Archive | Guest Perspective

Review of the Florence Marathon

This recap was provided by Academy member Kristy Harris, who lives in England, and ran this as her first marathon.

The Firenze (Florence) Marathon in Firenze, Italy, is in its 33rd year and this year was a new course.

We rented an airBnB in downtown Florence with a view of the Duomo. This was perfect as the start and finish were literally steps away from the apartment.

The only downside to our apartment is it was a 5th story walk up! Continue Reading →

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My Next Ultra Challenge — American River 50 Miler

Photo credit: Keith Facchino

Photo credit: Keith Facchino

“If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.”

I have been thinking quite a bit about that quote, attributed to Fred Devito, as I plan my racing calendar for 2017. Sure, it’s a little early, but I want to continue to challenge myself and build on my first two ultras, the Buckeye Trail 50K and the North Face 50K in Wisconsin, which I finished in 2016.

Completing my first two ultras was a goal this year. For 2017, my major goal will be to finish my first 50-miler — the American River 50 in California. Continue Reading →

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Meet Jenn Giles, New MTA Coach

Jenn Giles

Jenn Giles

Accomplished marathoner and triathlete, Registered Dietitian, and RRCA Coach, Jenn Giles brings a passion for lifelong running to the MTA community.

By Henry Howard

While Jenn Giles achieved some success on the high school softball diamond, her coach told her that she ran too slow to ever be great.

And she believed her coach.

Fast forward to adulthood, and Giles has excelled as an endurance athlete, even representing Team USA at the World Championships in the Olympic Distance Triathlon. And now she joins Marathon Training Academy as a coach. Continue Reading →

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How to Recover Quickly from a Quadriceps Strain

Muscle injury. Man with sprain thigh musclesA quadriceps strain, also known as a quad pull or thigh strain, is a relatively common running injury.

Strains can range from a mild discomfort to a full blown tear of most of the muscle which can result in severe pain and the inability to run or walk. The injury typically happens when one or more of the quadriceps muscles become overloaded.

In this post you will discover the factors that increase your risk of straining your quadriceps, and learn specific strategies to implement during your rehabilitation and return to activity. Continue Reading →

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My Boston Marathon Qualifier, Thanks to MTA Coaching

image2In the weeks leading up to the Indianapolis Monumental on Nov. 5, I was feeling properly trained, thanks to Angie Spencer and MTA Coaching.

Her plans have guided me through two ultras and then onto recovery and preparing for Indy.

I knew I was physically ready for my first real attempt at qualifying for the Boston Marathon, which would mean a 3:25 or better. But I also needed to make sure that I was mentally prepared for the challenge. Continue Reading →

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From Couch to 50-State Marathon Finisher

post-50-1Inspiration hit Kelly “K2” Richards on July 4, 1997, when she literally pushed herself off the couch and did a 2-mile run-walk.

Exactly 15 months later, she crossed the finish line at the Twin Cities Marathon for her first full marathon.

She didn’t know it at the time but it was that first marathon that would lead to 65 (and counting) fulls and ultras, including one in each of the 50 U.S. states. Continue Reading →

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The Right Fueling Solution for Endurance Runs

image2After suffering GI distress and bonking, I searched for a powerful on-the-run fueling alternative. Generation Ucan bars deliver on the most important test.

By Henry Howard

Gels. Energy bars. Protein bars. I can’t honestly say that I have tried all of them, but I have tried many varieties and have experimented with a combination of gels and energy bars during my long training runs and races.

I had GI issues from time to time, and wanted something that would give me a boost without side stitches or other dilemmas.

It wasn’t until earlier this summer that I took a closer look at what I was taking for endurance fuel and how a handful of those options affected my gut and performance. My testing and research has definitely paid off, not only for my health but my race times as well. Continue Reading →

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Cupping, Should Runners Try it Too?

screen-shot-2016-10-17-at-12-09-42-pmThe 2016 Rio Olympics brought new light to an old treatment–cupping. The world stared as athletes like Michael Phelps proudly displayed his petechia for the world to see.

Petechia is the medical term for the purplish bruise that can form with certain types of cupping techniques.

After seeing so many Olympic athletes with bruises this year, the rest of us were left wondering about this trend of using cupping as a medical treatment or sports enhancement treatment. Does cupping really work? Can I utilize cupping as a self-treatment method for common running related pains? Continue Reading →

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A Solution for Carrying Water While Running

image2Orange Mud’s Hydraquiver backpack easily transports a water bottle, offers plenty of storage space and has a comfortable fit.

By Henry Howard

When it comes to longer-distance racing, runners often spend time trying to determine their best individual fueling strategy. Water? Electrolyte drink? Generation Ucan? Tailwind? Some combination of all of those?

It’s an individual, choice of course.

And, just like the liquid refreshment options, there are many options for how runners can transport their drink of choice over long distances. Continue Reading →

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Race Report: The Heart of America Marathon

img_0828Editor’s note: This report was sent in by MTA fan Stephen Johnson.

Greetings MTA community! I have been listening to MTA for the pat two years and Trevor has inspired me to share my race experiences. Therefore: Now is the time for my first ever Not-Quite-So-Famous Race Recap.

On Labor Day this past September I ran the Heart of America Marathon in Columbia, Missouri. This a smaller race with only 142 runners who finished this year.

The race was well supported for its size. Continue Reading →

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An Inspired Ultra Challenge 

img_4006My first two 50Ks, just 10 weeks apart, met a goal a year in the making and also paved the way for new challenges.

By Henry Howard

Last year, I had the opportunity to interview one of the most inspirational people I have ever met, Noah Galloway

Best known for his amazing performance on Dancing With the Stars, Galloway is a double amputee from injuries he suffered in the Iraq war. 

During our interview, Galloway told me “everyone should do something that scares them.” I decided to accept his challenge, upping my ultra ante — doing my first two 50Ks just 10 weeks apart.  Continue Reading →

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Inspired by an Ultrarunning Legend

00810-07-1489-1Eric Strand saw a 1999 marathon as a one-time thing. Now, thanks in part to Dean Karnazes, Strand has completed dozens of marathons and the Leadville 100 five times.

By Henry Howard

Eric Strand had been fascinated by long-distance running ever since Frank Shorter won the marathon gold medal in the 1972 Olympics.

Years passed and before he knew it, 39-year-old Strand had just finished graduate school and his kids were becoming self-sufficient. “I’d always wanted to run a marathon and everyone knows you can’t run 26.2 miles once you turn 40, so I signed up for the 2000 Grandma’s Marathon in Duluth, Minn.,” he said.

That year — 1999 — he finished the “one and done” marathon. But instead of hanging up the running shoes, Strand has upped his running game to a total of 60 marathons and ultras. Continue Reading →

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