Happy New Year!

IMG_1539Happy New Year to everyone in the MTA community. You guys are awesome!

I logged 1725 miles and nine marathons last year and am looking forward to a wonderful 2014.

Life is good.

What are your goals for 2014?

Maybe you’ve heard the quote, “If you aim at nothing you’ll hit it every time.” It’s so easy to be complacent and let life pass us by. However, just the fact that you’re a runner (or aspiring runner) means that you’re not the kind of person who lets life pass you by. You want to live a full and meaningful life and running is one way to add adventure and purpose.

To reach your fitness goals you will need a proven plan and the support of a community who has done/ is doing what you want to do.

Here is your invitation to train with us and make 2014 the best year of your life.

http://marathontrainingacademy.com/member/access-1/

From the Academy (this could be you)

In 2013 I ran my first marathon, PR’ed for my 5K and half marathon times, and totaled 920 miles for the year. In 2014 I plan on breaking 1000 miles for the year, training smarter (using cross training and speed work to my advantage) and PR in my 1st marathon of 2014 in Providence, here I come! -Liz

I did 1200 miles for 2013 (my goal for 2014 is 1400). A huge thanks to the entire MTA family, especially mom Angie and pop Trevor, for all of the support this past year. Best wishes to all for a super 2014!! -Foti

I’m so pumped to reach 1500 miles in 2013 even though I only ran a total of 35 miles between January and February. I completed 4 marathons, 1 half, 2 10k’s, numerous 5k’s and a 1 mile race. I PR’ed in all of those distances this year! 2013 was a great year, but 2014 is going to be even better! Thank you Angie for all of the great coaching and the MTA family for all of the encouragement. Bring on 2014…Happy New Year everyone!!!!! -Chris

What a year….I ran my first marathon and had my first broken bone (my heel, which I unknowingly ran 8 miles on and finished my marathon!) I was able to come back hard and PR in a 5 miler, a 10k and marathon and joined Marathon Maniacs. Just wanted to Thank our wonderful coach Angie for everything! Look out 2014! Happy New Year everyone! -Johari

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Merry Christmas from MTA!

Merry Christmas!
Best wishes from Angie, Trevor, Riley, Gavin, and Liam. We trust that 2014 will be an amazing year of health and happiness for you and your family.

Thanks for supporting the MTA podcast! We are looking forward to another great year of providing the best content possible on all things marathon training.

Happy Running!

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How to Beat Training Burnout

amywillGuest blogger Amy Will shares how she avoided burn out while juggling marathon training and the responsibilities of being a new parent.

As I signed up to run my sixth marathon, the Bemidji Blue Ox Marathon, I couldn’t anticipate how very different this race would be. This would be my inaugural marathon as a wife and new parent.

My post-baby body felt near normal, but I found myself physically and mentally exhausted as I adjusted to being a mom. In the peak mileage of training, I found myself completely burnt out and questioning whether I wanted to even run the race anymore! My desire to run had somehow snuck away. What was I thinking when I signed up for another marathon? Basically, I was burnt out – big time.

The lack of sleep, pressure I put on myself to run a certain finish time, not listening to my body, and the stress of being a new mom eventually got to me. Just in time to run my last training 20-miler, I came down with a nasty sinus infection.

I did my best not to stress about running only one 20-miler, the less than ideal training, and the fact that I didn’t even want to run this race anymore. In the last couple weeks before the race, I did my best to find joy in running again and escape this running rut.

Here are a few ways I beat the training burnout: Continue Reading →

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Race Recap: The Rocket City Marathon in Huntsville, Alabama

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Rocket City MarathonOn Dec. 14, 2013 we got to run the 37th annual Rocket City Marathon in Huntsville, AL put on by the Huntsville Track Club.

Huntsville is located in the north central part of Alabama and was a 5.5 hour drive for us. The city has around 180,000 residents and is the home of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center and US Army Aviation and Missile Command.

This race is geared toward marathoners as it doesn’t offer any other races except a kids “marathon” later in the morning. The entry fee is very reasonable (around $60) considering the good organization, support and swag.
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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Let’s Get Physiological! Vo2 Max, Heart Rate Variability, Anaerobic Threshold and More

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running pysiologyIn this blog post/podcast episode we want to delve into a few more components of understanding how your body ticks by discussing heart rate variability (HRV), V02 max and anaerobic threshold (AT).

I received a question from a listener related to our podcast about heart rate training. He says,

“The only thing you did not discuss and maybe there is no answer to this, but I’d like to know more about monitoring and tracking recovery heart rate after a workout. I “appear” to recover very quickly after a long or hard workout, as my heart rate comes back to normal quickly. Do you have any data or thoughts on this?”

This excellent question leads into the topic of heart rate variability (HRV). 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 to Nearly Fail at a Marathon

North Country Trail Run

North Country Trail Run

Guest blogger Jeremy Verdusco gives us the painful details of his first trail marathon. Here’s what he learned . . .

Plenty of books and websites offer marathon training advice. How do I run a sub-4 hour marathon? How do I properly fuel for a marathon? What’s the best marathon pacing strategy?

I read a lot of that advice. I tried to follow it. I’ve finished four marathons and plan to sign up soon for a fifth. I’ve benefited from many of those running tips, and disregarded others that didn’t help me.

So what advice can I, a mid-pack runner, share?

I want to share the lessons I learned nearly failing at a marathon. Read on and I’ll tell you what you can do to avoid coming as close to a DNF as possible without dropping out. You’ll want to read this because finishing a marathon in four hours is hard, but finishing one in nearly seven hours means true suffering.

Learn from my mistakes. Continue Reading →

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How to Get “Level” When Buying Shoes

level_shoeIn the spirit of the holiday season, let’s talk about shopping for running shoes!

I truly believe your running mechanics are more important than your shoes, but shoes do impact your running gait so it is important to be an informed shopper.

This time of year, magazines usually have buyer’s guides with lots of reviews and good information. I hope to add one key piece of advice to help you in your quest for the best running shoe! Continue Reading →

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Giving Thanks for Running – Stories from Real People Who Have Transformed Their Lives Through Running

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Hi Folks, Angie came up with a great idea while out on a run one morning . . .

“Let’s do a special Thanksgiving episode that’s all about why we are thankful for running”.

So we solicited running stories from our audience and the response was great. You are going to hear from people who have lost 100+ pounds, busted through depression, took control of their health and positively redefined themselves.

  • Special thanks to: Lea, Melissa, Jim, Omar, Kate, Corinne, Glynda, Ed, Foti, Nicole, and Anna for sending in their inspiring running stories!

My Transformation
I also talk about my own running journey which roughly began in 2010. Thanks to Angie’s guidance I went from desk potato to marathoner.

I hated running. Building up to my first 5k was slow and torturous. But my body adapted!

Below you will find a side by side comparison of what I looked like before and after becoming a runner. I didn’t start running in order to lose weight but, as you can see, running has taken off 20 pounds of fat. Continue Reading →

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