Author Archive | Angie Spencer

Tips For Improving Your Sleep

sleepIn a previous post I talked about the importance of getting quality sleep during your marathon training.

If you have not read this post or heard the accompanying podcast episode, the main take-a-way is this: Sleep has a huge impact on your athletic performance!

Now I want to give you nine tips on how to improve the quantity and quality of your sleep so you can be a stronger, happier runner. Continue Reading →

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Interview with Stephanie Howe -Western States 100 Mile Champion

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stephanie_howeIn this episode we talk with Stephanie Howe the winner of this year’s Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run.

Stephanie finished in 18:01:42 -the fourth fastest female finishing time recorded in WS history.

She is also a running coach, a North Face sponsored athlete and a PhD student at Oregon State University with a minor in nutrition and major in exercise physiology.

Listen on iTunes

Continue Reading →

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Getting Quality Sleep During Your Marathon Training

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angie_sleepI must admit that I love to sleep.

I was this way even as a child where I could sleep nearly anywhere. Even in my teenage years I would happily sleep 10 hours a night.

This started to change when I had to work 12 hour night shifts in my early years as a nurse. Then, unfortunately our oldest son did not share my sentiments about sleep and his babyhood was literally a rude awakening for me.

The first year of his life made me doubt if I’d ever sleep through the night again. Parents of young children can probably relate to this.

Now maybe you’re not as fixated on sleep as I am but most people underestimate its importance and many struggle with sleep difficulties. Continue Reading →

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Marathon Success Story with Jeriod Turner

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jeriod_turnerIn this podcast episode we talk with Jeriod Turner a member of the Academy who has been on a life changing transformation in his health and fitness.

He has lost 50 pounds in the last six months. He recently ran a 1:31 half marathon and is currently training for his second full marathon in September.

Jeriod works as a commercial lender for Commerce Bank he is married and has two kids and lives in Hannibal, Missouri.

His progress has inspired us all!

See before and after picture. Continue Reading →

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Marathon Pacing

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marathon pacingOne of the most frequent questions that I get as a running coach is about marathon pacing.

Runners often wonder which time goal they should shoot for, what type of strategy they should use during the race, whether they should run with a pace group, if they can qualify for Boston during their first marathon, etc.

For example, Jeff sent in this email:

“How do you avoid losing motivation when you get to the point in a marathon where you realize you aren’t going to finish close to your time goal? In my last two marathons, I felt a horrible deflating feeling when I got to the point when I knew I was not going to be happy with my finish time. I get really down on myself, and it is hard to push through those final miles. I feel particularly awful when I get passed by the pace groups. . . I use my time goal as motivation during training, and then when I fall hopelessly off pace in the later miles my motivation leaves me like air out of a popped balloon. It is just hard to press on when you are dealing with that amount of disappointment.

I hate for people to feel awful about their marathon times, so let’s talk about some of the factors related to marathon pacing. Continue Reading →

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Race Recap: The River Towns Marathon

rivertownsWhen I’m traveling I often look to see if there will be any marathons in the vicinity—especially in a new state that would put me closer to my 50 States goal.

When I decided to visit family in Pennsylvania I found the River Towns Marathon which was only 2.5 hours away from where I was staying.

As a bonus, it was easy to convince my youngest sister Autum to join me for the race. Here’s my recap (with pics!).

Continue Reading →

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Boston Strong! The 2014 Boston Marathon

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13979071153_148b9313eb_zThe 118th Boston Marathon was held on April 21, 2014. Started in 1897 this is the world’s oldest annual marathon held the third Monday of April on Patriot’s Day. It is also one of the 6 World Marathon Majors (joining Tokyo, London, Berlin, Chicago, and New York City).

Entrants must qualify using a set of gender and age specific standards or run for charity. Every running of the Boston Marathon is a historic event. This year had even deeper significance because it was one year after the horrific bombings that took place on Boyleston Street near the finish line in 2013 where 3 people were killed and 264 wounded (not to mention all the emotional scars left behind).

A year later it’s still hard to grasp that something like that would happen at an event like this—one that holds so much pride for the community, the running world and the many charities it supports. If you read running magazines, blogs or follow various running outlets on Facebook you’ve probably read some of the amazing stories of loss and triumph. Continue Reading →

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Race Recap: The A2A Marathon – Why We Love Small Marathons!

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A2A _marathonWe were invited to run the A2A Marathon in Ardmore, Oklahoma, by the race director -Alison Smalley.

MTA was the race’s official training partner and was even featured on the local news!

After running 23 marathons I must say . . . small town races have a special place in my heart. The A2A Marathon is friendly, well organized, and unpretentious.

Ardmore seems like the kind of place you would want to raise a family and the race volunteers are the sort of folk you would want as neighbors.

I went there expecting to make some new friends, run another marathon and enjoy a nice (kid free) weekend with Trevor. I didn’t expect to hear what they told me as I crossed the finish line (keep reading to find out).

Continue Reading →

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Taking Care of Your Amazing Feet

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HiResDuring the course of a marathon the average runner will take between 30,000-40,000 steps so it’s obvious we rely on our feet a lot!

I’ve read that the running motion causes impact forces on a runner’s feet 2-3 times his/her body weight.

This episode and blog post is all about taking care of your amazing feet that survive 26.2 miles of pavement pounding each marathon.

I will give you a little anatomy lesson about the foot, and information on how to deal with problems like blisters, arch pain, plantar fasciitis and more. Your feet will love it! Continue Reading →

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Three Tips from The Niftiest Shoe Box Ever

IMG_1818Have you ever worn a zero drop shoe? You should try it.

I just got a pair of Skora Phase running shoes which have a zero drop from heal to toe. This forces me to pay more attention to my running form while encouraging a midfoot landing instead of a heel strike.

This is not a review of the Skora Phase, I’ve only done 2 runs so far. This post is a look at the running philosophy of the company (encapsulated on their shoe boxes) and why rotating a zero drop into your running tool box is a smart move. Continue Reading →

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