Olympic Trials Hopeful Balances Family, Training and More

riley_cookRiley Cook’s running journey started at the urging of his mother. Now, he and his spouse work hard to make it all work while never forgetting to enjoy the journey.

By Henry Howard

The parents of Riley Cook were both runners, each completing multiple marathons. In fact, his mother once ran a 2:59 marathon.

When Cook was 13, his mother saw some running talent in him and took him to his first race, a 5K. At that race, Riley finished in 20 minutes without any training.

“She saw in me some natural talent in my youth and encouraged me to run,” Cook said. “From that race day forward she was convinced I could earn a scholarship to run if I trained and ran in high school, and encouraged me to strive for that goal.” Continue Reading →

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Streets of Gold 5K Virtual Race

Grant Brown 2006 - 2013

Grant Brown 2006 – 2013

Just like you, Grant Brown loved to run. Two summers ago, Grant was attending a supervised day camp for kids his age where swimming was part of the schedule and the unthinkable happened.

Grant is now running on Streets of Gold and a scholarship for New Covenant School in Arlington, Massachusetts (where he would have been a first-grader) has been established in his name.

The Grant Brown Scholarship is in place to help those students and their families who may be distracted by financial worry to focus more on learning, serving and building integrity.

Virtual 5k this Saturday Continue Reading →

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How to Beat a Motivational Slump in Your Running

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There are many different reasons why you may face a lack of enthusiasm and energy for training.

We often face life stressors—those positive or negative events that cause change or upheaval in life.

Some of these events may be easy to identify but some are more subtle. Things like a new job, loss of job, starting school, ending school, getting married, going through a divorce, having a baby, kids leaving the nest, moving, building a home, death of a friend or family member, illness, injury, a running partner moving, change of schedule, change of seasons, cold or hot weather, etc.

All these things can leave us with less energy and throw off our normal routine. Before you know it you may be in an exercise or running slump. And the longer you go without running regularly, the harder it is to start doing it again.

Pretty soon you wonder if you’ll ever get your mojo back. Continue Reading →

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A New Challenge: Trail Marathon

nfecswi2014110[1][1][1][1]North Face Endurance Series tests runners on tough terrain in picturesque settings. MTA members and blog readers can receive 15 percent off entries into any race distance by using the code below.

By Henry Howard

The North Face Endurance Challenge Series presents six challenging courses to runners of all experience levels. In fact, runners can do any regular race distance from a 5K to a 50-miler. Continue Reading →

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Interview with David Clark -From Self-Described Obese Alcoholic to Ultramarathoner

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image2David Clark is author of the book “Out There -A Story of Ultra Recovery”

He’s a Colorado runner who’s done some of the toughest ultramarathons in the U.S. -the Leadville Trail 100 and the Badwater 135.

He’s living proof that you can change your life through.

I met David at the Leadville Trail Marathon expo in Leadville, Colorado. When I saw his before and after picture I knew I had to read the book. Continue Reading →

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13.1 Tips for Running Your First Half Marathon

16131867964_4053e65f49_oThe half marathon is the fastest growing race distance. If 13.1 miles is on your to-do list, prepare yourself with these suggestions to have a rewarding race day.

By Henry Howard

2,046,600.

That’s how many half marathoner finishers there were in 2014, according to Running USA’s annual half marathon report. About three in five of the finishes were attributed to women.

Those 2 million crossings of the finish line make the half marathon the fastest growing race distance. It’s no wonder that the distance is so popular — it’s often the gateway run of choice for those looking to bridge the gap between a 5K and a full marathon.

While the popularity of the marathon is also increasing, not everyone wants to complete 26.2 miles. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Half marathons present their own challenges. The average race time — 2:03 for males and 2:21 for females — means that runners will need to take their preparation, training and nutrition seriously. Continue Reading →

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How to Run at Elevation

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This post is inspired by my recent Leadville Trail Marathon which began at over 10,000 feet elevation and topped out at 13,185 feet.

We arrived in Breckenridge, Colorado, (9,600 feet) a couple days before the race and I could tell immediately that the air is a lot thiner than I’m used to. I struggled to run even a mile and climbing stairs left me out of breath.

Running at elevation can be tricky. Here’s how to do it safely. Continue Reading →

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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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Race Recap: The Leadville Trail Marathon

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The Leadville Race Series currently operated by Life Time Fitness puts on the Leadville Trail Marathon and Heavy Half along with several more running and cycling events every year (most famously known for the Leadville Trail 100 miler).

The marathon is in its sixteenth year and starts in the Historic Mining District located on the east side of Leadville—an area known for its mining heritage, beautiful scenery and exciting trails. Continue Reading →

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Fitness Begins In The Mind!

Angie and family climbing Square Butte in Central Montana

Angie and family climbing Square Butte in Central Montana

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Since we’re traveling around the American West climbing mountains and seeing family we’re a little behind on podcast production.

Here’s a training lesson pulled directly from the Academy member’s only area. I know you’ll love it!

Before you can physically run 26.2 miles or accomplish any other running goal you have to believe that you can do it. 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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