Race Review: American River 50 Miler

I’ll never forget my first 50-miler, its amazing views, helpful aid station workers or the final 3-mile uphill slog.

By Henry Howard

The American River 50 proved itself to be an epic race, an ultra where mid-packers and back-of-the-packers can literally line up and run next to well-known ultra runners.

The AR50 was my first 50-miler and one I would recommend to others looking for their firsts finish at that distance. (The event also offers a 25-mile distance.) Continue Reading →

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Go! St. Louis Half Marathon (photo recap)

Since a picture is worth a thousand words (and since I’m feeling too lazy to write) let me show you the photos from this year’s Go! St. Louis Half Marathon.

All you have to do is scroll my friends and I will take you along the half marathon course. No work involved! If the images appear to be moving it’s because they are .gifs. This should be fun! Continue Reading →

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Tips for Senior Marathon Runners

-By Jess Walter

The number of senior citizens running marathons is growing. Some of these runners have been running all their lives and can’t fathom doing anything else. Others have taken up running later in life and have gotten attracted to the health benefits running provides. Either way, there’s no reason you can’t run a marathon in your 60s, 70s, or even older. Continue Reading →

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From 400 pounds to his fourth Boston Marathon

Jason Pina with Angie Spencer at the 2015 Boston Marathon

*Editor’s note: When Angie ran the Boston Marathon in 2015 Jason and his lovely wife Shai hosted us in their home. We also got to meet the fine folks at Tenacity (the charity Jason runs for) who are doing great work for Boston kids! -Trevor

Jason Pina had a secret dream. It was so secret he didn’t even tell his wife, Shai, who he had been with for almost 25 years. When Pina announced his quest — running a marathon — Shai knew that her husband would accomplish it even though he wasn’t a runner and had once weighed 400 pounds. Continue Reading →

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Train Smart, Run Forever: Interview with Bill Pierce and Scott Murr

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In this podcast episode we talk with Bill Pierce and Scott Murr from the Furman Institute of Running and Scientific Training.

Their new book is called Train Smart, Run Forever: How to Become a Fit and Healthy Lifelong Runner by Following The Innovative 7-Hour Workout Week, published by Runner’s World. Continue Reading →

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Race Day as a Slow Runner


A runner is a runner is a runner. In my last post, I talked about how speed doesn’t make the “runner,” the act of running does. That said, there are certain aspects of the sport that are different for us back-of-packers.

Since training runs are generally self-driven, all runners learn to accommodate their specific needs during those runs and it’s only when we have to rely on others that these needs become complicated. This makes race day a tad more interesting to navigate. Continue Reading →

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The Recovery Episode! Seven Things to Do Post-Run

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Taking time to recover is absolutely essential if you want to get stronger and improve your fitness. During your speed work or long run (or even weight training session) you’re adding stress to your body systems which results in depleting energy levels, broken down muscle tissue, and stressed bones, tendons, and ligaments.

In the period post-workout (the recovery period), the body starts repairing itself so that you can come back stronger during your next run or workout if you do these seven things . . . Continue Reading →

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Which compression pants are the best?

By Henry Howard

Several years ago on the day before one of my fall marathons, the forecast drastically changed. I don’t recall the exact specifics anymore but the cold and snow/rain predictions changed my race day plans from shorts to long pants.

At the time, I only had sweatpants and didn’t want to run a race wearing those. Setting aside the rule of “nothing new on race day,” I favored protection from the elements. I bought my first pair of compression tights (or pants) that suited me well for the day, which was cold with freezing rain.

Since then, I have expanded my collection of compression tights and tested them. Here is a comparison review of the three that I currently use for workouts and recovery. Continue Reading →

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We Helped Design a Marathon Training Quiz!

Hey folks! We helped design a marathon quiz for our friends over at Health I.Q. -a life insurance provider for runners. Check it out here. You will be required to set up a username and password but it is free.

The questions are based on knowledge that one would know who is actively involved in marathon training. Health IQ has found that your knowledge correlates to your actual health level (hence that name Health I.Q.). Here two sample questions: Continue Reading →

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Running and Weight Loss?

I’ve lost 140 pounds, about half of my body weight. I didn’t have surgery or use medication; I lost the weight the old-fashioned way, through diet and exercise.

I understand that’s not a sexy answer. People want a quick fix, a powder, a plan, something they can purchase with monthly installments and VOILA! Weight loss guaranteed. Still, folks want something to hang their hat on.

“She RUN MARATHONS? Well of course that’s why she lost weight!” is what I often hear.

“Well I could lose weight too if I could RUN A MARATHON!” they continue, followed with all of the excuses of why running is impossible.

This got me thinking . . .

Did I run to lose weight or did I lose weight so I could run? Continue Reading →

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How to Recover from a Hilly, Technical Ultra

The Bel Monte Endurance Races present a challenging, beautiful course for runners. Here are some ways to heal from endurance events with hilly courses.

By Henry Howard

The Bel Monte Endurance Races offer a 25K, 50K and 50-miler for those wanting to explore beautiful mountains in northern Virginia.

But check the fine print — the 50K is a 17-mile out-and-back course, meaning runners will do closer to a 55K by the time they cross the finish line. (The turnaround point for the 50-miler was at 26.2 miles.)

Regardless of the actual length — my watch counted 34.8 miles for the 50K — it’s an epic run with nearly 5,000 feet of elevation change. Such a race means recovery is key, especially when it’s a training run for my first 50-miler three weeks later. Continue Reading →

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