Author Archive | Angie Spencer

Replay Episode: How Heart Rate Training Works

Heart Rate Training

Today we bring you a special replay of one of our most popular episodes from 2013. It’s a nuts and bolts kind of topic so get ready to learn a lot!

Maybe you have a heart rate monitor (HRM) that you never use or use a heart rate monitor and get frustrated because you don’t fully understand how to go about using this training method.

In this post I want to cut through the clutter and tell you how to get started with heart rate training. You will learn:

  1. What to know before you start heart rate training
  2. Three ways to find your ideal training zones
  3. The limitations of heart rate training

Ready, set, go! Continue Reading →


How to Study the Marathon Course in Advance to be Confident on Race Day

screen-shot-2016-09-22-at-12-40-08-amBefore each marathon there are a few simple things I do to get a solid idea what the course will be like.

This takes a lot of stress out of my mind when I get to the starting line.

Sometimes I work with my coaching clients to develop a race day strategy based on the course profile (elevation gain, hills, aid stations, out-and-backs, etc.).

Your study of the course doesn’t need to be that involved. Just start with these five things. Continue Reading →


The Highest Road Marathon on Planet Earth


I recently ran a marathon billed “The Highest Road Marathon on Planet Earth.” The 9th annual Madison Marathon took place near Ennis, MT on July 23, 2016. This race is part of the Greater Yellowstone Race Series.

The next day Trevor ran the Big Sky Half Marathon. In this podcast episode we recap both races and all the nitty-gritty details of running a tough mountain race. Continue Reading →


Shoe Review: New Balance Vanzee Pace

13918382_1189380271125809_1132097123_oThe New Balance Vanzee Pace is is an attractive shoe coming out of the box especially in the color that I chose.

It has a typical running shoe shape and is fairly light weight and is similar in shape to the New Balance Fresh Foam Zante (which I also own).

The midsole material is called Revlite which is supposed to provide a firm but bouncy ride. This is how the shoe is described on the New Balance website: “Unleash even more speed and style in the Vanzee Pace v2. Continue Reading →


Shoe Review: MBT Speed 16

13918416_1188689091194927_845992112_oAt first glance the MBT Speed 16 looks somewhat like a Hoka with a wide design and thicker sole.

You certainly won’t be buying a pair for the attractiveness factor. The bottom is built on something similar to a rocking platform with the heel and toe tapering up somewhat.

The company MBT (Masai Barefoot Technology) created a walking fitness shoe back in the late 1990’s with this rocker profile to help your foot roll forward.

The MBT official website describes the shoe this way: Continue Reading →


Race Recap: Shadow of the Giants 50k in California


The 27th annual running of the Shadow of the Giants 50k was held on June 11, 2016 in Fish Camp, California.

We ran through forests of Giant Sequoias -the trails were beautiful, the weather was “magic”, and the race director was colorful!

Here is my race recap . . . Continue Reading →


How to Keep it Fun at Your Next Marathon

photo credit:  Jeff Moriarty;  Flickr CC

photo credit: Jeff Moriarty; Flickr CC

While pursing my goal of running a marathon in all 50 states (I just finished California), I’m reminded of the importance of having fun at these races.

Maybe you’re feeling nervous about your upcoming race. It’s typical to have pre-race nerves. If you’re not trying to PR or BQ why not take the pressure off and just run for fun?

Here are five tips for keeping it fun . . . Continue Reading →


Race Recap: The Fargo Marathon -Where Fun Times Are Had By All!

Fargo Marathon mug shot

Fargo Marathon mug shot

The 12th annual Scheels Fargo Marathon was held on Saturday May 21, 2016.

They also had a half marathon, 10k, 5k, relay, kid’s run, furgo dog run (2 mile), and Go Far challenge (5k + another distance).

This race as been rated “best value marathon.” It gets 4.5/5 stars on the course, organization and fans over on Continue Reading →


Race Day Kit: What to Bring to a Marathon

My race day kit prior to the North Face Endurance Challenge 50 Miler last year.  Click to enlarge

My race day kit prior to the North Face Endurance Challenge 50 Miler last year. Click to enlarge

We’ve all experienced that pre-race anxiety –wondering if you’ve trained enough, tapered enough, brought everything you need, and if your alarm clock will go off at the right time.

There are some things that you can’t control about your race experience. But being prepared with a race day kit can help make your run a lot more comfortable.

You’ll also have the peace of mind knowing that you didn’t forget anything important. Continue Reading →


Why is it so hard to keep my heart rate in Zone 2?

noun_343728_ccZone 2 training is something I get asked about quite often. You may have heard us talk about it in the quick tip segment of MTA podcast episode 178.

Many people find that they have to slow way down or even add walking intervals to keep their heart rate in Zone 2.

This can be frustrating but it reflects the state of your aerobic system and the fact that a better endurance base needs to be built. So give it time! Continue Reading →


Race Recap: The New Jersey Marathon (Running in Relentless Rain!)


I just ran my 44th marathon and collected my 35th state in my 50 state goal.

The New Jersey coast is beautiful, unfortunately it rained the entire 26.2 miles and I was underdressed (I was trying to be minimalistic in my packing).

I have never been so cold during a race!

Other than that, it was a great marathon. Here’s my recap . . . Continue Reading →


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