Author Archive | Henry Howard

How to Train for Your First 50-Mile Race

Henry Howard, runnerBeyond the physical training, be sure to train your mind, lock in your nutrition and adhere to good recovery methods.

By Henry Howard

As the participation in marathon running continues to grow, the popularity of ultra marathons also is increasing.

Last year, I completed my first and second ultras, both 50Ks. As I planned out my race calendar for 2017, I set a goal to finish my first 50-miler and found the American River 50, a beautiful, well-organized race in California.

Registering for the 50-mile race on www.ultrasignup.com was the easy part. As I looked ahead to this challenge, Marathon Training Academy Coach Angie Spencer and I set out to craft a solid plan to get my body, mind, nutrition and recovery in prime shape. Continue Reading →

0

Meet New MTA Coach Steve Waldon

The marathoner and ultra runner brings a passion for life-long running to the Marathon Training Academy community.

By Henry Howard

The closest Steve Waldon got to sweating as an athlete growing up was playing billiards for money.

In his late 20s, Waldon knew he needed a change and found the joy and camaraderie of running. Starting out with 5Ks, he has gone on to finish 20 marathons and 15 ultras, including a 100K in the Bavarian Alps and two 155-mile stage races (one in Chile and the other in Iceland).

Now, he brings his passion for life-long running as the newest coach for Marathon Training Academy. Continue Reading →

0

Race Review: American River 50 Miler

I’ll never forget my first 50-miler, its amazing views, helpful aid station workers or the final 3-mile uphill slog.

By Henry Howard

The American River 50 proved itself to be an epic race, an ultra where mid-packers and back-of-the-packers can literally line up and run next to well-known ultra runners.

The AR50 was my first 50-miler and one I would recommend to others looking for their firsts finish at that distance. (The event also offers a 25-mile distance.) Continue Reading →

0

From 400 pounds to his fourth Boston Marathon

Jason Pina with Angie Spencer at the 2015 Boston Marathon

*Editor’s note: When Angie ran the Boston Marathon in 2015 Jason and his lovely wife Shai hosted us in their home. We also got to meet the fine folks at Tenacity (the charity Jason runs for) who are doing great work for Boston kids! -Trevor

Jason Pina had a secret dream. It was so secret he didn’t even tell his wife, Shai, who he had been with for almost 25 years. When Pina announced his quest — running a marathon — Shai knew that her husband would accomplish it even though he wasn’t a runner and had once weighed 400 pounds. Continue Reading →

0

Which compression pants are the best?

By Henry Howard

Several years ago on the day before one of my fall marathons, the forecast drastically changed. I don’t recall the exact specifics anymore but the cold and snow/rain predictions changed my race day plans from shorts to long pants.

At the time, I only had sweatpants and didn’t want to run a race wearing those. Setting aside the rule of “nothing new on race day,” I favored protection from the elements. I bought my first pair of compression tights (or pants) that suited me well for the day, which was cold with freezing rain.

Since then, I have expanded my collection of compression tights and tested them. Here is a comparison review of the three that I currently use for workouts and recovery. Continue Reading →

0

How to Recover from a Hilly, Technical Ultra

The Bel Monte Endurance Races present a challenging, beautiful course for runners. Here are some ways to heal from endurance events with hilly courses.

By Henry Howard

The Bel Monte Endurance Races offer a 25K, 50K and 50-miler for those wanting to explore beautiful mountains in northern Virginia.

But check the fine print — the 50K is a 17-mile out-and-back course, meaning runners will do closer to a 55K by the time they cross the finish line. (The turnaround point for the 50-miler was at 26.2 miles.)

Regardless of the actual length — my watch counted 34.8 miles for the 50K — it’s an epic run with nearly 5,000 feet of elevation change. Such a race means recovery is key, especially when it’s a training run for my first 50-miler three weeks later. Continue Reading →

0

Finding Jenn Shelton

photo credit: Jenn Shelton @sheltonjenn

She was the gifted, fearless wild child featured in “Born to Run.” Fourteen years later, Shelton still leads a “crazy life,” following her passion in pursuit of the next endurance challenge.

By Henry Howard

Jenn Shelton became well known for her appearance in Christopher McDougall’s best-selling book about ultra running, “Born to Run.”

In the years since the book was published, Shelton has matured but still embraces a Bohemian lifestyle as evidenced in the new documentary, “Outside Voices.” 


At the end of the documentary, Shelton is in her small van under a moonlight sky. She’s on her cell phone, learning Italian. It concludes, with her repeating a translation, “You do not know who I am.” Continue Reading →

1

How to Train for Marathons While Traveling

I am writing this while literally 30,000 feet in the air.

It’s been a busy week of travel — Monday and Tuesday in Washington, D.C., then back home for an 11-hour layover (seriously) before flying Wednesday to Las Vegas, where I worked — and exercised — until returning home Friday.

Traveling for work is not unusual for me. As a runner, I have learned how to properly prepare for maintaining my workout schedule whether I am on the island of Puerto Rico, in the mountains of Colorado or in chilly Des Moines in January. (Yes, I have been all of those places in the past year.) Continue Reading →

0

From Baseball to Ultra Running

Former major leaguer Eric Byrnes was known for his hustle and speed. Now he has transformed himself into a passionate endurance athlete.

By Henry Howard

Baseball fans who saw Eric Byrnes play recognized his exuberance for the game — chasing after line drives in the outfield, sprinting around the bases and playing with an enthusiastic abandon for the game.

“Authentic is a word that I use a lot when I talk about Eric,” said Tarah Byrnes, describing her husband, now an analyst for Major League Baseball Network. “And it can be an overwhelming concept, if you think about who Eric is. His intensity as a baseball player, his intensity as an athlete, his intensity as a broadcaster — all of those things show it’s true, it’s authentic.”

His authenticity and athleticism are on full display in a 45-minute documentary, Diamond to the Rough, which chronicles his transition to ultra running and completion of the Western States 100. Continue Reading →

0

The Thrill of the Run; Passion for the MTA Community

Longtime MTA member Foti Panagakos enjoys a packed racing season and interacting with fellow members on Facebook.

By Henry Howard

Fotinos “Foti” Panagakos has been regularly running for about eight years. In that time, he has transitioned from 5Ks and a “one and done” marathon to a prolific racer who has finished 38 marathons.

For Panagakos, it’s not the competition that drives him. It’s the thrill of the run.

And it’s also the passion of the running community, which is what keeps him drawn to the Marathon Training Academy crew. Continue Reading →

0

American River 50 Combines Roads, Trail for Spectacular Ultra Race


Gloria Takagishi has a long list of running accomplishments — Boston Marathon, Western States, etc. — but will always remember and treasure her first ultra marathon, the American River 50 in California.

Now 70, Takagishi has started the race every single year. In fact, she finished AR50 each of the first 30 years of its existence.

On April 1 of this year, Takagishi will again line up at the starting line in Folsom for the race that is close to her heart. Continue Reading →

0

An elite runner dishes on nutrition

Tina Muir embraces the high fat/high protein fueling method, while rewarding her sweet tooth with a daily dessert.

By Henry Howard

At age 14, Tina Muir hid in the bathroom as her cross-country team was starting practice. In time she realized that she was not only good at running but actually enjoyed it.

Running is now an integral part of Muir’s life. She’s an elite runner for Saucony, community manager for Runners Connect and hosts her own podcast. (MTA’s Angie Spencer was featured on a previous episode.) Continue Reading →

1

Powered by WordPress. Designed by WooThemes