Archive for the ‘Running’ Category

Training Guides – Reviews

Posted: February 10, 2011 in Duathlon, Running, Training

Ben Greenfield – triathlete & 2008 personal trainer of the year

Ben really knows his training tech. And he’s been around for a while as a triathlete and ironman, with a decade of studying, training, racing and coaching pro and amateur endurance athletes. A duathlon is running and cycling without the swimming leg of a triathlon, so his triathlon information provides everything you need to know. A lot of it is cutting-edge information including training plans, nutrition plans and time management so that you don’t spend your whole life training with no time left for family and work.  He offers you instant 24-7 help with training or nutrition questions you have for 9 months, replying to you in person.

You can find out about Ben’s training from his website Here

My Verdict – 14/15

Price – 4/5 Quality – 5/5 Usefulness – 5/5 Total Score – 14/15

If you’re serious about doing well with your running and cycling, I recommend Ben’s Triathlon Dominator Package

OK, running is 2 legs of a Duathlon, and there are several packages out there that cover marathon training and will help you reach peak condition.

Marius Bakken – 2 time Olympic runner

This is good material from a guy who was an Olympian and has since become a trainer (and medical student) and got great results from his students. What’s important to me, is that he provides an online member’s area where you can ask him questions and get access to FAQs posted by other members.  A good book is fine, but it’s stacks more useful to be able to talk to other people currently training themselves; especially an Olympian !

His 100 day marathon plan provides 8 different training schedules and videos that take you step-by-step through them. There are also write-ups and 15 additional videos that cover how to choose training shoes, strength training and more. His website isn’t as flashy as others I’ve seen, but the info and help is really good. You can get to his website Here

My Verdict -12/15

Price – 5/5 Quality – 3/5 Usefulness – 4/5 Total Score – 12/15

The 100 Day Modern Marathon Plan

Jill Bruyere – marathon runner & trainer

Jill’s put together a package called the Marathon Dominator. It covers nutrition/eating, handling injuries and provides a training schedule outline.  The info is provided on a couple of videos and MP3s as well as several eBooks. You can visit Jill’s website Here

My Verdict – 11/15

Price – 3/5 Quality – 4/5 Usefulness – 4/5 Total Score – 11/15

I found a couple of other information products, but they were only books & PDFs, which I don’t find nearly as useful as videos and online-training plans.


Run 2 Fast

Posted: October 2, 2010 in Running

Have you ever had people tell you that you run too fast? You can admit how good that feels.

Are you telling that running buddy of yours to slow down? If you are then I have a few great ways for you to learn how to run fast.

Anybody can learn how to run faster. I don’t mean that you will be setting world records. I mean that you can learn to run your best.

Here are just a few of the ways to run faster: Mechanics, Hills, Treadmills, Tempo Runs, and Stretching. Stride Mechanics can be one the easiest and hardest parts of running to understand and perfect. Watching the really fast people run is a free way to learn what good stride mechanics looks like. Watch how they lift their legs; hold their arms, how they swing their arms, listen to their breathing, etc. When you run by yourself try and picture what you have seen. By visualizing good running form you will become faster.

Hills will give you the biggest bang for your buck. No other training method will get in you in shape faster or improve your speed like running hills. Running hills once a week for 4 weeks will improve your speed guaranteed. The beauty of hills is the improvements in stride mechanics and speed that you will gain.

Treadmills are a secret weapon that can be used to learn how to run really fast. By setting the treadmill at faster speed than your race pace and running repeats of three to five minutes great performance gains can be made. On a technical note there is a speed difference when using a treadmill. Always set the incline to 1 or 2 % when running your repeats.

Advantages of tempo runs for running faster show up in races longer than the 5k. Distances of 10k through the Marathon are better for tempo runs. The great advantage of Tempo Runs is that you can train longer without the long recovery involved with all out racing. People who use heart rate monitors have a great advantage by being able to zero in on their tempo pace. For those who do not use heart rate monitors remember to run comfortably hard and not all out.

There is a lot of debate about the merits of stretching. I personally stretch each time before I run. I have run for 10 years now without any real serious injuries. I don’t believe in stretching more than a couple minutes at a time. I do just three stretches that take about 3 minutes to complete. My feelings about stretching are that if my stride is longer by even an inch I will cover more ground and I will run faster.

Try these methods for yourself and see how your speed will improve. Don’t expect to go from a snail to a cheetah in one week. Give your mind and body a chance to learn how to run fast. Listen to your body it will tell you when you have trained enough.

Richard Shryack is the author of Fatigue Nutrition & Endurance Exercise.

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There is a funny saying that cross-country runners like to throw around that goes something like this: “Our sport is your sport’s punishment.” Unfortunately, this quote carries with it more than just a hint of truth – most people simply hate to run. Running is hard, it takes time that could be spent doing other things, and for many people running is painful, uncomfortable, and not the least bit enjoyable. Ask any serious distance runner, and they can recount to you the scorn they sometimes receive from friends and colleagues about the fact that they run. I can’t tell you how many times people have told me that I’m going to ruin my knees, or that we as humans simply weren’t meant to run long distances (which, as an anatomy professor and evolutionary biologist, I disagree with wholeheartedly). So how does one overcome this fear and loathing for all things related to running? In this article I’ll provide 10 tips regarding what helped me the most during the first few months of my transition from being a couch-dweller to becoming a full-fledged runner.

I officially mark May 2007 as the date when I started running. When I say running, I mean really running, not just jogging a few miles here or there when I felt like it. May 2007 is when I began to really call myself a runner, when I began a habit that sticks with me to this day, and has become such an integral part of my life that I couldn’t imagine living without it. Prior to this time, running was for me, as the saying at the beginning of this article alludes to, like a form of self-punishment. I did it because it was supposed to be good for me, or because some coach at some time ordered me to do it during some practice – I did not, however, enjoy running. That all began to change for me when I began to gain weight after the birth of my two kids. I realized that I was now in my 30’s, and if I was going to take control of my health, I needed to start getting serious about exercise. This brings me to my first tip:

Tip #1 – Find a Source of Motivation For me, having children was the primary impetus for beginning my running habit. I wanted to get my health back under control, and I wanted to be able to keep up with two little kids as they grew up and became even more active. To this day, one of my main motivations for running is to set a good example about the importance of exercise for them. A secondary source of motivation was entirely personal – I wanted to lose some weight. It turns out that I lost about 15 pounds during my first six months as a runner, and that was strong motivation to keep going.

If you don’t have kids, and your weight is not a problem, motivation can still be found in other areas. My next tip for beginning runners details one of the things that really helped to keep me going at the beginning of my running life:

Tip #2 – Sign Up for a Road Race I’m extremely competitive with myself, and one of the things that initially got me running was a deal that my wife and I made to sign up for and run a 4-mile road race on the 4th of July, 2007. When I signed up for the race, I had never run more than about three miles in one go, and four miles seemed like an astronomical increase over that. Signing up for the race and paying money to reserve my spot gave me a goal to train for, and because I’m not a quitter, there was no way I was going to back out. If you’re even the slightest bit competitive (even if just with yourself), signing up for a local 5k is probably one of the best things you can do to motivate yourself to keep running. For me, racing hooked me in a way I never would have anticipated, and running races is one of my prime motivators for training to this day. It also introduced me to a whole “running world” that I didn’t even know existed. In every town there are like-minded people who run crazy distances simply for the fun of it. These people are among the most open and friendly people I have met, and their enthusiasm for running can be infectious. If you want to gain entry into this little slice of the world, start by going to some road races – I guarantee that you won’t regret it.

So lets now assume that you have some source of motivation to get you off of the couch and onto the road or trail. What follows are the lessons I learned from personal experience that I think are the most important to pass on to a beginner who has made the decision to start running.

Tip #3 – Get Appropriate Running Shoes I can’t emphasize enough how important this tip is. When I say “appropriate” running shoes, this doesn’t mean to head to your local sporting goods store to pick out the coolest shoe in the “running” section. What most people don’t realize is that each of us has a particular type of running gait. The way our legs move, the way our feet hit the ground – each of us is a little bit different. When it comes to running shoes, you want to be sure that you find a pair of shoes that is suitable for your particular gait. How do you do this? The best way is to go to a specialty running store where they will analyze your gait (usually for free) and let you try out a few pairs of shoes by running around the block. Any good running store will do this, and getting the right pair of shoes for your body and gait type will go a long way toward making your transition into running go more smoothly. It will also to help minimize any chance of injury that might arise from making an uniformed choice of the wrong shoe simply because you like the way it looks. Finding the best shoe for you can take some trial-and-error, but it is well-worth the effort.

Tip #4 – Start Slow and Run Short When you first start running, it is best to begin by running slowly for relatively short distances. Running will be a lot more enjoyable if you don’t overdo it to the point where it becomes hard and starts to hurt. So, consciously and repeatedly tell yourself to slow down. If you need to walk, do it. When you’re out on the road by yourself, nobody is going to care if you take a walk break, and if this helps you to keep running, then it’s worth it to do so. For me, when I used to run sporadically before May 2007, I felt like I wasn’t getting any benefit unless I pushed myself to the limit. This made running unpleasant, and explains in large part why the habit never clicked. By approaching my development as a runner this time around as a long-term process, it became enjoyable, and I eventually got to the point where running harder and longer was a joy rather than a chore. I found that every increase in run distance was a new milestone, and triggered a desire to go even farther. This culminated in my decision to run a marathon in May 2008, one year after I began running, and that was one of the most amazing experiences of my life.

Tip #5 – Track Your Effort If you need help tracking your effort, purchase a heart-rate monitor or a running computer. For beginning runners who own an Ipod Nano, the Nike+ system is a good choice. It’s cheap (Tip #6 – Eat and Drink Appropriately This probably goes without saying, but fueling and hydrating properly for your runs is critical. If you eat something (even just a Powerbar or similar product) an hour or so before you run, and hydrate well, your runs will be much more pleasant. Starving yourself to lose weight while running is counterproductive and should be avoided at all costs. Your body needs fuel to power your muscles on the run, and it needs fuel to repair any damage that occurs after you run. If you deprive yourself of fuel, your desire to run will fizzle away. One additional note about hydrating – if you run in the summer or in a hot area of the country, be wary of your hydration level. When it’s really hot I generally carry water with me. Sometimes I carry it in hand, sometimes I use a water bottle belt, and for longer runs I use a Camelbak hydration pack. Dehydration can be dangerous, and is easily avoided with proper preparation.

Tip #7 – Find Something to Pass the Time Some running purists prefer to avoid all electronic devices while running. I however, am a gadget freak, and can’t bear to run without my Ipod Nano attached to my arm (except during races – for that I go without). Listening to good music on a hard run can be incredibly motivational, and there are times when music alone can pull me through a tough patch. For long runs or slower, easier runs I like to download podcasts from Itunes or audiobooks from my local library’s digital audiobook download site. Most library’s offer these digital downloads now, and although MP3 player compatibility can be an issue at times, there are ways to overcome this and downloads are typically free with a library card. Listening to audiobooks on the run has opened up a whole new world of options for me, and there are times when I’m so engrossed in what I’m listening to while running that it feels almost effortless.

Tip #8 – Run with a Partner I tend to run solo or with my dog (who is a great running companion by the way), but many runners thrive on running with friends/family/co-workers. Having a partner helps to pass the time, conversation on the run generally forces you to slow down, and having a partner to keep you honest helps to prevent lapses in dedication to the sport.

Tip #9 – Join a Running Club Most towns/regions support local running clubs. Generally, these clubs cater to people of all levels and abilities, and joining one can be a great source of motivation. Meeting other local runners provides an avenue for learning about new running routes in your area, and they can be rich source of information and advice for beginning runners. Check out the Road Runners Club of America RRCA for information on finding a local club in your area.

Tip #10 – Join an On-Line Running Forum On-line forums are a great place to find information and advice on running. There are tons of running forums out there, so finding one to your liking should not be hard. A few examples are the Runner’s World Magazine Forums, the Forums, the Runner+ Forums, and the Cool Running Community Forums. Even if you aren’t an active contributor, reading through the collective knowledge on these forum sites can be incredibly beneficial.

I could probably go on-and-on with tips like those presented here, but I’ll cut it off at 10 for now. Probably the most important pieces of advice I can give to beginning runners are to stick with it and to have fun. As your running progresses, you’ll begin to experience both physical and mental changes that you might never have expected. Running improves the health of your body, but it also can change your mind (it’s a great stress reducer for one thing), and once you’re hooked, there’s no turning back.

Happy running

The author of this article, Peter Larson, maintains a website,, that provides information on running in New Hampshire. His blog,Runblogger, provides thoughts and tips on running, blogging, and living an active life.

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Bulletproof Your Knee

Posted: September 20, 2010 in Cycling, Duathlon, Ironman, Running, Triathlon
Bulletproof your knee

Bulletproof Knee

This program is worth looking into if you’ve had trouble with your knees while running ( lots of us do ).

Ben Greenfield is a pretty well known Triathlete in the United States and has a great program to sort out this sort of problem. It’s easiest to send you straight to his website than copy what he says in this post -> Bulletproof Knee