runner.)

I had a minor injury issue that took me out of running for three days and I had a cold that made it tough for four days. Both of my calves were experiencing a lot of pain right where they connect to the Achilles Tendon - I could not run at all. But three days off and I was good to go. The cold - well - it was a cold.

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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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A very late February update
by on Friday, March 11, 2016

Despite a slight injury February was a very good month.

I ran a total of 24 runs missing four planned runs due to a sore meniscus and had one planned off day. I logged a total of 202.24 miles in slightly over 26.5 hours for an average pace of 7:53 per mile.

I felt very good for most if not all of those miles even though the route was pretty hilly. Got some great training done.

In comparison to last year -

Jan - Feb 2015 = 2.86 miles, yes less than three miles.

Jan - Feb 2016 = 447.38 miles, much better.

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"Altitude training" masks - worth it?
by on Thursday, March 3, 2016

I've recently seen several people ask about "altitude training" masks. Recently, I was asked by a runner I coach. Because this seems to be a hot issue, I thought I'd cover what I've seen as of now.

What is an altitude training mask?

First, what is an altitude training mask? This is the one I've come across in discussions. Maybe you've seen them around. I've never yet seen someone running with one but I have seen a couple people wearing them while weight training at the local Y.

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