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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Map It For Me!

This is my new favorite tool...

If you run, walk, bike, or hike, your going to love it too! Have you ever finished a bike or run and wondered exactly how far you've gone? Well these maps will tell you that and more! You can find out distance, elevation changes, mile markers, and terrain BEFORE YOU GO. Some even provide details for parking, water, bathrooms, and scenic views. Just plug in your starting address, map your course, and hit save. PRETTY SIMPLE!

Also, this is a great way to add routes to your repertoire by exploring existing maps. This is where I could use your help. The more routes created, the more options I have for my runs! So help me add to my "rave runs" by plotting your courses. Ready...Set...Go!

Monday, March 22, 2010


The PowerSong is a universal concept. In simple terms, it’s your psych-up anthem. For running, it’s that track that gets you out the door, up a steep grade, or over the proverbial wall with a burst of aurally-inspired adrenaline. (1)

Here are my top 5 PowerSongs of the month.

  • Gaelic Storm - Scalliwag
  • Lady GaGa - Bad Romance
  • Michael Franti - Say Hey (I Love You)
  • Rusted Root - Virtual Reality
  • Kelly Clarkson - Whyyawannabringmedown

What kind of PowerSong gets you going?

Friday, March 12, 2010

A Faster 5K

So you've done your hard work. You've conquered the distance and now would like to go for a PR (personal record), or maybe medal in your own race category! You should have plenty of opportunity now that 5K season is upon us so here are some tips to increase your speed.

1 - Increase your mileage. I know what your thinking "What?!?! I'm finally able to do the 3.1 miles and you want me to do more?" By slightly increasing your weekly miles your aerobic system becomes stronger. A good rule of thumb is to increase by no more than 10% each week.

2 - Add a long run once a week. This is 33% longer than your typical run. So if you normally run 4 miles, try to run 5 1/2. To allow for recovery, rest the next day or shorten your mileage.

3 - Add speedwork once a week. This is my favorite! It changes up the pace and keeps my workouts from becoming too mundane. There are many forms of speedwork but here are a couple I like.
  • Tempo run - Warm up and then run for 20 minutes faster than your normal pace. This should feel challenging but maintainable for 20 minutes. Try to finish faster than you started.

  • Intervals - Alternate pace. Run hard for a minute then jog slow. This is fun to do at a track so you can measure the distance. After a brief warm-up run once around the track (400m) at a hard pace. Not an all out sprint, but close. Then jog slowly around the track to recover. Repeat 3 to 6 times trying to be consistent with your speed.

  • Hill repeats - Easy directions. Find a hill. Run up and down. Use your downhill for recovery.
After your workouts it's important to refuel properly to avoid extreme muscle fatigue. The magical ratio is 4:1. By consuming a 4 to 1 ratio of carbohydrates to protein within 15 to 20 minutes of running, the body recovers much faster.

Hope this helps with your running goals. Let me know if you want more speedwork ideas. See you on the road...or track! ;)

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Starting a Running Program

In the beginning, running doesn't need to take a lot of time. In the first few months, try to establish a schedule. You are more likely to succeed if you find just a few minutes several times a week that you can commit to running than if you devise an elaborate and completely undoable schedule that will fall apart in a matter of days.

It's important at first to go for time rather than distance. It can be discouraging when you can't reach the distance you set for yourself. Just plan to get out of the house for a certain amount of time. Forget how far you go. Forget how fast you go. Just get out the door and stay out. For many people, twenty minutes of activity is a good place to begin. That does not mean running for twenty minutes. It means staying on your feet moving forward for twenty minutes. If you can run, run. If you can walk, walk. Do whatever you can, but keep moving forward. If it gets too hard, slow down.

A program of alternating running and walking is a good way to begin. The first week that may mean running for 5 minutes then walking for 10 to recover. In time, it may mean running for 10 minutes and walking 5, or running 10 and walking 1. The truth is, it doesn't matter. What matters is that you are getting out the door and learning to use your body as a means of transportation.

If you are patient, if you are persistent, if you are consistent, an amazing transformation will begin to occur. Your wonderfully adaptive body will begin to cooperate. It will happen in your own time and at your own pace, to be sure, but the transformation will take place.

Not only are you becoming a runner, but you are becoming a runner in training. You will have goals. You will have good days and bad days. You will have days when you can't wait to run and days when you will have to force yourself out the door. In other words, you will be just like all the other runners. Every day you will be trying to do your best. (1)

Click HERE for a 12 week beginner's training program.