Recent Posts
Going to the track? Ignore the GPS
by on Thursday, April 2, 2015

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It doesn't take much to create very poor measurements on a track

Last week, one of the runners I coach decided to take her workout to a track. Personally, I think this was a good idea as there are advantages to the track that she could benefit from. However, she decided to still keep track of her pace using her Garmin. With her permission, I'd like to share some of her experience because I think she got caught in a worst case scenario of what can go wrong with GPS devices at the track.

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Good kinesio tape? Bad antioxidants?
by on Monday, March 30, 2015

I came across a good summary of what we know currently on kinesio tape that I wanted to pass along. Also, mixed results for mega doses of antioxidants.

Good kinesio tape?

Well...maybe not. Unless you like the placebo effect. (Note: I'm not opposed to using placebos if they will help.)

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Measure what matters
by on Thursday, March 26, 2015

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How useful are lab tests?

Would you believe that I, a competitive runner of 25 years, have never taken a VO2max or lactate threshold test?

It seems like everyone has taken one or both of these tests. I've been asked what my test results are and people are shocked when I say I haven't taken them.

The question I'd like to ask, though, is what we get out of these tests. What do they tell you that will help you become a better runner? We now know that training right at VO2max and lactate threshold isn't necessary. In fact, it's better to train at a range of paces around but not necessarily directly at those paces.

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Remember cooling vests? How about ice baths after workouts?
by on Monday, March 23, 2015

It looks like this is going to be a chilly post...

Do you remember cooling vests? I seem to recall them first coming to prominence around the time of the Athens Olympics in 2004. With the hot marathons, the American marathon teams used them with good results. Were the results pure coincidence or was there a connection? Likely, some of both.

I still see them being used at times in pre-competition settings, especially when it's going to be warm during the competition. The theory makes sense. Lower your core temperature and you'll perform better.

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My daily run thoughts
by on Saturday, March 21, 2015

In an effort to keep myself honest and get myself out there even if motivation is low I thought having a daily run blog would help. I also hope that it may inspire others and get them either running or become more consistent as well.

Today's run was uneventful - a short three miler at a 7:54 pace. It did feel very good - still a bit more of an effort than before my long break from running but not as tough as a week ago. (I started running again on 3/10/2015 after a five month hiatus.)

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Low carb, high fat (LCHF) diets and the runner
by on Thursday, March 19, 2015

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A little over a year ago, a coworker asked me for some advice. He was struggling with his long runs in preparation for the Boston marathon. We talked through things and all seemed fine. Then he mentioned that he had been trying the Paleo diet. While he had lost weight and was handling shorter runs at relatively low intensity well, he just couldn't sustain for his long runs.

Low carb, high fat (LCHF) is the latest trend in the diet world. Interestingly, it has not just your typical snake oil salesmen pushing it but it has some high profile names, most notably Tim Noakes (of Lore of Running* fame) promoting it. I greatly respect Noakes but, in this case, I couldn't disagree more.

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Long time off is over.
by on Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Due to a set of circumstances partly out of my control I lost five solid months of training. Coach Ryan has taught me how to make the past, "the past" and look forward. So, I have run seven of the last eight days - I think I am back it! Now of course they have all been about two miles and at a slow 8:00 minute per mile pace - but I am getting out there. I know that in a matter of weeks - things will start coming back nice and strong. Al's run is so important to me because of Team Hillrunner - I am focused strongly on that race and it is in fall - I have time.

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Coaches and placebos, avoiding muscle soreness
by on Monday, March 16, 2015

Coaches and placebos

Last year, I asked if the placebo effect is a bad thing. My point then being, if it helps you run faster, I don't care if it's placebo or a real effect. It helps you run faster and that's what matters.

It turns out I'm not alone. Coaches regularly use placebos in order to get performance gains.

Overall, the coaches are optimistic about placebo use in sports. Close to half of them, especially those coaching at higher levels of competition, may use it regularly while achieving positive results.
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The secret sauce
by on Thursday, March 12, 2015

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I bet Deena knows this "trick"

It seems like everyone is looking for it. What's that magical workout that will make you PR at your next race or beat that big rival who you just can't get ahead of? What's that one workout that all successful runners do? What's this or that coach's or athlete's go to workout?

I'll tell you my secret sauce. It's not mile repeats or progression runs or long runs. It's not something we do every week for three months. In fact, ask the runners I coach and they will tell you that I don't even like doing the same workout two weeks in a row.

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Combat boots vs. running shoes, more evidence that more running is good for you
by on Monday, March 9, 2015

One would think asking the following two questions would produce common sense answers. In one case, one might be wrong.

Does running in combat boots make you more likely to sustain an injury than running in running shoes? No. What? Really?

One would expect that running in combat boots would lead to a higher injury rate than running in running shoes, right? Well, the US Army changed from using combat boots to running shoes for PT in 1982. A review of studies was done comparing injury rates during Basic Combat Training (BCT) before and after the 1982 change. The result?

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