Sunday, September 16, 2012

2012 Asheville Citizen-Times Half Marathon Results

Well, the 2012 Asheville Citizen-Times Half Marathon is over and I reached my goal of running a sub 2 hour time.  I crossed the line with a chip time of 1:56:54 and race time of 1:57:58.  The difference, in case you're wondering is based on the two timings: Race time is based on the gun going off and when you cross the finish line.  The other, your chip time, is based on when you actually cross the starting line and when you finish.  It took me one minute + just to get to the starting line as you can see by my times. 

Anyway...just a great race and I enjoyed the small changes to the course.  If you would like to see your results, you can find them at the race's website which is here:

Can't wait for 2013!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Should People Be Able To Compete in Olympics with Prosthetics??

Double amputee, Oscar Pistorius, will run in the Summer Olympics. I'm not really sure how I feel about this.

One the one hand, here is someone that overcame an incredible physical challenge - the loss of both legs - and yet has qualified to run in the games after a court ruling.  This is a huge accomplishment and I for one am incredibly impressed and inspired.

On the other hand - how do we know that his special running legs don't give him some sort of advantage? After all, they could be just "springy" enough to cause him to rebound off the ground literally springing forward rather than running. Perhaps, they are lighter than natural limbs would be and therefore his more endurance/speed. After all, there are the para-olympics. Why not compete there?

This has been allowed - so it's a mute point now. But what happens the next time? Theoretically, couldn't a similar double amputee have specially designed legs and be a swimmer? Rather than "feet" he has flipper attachments? Would that be fair? 50 years from now, do we let a man with 2 bionic arms compete in weight lifting? I'm only half joking here.

Why is it O.K. to have special limbs but it's not o.k. to take drugs that help your muscles repair faster after training or help endurance runners get more oxygen? After all - everyone could take steroids or do blood doping and then the playing field is level again. Again - only half kidding but hopefully you see my point.

Where do you stand on this issue?

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Running with Hypoglycemia

Recently, I had someone ask about running and hypoglycemia.   Basically, you experience low blood sugar which is just like "hitting the wall" in the marathon.  His question was how to train for the marathon even though hypoglycemic.  My advice was as follows.  If anyone has any personal experience with running with this condition, please chime in and comment on how you handle it.

First - give yourself time to train.  Build up your mileage by no more than 10% each week.  This may delay your goal of running a marathon, especially if your current mileage is very low.  This will give your body time to adjust as well as give you time to play around with eating schedules and snacks.

Next - and I hate to say this 'cause it hurts...but cut out the junk food and sugars.  That's right...give up the sodas, candy, cookies, etc...that are loaded with sugars.  Don't be fooled by "healthy" products in disguise.  Some of the worst offenders are the Orange Juice products that have a ton of sugar.  Buy yourself a juicer or just eat oranges.  You'll be better off.

Also - focus on eating "complex carbs" rather than simple carbs.  In other words, wheat bread over white.  Whole grain pasta over the more traditional standard types of pasta.  The complex carbs take longer to break down and therefore provide the fuel over a longer period, thus delaying the "bonk" or crash.

My other recommendation was to eat smaller, more frequent meals...breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner...possibly another snack.  All your meals will be smaller and you may feel like you are grazing all day long at first.  My spreading out your meals - smaller and frequent throughout the day - you will maintain a more steady blood sugar level.

One last thing - always run with some hard candy ( I know...contradicting what I said above about candy) to suck on in case you feel like you are crashing.  Low blood sugar can have devastating effects, so if you need to get your sugar level back up, do it!  While training on long runs...or during a long race such as the marathon, suck on a hard candy every 20 - 30 minutes.  Again, play around with this while training to see the timing and what works best for you.

Again, if anyone out there is hypoglycemic and does endurance events like running, swimming, cycling, let us know and post how you deal with it.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Results for the Hot Chocolate 10K in Asheville

I ran the Isaac Dickson Hot Chocolate 10K in Asheville this morning for the first time. This was a great time and will certainly become one of my staple races.

The course was flat for the vast majority of the route with a good downhill at the start and therefore an uphill at the end. We had a really good rain that started after I passed the 3 mile mark.

The race was chip timed, and was very well organized. Results were posted incredibly fast too which was great!

Congratulations to all the staff, vendors/sponsors & the awesome volunteers.

Here's the link to their site if you would like to learn more or check the results:


Thursday, January 12, 2012

Training for Your First Marathon

Now that it's a new year, you may have written "Run a Marathon" on your New Year's Resolution list.  The marathon is a noble goal for sure but it requires a lot of patience.  Physiological changes, not to mention the need for psychological changes, occur around the 20 mile mark as your body (and mind) is looking for "fuel" - anything that will keep it going since the usual reserves and resources have been expended at this point.  That doesn't mean you can't run just need to plan!

If you run at least 25 miles per week, then are you are ready to start a typical 18 week program.  If however, you are under 20 miles per week, then you need to build up your base by extending into a longer plan.  A good estimate is 9 months if you are starting from 10 miles or less.  Why does it take so long?  Because you increase the mileage very slowly.

Let's say you run about 10 miles per week right now.  Each week, you can add 10%, or 1 mile, to your weekly distance.  Once you hit 20 miles per week, then you add 2 miles (10%)  per week and so on.  By adding mileage gradually, you avoid the "too much, too soon" problems that lead to injuries.

By building your mileage slow, the marathon becomes much more "doable" and you avoid injuries.  Just remember to take it slow and easy.  Also, you do not need to have any long run over 20 miles.  Once you hit this distance, injuries become more likely, and you also need to then ease up for several days to recover from such a distance.  Ideally, you will only run a couple of these 20 milers in the 6 weeks leading up to the marathon.

Of course, if you have any questions, I'm always available.  Just call or email and I'll be happy to assist you in achieving your goals.

Common Concerns About Hiring a Running Coach

If you have been struggling to hit that PR or perhaps if your running is just lacking lately, you may have considered hiring a running coach...