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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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How to Run a Sub-Four Hour Marathon (Fat Adapted Version)

Awkward photo alert:  Trev at the Myrtle Beach Marathon photo credit: myrltebeachonline.com

Awkward photo alert: Trev at the Myrtle Beach Marathon
photo credit: myrltebeachonline.com

Last year I wrote a post called “How I Ran a Sub-Four Hour Marathon”.

You can see it here. Amazingly, this little post has continued to generate high numbers of visitors every month.

Well ladies and gentleman, I have broken the 4:00 barrier again! (spontaneous cheering ignites all over the world wide web).

I ran 3:56:35 in Myrtle Beach.

I’m not setting any speed records to be sure. I’m just a middle of the pack runner. At my age I would need to clock a 3:05 to qualify for Boston! Ha, ha, ha . . .

Nevertheless, breaking 4 hours for the second time feels really good. Especially after running a miserable 4:53:23 at the Rocket City Marathon in December. (Let’s not talk about that race).

The cool part about running sub-four this time is that I did not carry a boat load of fuel. What did I carry? Nothing but my fat baby! (sort of).

Continue Reading →

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Using Plant Power in Your Marathon Training

photo credit: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

photo credit: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Guest blogger B.J. Tucker shares how his plant-powered approach to a grain free and sugar free diet has helped him run faster and recover more quickly.

I began running again 2 ½ years ago after taking a 14 year vacation from marathon running. I just let life happen and gave in to the pressures of going full speed without proper nutrition. Since starting back to living a healthy lifestyle – I have dropped 75 lbs! I am leaner now than I have ever been in my life. I have run 3 marathons so far this year and I have PR’ed all my records from the mid-90s (when I was in my 20s).

Plant-powered nutrition has had a very positive effect on my running. It has provided a foundation of health to support faster and longer distances, AND I have not experienced any injuries as an endurance athlete.

So what does plant-powered mean?
In the purest sense, it means not consuming any animal products (no meat, no dairy, no cheese, etc.). Many people would call this vegan, but I don’t use that label because vegan is much more than not eating animal products.

So why plant-powered? I have followed many athletes who are plant-powered and they have all inspired me to change to this lifestyle – athletes like Scott Jurek, Rich Roll, Matt Frazier, and many others. For me personally, I have found that this lifestyle has allowed me to go from a 245 lb. coach potato to an ultra-runner in two years! Continue Reading →

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Perpetual Marathon Training Produces PRs

Runners running in winter cityIn this guest blog post, R.L. shares how he has found “running more” to equal better finishing times.

If you’ve made the climb, why not stay on that plateau or climb even higher?

The “climb” is the elevating of your fitness level while following a marathon training program. It gets you in shape for that 26.2-mile odyssey on race day. But what happens after the marathon is over?

What I Used to Do
I’ve run many marathons (31 to be exact). I often think about how much work I put in just to be ready for one race day. Often I would welcome a break from training in the weeks after the marathon was over. But without a training program to keep me motivated, my mileage went down along with my fitness level that I had worked so hard to achieve.

It really isn’t that logical. I think the following plan makes better sense . . . Continue Reading →

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How I Ran a Sub-4 Hour Marathon

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You might have heard on our last podcast episode that I ran the Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans Marathon in 3:54:15.

A sub-4 hour marathon is not remarkable as far as finishing times go. I’m a middle of the pack runner. (I finished 597 out of 2633).

But I did run 37 minutes faster than my best time . . . which is remarkable for me.

And it was actually easier than I thought it would be. Much easier than running my first marathon.

Here are a few tricks I used to keep my run under 4 hours.

Continue Reading →

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