Archive | Beginner

It Takes a Village to Build a Marathoner

IMG_0153Jon Lepley of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, knew he wanted to be a runner and started out creating a training plan in which he would run three or four days a week, with progressively longer runs.

But he soon developed bad habits — running every training run as hard as possible — and developed running injuries. “I was never fully following a structured training plan, instead just generally trying to increase distance on a weekend long run, and recover in the days in between,” he recalls.

Lepley set a goal for himself: completing a marathon. And he needed help, so in stepped Marathon Training Academy.

Continue Reading →


Thoughts from a First-Time Ultra Runner

Henry_BuckeyeTrail1I had no idea what lay ahead when I recently lined up at the starting line for my first ultra race, the Buckeye Trail 50K in Brecksville, Ohio.

I had completed 13 marathons previously, including one on a trail — the North Face Endurance Challenge Series in Wisconsin last year.

I knew I had trained well and had my nutrition dialed in. We got a break from the weather — the long-range forecasts of thunderstorms had given way to a nice 60-degree day start.

There was no rain in the forecast and the temperature would be in the mid-70s around my anticipated finishing time. Not bad at all for July.

Oh, about that anticipated finishing time. That was an eye-opener! 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 →


Respecting the Distance


After 42 marathons and ultras I’ve gotten to the point where finishing a marathon is not in doubt. Dare I say that I became a bit overconfident about marathons since they’ve gotten fairly easy for me if I’m not trying to set a PR.

The New South Trail Marathon was a good lesson in respecting the distance and the course for me.

With this marathon, and as I continue my running journey, I realize more and more that running teaches us about ourselves physically, mentally and emotionally and presents many character building opportunities. Continue Reading →


Running Terminology You Should Know


Running terminology may not be the most fascinating topic at first glance.

However, running like any other sport or profession has a language of its own and it is very important to understand the definitions and terms that will be referred to so you can be in the know.

This might be the most exhaustive list of running terms on the internet! Continue Reading →


What To Do The Day Before A Marathon

image2You’ve trained hard and prepared for this challenge. Now as the minutes tick down to the start of the race, nerves rattle and questions mount. Here are some tips to help you get to the starting line.

By Henry Howard

In a few weeks, I will be at the starting line of my 12th marathon. Even though the past 11 marathons have taught me a lot, I will undoubtedly feel a bit of nerves at the starting line.

Did I train the best I could have? Is my nutrition plan solid? Are those Oreos I ate a month ago going to affect my performance?

Of course, the starting line is way too late to make any adjustments that will create a better outcome. That’s why all the training, tapering and recovering are so crucial. But in the final 24 hours, there are some ways that runners can help themselves. Continue Reading →


An Unlikely Inspiration – The Derek Mitchell Story


Derek Mitchell started his racing journey at 625 pounds. Since then he has completed more than 20 5Ks, and is aiming for 30 this year as well as a half marathon.

By Henry Howard

It all started with an innocent New Year’s resolution around this time last year. Derek Mitchell, of Kansas City, Missouri, vowed to eliminate soda from his diet and eat healthier, using smaller portion sizes. Continue Reading →


Going From Zero to Marathon


If you’ve recently started listening to the podcast we’d like to give you a big welcome and let you know that you have come to the right place, even if a marathon seems like a long way off.

Trevor and I didn’t start off in marathon shape and it’s been a process through the years to get to the place where we can run a last minute marathon.

You may be looking to train for your first half or full marathon or you’re just returning to that level of fitness after some time off. That’s what “From Zero to Marathon” is all about. Continue Reading →


How My Dad Coached Me Through My First Marathon

383084_211432644_XLargeLast March I decided to start running pretty much on a whim. My Dad had signed up for the NYC Marathon, having already had run NYC and Philadelphia in recent years.

Throughout my childhood, I remember my Dad and his running. Running when we were on vacations, in extreme heat, and in icy temperatures during the frigid New Jersey winters.

My Dad was one of those crazy runners you hear about sometimes, never wanting to skip a day. To give an example, my Dad went out for a run during Hurricane Sandy as not to mess with his training schedule.

So one night last March, I asked my Dad whether or not he thought I could run the marathon. He said,

“Anybody could run a marathon if they put in the training,”

Continue Reading →


Six Ways I’m Fixing My Achilles Tendonitis

These are not my feet, btw.

These are not my feet, btw.

You may have heard on podcast episode #154 that I had to skip a marathon because of pain in my achilles tendon.

My injury became the inspiration behind The Marathon That Got Away.

Thankfully my tendon hasn’t bothered me for the last two weeks and I’m ready to slowly ease back into running.

I’m thankful to Angie (my wife) and my physical therapist friend Dr. Ben Shatto for helping me diagnose and deal with this injury before it got serious.

Here’s what I’ve been doing Continue Reading →


Interview with Dr. Jeff Brown (Part 2), The Runner’s Brain


Here’s part 2 of our conversation with Dr. Jeff Brown the lead psychologist at the Boston Marathon and author of the new book The Runner’s Brain.

In this episode we ask brain questions sent in by Academy members. I know you’ll love it!

Topics covered include: how to mentally prepare for a race, overcoming the post-race blues, mental toughness, how the elites think, and dealing with start line nerves. Continue Reading →


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