Archive for September, 2005

Running Tips – A Compilation

Everyone has different tips that they use to help them run. Basically, different things work better or worse for different people. I thought I might share with you a collection of the running tips that I have collected over the past few months that have helped me. Some are super basic, and you will say so what. However, one of the things I love so much about running is the importance of basic fundamentals to ensuring success. Sometimes the most basic things can make a world of difference. So without further ado, I present to you my compilation:

  1. Keep your head up – This will help you keep your body in line and keep your chest open for proper breathing.
  2. Run your own run – Do not try to keep up with someone faster if it doesn’t feel right.
  3. Join a clinic or running group – I find nothing more motivating than running with a group of like-minded individuals who push one another to do their best.
  4. Vary your tempo – Don’t run fast every day – vary it up with long slow runs, shorter speed runs etc.
  5. Hills are actually good – Hills suck while you are doing them, but I have found nothing progresses my running faster than a good bout of hills. Do them (if you have been training for at least 6 weeks).
  6. Do hills max once per week – As good as hills are for your running performance, they are brutal on the body. Knees, ankles, shins – the whole deal.
  7. Focus on landing on the middle of your foot as opposed to taking big strides and landing on your heal. Your entire leg will thank you.
  8. Pick a goal race – Goals are very important to staying motivated. If you know you are running with a specific purpose in mind (i.e. finish a 10K under 1 hour, just finish a half) then you will find it much easier to get up early to get that run in.
  9. Rest – Don’t run everyday. Take more days off than you think you need and you will be much better for it. I find this one tough to do, but if I don’t follow it, my body quickly tells me to back off. I like to cross-train on my mountain bike every once in a while to vary things up.
  10. Buy the right shoes – Shoes are the most important piece of equipment you can buy. Make sure you get properly fitted, are analyzed in terms of pronation, supination, etc and get a size that fits you perfectly. Be super picky. Don’t buy because a certain pair looks cool. Replace them at the first sign of sole breakdown (or before).

That is it for now. I am sure you all have specific tips that works for you. Let me know. I would love to hear them.

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Posted by The Running Guy - September 30, 2005 at 5:28 pm

Categories: Motivation, Training   Tags:


Some days are harder than others. Over the past two mornings, I had no problem getting up for about 5:30 am and heading out on my runs. Given, my training program has me running pretty light right now but it still was easy to get up and get going. Today was another story. I did not get out of bed to run. Part of the reason is that I plan to go running with my old clinic group this evening after work. The other reason was that I felt I just need to get that extra hour or so. So why do I feel so guilty right now?

My motivation for running touches on a couple of different areas: the joy of breathing in the fresh air, the feel of accomplishment after completing the run, the impact on my health (weight loss and general health), and the stress release. When I miss a planned run I get upset. The thing that is bugging me most today is that even though I have a run planned for later on, I am worried that work will require me to miss it in order to meet a deliverable deadline that is looming for tomorrow. I probably should have run this morning to guarantee that I got a run in today. Damn work.

Maybe I am worrying too much about missing one day of training (potentially). But when it is missing out on something you love to do so much, it sucks!! Oh well, time will tell as I progress through today.

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Posted by The Running Guy - September 29, 2005 at 4:02 pm

Categories: Motivation   Tags:

Signed Up for Half-Marathon Clinic – What to Do in the Mean Time

I have confirmed that I am signed up for the Half-Marathon clinic with the Running Room. As I have stated before, this clinic incorporates a training plan for the Hypothermic Challenge in February. I begin this clinic on October 25. I can’t wait to take this next step in my running “career”.

The question is, what do I do in the mean time to keep my training up? I just came off a 10-K race and I have a couple of weeks to go before the next clinic starts. Through signing up for the course, I have received a training manual that indicates what mileage we will be running and on what days. I am going to actually start the program now. The way the Running Room has structured this program is to start with low distances by running 5 days a week. This will be new for me as the most I have done is 4 runs per week, although not consistently. By starting now I don’t think I will jeopardize the training program at all and I will be that much more prepared to start the clinic on the 25th.

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Posted by The Running Guy - September 28, 2005 at 9:06 pm

Categories: Training   Tags:

Completed My First 10-K Running Race

On Saturday, September 24th, I completed my first ever-running race — in Banff, Alberta, Canada. This is a very popular race held every year in the Rocky Mountains. The setting for the run, as well as mother nature being kind to us, made this race a very positive experience for me.

My training began back in July 2005. I was way out of shape (204 pounds, 5’7″). I didn’t feel well, was getting sick a lot, and just new that I could do better. I had tried to start running before but never kept up with it. It was the usual excuses – not enough time, too lazy, kids needed me, etc. Knowing how I work (I like structure and a plan), I knew that the only way I was going to get in a groove was to join a course or club that would keep me motivated. I had heard about the Running Room clinics before but never thought much of it. I did my research and decided that a clinic was exactly what I needed. Most people I talked to were surprised when I said that I joined the 10-K clinic as opposed to the 5-K or even Learn to Run. For me, it was a stretch goal and the goal race was Melissa’s, which I would be very proud to say I ran.

Fast forward 3 months and I am now looking back on my training and successfully completing the run in 55:23 minutes – under my goal of 60 minutes. It was tough. It hurt. I ran fast (for me) and powered up the infamous Tunnel Mountain feeling good the entire time. At about the 6-K point my left knee began to act up. It didn’t hurt, it was just reacting to a pace that I was not completely used to. At 7-K I got an awesome cramp in my side. I ran through it all. I was so determined to run it in under 60 minutes that nothing was going to stop me, and nothing did. My Garmin displays my results:

Garmin_Melissas.jpg So now, at 160 pounds I feel a wonderful sense of accomplishment. I got into running and the clinic to lose weight, but now run for the joy and exhilaration of completing a race. Next stop, the Hypothermic Half-Marathon (Calgary) in February 2006. If anyone else is running this race, let me know. I would love to hear from you.

Thanks for visiting my blog. My plan is to not keep just a training diary, but more of a reflection on my training and the push to complete my life’s goals. I hope you continue to visit and please, comment to your heart content….

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Posted by The Running Guy - September 27, 2005 at 3:51 pm

Categories: Race   Tags: