Are YOU on MY Trails?

One of my friends was complaining to me this week that she has barely enough room to run some days because of all these “summer warriors” who only run outside in the summer.  They take up all her trails and bring their dogs and walk, etc.  and get in her way…..  She asked me – “what should I do about these people”?  This is what I told her:
The summer can be a busy time on the trails and paths in parks, forests and protected areas.   People are suddenly wanting to get into shape and they flock to these places to walk, hike, road bike, etc.  What should people do so that they are not stuck in slow snaking lines in hot weather?
1)  Go to the trails at off hours.  Try to get there early when the park opens to beat the crowd and heat.  Try to get there after dinner before the park closes, although this would be the second option over morning.  If you get there at 10:00 AM on a Saturday, the whole world will be coming over the next few hours.
2)  Find trails less traveled in your ‘home’ park.  In most parks there are labeled trails with markers in color.  If you know from past experience that the yellow trail at a particular park is nice and wide but heavily traveled, go to the blue trail which may be narrower and less traveled.
3)  Find parks/trails that are further away.  Here in northern NJ, the parks closest to NYC are always busy in the summer.  As you go out further west and north, they get less crowded.  It may require some research and driving time, but you should be happier.
4)  Look at park calendars for events.  If there is some event going on such as a 5K or a food truck festival, odds are that there will be too many people and you can avoid those days (more people on the trails and less parking are not a good combo).  Every park usually has a calendar of events and you should consult it before you go.
5)  Think out of the box.  Some of the best trails are on old mansions or places that are not so obvious but are open to the public.  Again, do some research on this.
6)  If trails are too busy, find ‘roads less traveled’ – some small neighborhood streets may do the trick in a pinch…..
As you do go on trails, please be careful to bring enough fluids and be careful not to get lost.  Also, please obey the signs if the trail you are on is crossing private property.   Watch for roots and things that can get you hurt – a twisted ankle 5 miles away from the parking lot is not fun.   Above all, try not to go by yourself – for all the reasons mentioned it would be safer with a buddy or a small group.
Have fun out there and happy running.
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On Treadmills….

Treadmill running……or “dreadmill” running as people often call it.  You have the choice to run outside, but unfortunately, there is ice or subzero temperatures or you are in an unfamiliar location…..and back again you are on that treadmill again.

Ideas Can Help….

It doesn’t have to be so bad, everyone!   You can be outside and potentially can get injured with black ice.  Instead, you are in the comfort of your own home or gym with controlled weather conditions.   I agree with you – if you are merely staring at a wall or at yourself in a mirror, treadmill running can be extremely tedious and boring.   If that is all I did, I would have hung myself a long time ago in my basement….. not really, but you get the point.

Mix it Up….

Get a TV and put it in front of your treadmill and watch your favorite show – or a live sporting event – or an action movie – or anything on DVR.   This will definitely make a difference.  Something like Rocky or Die Hard keeps me going.  Music!  Anything that gets you excited – put it on. Or watch a concert on the TV of your favorite band and kill 2 birds with 1 stone.  Lastly, change the incline, change the speed and change the temperature (open windows in the winter, for example) for different experiences in the same exact place. Have you ever tried to talk to a friend who is also on a treadmill?

Some Basic Rules….

Don’t forget to keep the treadmill at least at 1% incline to mimic the lack of wind resistance.  Buy a treadmill for you – if you won’t use bells and whistles, don’t get them.  If you run only 50 miles a year inside, don’t get the best model.   I will go over my treadmill buying tips another day.

Treadmill running does not have to be painful – you can change your perceptions.  If you think glass half empty, you will not like it.  Maybe you can like it more now?? A little?treadmill

Happy Running!

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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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#trialsofmiles #running #runningcoach #overtraining #rest #recovery #bootcamps #SCI #NCRC

aaaovertraining

On Passing….

There are moments in every race where you have a chance to pass someone in a race.  But when?  Is it too soon?  Let’s go over a few basic points of passing:

  1. If you can hold your pace, just pass.  If you need to speed up, especially early in the race, and can’t keep the pace, don’t pass
  2. If it is really windy, use the other runner to break the wind as long as possible before passing.  Let them waste their energy
  3. If the runner in front of you looks back, try to pass.  They are worried about you for some reason – they may be tiring, who knows.  If they look over their left shoulder, pass right and vice versa.  You want to demoralize them to get your place or medal, etc.
  4. If it is near to the end of the race, try to pass with some ‘zip’ and open up some space between you and the runner.  If you just pass and stay a couple of strides ahead, you give them hope and they may surge on you.  Once you open up a bit, people generally lose hope and slow down.
  5. When you pass, be courteous – there is no reason to cut anyone off or get too close.  Pass cleanly and move on.  Too much contact may lead to getting disqualified – and no one wants a DQ.

A lot to think about – but it is very easy to implement.   Every second shaved here and there saves you time and leads to better races.

#running #runningtips #passing #aggressive

aaapassing

The runner on the right is passing the one on the left.  Why? His form is strong and the other runner looks defensive and beaten.  The runner on the right is pumping hard – see where his arms are finishing.

Drafting off Other Runners

Some days during a race, there are terrible high headwinds (as was during my Miles for Music 20K yesterday).  Unless it is a teammate and you want to be nice, there are no rules on drafting behind other runners.  Like cars do it in NASCAR, use the person in front of you to do the work for you.  Tuck in behind a pack or behind some taller runners and let them battle the wind.  Sure, you will still feel the wind if it is that bad, but every little bit helps.  A second here and there will add up and get you your PR or that age group award.

If you have teammates around you, talk to them – take turns breaking through the wind – it will only help both of you conserve energy and help the team get a better overall place.

As always – happy running.

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#running #runningtips #runningcoach #drafting #milesformusic

drafting

Running too fast?

Too many runners run too fast too much of the time. I have always said that approximately 80-90% of your running should be at a comfortable ‘talking pace’. That pace is, of course, different for everyone. If you are struggling to breathe on recovery runs, you are going too fast.  There is no reason to push so hard – your muscles need to recover and allow themselves to repair after hard workouts and races.   Plus, we are not all Olympians – just because they are genetically strong enough to be able to handle a particular set of workouts does not mean we all can.

http://www.runnersworld.com/race-training/train-at-the-right-intensity-ratio?adbid=551362387261935616&adbpl=tw&adbpr=16031688&cid=socTP_20150103_38176397

Running Heat

Hill Phobias?

You see the hill in front of you and it is imposing. “How the heck am I going to get to the top?”, you say. Relax – just focus on a spot just 3-4 yards in front of you and don’t look at the top. Shorten your stride and lean into the hill slightly and “chop” your way up. When you crest the hill, maintain the strong effort and count 10 strides until you completely flatten out (or begin going back down). Hills are going to be there – use them to your advantage, particularly in races, as most other runners will fear them and slow down, especially at the top.

Hill Workout