Tag Archives: running

Forget Barefoot; New Trendsetter in Running Shoes Is Cushioning – NYTimes.com

Oy. First we had the minimalist running shoe. Now comes this: Forget Barefoot; New Trendsetter in Running Shoes Is Cushioning in the NYTimes.com. Yep, we are swinging from minimalist shoes to maximalist shoes. Should you get them? I agree with Lauren here:

Lauren Fleshman, a national champion in the 5,000 meters, likened the maximalist upswing to past footwear phenomena, now rejected as passé.

“To me, maximalist shoes fall right in the line of every other shoe trend,” she said. “There’s some good reasoning, but we don’t know enough about how it affects the body longer term, and we won’t know until everyone has been using it a while and all the other research comes out about how it destroys your body or whatever, and then there’s a lawsuit, and then there’s a campaign about how to use the technology properly, and then in the midst of all this confusion the next trend takes off. There is no shoe savior coming for us.”


If you are running outside, you need to warm up in more ways than one

If you are going to be running in cold weather, having a warm up to get you started will help. Here’s a good one to try: Winter Prep Workout from Runner’s World.

It typically takes 5-10 minutes to warm up when you go running. (Some people can take much longer). During those few minutes, I found I am cold and sometimes miserable. This warm up can help reduce the misery of winter running and also help you from getting injured.

Anything that makes winter running easier is worthwhile.

Nike ups their game with a new fuelband

According to Fast Company, Nike has a new Fuelband coming out called the Fuelband SE. It sounds like it is going to be smarter and more flexible than the current Fuelband:

Like the FuelBand, the FuelBand SE measures its wearer’s activity levels via a gamified system in which you can earn points for moving. The SE comes with even more built-in game mechanics to encourage users to want to move more throughout the day. It also offers a feature called “sessions” that allows you to categorize your movements according to the activity you’re doing, such as playing basketball, cycling, and now, sleeping. The FuelBand SE can also detect how hard you’re working during seemingly low-impact activities like yoga, and mete out points accordingly.

This should give the Fitbits and other wearable tech a good run for the money, and it may be the thing that makes me want to buy it.

Speaking of that, how much is it going to be?

Nike is currently accepting limited pre-orders for the FuelBand SE, which costs $149

Good price.

Wearable tech promises to be big. Looks like Nike plans to be in the front of the pack with the Fuelband.

Usain Bolt has style

The Guardian has an interview with the great Usain Bolt.

Unlike alot of sports interviews, in this one Bolt talks openly and casually about himself, his competition, and his goals. Barring injury, Bolt will be one of the greatest runners of all time. He has great style, too, as can be seen from the way he races AND from the way he dresses here.

Check out the article: it’s worthwhile.

If you are going to run a morning marathon, train in the morning

I was really surprised by this article in the NYTimes.com because it is saying that even with the same workout done the same way, your heartrate could be higher in the evening than the morning. The article goes on to discuss why this could be. It’s fascinating in itself, but as someone who trains mostly later in the day but runs early morning marathons and other long distance races, it’s also concerning. I train with a heart rate monitor, and my tempo runs are based on my heart rate later in the day. When I run the race, I am assuming my heart rate is going to be the same for the same effort. But in fact, to get the same heart rate in a morning race, I might have to be running alot faster. This sounds like it could be a good thing, but you could also end up over-exerting yourself and not having enough strength in your legs to get to the finish line.

The net of it is, if you are going to run a morning marathon, do some long distance and tempo runs in the morning as well to have a better understanding of what pace you should be running at come race day.

How to train and improve your speed for (half) marathons and races generally – the Rule of 3s

I have run in five marathons and around twice as many half-marathons. My preferred race now is the half-marathon. To train for it, I go with the rule of 3s. (Actually it is more of a guideline than a rule.) I got the idea from this Runner’s World article, The Less-Is-More Marathon Plan. That plan talks about training for a marathon on only 3 runs a week. I haven’t tried that, but I have trained and run half marathons on only three runs a week, and have found it to be very successful. Indeed, running more than 3 times a week is challenging for me because I don’t have the time and because I tend to run hard and I need the next day to recover.

The other thing I like about this Less-Is-More plan is that you train hard for 3 weeks, and then you have an easy (or easier) week. I think this is a great idea, and it helps keep you on the bandwagon. (And avoid injury.) Also, they have a three week taper at the end, which I also think is smart. Finally, each run in a week has a specific purpose.

Now, this plan is pretty detailed. Frankly, I am not that good at following that much detail. Maybe I should be, but I’m not. I am ok with keeping the long run distances and even the tempo distances, but running all those speed intervals is not for me.

What I do manage to do is split up my speed training into three groups. For the first set of speed training, I do fartleks, which is essentially  where I run fast intervals in the middle 1/3 of my run on Tuesdays. Because it is fartlek, I am not too strict in how long the intervals are. Essentially I try to push my body to do speed work, and when I find the quality of the speed work going badly, I slow down and recover. I make sure I do enough of this to make it worthwhile, but I am casual enough about it that I don’t dread it. (Hey, speed work is hard work! :))

For the second set of speed training, I do hill work. I split the hill work up into longer hills and shorter, steeper hills. Again, I do a few miles of warm up runs, then do about a third of my route as hills, then slow down and cool off. I use a HRM (heart rate monitor), and try to push myself enough on the hill workouts while trying to maintain good running form. To do this, I have to shorten my stride. I also recover by running slowly (and lightly, not thudding) down the hill. I also do some speed runs on shorter hills a few weeks after the longer hill workouts are under my belt and I am feeling stronger. (Doing the shorter hills first tends to be discouraging, at least for me.)

For the third set of speed training, I do actual intervals on a track (or I use Google Maps to help me plan out stretches of road). When I am doing those, I try and mix the distances, just like I in the Plan. Intervals can be boring, so I save them for after my fartleks and hill work. Also, by this point in the training, I should be feeling much stronger. If I do intervals early, I just feel slow and this is also discouraging. Part of the trick of doing any speed work is making sure you manage your mental training as much as your physical training.

By the way, for the tempo runs, I should be getting faster as the weeks progress, so I measure my tempo not so much by how fast I am running as by how fast my heart rate is. It’s also a good way of insuring that my speed work is paying off.

Lastly, your longer runs should be at a slower pace than the tempo run. See the plan (and other places) as to what the pace for that should be. What you are trying to do on the longer runs is get accustomed to running longer without straining yourself. You should still see progress in your pace, though, even though the effort you are exerting is less than what you will ultimately exert in the race.

At race day, the only thing that should prevent you from running faster than ever is bad luck. So, good luck! I hope you run fast and run well!

Runners! The Nike Human Race 10K is October 24th. Are you ready?

Anyone who has been running awhile should consider signing up for Nike’s  Human Race. Nike always puts on a good running event, and this is quite an event indeed, with runners all over the world participating. If you are up for a 10K this weekend, see the site for more info.