Why Do You Run?

People ask me all the time why I like running.  While everyone has their own reasons, my main one is that I really like to do it….and with people!  I love to run with people – it is a social thing I like to do and I look forward to my runs, once I get started (I do admit that sometimes half the battle is getting out of bed!)  The relationships I have made are worth every mile.

Why do I run?  I love the feeling I get at the end of the run, especially if I finish strongly after a short or long run and the satisfaction of finishing.

Why do I run?  I like how I feel when I’m in good shape, especially after a few good weeks of running.

Why do I run?  It is cool to be able to help other people with running as a coach or a volunteer coach for the town XC team and as a volunteer coach for my church.

Why do I run?  I do feel good when people ask me how many marathons I run and I tell them 23…. and the response I usually get.  I do like how I then tell them how I met a 74 year old runner who had run well over 150 marathons.

Why do I run?  I love the hot shower after a cold frigid weather run.

Why do I run?  I enjoy the priceless moments when my teen daughter asks me to run with her.

Why do I run?  I like the feeling of getting new sneakers…   and donating the old ones…


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Become a Runner in Less Than 1 Hour per Day

I don’t have time…..it is a common statement.  When you have that first child and you are balancing everything:  the baby, your spouse, no sleep, your job….perhaps other kids and the ever=present grandparents….wow.  How does anyone get through it?  Who has time for exercise and even follow a proper diet with all that going on?

I’ll have to say that you need a team attack on this one.  Your family has to be on board for you to be able to start any kind of program.  I’m here to tell you that all you need is about 5 hours a week to commit to become a runner, new or again….couch to 5K or if you are a “glory days” runner coming back from previous success.

First of all – your family needs to back you.  You need 3 mornings a week and 1 weekend day to get back into shape.  Yes – you can run with a baby stroller, but your spouse needs to watch the other kids.  And you know what?  You want to make this about you – not your baby in the stroller.  The other 163 hours per week you promise to commit to everyone else.  For YOU – you want 5.   You all have to make it work together.  Tough luck – there has to be a compromise.

This is less than 1 hour per day!

Secondly, you don’t even need to run at first.  If you can walk, you can be running in about 2 months.  You need to just get out there and take those first steps.  So don’t be afraid of those steps – they will be new – they will be hard – but they will get you there.  Finally – the side effects will be positive.  You’ll have more energy once you get into a rhythm, you’ll feel in better shape and you will get your confidence back.  Find some friends or join a running group and make it social and everyone benefits.

5 hours…..

Are you ready to commit?

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On Types of Races….

There has been a recent running boom since about 2005.  Between 2005-2013, the number of runners finishing a race has almost doubled, from about 10,000,000 finishers to just under 20,000,000 finishers.  That is almost unbelievable.  Also, as recently as 2005, men were still finishing more races than women (53%-47%).  Women have now taken over and are finishing 57% of all races.

There are many theories on why the increase in finishers and why so many more women.  In my view, the type of race has attracted more and more people.  Races just used to be a race – you ran it, finished it and went home.  Then some races had food after the race.  Others had beer. There were races in which you drank beer during the race.  But it was pretty much the same at least from 1982-2006 or so from the road races that I ran.  Increasingly, more races have fun runs for the kids.  There may be face painting, fun warmups, games, maybe a clown, etc. to keep them occupied while mom and/or dad are running the race.

The biggest change to me is in the themed race.   Now you have all new obstacle course races (OCR) like a mud run, Your First Mud Run, Spartan, Warrior, Diva, Mudderella, Dirty Girl and Tough Mudder, all challenging people to their limits and creating teamwork and are mostly a lot of fun for most.   Then there is the Zombie race series – zombies chase you as you run for your life.  There is the Krispy Crème challenge – run 1/2 way, eat 12 donuts and run back….without emptying yourself in any way…..  If you don’t like donuts, there is the Twinkie Run.   There are Color Runs – as you run people throw colored dust on you and you finish with your own tie die shirt (and self) at the end.   There are hot dog and corn dog challenges – leave those to your imagination.

There are also various clothes races….ahem.   There is a nude race in Florida and, if that is too little for you, an undie race on Valentine’s Day in various locations.  There are other more mainstream like mustache dashes, Run Disney, superhero runs, prom runs and a team tribal run.  Finally there are electric runs, backlight runs and a slime run.  The new Battle of the Sexes race pits men against the women for prizes only the winning team wins. With ALL these choices, it is no wonder that racing is up.  In most cases, races are tied to a cause – so a local charity or school usually benefits.    Good luck in making a choice!!

Happy Running!

Battle of the Sexes 5K

Slime Run


Seize the Day

“Carpe diem. Seize the day, boys. Make your lives extraordinary” – that is a line from the movie Dead Poets Society as spoken by Robin Williams.  That is what today’s post is about. You can apply it to anything and running falls under the ‘anything’ category.

I lost a good true friend this week suddenly.  She was not a runner – not an athlete – in many ways she was the opposite.  However she was full of life, always making people laugh – she had an infectious laugh….and was kind and caring.  Hanging out with her was always fun – you never knew what to expect.  There was always a moment that might catch you off guard …. but you would laugh 10 minutes later or 10 years later.  She was only 46 when she died….that is too young for anyone to die.   And I am struggling with the fact that I lost 2 friends just this year from heart attacks at the same age as I am now – 46.

Life is too short to not make every day count.  yea, you may be tired and cranky, you may not want to go to that next gathering with friends, but you don’t know when your last day will be.   So, whatever it is, just do it – get it done.  We don’t have all the time in the world to do everything, so get out there….

To connect this to running – go run with some friends, even if it is a 22 minute drive to get there; get up for that daily renewal – that exercise that gets you going.  What do you have to lose:  try your hardest – every single time;  leave it all on the track or on the race course.  You can’t regret what happened in the past – just get them in the next race.  There are inspirational stories of people who run with only 1 leg, or with a disease, etc.  If you are reasonably healthy and stay careful, there is no reason, no excuse, to not get out there and run, or bike, or love, or care…..

This has been a tragic week….we all have to remember the good times with people who passed.  But for the people still alive, we can make new memories with them all the time – we have to just make the effort….

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Runners Grave

Beer and Running…

Somehow it seems like the running culture has us all having a beer after our runs.  Many races have beers served right after the finish line.  There are beer races (where you drink every mile), the beer mile (you drink before every lap) and they might as well have a race where you hold a beer while running….

Yesterday a local informal running group got people together for a Runners and Beers night at a local watering hole. It was a resounding success, as about 30+ people came and we hung out for more than 3 hours. Many different local running clubs were represented, and we had fun talking about anything and everything, and some running as well. Three weeks later another group of us met, this time in a bar with an outside area – another 30 runners and few beers later, and we had some more new friends!

We should all do this more often – relax with our running and enjoy the company.  On Sunday I ran 6+ miles of my 20K race with a member of an opposing club.  We paced each other perfectly.  What a great way to run a longer race?  This week I forced myself to take a week off and I’m back to running again tomorrow.

I am going to plan other running get-togethers in the near future – the more we make running fun, the more we like to run!  And people are what make it all work the best in my view.

Happy Running!

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Note:   I’m third from the right in pic…..





On Finding a Great Team….

Surround yourself with a supportive, energetic team in all that you do.  This includes your family (hopefully!), friends, co-workers and other people around you.  The team’s whole are usually greater than the parts.  If you want a project done, you get the best people to help you.  If you need emotional support, you turn to your best friend.

Doing anything alone also is not that fun.  Who likes to wash a full sink of dirty dishes or fold piles of laundry by themselves?  Talking and working together makes these things so much easier.  You also learn from other on how they do things and you can take these pointers to make your jobs easier.  This is life and we were meant to help each other succeed.

Along those lines, Running does NOT have to be “futile” with “miles that never seem to end”, as Bruce Dickinson Of Iron Maiden wails in the song “The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner”.     They can be fun miles – particularly with good company.

Find yourself a running partner, a team, a group – anything to make your runs easier.  Whether they wordlessly pace you to a specific goal without any hesitation or if they listen to your problems or you have a conversation about hair dye used in the Falkland Islands, the miles pass faster with friends!

What would I have done if in the last 34 years I had to run all 37,000~ miles of my running life by myself?  I honestly wouldn’t be running anymore!  It would become boring.  I have talked about life, work, dating, marriage, kids, food, vacations, politics – every topic imaginable with well over 300 or more different people at one time or another during a run.

So I thank my various teams: Saddle Brook Falcoms, Pace Setters, Clifton Road Runners, Roche corporate club, NCRC for bringing people together to make my runs fun and enjoyable.   What are your teams?  Look up a local running club if you are not part of one.  There are thousands across the country – there is no excuse to run entirely by yourself – unless you want to!

Happy Running

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running team





On Running Coaches…

“Why do I need a running coach? I can join a gym and the trainer will help me and find all these plans on-line that tell me exactly what to do for any race.”  Not entirely true, however….and this is why one does need a running coach:

  1. Scheduling – Coaches will help you get to your goal with plans scripted and made just for you – there is no cookie-cutter plan that is made for any 1 person.  Plus, coaches change plans on the fly when runners need to adjust for sickness, soreness, vacations, kids….i.e. life
  2. Motivation – you can’t get that from a plan you find on-line.  The coach will call, text, IM, Skype, e-mail, tweet, Instagram, Tumblr, etc. to get you to your goal
  3. Nutrition – a good coach will help you exactly with daily eating as well as pre and post run, workout or race day fueling.
  4. Fitness – Every runner needs core, agility, strength, speed and balance training.  Not many people actually do it.  The coach will either give you side workouts or team up with a gym to get you the fitness that you need.
  5. Rest and Recovery – It is very easy to keep on going, starting unnecessary streaks and not getting enough rest.  A coach will build in rest into your individual schedule, allowing you to recover.

There are so many variables that go into coaching a runner.  The runner’s weight, age, work-life balance, kids, injury history and attitude are just pieces of what a coach needs to consider when he works with a client.

Vice versa, a runner who wants a coach needs to think of how he or she fits with the coach.  Do you want to spend a lot of money, do you want a hands-on coach or a hands-off one, etc.  A trainer that works in a gym who is not an experienced runner can’t help you.

Runner’s World also has an article on running coaching:


With the new year coming up, this could be what you need to take you to the next level.

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#running #runningcoach #runningtips #nutrition #NCRC

aaaRunning Coach