Archive | Guest Perspective

Review: Summer Breeze Half Marathon

SummerBreeze_finishWhen I discovered that I had an off day on a Saturday when planning a recent business trip, I did what any runner would do: Scour race calendars for a suitable event.

Since the trip took me to Denver it was easy to find races. 5Ks, 10Ks, trails, half marathons, marathons, etc. After some research, I settled on the Summer Breeze Half Marathon in Arvada, Colorado, a suburb to the west of Denver. The race was put on by All-Out Multicourse Productions, which organized and directed a terrific event. Continue Reading →

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Using Running to be a Positive Role Model

1966841_10153012674421458_2388242113758593571_n“What’s that mummy? Can I have some?”

I’ll bet I’m not the only mum who has an inquisitive child.

In my case he’s two-and-a-half and he wants to know everything – what am I doing, what am I holding, more importantly, what am I eating.

I’ve learned I have to be a positive role model. I want to be the person that I want my child to become.

That doesn’t happen by stuffing my face full of chocolate, lazing around on the couch and thinking the wet weather is a great excuse to watch movies all day.

Many years ago that would have been my first idea. But when I moved to New Zealand I found I was drawn to the active lifestyle and since then I have been a runner (I’ve been an Ironman triathlete too but those days disappeared long ago!). Continue Reading →

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12 Strategies to Prevent and Self-Treat Muscle Cramping

RunningInjuryOnCalfMuscle cramping and spasming can significantly derail your best intentioned race plans.

A muscle cramp or spasm is a sudden, involuntary, and typically severe muscle contraction.

Thankfully, it’s very rare for a muscle spasm or cramp to permanently damage the muscle. However, the cramp or spasm can produce mild to excruciating pain. The pain can be very short lived or linger for days after a severe episode.

Unfortunately, muscle cramping can affect your performance. Common causes of muscle cramping include overexertion, prolonged immobility, dehydration, and electrolyte imbalances. Continue Reading →

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Review: Summer Night Half Marathon

summernighttrailHMAfter the sun set, 500 runners sporting headlamps embarked on a journey through a heavily wooded park on their way to an amazing post-race spread.

By Henry Howard

Last August, I had to record my first — and to date only — DNS (did not start) for a race, due to an ITBS injury. The race was a half marathon on a trail in Eagle Creek Park, roughly 15 miles north of Indianapolis. (In 2011, Trail Runner Magazine named it the “Best Urban Based Trail Marathon” in the country.)

After healing, I made plans to avenge that setback by completing two trail races this year at the same park. That brings us to June 6 and the Summer Night Trail Marathon. The event started after sundown in the sprawling park — mostly single-track trail — that is usually closed at that time of day. Continue Reading →

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For the Love of the Run

IMG_3997
Champion ultra runner has come a long way since her first 50-miler, which was full of snow and thorny bushes. Now, she finds peace of mind during long trail runs.

By Henry Howard

Jen Edwards first ran cross-country in high school “to stay in shape for basketball.” But she found out that she really liked running and wound up running in all three seasons — cross country, indoor track and outdoor track — while attending high school in Ohio.

After moving on to Kenyon College (Ohio), she continued to run cross-country and track. Then, at the encouragement of a friend, Edwards decided to move up from the 5Ks and 10Ks to a full marathon.

Since her friend was from Minnesota, they ran Grandma’s Marathon in Duluth between her sophomore and junior years. “It hurt like heck but it was really fun,” Edwards chuckles.

And like many runners, shortly after the race, she was thinking about the next one. Continue Reading →

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Review: Horse Capital Marathon

4065870663_872e599455_zWhen a marathon race website indicates “rolling hills” for the course, participants should be prepared for hills, hills and more hills.

That was the lesson I learned at the inaugural Horse Capital Marathon and Half Marathon, held May 16 in Lexington, Kentucky.

The Boston Marathon qualifier was the first race held in the area in 35 years. I wonder if Lexington was any flatter back in 1980. Continue Reading →

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From Rugby to Running Marathons worldwide

Australian runner John Mouland had to regain athleticism, then push toward a BQ. He credits his public commitments, and challenges readers to present theirs.

Australian runner John Mouland had to regain athleticism, then push toward a BQ. He credits his public commitments, and challenges readers to present theirs.

John Mouland saw his athleticism fade away, a startling contrast to the youthful, fit rugby player he had been for 30 years in Australia.

His story was the same for many males approaching middle age — with attention focused on family and work, he picked up unhealthy habits and faced the battle of the bulge.

“My 40th birthday resulted in a reality check, when I took a long hard look at myself in the mirror one morning, which resulted in me making a commitment to myself to find a diet that would work for me and to get my fat ass back into the gym,” Mouland said. “My immediate goal was to lose some weight, which would allow me to live a long and healthy life and to become a good role model for my two young boys.”

It worked: Mouland dropped 44 pounds over the next couple of years, thanks to weight training and diet. Needing a new challenge, he tried running. Continue Reading →

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Low Back Pain Prevention for Runners

StandingBackExtensionsLow back pain (LBP) is one of the most prevalent medical conditions treated in the United States and throughout the western world.

It is also the most common source of pain for runners. Runners often suffer from low back pain due to prolonged sitting and weak core muscles.

LBP can be safely self-treated if you handle your pain and symptoms quickly. In this post you will learn how to implement prevention strategies during exercise in order to avoid episodes of LBP. Continue Reading →

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Which Gel is Best for Runners?

IMG_3257Each long-distance athlete will have his or her own personal preference of the gel that works best when they need a boost of carbs and energy. Here’s a comparison of three of the more common ones.

By Henry Howard

Look around you at your next long-distance race. Runners come in all shapes, sizes and outfits. Runners who are tall. Runners who are small. Runners wearing bright hues. Runners wearing dark blues.

It’s like a Dr. Seuss collection of characters. And, oh, the places they’ll go. Continue Reading →

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Review: Scott Trail Running Shoes

IMG_2169The emerging company’s trail shoes are durable and comfortable. They perform well for the weekend warrior and elite mountain running champion Joe Gray.

By Henry Howard

I didn’t see the stick hidden in the dirt of the shady trail during the early second half of a 16-mile training run. But I felt it lodge into the top of my sneaker between my toes and top of my foot.

The stick knocked me off balance so much that all four limbs were flailing wildly about, although my right hand instinctively reached over to pause my Garmin. (First things first, right runners?) Continue Reading →

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