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The Eye of the Runner: The Boston Marathon 2013

PERPETRATORS BEWARE! You messed with a tribe of determined individuals who don't stop until their work is finished!

Boston Marathon Medal-0016

Today was business as usual. Up at 4:30am, made my daughter’s lunch, went to the gym, showered, answered work emails, headed to the grocery store and ran a couple errands.

Actually nothing about today felt usual. As if I left my heart in Boston yesterday like lost baggage. I didn’t bring all of me home. Read more

Improve Your Speed With This “Mental Illusion” Treadmill Workout

You can fool your brain to get your legs to run faster!
These buttons can have a huge impact on your workout!

These buttons can have a huge impact on your workout!

This treadmill workout isn’t fun but it is challenging and it not boring. So 2 outta 3 ain’t bad. Especially when you get results immediately.

New to running?  No problem. This workout works for slow joggers or walkers too! Just adjust the speeds to your level. Reduce the length of the warm-up and tempo.

The only difference between the novice and expert is how many times you push one button.

Unfortunately, the workout needs to be on a treadmill. It’s not that you can’t accomplish this workout out on the road, but I haven’t figured out how to get the same training effect. I think I know why.

We have too much control over our mind and not enough control over our terrain outside. The treadmill belt is a mechanical authority. Don’t do what it says and it’ll spit you out. We’ll never out wit a device plugged into a wall. A treadmill is not known for unconditional love:).

There is 1 principle behind this workout. Fool your brain. Read more

Hoo Rag

Skitz Pick

Simplicity works for the Hoo-Rag™!

Hoo Rag Modeled Read more

Fueling Your Student Athlete

To perform at their best, young athletes need to be educated on how to fuel their bodies.

Day after day my mother picked me up early from school to head to the gym. On the way we stopped at McDonalds so I could down two cheeseburgers, small fries and a coke. I think back to those days when gymnastics was my life. My coaches didn’t hesitate to direct workouts that had me pleading for mercy. Yet no coach in the history of my athletic career ever mentioned, or even asked, what I was putting into my body.

Unfortunately, some things haven’t changed in 30 years.

Many of our student athletes have the best shoes, gear, coaches and training. Coaches are invested in their seasons and will do almost anything to groom champions from a young age. I’ve witnessed football practices that resemble special forces training. State championships and college scholarships are highly sought after.

I’m baffled that with all of this focus on athletic achievement, why isn’t anyone concerned with the gas that’s going in the tanks of these young athletes? Ask any professional athlete and they’ll tell you that good nutrition is vital to their performance. Muscles need fuel for speed, endurance, power, and stamina. Read more

RUNNING Away From Injury: Injured & Cranky

A good habit is hard to break.

View previous post in this series, RUNNING Away From Injury.

We become dependent on our daily regimens. Especially runners. When the body screams “STOP!” and you refuse to listen, silent sirens of pain are triggered forcing you to limp to the side of the road. Like speed limit signs, ignore them long enough and the cops will eventually get you.

You can mask pain with ibuprofen, Kinesio tape, or even steroids, but the band-aids don’t cure the inflammation underneath.

Time heals. Rest rejuvenates. All words an injured runner doesn’t want to hear.  Read more

RUNNING Away From Injury: Strength Part II

Runners often have tunnel vision.

View previous post in this series, RUNNING Away From Injury.

The only thing we turn is our heads.

Runners train in one direction- forward. Even triathletes who train in 3 sports still move straight ahead to swim, bike and run.

We can’t always run on perfectly groomed dirt paths. Most of us spend our time on roads, treadmills, tracks and unfortunately, sidewalks. Our feet may hit the road but the force reverberates up through our entire body. Not only can this cause injury, it adds to our fatigue.

If we want to improve our endurance and lessen our risk of injury, we must recruit supporting muscles and ligaments and strengthen them. Read more

NEO-TOTE* Insulated Water Bottle Holders

Skitz Pick

I don’t like to drink warm water when I’m running outdoors. I like a nice cool stream of refreshment that perks me up. This need sparked a quest long ago. Unfortunately, the marketplace let me down. With every gadget known to man available on the web, ways to transport ice cold water  “on the go” isn’t one of them.

I’ve bought fuel belts, waste packs, Camelbaks– you name it– it’s probably in my closet. For runs lasting longer than an hour, I use a Fuel Belt with 2 plastic bottles. Works just fine but in 5 minutes the fluid is warm. 

I had to get creative. After experimenting with various types of bottles, I found these fantastic little “koozies” for the original plastic bottles. They help protect the fluid from the sun and provide good insulation.

NEO-TOTE ™ Insulated Water Bottle Holders

Ready to run!

Read more

RUNNING Away From Injury: Strength Part I

For runners, strength training should target certain areas of the body.

View previous post in this series, RUNNING Away From Injury.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Running pounds your body. The repetitive impact that strengthens your bones can wreak havoc on your joints. When you run, you simply run. There are no moves or strategic plays like most sports. Fast or slow, you put one foot in front of the other and propel yourself forward. That is, until something hurts.

Don’t ignore strength training if you want to run injury free. The previous post in this series focused on stretching those areas that tighten up when you run. Now I’m sharing exercises that strengthen those parts of your body most susceptible to injury.

Prevention is key. Cross training is highly recommended. Any sport or movement that has you move laterally (side to side). Not only will you be stronger in general but you’ll prevent burnout.

Today I’ll be focusing on your hips, hip flexors, glutes, and outer thigh. Next week I’ll hone in on lateral movement exercises with a couple running simulation strength moves.

Read more

RUNNING Away From Injury: Stretched Out

It takes a lot longer to heal from injury than it does to prevent it.

View previous post in this series, RUNNING Away From Injury.

A dedicated runner who gets injured is not in a good mood. Cranky, impatient, and feeling low, many injured runners ignore their pain and lace up anyway. It’s too painful NOT to.

Running pounds the body relentlessly. It can take years for the joints, muscles and soft tissues to accept the beating. When your body adapts, your bones become more dense and your muscles grow stronger. Running is a healthy activity, burns mega calories, and will help you stay fit.

Devoting a little time to your body off the streets can help your body adapt to the stresses of repetitive foot strikes on hard surfaces. Read more

RUNNING Away From Injury: The 5 Commandments

One of the best ways to stay fit is also one of the quickest ways to get injured.

My foot was in a cast for 2 weeks after my first Boston Marathon. Don’t let the smile fool you. 26.2 miles of excruciating pain.

Welcome to my new 5 part series on running injuries. For the next 5 weeks, I’ll devote a weekly post to tips and strategies to keeping yourself running healthy.

I don’t know of any sport more laden with injuries than running. Pick up any running or fitness magazine and you’ll find plenty of reasons to conclude it’s a risky sport.  You probably know someone who’s been laid up due to a running related injury.

Read more