Workout Wednesday – Yasso 800’s

Workout Wednesday – Yasso 800’s

With less than a week to go before the Boston Marathon, I figured I would toss out a great workout that I use to help determine overall fitness and gauges marathon goal pace. This is a workout I did weeks ago and was very pleased with the results.

Yasso 800’s.

Named after Chief Running Officer of Runner’s World Magazine, Bart Yasso, this workout is a staple of marathon preparation. Just Google “Yasso 800s” and you will find a bevy of info about this workout. (more…)

Can I race during my marathon training?

Can I race during my marathon training?

I have a lot of athletes ask if they should skip a race if it falls in their marathon training plan. It is a tough decision if you really like to race. When you race, you are giving your best effort, which leaves you quite drained. The problem with this is that most races are on weekends. Weekends are usually when long training runs happen. So how do you do both? Is it safe to do both? Here are a couple suggestions. (more…)

‘Tis Almost Treadmill Season. Get the Most Out of Your Treadmill Workout

‘Tis Almost Treadmill Season. Get the Most Out of Your Treadmill Workout

Days are growing shorter. Temperatures are dropping. Running outside is not as fun as it was just a few weeks ago. For most runners, that means running less, or taking their running indoors. I try and run outside as much as I can. Icy roads and bitter cold can force even the toughest runner inside to do their workouts on a treadmill. You can still get a great workout without the stimulation of the great outdoors. Check out these great tips and ideas from Fix.com. AND DON’T FORGET to use the safety tether. I have scars on my shins from a nasty spill a few years ago. (more…)

Running tip: Don’t sweat the race photos. Your form is not that bad (hopefully).

Running tip: Don’t sweat the race photos. Your form is not that bad (hopefully).

Photos don’t lie, but they can be misleading. An athlete who I train sent me a message saying that after she saw her photos from a recent race, she really needs to work on her running form. I looked at the photos and they did look like she was overextending her stride and heel striking. While a heel strike is not necessarily bad running form, the over extension, over striding is. But those photos don’t tell the whole story. If you watch videos of top runners, Meb Keflezighi for example, and freeze-frame it when his front foot is getting ready to hit the ground, it looks like he will heel strike, with his leg more extended than what it should be, out in front of his body. But in those milliseconds before impact, his foot completes the gait cycle and is squarely under his center of gravity, landing mid- to-forefoot.

To prove that photos can be misleading, see below.

This photo MAY look like I am pooping my pants, but in reality, I was just running hard and my shorts were totally safe.
dontpoop1

On the other hand, Shane was was not so fortunate. Sorry, buddy.

dontpoop2

Back on topic.

Since she was concerned, I gave her a couple things to work on during her easy runs. First was to slow down. If you are going too fast, you increase your chance of injury. Second was to increase her cadence. More steps per minute. What this does is shortens your stride and forces you to land more toward your center of gravity. Once you get used to doing this, it actually makes your easy runs feel easier, lighter on your feet, and less like you are pounding the pavement. A good way to check your cadence is to time yourself for one minute and count how many times your right foot hits the ground. Then multiply by two. That is your cadence. Use this as a baseline and see if you can increase it by a few steps each easy run for a few days until you find the cadence that feels just right. Third was to not worry about how her form looks on camera. Everyone runs different and a photo at the wrong time can exaggerate every little flaw in your running form.

Just smile, relax and run – even when there are no cameras pointed at you.

Things to do in Boston – Marathon Weekend

Things to do in Boston – Marathon Weekend

I have only done one Boston Marathon, but I had a great time visiting the city of Boston. It was nice to treat the race weekend as a mini vacation. We flew into Boston from Washington, DC late on Friday evening and left very early Tuesday morning. I think we were able to do some fun activities in a limited time. I am going back again this April, and will add to this list, I am sure. Have a suggestion? Add it to the comments. (more…)

Bouncing Back After a Bad Race

Bouncing Back After a Bad Race

Don’t let a bad race get you down. The last thing you need when training is self-doubt. This past weekend I had a sub-par performance at a local 5k race. Afterwards, I had to take some time to put the day into perspective and push it out of my mind in order to move on. Here is how I did it. (more…)