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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Run More! Interview with Chuck Engle aka Marathon Junkie

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chuck_engleIn this episode we talk with Chuck Engle the man who holds the record for most career marathon wins of any person in the United States.

He has won 164 out of 332 marathons with an average time of 2:43. At age 42 he continues to race almost every weekend and he continues to win.

Chuck lives in Coos Bay, Oregon, and is the internet marketing director for marathonguide.com. His approach to marathon training is “run more”.

Ten questions for the marathon junkie: Continue Reading →

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Guest Post on the MTA Blog!

Hi folks, here’s something for you creative runners interested in sharing your knowledge and experience with our community. We are putting a call out for new content contributors to our blog. The content should be relevant to marathon training and be helpful to our readers.

Click here to see how to apply

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Improve Your Running Form by Focusing on Cadence

How fast is your running cadence?

How fast is your running cadence?

Is My Running Form Bad?

About 2 years ago I attended a coaching symposium put on by Newton Running Company in Southwest Oklahoma.

Throughout the classroom portion of the course I had been glued to the instructors, hanging on their every word. Not because my form was bad, no obviously I wasn’t a “heel-striker”, but I was incredibly anxious to start helping others run better!

When it came time for my videotaped gait analysis I was excited to see how good I looked…assuming they’d pause the video and use me as the textbook example.

Okay, there I am . . . and . . . wait . . . no, that can’t be right.

Devastation.

I was the textbook example of a heel striker. I looked just like everyone else! Landing in front of my body and putting the brakes on with every step. Unbelievable. Two weeks away from running the New York City Marathon and an expert tells me that my running form is bad and my mechanics need a lot of work.

How do I fix it?

Being so close to a race, what should I do? I approached one of the instructors and asked this very question. I fully expected him to say that I should proceed as I always have and start a slow transition to Natural Running when my race was over.

Wrong again. He explained that nothing good can come from bad form and that I should start working on improving my gait immediately.

Then he said to focus on increasing my cadence. Continue Reading →

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Understanding Heart Rate Training

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Heart Rate Training When I ran my first two marathons I had a simple stop watch from the dollar store. Yes, it did cost only $1. Later I upgraded to a Garmin GPS device but I’ve only accessed the basic information on it until recently. The heart rate monitor I purchased had been gathering dust for the last three years.

However, since I’ve started coaching clients I’ve done more evaluation of various metrics and experiments with my own personal metrics.

It’s not uncommon for running magazines and coaches to talk about things like Vo2 max, maximum heart rate, lactate threshold and training zones. This jargon can be simply dizzying. Maybe you have a heart rate monitor (HRM) that you never use or use a heart rate monitor and get frustrated because you don’t fully understand how to go about using this training method.

In this post I want to cut through the clutter and tell you how to easily get started with heart rate training. You will learn:

  1. What to know before you start heart rate training
  2. Three ways to find your ideal training zones
  3. The limitations of heart rate training

Ready, set, go! Continue Reading →

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Interview with Elite Runner Leah Thorvilson – 2:37 Marathoner

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leah_thorvilsonLeah Thorvilson is the 4 time winner of the Little Rock Marathon, competed in the 2012 Olympic Trials and holds the 4th fastest 50 mile time ever recorded for an American woman.

She won the Tupelo Marathon this year (I saw her blazing by me on the out and back section). And she recently became the director of athletic development at her alma mater, the University of Arkansas Little Rock.

We talked with her about her runner career, training and the lessons she learned from a torn hamstring.

Here are some of the questions we asked Leah and a few tips about injury prevention Continue Reading →

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Race Recap: Air Force Marathon in Dayton, Ohio

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On Sept 21, 2013 we got to run the 17th annual Air Force Marathon in Dayton, OH. This year there were a total of 15,000 participants between the 5k, 10k, half and full marathon. We made this a family trip and were able to visit the National Museum of the United States Air Force the day before the race. This is a pretty amazing place (with free admission!!) that details the history of aviation with many aircraft and memorabilia from over the years. The kids were as impressed as kids can be with a museum and it was an educational experience that they’re still talking about.

Brain overload at the Air Force Museum in Dayton

Brain overload at the Air Force Museum in Dayton

Continue Reading →

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Interview with Ian Sharman -Winner of the Leadville Trail 100 Ultramarathon

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Leadville Champion Ian Sharman [photo credit: irunfar/ Bryan Powell

Leadville Champion Ian Sharman [photo credit: irunfar/ Bryan Powell]

We recently interviewed Ian Sharman the winner of this year’s Leadville Trail 100 Ultramarathon. He has run over 180 ultramarathons and marathons in over 30 countries. He is a certified running coach and writer for irunfar.com.

In addition to winning Leadville this year, he completed the Grand Slam of Ultrarunning -four 100 mile races in one summer – beating the previous Grand Slam record.

Here are a few of the questions we asked Ian: Continue Reading →

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