Unless the groundhog has a true epiphany on February 2, we are slated for 8 more weeks of winter here in the Northern Hemisphere. If you happen to live in the Northeastern United States, like me, it’s been a real doozy this season, with more than our normal allotment of frigid weather, snow and ice. That adds up to a lot of treadmill running. The treadmill is nicknamed the “dreadmill” or the “hamster wheel” because it can get untenably monotonous. By now, most runners have grown weary of treadmill runs. Let’s face it, watching Dr. Phil, Ray-Ray and the Property Brothers, […]
Today, I am airing my dirty laundry in public. I run and work out anywhere from 6 to 9 times a week. That adds up to a lot of fitness apparel to launder. For me, it is like a secondary level of my training log. Confronting a hamper full of dirty running clothing is a three-dimensional reminder that I put in the work and sweat. We spend a chunk of our hard-earned money on running gear. We buy the best apparel we can afford and look for apparel properties that make our workouts more pleasurable: moisture-wicking, cold-resistant, heat-resistant, water-resistant, Gore-tex, […]
…My wise yoga teacher, Lindsay, usually starts practice by sharing something insightful that’s she’s been reading or observing. This week, she talked about the lessons we can learn from the eclipse and their application to yoga. Balance. Oppositions. Yin-yang. The necessary tensions and seeming contradictions in life. To truly feel happiness, we must understand despair. To truly experience gratitude, we must go through loss. We tend to think people and events are “either/or” when in fact, they are usually “both/and.” The same lessons can also be applied to running. Or really, to anything in life.
Here are just a few of the eclipse-related running observations I made this week during my workouts….
I can’t believe I’ve been blogging at Mastering Running for over a year now. Time flies when you’re having fun. And I am having fun and am enjoying my life, especially compared to how I felt when I decided to shut down my original blog, The Urban Vegan…
I thought it would be fun to list my top favorite blogposts from the past year. But before I do, I want to share some news…
Heat running can be super uncomfortable – whether you are a total newbie or you are Shalane Flanagan or Meb Keflezighi. Your body will eventually acclimate to running in the sultry summer weather, but even then, you’ll still need to get through those extra-soupy days, when the dew point, humidity and temperature all conspire to create a triple whammy of hell-fire conditions.
If you live in a climate that experiences 4 seasons like my city, Philadelphia, take heart. This is only temporary. Running in the summer swelter increases your capacity to appreciate those crisp fall mornings. And the good news is, studies show that heat training can be just as beneficial to runners as altitude training – good news for those of us at sea level. (Philly may not have mountains, but we do have almost-tropical summer weather.) Heat training increases your blood plasma volume, just as altitude training does, leading to improved cardiovascular fitness.
Here are a few tricks that have helped me get get through some extremely hot summer runs and races…
When it comes to improving as a runner, there’s talent, and there’s hard work. Sometimes, the stars align, and both elements are in place. But hard work – and consistency – will almost always get you farther than talent alone. Part of that hard work involves completing a running apprenticeship. This includes, but is not limited to:
- Putting in consistent running and training time – daily or almost daily
- Being open to learning from runners, coaches and other experts who know more than you
- Studying up on running on your own via books, web sites, workshops, etc
- Learning from your mistakes, as well as from your triumphs (I think you always learn more from the former)
- Understanding the holistic aspect of running: nutrition, sleep, stress and life-work-training balance all come into play
How long does an apprenticeship last? …