Running – Recovery – Refuel – Post-Run – Training – Marathon

Running is what “runners” do, but to truly be successful, to get the most out of your body performance wise and to run injury free for the long haul…you have to do more.

What you do immediately after the run is maybe more important than any other post run recovery effort. An article at Runner Worlds online may have said it best: As distance runners, we live in a constant cycle of destruction and adaptation. In turns, we push our bodies to the edge of their ability and then wait patiently for them to heal into a slightly stronger, faster state of homeostasis.” To get our bodies to that better state they must recover after we have pushed them to the limits.

Your Recovery Green Road Sign Over Dramatic Clouds and Sky.

This blog post would be too long if I tried to address all aspects of recovery. For this post I’m going to focus on what you can do immediately following your run for hydration and a recovery snack. Proper recovery needs to start as soon after your run as possible, and needs to supply your body with what it needs to begin the healing process.

The first key to the recovery effort is how soon after your run should your recovery efforts begin? I have read everything from within the first 30 minutes to two hours after a hard workout is the best period to refuel your body to kick start your recovery.

Second to when is what to eat/drink. Most everything I have read on the subject highlights getting proper hydration during the run and after as still the best single thing you can do. After that replenishing carbohydrates and proteins, with most studies suggesting a 3:1 or 4:1 carbohydrate-to-protein ratio.

For me that means within minutes of my run I have a recovery drink and a snack. My favorite combination is Chocolate milk and a Cliffbar. Although not very scientific, it’s easy. I may like to run long distances but I’m also very lazy. If it is quick and easy I will most likely stick with it. Most name brand chocolate milks have more carbohydrates per servings then protein (24g vs. 8g) which most nutrition experts recommend for the endurance runner. The Cliffbar (chocolate chip is my favorite) again packs on more carbs vs. proteins (45g to 9g) to help refuel and repair the body. Not only does this combination hit the spot…it also tastes great. The chocolate taste is the perfect reward after a really long run. My guilty pleasure is an ice cold glass of milk and a dozen (or more) OREO cookies.


I thought I would take this blog post one step further and ask a few of my Twitter followers how they recover after their runs.

Steve S, @britishbulldog  “my favorite recovery snack” is the peanut butter banana crunch flatbread from Tropical Smoothie. It contains a whopping 776 calories – 85 grams of carbs, 23 grams of protein and 39 grams of fat – but really hits the spot and keeps you full for hours.” Steve’s guilty pleasure after a long run is an ice cold IPA to quench the thirst and provide some empty carbs. “Not really a recommended recovery drink, but it sure does taste good!” says Steve.

Bruce Van H, @brucevh  “ I used to use and loved chocolate carnation instant breakfast powder in 1% milk. Now I mix a protein powder and a heaping tablespoon of raw chocolate powder (Herhey’s cocoa) with 16 ounces of 1% milk. I drink this 10-15 min of finishing my long runs. Bruce confined that after long runs, “gummie bears” may just be his go to refuel food.


Amanda B, @runtothefinish  “You can never go wrong with a green smoothie packed with Vega Sport protein – ½ orange, spinach, kale, carrots, cucumber! No digestion needed for muscle repair.” A Vegan Cake…with tons of icing hit the spot for Amanda when a run is really tough.

Melinda H, @melindahoward4  “I love a ton of chocolate milk, okay maybe not 2000 pounds worth but normally a 12 oz serving after a long run.”

Jenna, @littlegreenrs  Jenna confessed, “Hey, I’m old school chocolate milk or an ice cold beer all the way.”

As you can see post run recovery starts off a number of different ways. Do you prefer a bagel with peanut butter, a baked potato with cheese or pancakes with yogurt. The important thing to remember is recovery starts just as soon as the run is over.

What is your favorite recovery drink/snack?

Running Is Easy – Marathon – Shoes – Pacing – Distance – Blisters – and Socks

Running does not require that we assemble a team of players, you do not need any special equipment, there’s no ball to chase around, no base lines to run and no special arena. Running is simply, you and the open road, trail, grassy field or sandy beach.

Jurek-3(Scott said it best)

As with anything in life, there’s always something we wish we knew more about before we had to learn the hard way. After 15 years and nearing 16,000 miles here is my list of Running Things I wish I would have known about:

  1. Pace and Distance Are Related – When I first started running,  way back in 1987, I had no idea about how training and racing where related. The only training I did was to simply go out and run. With each run I would try to run a little further then the previous time until eventually reaching an average of six miles per outing. Then I heard about an upcoming race, the “We Love Erie Days 10k.” I thought for sure I could run this “race.” Having no idea what to do on race morning, I lined up behind the tape and once the gun went off, I RACED my first 10k. If you have ever gone out to fast you know in about 2 miles I was beat, sucking wind, in trouble and suffering badly. Here…I learned about pacing and distance racing.


  1. Socks Rule The (Long Distance) Running World - I had ran four marathons and thousands of training miles and NEVER suffered with a single blister. Hard to believe but true I had not had  a single one. Then I ran a 24 hour race where I completed 52.5 miles in 17+ hours. I thought I had sand in my shoes, I thought my feet where just sore, but once pulling off my socks…I found I had one MONSTER blister on the ball of each foot. After years of suffering through blistering if I ran over 50 miles…I finally learned, athletic socks are not the same as running socks.

the beast(The Blister we named the BEAST)

  1. Good Shoes Are Good Shoes – I learned this lesson early on. Getting back into running in 2000, I had purchased a good pair of “nice looking” running shoes more for looks than function. The only drawback was that after the first mile or so of any run, my feet would go to sleep. I dealt with this for a few months figuring shoes were shoes…if they fit they must work. Finally after a trip to a “real” running store where they properly fit me with shoes that matched my stride, gait and foot type….I learned my feet did not have to fall asleep while I ran.
  1. Other Runners Are Very Helpful – At first running seamed competitive, I wanted to beat everyone in that first race. I learned the hard lesson that I was not the swiftest a foot. For years after that I ran alone, I trained alone and raced alone. I may not have been trying to beat anyone in the races I entered but I also kept to myself. Then during that first 24 hour race, I realized I had a lot to learn about long distance running. I also learned that I could not teach myself those lessons. In the middle of a race I had no idea how to run…I learned that the running community was filled with people wanting to share and wanting to help you reach your goals. I also learned that I wanted to help other people run, race and enjoy our sport for whatever it had to offer them.

200thmilerun(Friends helped me reach my first 200 mile month)

  1. The Race Does Not Always Go To The Fastest – Although not trying to win every race, realizing I’m not the fastest, it does still bug me a little to get passed during the race. What I’ve learned during 80+ races is that it is easy to go out and lead the race, advance your position or pass a rival early. The real test of your training is can you hold that position for the long haul. I’ve seen many a rabbit come back to the field…I learned in long distance racing the tortoise does win out over the hare.

Running, along with being a great way to reconnect with yourself, and the world we live in, is in my opinion one of the best forms of exercise. For a simple physical activity there are still lessons we can learn every time we lace up our shoes.

What running lessons have you learned? Please post a comment and share…

Selecting A Race – Marathon – Ultra Marathon – Running A 5K – 10K or Half Marathon

How I Choose A Race.

First off I’ll say in addressing how I go about choosing a race, I’m writing about how I choose a race that is not an “A-Race.” I define an “A-Race” as a race I target for the expressed purpose of setting a new distance Personal Record (PR), time PR, a destination race or a bucket list race. I’ll focus on the five things I look for when selecting a “fill in the training calendar race.”

My list of five things is not rank ordered in any priority system, depending on my current situation in regards to: money, travel plans and family time each of the five items might be weighted differently from time to time.

  1. DISTANCE – When filling out my race calendar, the distance to a proposed race does come into consideration. I’m not against driving two to three hours for a select race and have been known to drive three hours to a 50 mile race (Moonlight Boogie) just to turn around and drive home after running the event. If friends are involved distance does not matter. Normally I try to select races that are no further than an hour away from home.finish
  2. LOCATION – As compared to distance I look for races in unique locations, on a boardwalk, in the mountains or through an historic district. Not saying I won’t run the cookie cutter inner city road races but I’m drawn more to the unique settings.IMG_20140308_171233_760
  3. BLING – Yes I’m a sucker for the shiny stuff, lack of bling won’t keep me away but I often do focus on the medals or awards if I’m undecided between two races. A unique one of kind finisher item is a plus for me…one of my favorite awards was a simple rock from the MEDOC Meltdown 50k.medocroack
  4. COURSE – Much like the location, I find myself drawn more to unique race courses…. Races that are run over the hill, dales and routes passing through covered bridges gets my vote and race entry fees.knapp_luther_mill
  5. THEME – If your not gunning for a PR races with a theme are much more fun. Even if you choose to not dress up, running the Wicked 10k surrounded by ghosts, goblins and the longest touchdown run ever as well as the Peach Tree Road Race  raced on the 4th of July is so much fun with a themed race to set the stage.wicked10kstart

There are many things to consider when selecting a race. The cost of racing is not getting any cheaper so if you’re going to lay your hard earned money on the line as you do your training you may as well select a race that gives you that little something extra.

What do you look for when selecting a race?

Why People Don’t Run – Marathon – Running – Fitness

Why people don’t run.

NIK_T_405312_BLK_3(Does it?)

I’ve been pounding the pavement and trails for the better part of the last 15 years. In my daily conversations, running comes up in some form or fashion about 75% of the time. In those conversations, about 60% of the people relate to me how much they enjoy running. The other 40% tend to focus on why they people don’t run. Here are the most common reasons I’ve heard why people don’t run.

  1. My knees hurt when I run.
  1. I don’t have the time.
  1. I find it boring.
  1. I just can’t run.
  1. I would not know how to start.

I have no scientific data to prove my personal opinions on running vs. other forms of exercise. I can only share with you my feelings, my results and my opinion which has been formed over the last 20 years trying to fight back father time. Running works. It’s by far the fastest form of exercise to make the biggest impact on your fitness. Running is fun, it’s relatively cheap and you do not need special equipment or training.

61524-1737-016f(My running venue is ever changing)

  1. I have seen no real data that points to the conclusion that running damages your knees. Now I’ll say for some people because of DNA this may be true. But for the vast majority running should not be painful. Some keys to remember when you do start running: Start slow, listen to your body, rest when you need to and avoid big jumps in mileage and time.
  1. It is a very busy world we live in, but when it comes to your health you have to make time to be fit. Trust me if you come up ill, you’ll have no choice, the illness will demand and control your time. 30 minutes a day will do wonders for your physical health, your mental health and your outlook on life in general. In my experience running has made the biggest impact on my fitness and weight control for the amount of time I have available.
  1. Find a running venue that interests you. If you find the treadmill boring hit the streets. If the streets bog down your senses tackle some trails. Can’t dig the dirt, run on the beach. And if the surf, sand and ocean breeze can’t capture your wonder run up a mountain. Running is one of the only forms of exercise that you can take with you no matter where you go or what venue you enjoy.
  1. We were born to run. Only over time have we substituted other forms of transportation for what comes natural. It might take a few outings to get back your natural rhythm. We all can run, just don’t fight it, find your stride and run.

    Jogging(Gait analysis)

  2. Start by visiting a good running specialty store, get fitted with a good pair of running shoes matched to your foot, stride and gait. Then google “couch to 5k training plans” review the training plan, make any adjustments to fit your fitness level, available time and go for your first run.

finish(At The finish of my 1st 100 mile run)

Don’t fall victim to all the fears, and excuses. If you want to get fit, get out and run today.

Rum Smooth – Pearl Izumi – N1 – Running Shoe – Marathon

In NASCAR and Indy Car racing the connection of the car to the track makes or breaks the drivers day.

In running, that connection is much more personal.

And I’m in love.

DSC_7333(Opening miles on the Boogie 50 Moonlight Miler)

My LOVE is the Pearl Izumi Trail N1:

pearlizumishoes5(N1 E:Motion Trail Shoes)

From their web site: The purist’s dream shoe, the Project E:Motion Trail N1 is built to deliver the ultimate smooth flowing responsive ride. The glove-like fit coupled with the E:Motion midsole deliver a light and smooth experience. The Trail N1 offers great trail feel and traction with enough protection and cushioning for bombing descents over technical terrain.

I could give you all the specs on the shoe or some Al Bundy inspired professional shoe salesmen pitch, but bottom line is that I’m a runner, I run trails and these shoes make my runs more enjoyable, smooth and they connect my foot to the trails. I feel faster, lighter and more in touch with the terrain I’m running over.

pearlizumishoes2( Fresh off the trails)

When my training plan calls for a run on the trails, my N1 are my first choice. #traillove while I #runsmooth.

pearlizumishoes4(Carly says don’t touch my daddys N1s)

Carly likes them too…

You can check out the N1s and all of the Pearl Izumi shoes here.
You can follow them on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.


Healthy Relationships – Running – Exercise – Run – Marathon

Healthy relationships are a vital component of health. The health risks from being alone or isolated in one’s life are comparable to the risks associated with cigarette smoking, blood pressure, and obesity.

seashore2014(Nothing better than photobombing friends)

Research shows that:

  • People who have a strong social network tend to live longer.
  • The heart and blood pressure of people with healthy relationships respond better to stress.
  • Strong social networks are associated with a healthier endocrine system and healthier cardiovascular functioning.
  • Healthy social networks enhance the immune system’s ability to fight off infectious diseases.

Colonial200~finishteam(We laughed, we cried, we sang, we stank…we ran 206.8 miles)

How can you increase your healthy relationships? Here are some ideas to help you.

  • Work out. Joining a gym or an exercise group allows you to meet new people while exercising. Attend some local run sessions at a local track, run with a group training for an upcoming marathon etc.
  • Take a walk with your pet. Starting a walking routine after dinner would not only give you another opportunity to be physically active, but it would also create more opportunities for you to meet your neighbors. Okay, don’t worry about running now, just enjoy the time with your four legged friends.
  • Volunteer. Donate some of your time and hard work to a charity. You’ll feel good about the cause, and you’ll meet others with similar passions. Volunteer to help out a local race, Race Directors are always looking for people to help out. Run for a charity.
  • Find others who share your interests. Such as hiking, painting, scrapbooking, running, etc. Join a local run club, go to meetings, share your experiences, train with others and run on a relay team.
  • Coach someone, If you’re an experienced runner, offer to coach someone who is new or who is trying to reach new running distances.

Some health risks you can’t do anything about, others you can…….

The March 50k – Ultra Marathon – Marathon – Run – Race

The March 50k - A run to remember…and one I will remember.

More than just a trail race run in one of our nation’s greatest military communities, Fort Bragg/Pope Air Force Base, North Carolina. The March is a first class event hosted by race director Veronica Johnson with help from Dan Paige. More than just another trail race, this event chooses to challenge runners while remembering America’s war heroes in a very special way.

themarchmap(All American Trail, Fort Bragg, North Carolina)

From the Race Website: Say the phrase “Death March,” and most Americans respond with a single word: Bataan. When Japanese troops overran the Philippines in 1942, they forced thousands of GIs and Filipino soldiers to march across 60 miles of the Bataan Peninsula in tropical heat with little or no food and water. Hundreds of Americans and thousands of Filipinos died in the five-10 day trek that came to be called the Bataan Death March, one of the greatest atrocities ever perpetrated against American fighting men.

But there was another death march inflicted upon American POWs during World War II — a journey that stretched hundreds of miles and lasted nearly three months. It was an odyssey undertaken in the heart of a terrible German winter fraught with sickness, death and cruelty. Though experienced by thousands of GIs, it was all but forgotten by their countrymen. The events has been called various names: “The Great March West”, “The Long March”, “The Long Walk”, “The Long Trek”, “The Black March”, “The Bread March”, and “Death March Across Germany”, but most survivors just called it “The March”.

Veronica and her team matches up race entrants with survivors/or heroes who did not come home from these Marches of WWII. At packet pick up when I was handed my race bib chills went down my spine as I glanced over my race number and noticed my hero’s name. I would run the race in memory of PV2 Amos L. Burk a WWII prisoner of war who spent time in POW Camp Stalag 12. The fact we shared the same name touched me greatly and I would think about Amos often during the race.

the march amos
( Private First Class, Amos L. Burk, Army, Infantry, Alabama)

The March 50k, really 32 miles because of some trail closures, I found to be a very challenging race. I would estimate that 60% of the trail was covered in a layer of fine sand. The miles run on soft sand although forgiving on the feet slowly sucked the energy right out of you. If I had to guess I would say it took roughly 30% more energy to run the same hard packed distance. When the sand was not challenging you, there were hills and then there where hills with sand. At the end of the day, and under a blanket of heat and humidity, I would run my second slowest 50k, 6 hours 18 minutes and 59 seconds.

themarchcourse(The course)

As demanding as this race was, I highly recommend it. Veronica and her gang put on a great race. Rest assured the course will challenge you, the heat will stifle your will and the sand will zap your energy levels. All this pales compared to the challenges our POWs faced daily at the hands of their captures and for some the agonizing trek across Germany. For a brief 32 miles I felt linked to Amos and his gang of brothers who defended freedom and saved the world.

themarch finish(The finish line)

Thank you……

Preparing for a race – marathon – ultramarathon – training – racing

Preparing for a race:  Either we have been there ourselves or we have had friends who after training so hard, for so long missed out on performance goals. Despite putting in the miles, running the speed workouts and tackling the hills, still somehow we managed to fall short of the standards we had set for ourselves. A successful race often comes down to the final stages of your training cycle. Whether it is setting a Personal Record related to time or running a new longest distance it is often the preparation that goes into the final part of the training cycle that determines if you reach your goals or not. 10295131_10152520128806757_6587380298077788669_o The weeks before – Once I select a goal race, I develop a training time line working back from race morning approx. 6 – 8 weeks. From this starting point I ensure my base mileage is in line with the race distance and my performance goals. If my fitness level is not at a point that supports my goal distance or pace I add on to this time line. This is the point that I consider the start of the training cycle for this race. Setting this starting point I also consider in the taper required for the distance I’ll be racing. A normal taper period is three weeks out from race morning. I plan my last long run and build in a 3 week taper from there. The first “taper” week I cut back my mileage roughly 20%, followed by another 20% the second week and the final taper week I plan a conservative mileage total around 15 miles with at least two days off before race morning.

The week before –  This week is a very conservative running week. I focus on recovery, sleep and nutrition including hydration.

For the rest of this post I’ll assume a Saturday morning race start time. I plan to have all of my running miles in by Wednesday night, giving me approx. 60 hours of recovery time prior to race morning. My goal is to arrive at the starting line fueled up, well rested with some zip in my legs and no nagging injury issues. During this 60 hours of down time I may do some light walking to keep my legs limber and the wheels moving.

The preparation that I do off my feet gets a lot of attention during this time. If I have any nagging injury issues I addressed them hard during this time. My plan of attack incorporates foam rolling, icing, Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) is a therapy, compression gear and elevation, all tools that help get my legs back to 100%. Sleep and eating are also very important elements leading up to race morning.

During the week prior to race morning I go to bed a little earlier than my normal bedtime to ensure I’m well rested. No late night monster movie marathon during this week. I plan to get my best night of sleep on Thursday. I also focus attention on my eating habits and my hydration plan. No nights out on the town or “all you can eat” 5 alarm chicken wings for me.

During this time I make a conscious effort to get in plenty of water/sports drinks. I stick with the tried and true. Most importantly this week is NOT about trying something new. The goal of this week is to have a solid and conservative week in all three departments.

The days before – Normally two days before a race I focus on the finishing touches, i.e. carbo-loading, hydration and rest. NY0211 Spaghetti with Turkey Meatballs I was told by a good friend and ultrarunner (Garth P) that in his mind and experince the most important meal was the night before, the night before a big race. For a Saturday race that would be the Thursday night meal. I’ve have followed his advice since my first marathon in 2005 and I believe his advice is true. I plan my best and biggest meal of the week for Thursday night. My favorite pre-race meal being spaghetti with meat sauce, two meat balls, a few slices of bread.


There is no portion sizing here, I go for it… This is my ” Carb Loading” pig out meal.

Friday morning I have a good breakfast, lunch and my traditional pizza meal for dinner. I’ll also snack on some solid energy food throughout the day to keep the munchies at bay. To ensure my hydration is on point, I’m never far from my water bottle.

The night before – The goal of race-eve is to find my happy place and get to sleep. Friday night I get off of work and get home as soon as I can. No shopping trips to the mall, no ultra-runs through COSTCO and no standing in line waiting on a place for dinner. I try to get home, get dinner and get off my feet as fast as I can.

My favorite pre-race dinner is PIZZA. I stick with what works, and pepperoni pizza works for me. A normal race-eve routine following dinner finds me laying out my race gear and powering down early for some time to relax. JFK50 kit I try to enjoy some quiet time with my wife, watching TV or some mindless surfing on the internet. Before it gets too late I call it a night. I plan to get my best night of sleep the night before because I have a tough time getting to sleep on race eve. Most nights before a race I find myself visualizing the race. Most often my mind works overtime on my plans and expectations for the start, the finish and any segments that I may find challenging, climbs, downhill’s or the transitions through the aid stations. Although not physically taxing the mental side of this night can wear you down if you don’t watch it.

The hours before – I’m not one to show up late. The #1 goal of the last few hours before the start is to get to the starting line in a positive frame of mind, with energy in my tank and with time to gather my thoughts. Brain-Games For marathon and longer distances, I normally wake up three hours before race start. The very first thing I do after brushing my teeth and washing my face is to get in my power breakfast. I’ll normally have a few pancakes, a breakfast drink and some form of sports drink to give me a solid carb load. I plan all this with enough time for my belly to settle and the food to process so that I’m not racing with a food bomb in my stomach. I also plan to have enough time prior to leaving the house to take care of other “business.”

I like to arrive at the race location an hour before the start with the goal of avoiding the parking issues, time to visit the port-o-lets and time to listen to some music. After all the work has been done it’s now down to a fleeting few minutes to put the finishing touches on a hopefully successful race.

The minutes before – The calm before the storm. Depending on the distance I have to walk to get to the race start, and my warm up plan, I normally begin my journey to the starting line around 30 minutes out. During this time I review my race plan, check all my race essentials, race number, water bottle and that my shoes are tied properly, as I make my way to the corral. Like the icing on a cake…this is the time where my preparation gets to shine. noland502014prerunmotivation While standing in the corral 15 minutes before the gun goes off, I normally consume a power gel and take a last small drink of water. If my wife is with me this is the last moment I’ll get to spend with her prior to the race starting. We pray, then she gives me a kiss and wishes me good luck. All the work is done it’s just me and the open road ahead of me. The months of training, weeks of preparation, days of focusing and the hours and minutes of racing all come down to the attention I give this last step in my training cycle.

How do you prepare for your race after the majority of work has been done?

Running Mistakes – The Long Run – Marathon Training

Mistakes I’ve Made On The Long Run.

right wrong

The staple of all training plans for half marathon distances and up is the long run. The long run is where you stretch your endurance, where you increase the time you spend on your feet and where you teach your body how to deal with the strains of running really long distances. The long run is also a run where you develop your pre-run/pre-race routine. As you increase your distance over the double digit barrier of ten miles, this training run becomes a run you (or at least I) have to plan for. Planning for the long run includes considering such things as, food, hydration, gear selection, foot and body care and carrying enough fuel and liquids for the run.

The preparation you put into this run and its planning can make or break the run/race. When everything has come together, I’ve had some of my best performances. Unfortunately, when I’ve made mistakes in my pre-run preparation I’ve had some of my worst encounters with the wall.

Five Mistakes I’ve Made While Trying To Run Long:

1. Failure to properly fuel (carb-loading) in the days prior. At least twice that I can remember, I was so secure in my ability to run my 20 miler that I put little forethought into carb-loading in the days prior. I normally have my “fuel” meal the night before, the night before my long run or longer distance race. On these occasions, I blew it off figuring I had “it” in the bank. Well…that did not go so well. I bonked and bonked big time. At mile 18 of a 20 mile run…the needle on the fuel gauge was moving its way to empty in a hurry. The result was a ugly and painful run home.

2. Lack of a solid pre-run breakfast. I’m no nutrition expert, but I once read that a breakfast with 125 grams of carbs, 3 to 4 hours prior to the start of your long run or race will top off your tank. When I’ve taken the time and effort to adhere to this rule I’ve run much better and felt stronger during the race. When I’ve gone out on a small breakfast or none at all I have paid for it and the cost was not cheap.


3. Limited hydration during the run. Most marathon/ultramarathon training plans recommend 12 to 24 ounces of water per hour of sustained effort. On a recent 20 miler I left the house for a ten mile out and back with only a 20 oz handheld and no real plan to resupply. Lucky for me I was able to top off my bottle at around the 13 mile mark. Unfortunately, I did not notice this water source on the outbound leg. At this stage in the run, the damage was done. During the first ten miles I was in conserve water mode and only drank approx. 10 oz of water in roughly 2 hours of running. By the end of my run even though I still had liquid in my bottle I was feeling dehydrated and my pace had fallen off.

4. Forgetting about the feet. Your feet may be the most important thing during a long run. I’ve messed up selecting the wrong socks which created blister issues. I’ve also ignored little things like the condition of my toe nails. During one painful run one of my toe nails was just long enough to dig into the side of its neighbor causing one ugly wound and a very bloody sock.

5. Trying out a new pair of shorts. There is a time and a place to test out new gear. THE long run is NOT the time to test drive a new pair of shorts. If a seam falls in the wrong place, if the material is a bit to course the longer miles of your run will expose these shortfalls in a very painful way. Very early one morning, trying not to wake up my wife while getting dressed, I grabbed a pair of shorts pulled them on and in short order headed out the door for my long run. A mile in something was not right. I inadvertently grabbed a new pair of shorts and they were not riding right. Being a little stubborn, I decided I would just grim and bare it…little did I know the chaffing in “man-land” would become downright painful. Afterward those “new” shorts went right into the trash.



6. Don’t get some silly song stuck in your head. Just prior to going out on your long run/race make sure you only listen to your most favorite play lists. If for some reason you hear, a Barry Manilow, Milli Vanilli, or Bay City Roller’s song it will be stuck in your brain like a terrorizing replay of Disney’s “It’s a small world after all.” You have been warned.

The long run is perhaps the most important run leading to an upcoming race. The amount of attention you give it in the days leading up to or the morning of can make or break the run/race. Don’t let a little inattention to details derail you or leave defeated, broken and in pain at “the bonk zone” of the wall.

Have you forgotten to prepare for your long run? Post a comment and tell us about your long run mistakes.

Why I Run – Because It Is There

As a runner we have all heard the lines…

“If you see me running, it’s because someone is chasing me…”

“I stopped running when I stopped stealing.”

and the infamous question, “Why DO you run?”

The answer to that question is different for everyone, I can only tell you, for me it’s because the open road is there. Recently on a visit to Minnesota my wonderful sister-in-law Nancy took me on a ride to scout out a running route. Nancy was going to take me into a little town called Grey Eagle where I would get out and start my run.

Grey Eagle run(The start of my run in Grey Eagle, MN)

Along the drive to town she identified landmarks to help me get back to her cabin on the lake and the 2 mile route I would run to get in my six miles for the day. At one intersection she told me I should take a right hand turn. The reason she explained was because “the road straight at this intersection is very hilly.”

Say what….the challenge was on!

because it is there
That little baby might not be Leadville’s Hopepass…but it was a fun. According to my GPS this little climb was over half a mile long. It was a perfect day, a great run and I’m glad I took the route less traveled more hilly.


When you see a hilly road/trail to do see a route to avoid or a challenge?