Monthly Archives: December 2017

Running – Racing – Marathon – Ultra Marathon Community

No other athletic community is like the running community.  Whether running for fun or racing a ultra-marathon, full or half marathons and right down to the 5k, runners a special breed of people.

What other community toils away at their craft in near obscurity?  Would Arron Rogers pay to play football in an empty stadium?  Would Michael Jordan have played for free in the middle of a city park, unnoticed by anyone?  Yet 99% of all runners, even world class athletes train and run unnoticed by the majority of the world.

In what other sporting endeavor does world class talent compete on the same course, play on the same venue, and run the same miles as the last place finisher.  The average baseball player will never be able to take the mound and pitch an inning in Yankee stadium.   The weekend tennis player will never be able to serve at Wimbledon.  Yet week after week the average runner toes the same line as the Olympic qualifiers, world record holder or world major marathon winner.

[Tweet “Brian @cledawgs shares his opinion on why the running community is the best.”]

The “community” of runners is part of the story I tried to capture in my book Running to Leadville.  For those unfamiliar to the sub-culture of ultra-marathon this book uncovers the unique relationships in the running world.

The running community is unlike any other in the world.  We run the same races, cover the same ground, run against the same clock as the professionals.  The last place finisher will cover the same 26.2 miles as the winner of the Boston marathon.  The last person to cross the line in Placer High School in Auburn, Ca would have ran the same Western States 100 course as past winners Ryan Sands, Kaci Lickteig, Rob Karr or Hal Koerner.

The Golden Minute – Western States Endurance Run 2015 from Western States Endurance Run on Vimeo.

In what other community would you see the final finisher, just beating the cut off time celebrated as much as those who won the race.

The running community is (in my opinion) the most supportive community I have ever been associated with.  From the local running clubs, to the regional elites to the world famous runners who I’ve had the pleasure of meeting. 

Each has been very humble, supportive, welcoming and down right wanting you to do your best, 

Running – It’s Going to Get Tough

Running and racing, whether it be a marathon, ultra-marathon or your local 5k, can at times get difficult or down right seem impossible.  In these moments of conflict you might think about tossing in the towel.

Do Not Do It…..

It will get better, I promise.

If you ever feel like you have had enough.  If you ever feel like your legs are about to explode and you can’t take another step.  If you have felt like you have the will power of Pee Wee Herman and just want the show to end.  Just hold on.

Seven steps that can take a near Did Not Finish (DNF) experience and turn it into another notch on your running and racing belt.

[Tweet “Brian @cledawgs highlights seven tips to keep you in a tough race.”]

1.  Simply keep moving.  If you feel like you just can’t go on….keep going on.  You can’t stop if you keep on moving.

2.  Walking is okay.  There is no shame in walking.  Some days your legs or lungs just don’t have it.  Maybe you’ll have to give up on your goal time, but if you take a simple walking break, you may regain enough strength and commitment to continue to fight to the finish.

3.  Never quit where you at.  If you’re going to drop out of the race, do it at an aid station or the start/finish line.  If giving up becomes an option, make your way back to an aid station or the start/finish line…you just might find out that the bad patch has passed and you can continue on to the finish.

Do you want to run faster, run your best marathon, or any race for that matter?  26.2 Tips to run your best MARATHON (or any race for that matter) bridges the gap between training for a marathon and the race day tactics that can shave seconds, minutes or hours off your finishing time.

4.  Just one more mile.  I once got my son to finish his hamburger after he said he was full by asking him to eat “just one more bite. ” The same tactic can work during a race, just one more mile, and one more mile until you find yourself running to the finish line.

5.  Keep some run in it.  If there comes a time when you have to walk, mix in some run segments no matter how short or slow they may be.  It’s hard to give up when you can still run.

6. Walk if you have to but walk with purpose.  There is a big difference, not only in time, but mental focus/strength between a 18:00 mile and 14:00 mile.  If you go into the death walk, “aka dead man walking mode” it is so much easier to drop.  Keep up your pace the best you can and sooner or later you’ll cross over that finishing line and into victory!

7.  Hitch hike if you have to.  When I’ve been at my lowest, I’ve survived a race by staying in touch with the runner or walker in front of me.  Trying to not be dropped helped me focus on moving forward and not on the pain, fatigue or the mental weakness I may have been going through.

A good race and a bad race are sometime separated by staying in the game.  Never give up while you still can move forward no matter the pace.