On Leaving a Race….Quickly!

For those of you that like to race often enough, you probably know that the exit strategy to leave the race is almost as important as getting there on time.  I was talking to one of my runners who was caught in traffic yesterday after a race and that is what inspired me to write this post.  Who has finished their race only to then get stuck in traffic or in an indoor parking lot that is not open or forced to wait for buses or some transportation to get back to your car?

Stake out the race…

The first thing to do is get directions to the race so that you get there on time.  Then you need to know where to go after you get to the race location.   Get there early so that you can see where the bathrooms are, where the check in is and where the start line is.  Then see if you can relax and have a normal race day preparation.  If you are in a rush, obviously you would get nervous as you frantically have to do everything.

Also before the race….

As you park, note if your parking spot is within the race itself or within a loop of a 2nd race to follow or neither scenario.  If you are not so encircled and have time, aim your car in the exit direction as you park.  If there is a traffic jam it is a lot easier to pull into traffic instead of having to make a turn in any other direction.   Even if you have to park a mile away, what a great way to force yourself to warm up?

If you are stuck having to wait for a bus to the beginning or vice versa, you might just have to bite the bullet and have to wait in both directions.

Finally, the race comes and goes.  If you spend a lot of time talking or waiting for the medals, you might miss the traffic.  If you don’t and need to leave fast, if you have been careful, you should be able to get out more quickly than those who parked in a place they could not get out of……

Happy Running!


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Where Have You Been?

You are questioning yourself…..  Those doubts…. I was injured and how can I come back?  I gained weight – how can I come back?  I was faster when I was 23 yrs old – how can I come back?  I am getting old – can I continue this?

Running is for FUN

We have to take stock sometimes that running is for FUN – the pressure we put on ourselves for PRs and records and statistics is meaningless if running has become a job to you.  Has it?

Everyone Has a Story

Your story may have been weight loss or disease or whatever inspired you in the 1st place.  Reach back to that place and get your inspiration back.  You did it before and you can do it again.  What is stopping you?

Just do it – this is your chance to get back what you had before.  You may not be what you were, but who cares….you are better than the original and that’s where you need to aspire to be.

Happy Running


On Lessons Learned…..

Sometimes you don’t know if you have gone too far until someone tells you that you did.  The lines are blurred until you are told not to do what you thought was right.  When the time comes that you need to straighten out, it is how you react that determines the future.

What did you learn?

You can become reserved and sulk and not learn from the experience.  You can also take it all in and move forward, enriched from what just happened.  If you didn’t take the chance, you would not have known what the boundaries were in the first place.

One coach I admire tells his athletes to go out a little faster in a race than they would have normally if they know that they are running with people that can help them improve. Even if they end up slowing down, the experience of having run faster will help them in the next race.

How will you ever know if you can run faster if you don’t practice running faster?  That is why we have track workouts, tempo/progression runs and races.  Racing is good practice for racing again and racing faster, no matter what your pace is currently.  So have you tried to hit your limit today?  Did you try to learn something new to improve for next time?

Happy Running!

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goal and dream


2016 – A Year In Review – Your Running

If you had to summarize your running year in one word, what would it be? Mine would be “Almost”.  I ran my 3rd best Manchester Classic, finished in 2nd or 3rd in a race three times, could not get under 40 minutes for the 10K and ran my 2nd-best 1/2 marathon.  Although I did run my lifetime PR in the 20K and my fastest 5K since 2010, it all felt a little hollow for me. So what was it for you?

In order to have a good goal for next year, you need to assess the current year.  What kind of year was it for you? Once you can figure that out, then you can see what went right and what went wrong.  Examples:

  1.  Injuries
  2. Exhaustion
  3. Overtraining
  4. Boredom
  5. Races finished too slow/fast
  6. DNFs
  7. Not enough time to train and race

The plan you come up with for next year could involve many steps.  Think of what you need to get to your goal.  Is it a coach?  Is it a new running group or a different place to start running?  Is it a different time of day to run?  Whatever it is, change something up – changes in running keep you fresh and motivated.

What is your goal for 2017?

Think About It

Plan It

Execute It !

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Miles Are Not Important – II

Yes – the number of miles you run per year is not important. You did read this correctly.  The number of miles you run per week, month and year are not important.  It is the quality of the miles that is more important. Yes – you can’t only run speed or run only 200 miles a year, but the threshold varies per person, but it is usually not as much as you think.

From 2005-2013 I averaged 1400-1670 miles per year with only 3 or 4 months under 100 miles and massive streaks of 30+ mile weeks.  In 2014, I tore my meniscus and had to take almost 2 months off from running.  Those months were the best thing that happened to me.  As an aging runner (33+ years, 35,000 miles and 46+ yrs. old) I had to assess what I had been doing.

In late 2014, I changed my running strategy.  In addition to using the Isagenix nutritional program, I started hitting the gym 2-3 times a week for intense low-impact boot camps that emphasized core, stability, agility, balance and strength in an injury-free way.  I also lowered my mileage by almost 35% and ran 3-4x a week instead of my customary 6x a week.

The results have been staggering – all these times occurred since 2015:

5K – 18:24 -> fastest since 2010
4M – 25:26 -> fastest since 2001
10K – 39:31 -> fastest since 2008

10M – 1:06:36 -> PR
20K – 1:23:39-> fastest ever lifetime (PR – Personal Record)
13.1 – 1:30:05-> fastest ever lifetime  (PR)                                                                  4.72 – 29:22 -> fastest since 2009 (Manchester Classic-CT)

26.2 – 3:24 -> fastest at Boston; 6th-fastest ever                                                     26.2 – 3:21 ->  3rd fastest ever

And I’m going to finish this year with just over 1170 miles (after last year finishing with 1025 miles – least since 1998) with maybe 5 30+ mile weeks and one or two 100+ mile months.

So this is how I am going to train going forward – less miles, more speedwork and tempo runs and more strength training.  Father time always wins, but you don’t have to give up without a fight.

While it’s cool to hear about 25+ year streaks of not taking a day off or 3,000+ mile years, I’m sticking to what I have learned.  I want to be running when I’m in my 80’s.  So if my body reacts positively to less miles, then I will go there.  That is exactly the way I treat the runners I coach, with a balance….

Happy New Year to everyone!!!

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That First Marathon…or Half

I have talked to so many people lately who’s first race was not a 5K or 10K, but a 1/2 marathon or marathon.   Straight to the punch, they went for the longest race – whether it was a dream or a bet or a personal challenge, they went for it and finished.  While that may not be entirely what I recommend, people are doing it and the trend seems to be that it is not going away anytime soon.

If either race is your goal, all I can say is to be careful and slowly build up to it.  There is no sense in rushing to train or finish the race because all that will do is get yourself injured.  Get a plan together and allow for at least 18 weeks for a marathon and 12 weeks for a 1/2 marathon, especially if you have never done one before.   If possible, join a team that is training for the race or at least get a friend or friends with which to run the longer runs.   It is paramount that you do some research before jumping into something you have never done before.

Finally, you are ready – pick a race that is appealing to you.  Do you want a small race?  A race with 20,000 people?  A themed race?  (For kinds of races link here)  Do you want a specific destination, as in a vacation or to visit a friend at the same time?  There is also a price issue- many marathons are quite expensive, and when you add in travel and lodging, the total adds up quickly.  In either case, it will be your first, so it WILL be a PR no matter what when you finish.

Keep in mind that if you want to make this a destination vacation race, that you run the race early in the vacation.  Otherwise you spend the entire time waiting for the race nervously.  Also, you are more tempted to ride that roller coaster or walk 12 miles when you should be resting during the taper week.

If you want my recommendations for 1/2 marathons or marathons, please ask;  If you have run a great one, please share as we all are looking for a great race to run in all the time.

Happy Running

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Your First 5K….

Some of us have run hundreds of 5K’s…..even hundreds of marathons.  If you’ve run 5K’s – can you remember your 1st one?  If you have never run one before, are you ready for that next step in your running?

I was a junior in high school when my coach put me in that first 5K. It was a JV race in Cross Country on Garrett Mtn. Reservation park.  I had no idea what I was doing.  Although I had run track for 2 years, I had never run a 5K.  I got through it….and now, roughly 240 5K’s later, I’m still at it.  Unbelievable if you think about it.  But it all starts with just 1.

This is for all of you that run non-competitively.  Just jump in a race.  What are you worried about? The other runners will welcome you.  Or those who have never run before.  In 9 weeks you can finish a 5K.  Granted it won’t be fast – it may not be all running, but you can finish.

Just ask a lot of questions, pick a 5K, circle that date in the future and just work towards it.  You can do it – many have.  And pick a fun 5K for the food, or the colors or the zombies…. And you never know – that 5K may lead to longer races.  It may lead to obstacle course races….or duathlons or triathlons.

There has been an explosion over the last 7 years or so in racing, not just from 5K’s.  So what do you have to lose?  There is a small chance you will finish in last…but even in last you beat all those that did not leave the couch.  There are no excuses if this has been something you want to do….

Happy Running


For those that are just starting just click here – I want everyone to try to run – if that has been something you want to do…..   9 Weeks to a 5K