Sunday, July 30, 2006


Suppose you were told that you only
had to add an extra five to 10 minutes to
each of your workouts in order to prevent
injury and lessen fatigue. Would you do it?
Most people would say yes. Then they
might be surprised to learn that they
already know about those few minutes
called a warm-up. If done correctly, a preexercise
warm-up can have a multitude
of beneficial effects on a person’s workout
and, consequently, their overall health.


When you begin to exercise, your cardiorespiratory
and neuromuscular systems
and metabolic energy pathways are
stimulated. Muscles contract and, to meet
their increasing demands for oxygen, your
heart rate, blood flow, cardiac output and
breathing rate increase. Blood moves faster
through your arteries and veins, and is
gradually routed to working muscles.
Your blood temperature rises and oxygen is
released more quickly, raising the temperature
of the muscles. This allows the muscles
to use glucose and fatty acids to burn
calories and create energy for the exercise.
All of these processes prepare
the body for higher-intensity action.


A gradual warm-up:
-leads to efficient calorie burning by
increasing your core body temperature
-produces faster, more forceful muscle
-increases your metabolic rate so oxygen
is delivered to the working muscles
more quickly
-prevents injuries by improving the elasticity
of your muscles
- gives you better muscle control by
speeding up your neural message
pathways to the muscles
- allows you to work out comfortably
longer because all your energy systems
are able to adjust to exercise,
preventing the buildup of lactic acid
in the blood
- improves joint range of motion
-psychologically prepares you for higher
intensities by increasing your arousal
and focus on exercise


Your warm-up should consist of two
phases: 1) progressive aerobic activity that
utilizes the muscles you will be using
during your workout, and 2) flexibility
exercises. Choosing which warm-up
activity to use is as easy as slowing down
what you will be doing during your workout.
For example, if you will be running,
warm up with a slow jog, or if you will be
cycling outdoors, begin in lower gears.

An ideal intensity for an aerobic warm-up
has yet to be established, but a basic
guideline is to work at a level that produces
a small amount of perspiration,
but doesn’t leave you feeling fatigued. The
duration of the warm-up activity will
depend on the intensity of your workout
as well as your own fitness level.

After the aerobic warm-up activity you
should incorporate flexibility/stretching
exercises. Stretching muscles after warming
them up with low-intensity aerobic activity
will produce a better stretch since the rise
in muscle temperature and circulation increases
muscle elasticity, making them
more pliable. Be sure to choose flexibility
exercises that stretch the primary muscles
you will be using during your workout.


In order to fully reap the benefits of
the time you are spending exercising,
you must warm up. Taking those extra
few minutes to adjust to increased
activity will ensure a better performance
from your body and, in turn, will make
your workout more ef- ficient, productive
and, best of all, enjoyable.

If you are interested in information on other health and fitness topics, contact: American Council on Exercise, 4851 Paramount Drive,
San Diego, CA 92123, 800-825-3636; or, go online at and access the complete list of ACE Fit Facts

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Study On Heart Rate Monitors

Check out a comparative study of different heart rate monitors. Just click on the Title link above!

Plantar Fasciitis/Heel and Arch Pain

Plantar Fasciitis is an inflammation of the plantar fascia, a fibrous band of tissue that
runs from the heel to the toes. Pain is felt along the inside bottom of your foot
anywhere from the heel through the arch.

The plantar fascia typically becomes inflamed when it works through more of a range
of motion than it's designed to do. Runners with tight Achilles tendons, who
overpronate, have high arches, have rigid feet, and inflexible running shoes are most
likely to suffer with Plantar Fasciitis.

The best treatment for Plantar Fasciitis is to ice the bottom of your foot from heel to
ball and to make sure that your shoes have the proper combination of motion control
and cushioning. Freezing a tennis ball and rolling your foot on top, as well as
working on calf flexibility are great methods for alleviating plantar faciitis pain.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Marathons: How to select the right one for YOU

Hey everyone! This is some great advice on picking the right marathon for you. Picking the right marathon is a lot bigger of a deal than you might think...check it out.

Marathons take place all over the world. If you have not already selected one, then now is the time to do it. Really, do it right now! What have you committed to yourself if you have not already signed up or at least selected the big run (some may not allow you to register yet)? If possible, pick a flat one! If you select one with hills, then make sure you are running hills during your training runs.

Some have lots of people and some have far fewer people. There are advantages and disadvantages to both. If you select a marathon with a lot of people (perhaps more than 10,000 people), then you can expect some traffic in the beginning, but you will have a lot more fan support and people to run with during the later stages of the marathon. On the other hand, if you run a smaller marathon (perhaps less than 500 people), then you may enjoy little, if any, traffic early on, but find yourself at mile-22 and be all alone with not a runner in site. We all have different preferences. Select the one that is right for you.

I suggest selecting a marathon with lots of people. Why? Because you have more people to run with and support you (and you support them) when you need it most. If there is traffic early on, who cares? You are not trying to break a world record! Your goal is to successfully train for and finish a marathon. You will need all the help you can get. Consider getting your name printed on your shirt. Strangers will cheer you on! Why do I care about strangers? You will! Again, you will need all the help you can get. Have fun! While supporters cheer for their friends or loved ones, they also understand the accomplishment you are striving to achieve. Hear them shout your name. Feel like you are a celebrity. See yourself seeing the finish line. See yourself crossing the finish line. Feel what it will feel like to cross the finish line.

When you select YOUR marathon, get a map of the course. Contact the management of the course to find out the best place for your friends or family to see you. Do not just look at the map and say, “See you at mile 5, 17, 21, and 26.2.” These areas may not be accessible to spectators. Do not just assume they can get to those points. They may not! Speaking from experience, it is a major disappointment to expect to see your supporters at a specific point and they are not there when you get there. While you know they want to be there, you also know they cannot be there. Plan ahead! Let your supporters know where they can see you. They will give you a major emotional lift when you see them. If you do not see them? Well, you can expect the opposite effect. Trust me, I know!

Consider wearing something bright. You do not want your supporters to be at the expected spot and not be able to see you! I am not suggesting this, but during my first marathon, I recall seeing a hairy guy sporting a pink tutu and pink cowboy hat. Again, you would never see me wearing that, but the point is to wear something that stands out so your supporters can easily pick you out in a group of runners. If you will not have personal supporters to cheer you on, then I highly recommend getting your name on your shirt. The lift you will get will be amazing and make the marathon fun for you as total strangers cheer you on. Pick YOUR course, make sure your supporters know where they can see you, make sure they CAN see you, and get support from strangers. You will need it!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Marathon in Cabo?? SWEET!!!

Want to run a half marathon in Cabo? This would be a good warm up race for you if you are trying to get ready for a full marathon next year...and it's in Cabo!!! Just follow the link.

Monday, July 24, 2006

The Winning Hydration Plan

The best way to prevent both dehydration and hyponatremia is to learn the right way to hydrate. Click on the link above to create your own hydration game plan.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Mmm, Potassium

by: Yishane Lee

This crucial mineral helps keep you hydrated and aids in recovery. Here's how to get it:

Even Freud would concede that a runner who finishes a marathon with bananas on the brain is not thinking impure thoughts. There's a simple, physiological reason for the water-and-bananas combo that's become a staple in almost every postrace recovery tent: Water hydrates and bananas supply potassium.

Potassium is a mineral that works with sodium (also a mineral) to balance the fluids and electrolyte levels in your body. And since steady fluid levels help to regulate your heartbeat and prevent muscles from cramping, potassium is of particular importance to runners. "Think of it as the gatekeeper for fluid movement in and out of the body's cells," says Lisa Dorfman, R.D., a sports nutritionist at the University of Miami's athletic department. Most of the sodium in your body is stored outside your cells, while most of the potassium is stored within. Yet because of their different concentration levels, potassium constantly wants to get out and sodium wants to get in. The transfer of these two crucial minerals in and out of the cells--the "sodium-potassium pump"--comprises 20 to 40 percent of an adult's resting energy expenditure.

Put that adult in motion, running, and studies have shown that he or she will finish a marathon with more potassium outside his or her cells than inside. That's why you feel weak, your legs might start to cramp, and you may begin to feel bloated. But thanks in part to that unoriginal (albeit useful) banana and water foisted upon you at the finish line, the imbalance returns to normal in about an hour.

To read on the link above for the entire article at

London Marathon

For those of you in the UK, here is some information on the London Marathon. You have a little less than 9 months to prepare. That should be enough time, even if you are a beginner. Click on the link above to check it out.

-The Marathon Professor

Friday, July 21, 2006

The Comeback - a Practical Guide to Reigniting Your Running

By Pete Rea, ZAP Fitness/Running Journal/March 2006

Muhammad Ali had three, as did Michael Jordan. Madonna, and Hulk Hogan had a couple each; even Ted Kennedy had one. They are comebacks, otherwise known as rebirths, second chances, and resurrections. Comebacks require fortitude and passion, and in the world of long distance running comebacks require (among other things) fresh thinking and extreme patience, perhaps more patience than any other venue. Most of us have been there: muscles are sorer than ever, workouts have become a chore and it has been months, years, even decades since we have seen a personal best. If this describes you, perhaps you are ripe for a comeback.

Comeback Step #1 -- Rest/Time Off

Few dedicated endurance athletes ever allow themselves time to rest, truly rest. I am not talking about a day off here and there but time completely away from intense training. It is indeed a paradox: this "never miss dotting an I or crossing a T" thinking that allows so many runners to be successful is also what can knock us off the pedestal. When all else fails one of the best ways to begin a comeback is with, ironically, some time off. Time away from running (or at least intense running) has the benefits of healing the body both physiologically and psychologically, and more often than not will stoke the fire of desire. My former coach and ZAP Fitness co-founder, the late Andy Palmer, made a career out of coaching broken down athletes who had seen more valleys than peaks, and the first place he began with each new client was with rest.

Comeback Step #2 -- Forget What You have Done in the Past

One of the most important factors in reigniting your running career is focusing on who and where you are now, not who you were three, 10, or even 20 years ago. Too often athletes get caught up in their personal bests or performances from years past and fail to focus their energies on the here and now. Particularly after a long break I encourage the reborn runner to apply the "new PR plan" that was suggested to me by Depaul University Coach Gordon Thompson. Essentially the idea behind the "new PR plan" is that once you begin to train after an extended break your slate of PRs is clean. Even if you are a 16:00 5K runner from years prior, if your first race back is a 21:30 5K -- that is your PR. Dwelling on how far you've fallen from performances past will only increase frustration and reduce motivation.

Comeback Step #3 -- More Recovery -- Less Intensity

Another common mistake in making a successful comeback is assuming that you need to train harder and more intensely than in years past. On the contrary, a comeback requires a runner to give themselves more time between hard sessions and be open to the need for a novel, more gradual approach, especially in the dangerous "ramp-up" period. Time and time again I have seen athletes starting comebacks who fail because they transition into all-out running in the first handful of weeks. I suggest more relaxed to moderate work and little to no top end 90 percent-plus sessions for the first four to six months. As a side note to the older runner getting back into the sport competitively: while I am personally not a big fan of large amounts of weight work, thwarting the body's natural loss of muscle mass in the 50s and 60s through light to moderate weight lifting is an intelligent way to remain injury free as you build back into training.

Comeback Step #4 -- Your Body is a Temple -- Treat it that way!

Most of the people I coach are likely sick of my constant nagging about taking care of their bodies properly in training, but for the recovering comeback runner this is even more important. I am a strong believer in regular massage therapy, osteopathic and/or chiropractic work, acupuncture, and of course the two biggies: post-run icing and pre hard-run muscle warming. These little tricks of the trade will undoubtedly increase your chances of a healthy comeback.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

8 Tips to Stay Hydrated, Cool, and Safe This Summer

Since we are hitting the peak of summer, and most of us will be training in the HOT HOT sun, here are some tips on how to make sure you don't fry. Keep on keepin' on!

-The Marathon Professor

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

New York Marathon

The New York Marathon is in 108 days.... Can you make it in time?? Click above to go to the site.

The premier event of New York runners, the ING New York City Marathon is one of the world's great road races, drawing more than 85,000 applicants. The race attracts many world-class professional athletes, not only for the more than $500,000 in prize money, but also for the chance to excel in the media capital of the world before two million cheering spectators and 260 million worldwide television viewers. As any one of the 672,000 past participants will attest, crossing the finish line in Central Park is one of the great thrills of a lifetime.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Are You Too Old To Run A Marathon?

If you're ever thinking that you're too old to be running, just think of Ed Whitlock. The 73 year-old Canadian runs 100 miles a week and ran the Toronto marathon this past September in 2:54:49, a 6:40/mile pace. The full article from the New York Times is here.
-musings on the marathon

How To Avoid Injury

Training Errors

Without question, training errors are the greatest single cause of injuries that prevent runners from participating in their chosen target events. These particular runners can be categorized into two major groups. The first type adopts the philosophy that "more is better" and builds their mileage too rapidly and thus suffers breakdown and/or injury. The second group of runners is very inconsistent in their training and misses several workouts in a row, for example. Then, recognizing that they are behind in their training, pour on the miles in an effort to catch up. Several of these mistakes are listed below. By training wisely, you can avoid becoming a "marathon training fatality".


Consistent training is one of the major keys to running improvement. Conversely, inconsistent training can lead to a variety of injuries. It is vital that you do not miss several days in a row of running and then jump right back into your training program. Doing so greatly increases your risk of injury, as you must build your mileage gradually (see below).

Building Mileage Too Rapidly

Always adhere to the 10 percent rule. This two-part rule specifies: (1) do not increase your weekly mileage by more than 10 percent nor (2) increase the distance of your long run by more than 10 percent per week.

Not Following the Hard-Easy Concept of Training

Hard workouts include long runs, races, speedwork, hill repeats, and/or any other stressful workout. Do not run two hard workouts back to back. For example, if you complete a long run on Sunday, do not plan to go to the track to do a speedwork session on Monday. Similarly, if you run a 10K road-race on Saturday, avoid doing a long run on Sunday.

Not Listening to Your Body

This training error is referred to as "being a slave to your training schedule". While it's very important to be as consistent as possible regarding your training, it is vital to listen to what your legs are communicating to you throughout your marathon training period. Instead of running five or six easy miles during the middle of the week when your muscles feel fatigued or sore, take an extra day off and save your legs for the weekend long run. Above all, incorporate rest days into your schedule prior to hard workouts.

Injury Prevention Strategies

Heed Injury Warning Signs

There are too many types of running injuries and treatment options that could be addressed in this section. However, if you suspect you may have an injury, begin a preventative rehabilitation program to keep the damage to a minimum. Depending on the type of injury, this might mean using ice, anti-inflammatory medication, and above all, taking a rest day or two to allow the injury to heal. Continuing to run will only slow down the recovery process or even make the injury more serious. In addition, by favoring the injury and altering your natural running style, a secondary injury may develop. If your injury doesn't respond to rest and/or the rehabilitation measures just described, it is then prudent to seek the advice of a physician familiar with running and sports-related injuries. Above all, follow his or her advice!


Stay well hydrated to avoid heat injury.

Use Fresh Shoes

Purchase a new pair of shoes when the mileage totals from your old shoes reach a maximum of 400 miles.

Stretch Regularly

Include Weight Training

Add Some Cross-Training Activities

Be sure that these activities supplement your running rather than increase your level of fatigue that reaches the point of interfering with your running program.

Utilize Recovery Techniques

There are several therapeutic measures you can take to recover from stressful runs or from the cumulative effects of hard training over a long period of time. Massage therapy is great after a long run, hard race, and/or weeks of heavy training. Pouring cold water on fatigued legs after a race or long run is another therapeutic technique. Soaking your legs in a whirlpool with warm water (approximately 105 degrees) a couple of hours after a race or long run oftentimes aids in the recovery of fatigued muscles. Something as simple as taking a walk or going for an easy bike ride a couple hours after a hard workout also can work wonders for tired legs.
Thanks to for the article

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Walk Breaks?

Most runners will record significantly faster times when they take walk breaks because they don't slow down at the end of a long run. Thousands of time-goal-oriented veterans have improved by 10, 20, 30 minutes and more in marathons by taking walk breaks early and often in their goal races. You can easily spot these folks. They're the ones who are picking up speed during the last two to six miles when everyone else is slowing down.

The mental benefit: breaking 26 miles into segments, which you know you can do Even sub-three hour marathoners continue to take their walk breaks to the end. One of them explained it this way: "Instead of thinking at 20 miles I had six more gut-wretching miles to go, I was saying to myself one more mile until my break.' Even when it was tough, I always felt I could go one more mile. By Jeff Galloway

Twelve Weeks to a 13.1-Mile Race

For those of you training for a half marathon this is a good link. I like Hal Higdon, he has some good information on his sight. If you want more information than this on half marathons, please leave me a comment and I will see what I can do.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Will you survive marathon training?

Here is a great article from the Chicago Tribune!

Running too many miles on hard surfaces?

• Concrete sidewalk and blacktop road are the worst surfaces on which to run.

• Hard packed dirt and grass are the best surfaces on which to run.

• Harder running surfaces put more stress on your muscular and skeletal systems.

From Terprunners

Friday, July 14, 2006

Marathons: tricky for runners with diabetes

If you have diabetes, you might find this article interesting. Just click on the link above!


Here is a great article on training for a marathon. Check this one out for sure!!!

Vegetarian Action by David Zuniga

This is an interesting article for anyone out there who is a vegetarian.

Most people think marathons, which are 26.2 miles, are the longest races in distance running. Actually, ultrarunning, a small but growing sport in the United States, features races that are 50 kilometers (31.1 miles), 50 miles, and 100 kilometers. The premier distance in ultrarunning is 100 miles. Some assume that vegetarians cannot be serious athletes and compete in grueling sports such as ultrarunning. As a vegetarian and an ultrarunner, I know this is incorrect. In fact, being vegetarian actually makes me a better athlete.

After running cross-country in college, I tried many different training programs as I sought to move up in distance to marathons, but failed every time. My break came in 1996 when my uncle, an ex-Navy SEAL and vegan for almost thirty years, inspired me to become vegetarian. Six months later I completed my first marathon. Besides giving up meat, I had made no other changes in my training regimen. I strongly believe my success in running was directly related to my becoming vegetarian. I have completed numerous marathons and ultramarathons and next spring I will complete my first 100-mile ultramarathon.

Usually I am vegetarian, though during intense training I often eat vegan. Both are ideal for intense athletic training because they each offer diets that are rich in complex carbohydrates, are low in fat, and have ample amounts of protein. Complex carbohydrates provide the best source of energy for engaging in arduous athletic events. These carbs are found in fruits, vegetables, grains, pasta, and many other foods which vegetarians consume in abundance. Through foods such as beans, soy, grains, and vegetables, it is easy for the vegetarian or vegan athlete to get all needed protein. Fat in a diet is not always bad; it can serve as a good energy source. But as with protein, the average American gets far too much fat. Being vegetarian or vegan helps to ensure that you consume some fat without overindulging.

I have found that no supplements are needed for my diet, even when I am eating vegan and my training is very intense. I don't advocate products like concentrated protein or carbohydrate powders because I believe they often mask nutritional deficiencies. Further, I believe it is always healthier to meet your nutritional requirements with fruits, vegetables, and grains as opposed to artificial, processed powders.

During ultraraces or extended training runs, which last from three to twelve hours, I will sometimes consume energy bars because they are quick, convenient, and tasty sources of energy, but I do not advocate energy bars as a regular part of your diet. While many of these are vegetarian or even vegan, always be sure and read the labels. I also highly recommend that before you use a bar in a race, first try it out during training. And the most important priority is to stay properly hydrated.

As a vegetarian or vegan you naturally have a big advantage in sports. Your enhanced health, stamina, and energy will take you far in running. Further, I believe the mental and physical discipline needed to maintain a vegetarian lifestyle is very similar to the mental and physical discipline needed for grueling athletic training.

It is a good idea to have a physical exam before embarking on any new fitness program, and start cautiously. Depending on your health and athletic background, you might want to start out with a mixture of walking and running. A general rule, even for advanced runners, is to increase your distance by no more than five to ten percent per week. Though it takes extra time, warming up improves the quality of your workouts and helps to reduce injuries. If you decide to start racing, you may eventually want to incorporate hill work, speed sessions, and long runs. Running is probably the most popular amateur sport in the United States. With its widespread popularity, runners are often besieged with fancy products that promise quick, miraculous results. With the exception of good shoes, I believe none of that expensive equipment is necessary. The things that will take you farthest in running are a good attitude and a good diet, both of which are immeasurably improved by vegetarianism.

Sometimes it can be hard to be a vegetarian in our meat-obsessed culture. A lot of people think being a vegetarian or a serious athlete requires a great deal of time and energy. But I find that the opposite is true. As a full-time graduate student at Harvard, writer, and part-time chaplain, I find that vegetarianism coupled with running keeps me healthy and improves my energy. Vegetarianism and running reduce my stress and vastly enhance the quality of my life.
Being an ultrarunner does not mean that I am a super athlete. I am just an average person. But I believe my ultrarunning demonstrates that vegetarianism empowers an ordinary person to accomplish extraordinary things. Vegetarianism has literally helped make my dreams come true.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Jonathan Roche: Marathon Training Expert

Jonathan Roche is one of the nation's foremost authorities on heart rate-based interval training. Through his company, Breakthrough Health & Fitness, and its Momentum Fitness & Weight Loss System, Jonathan promotes the use of heart-rate based interval workouts to achieve maximum fitness and weight loss results in the shortest period of time. Says Jonathan, 'It's not how hard you train. It's how smart you train." Jonathan has run the last nine Boston Marathons as a member of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute team. His company donates five percent of its profits to this cancer research organization. For more information on Jonathan Roche's interval training systems and weight loss programs, please visit

Tip of the day...

Speed walk through the water stops. Dehydration is a major problem for many marathon runners so it is essential to take in two full cups of liquid at each aid station. But, if you are running through the stations half of each cup ends up on your shirt! There is no recovery if you get dehydrated on race day, which means you'll be forced to merely survive and finish. And that is not the way to experience your first marathon. Jonathan Roche at

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Tip of the Day

Taper for three weeks before the marathon. Most first timers do not let their body recover before the marathon. You need to gradually pull back on your training in order for your body to fully recover and be 100% ready to go on the marathon day. You should maintain your normal training intensity throughout the final three weeks, but you should gradually decrease your workout time. So three weeks out you should do 75% of your normal workload, two weeks out you should do 50% and the last week you should do 25%. This will leave you well-rested, but still sharp, when you toe the line.

tip by Jonathan Roche @

Expert Village Training Tips Video

This clip is about two minutes long and has some good little gems of knowledge about training for a marathon. I recommend you take a look.

-The Marathon Professor.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Here is a link to a Pace Chart

If you want to see how fast your average mile has to be to complete a marathon in 2 hours, 3 hours, etc... Here you go... just click on the link.

Running Tips

***If have gotten a little blister or other hot spot from your shoe, check out the socks you are wearing. If they are those thick cotton socks, then they are just absorbing and holding sweat like a towel. Before you blame your shoes try some alternate socks, preferably cool-max type socks as they will wick away sweat which will cause it to evaporate easier.

***Just a light glaze of Vaseline will prevent blisters on any hot spot. Blisters come from friction and Vaseline eliminates the friction. Same thing if you are chafing a little between your thighs. As you sweat and it gets absorbed into your shorts that rubs in the area, again Vaseline will help.

***Ladies if your jog bra is rubbing you on your breast plate, which is not uncommon at all, the bottom of your jog bra a line almost dead center of your chest, a little Vaseline will help that as well.

tips from

Monday, July 10, 2006

Team up for some runs...

Like I said in the last post...Training for a marathon isn't the easiest thing you will ever do. I think a great way to train is to train with a partner or a team. So everyone leave a comment and tell us where you are...Maybe we can team up and help motivate each other.

I'm in Utah

Where are you?

Talk Soon,

The Marathon Professor

Armstrong Struggles with Marathon Training

Hey...check this out... Lance Armstrong is having trouble training for a marathon!!! That's what I've been trying to tell you all: Training for a marathon isn't easy. If it is hard for's going to be hard for us!

Here is the article from

Sheryl Crow's ex-fiance Lance Armstrong is struggling with his bid to complete the New York Marathon -- and he's beginning to think it was a bad idea.

The Tour De France champion plans to join celebrities like the Streets' Mike Skinner for the 26-mile run in November, but he admits training is much harder than he initially anticipated.
Armstrong says, "It's painful. Running is totally different from cycling -- the impact on the body.
"Those guys (marathon runners) train hard, watch what they eat and go to bed early -- things I don't want to do anymore. I'm over that. I like to have a bit of fun."

Armstrong has been given a celebrity boost as he trains in Los Angeles -- Matthew McConaughey and Jake Gyllenhaal are helping the retired cycling star get in supershape for the marathon.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Find a Marathon where you live.

Looking for a marathon where you live? I found this great site that has links to marathons all over the country and world for that matter. Check this one out. If you actually sign up for one and get yourself a deadline...your training will be much more effective!

Therapy, one step at a time

--Here is a great inspirational story to help you on your journey to running your first marathon.

A weakness for alcohol and cocaine led Jeff Turner to the doorstep of Boonville’s Valley Hope rehabilitation center on April Fool’s Day 2003. It was his second visit.

He was, as the saying goes, sick and tired of being sick and tired. The 1991 Hickman graduate was also 20 pounds overweight, and it had been ages since he had done anything more strenuous than work as a golf pro in Arizona.

Believing that he had a better chance of beating his addiction if he could show the willpower to get into better shape, Turner decided to go jogging on the nearby Katy Trail. He made it about 500 yards before he had to stop, gasping for breath.

He went back the next day and made it about a half-mile before stopping. He returned the next day, and the next, going a little farther each day, one step at a time. Running was therapy, his improvement proof that he could change for the better. By the time his month-long stint at Valley Hope was over, he was doing 3 miles. "I felt, and still feel, my chance for relapse would be much greater if I didn’t run," Turner said. "It’s the way I get my buzz now."

He returned to his home in Scottsdale, Ariz., and continued to run. He got up at dawn to get in his miles before the heat became oppressive. He felt energized the rest of the day.
Turner even mentioned the idea of running a marathon. When a friend laughed at the notion, Turner became determined to complete the 2004 Rock ’n’ Roll Marathon in Phoenix. He had to walk in a few spots, but nine months after checking out of rehab, he finished the race in 3 hours, 49 minutes.

That was supposed to be the end of it. Point proven. But distance running was addictive.
He got more savvy about training, and by his third marathon, he shaved almost 30 minutes off his original time. Turner registered for this year’s Rock ’n’ Roll Marathon in San Diego with the goal of qualifying for the prestigious Boston Marathon, which would require him to finish in 3:10.
Everything was progressing nicely toward that goal until three weeks before the June 4 race. Then he received a call that made running seem meaningless. His father, Tom Turner, had gone to the doctor to figure out the source of persistent leg and back pain. The news was devastating. Tom, the 57-year-old publisher of the Lake Sun Leader newspaper in Camdenton, had terminal cancer. It started in his lungs and spread to his brain and elsewhere. Jeff’s first thought was to forget about the marathon. His father disagreed. When Jeff visited his dad in Houston, where he sought treatment at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, talking about Jeff’s goal of qualifying for Boston brightened Tom’s mood. Jeff decided he would run the race in his father’s honor. On two week’s notice, he raised $600 for cancer research through the Lance Armstrong Foundation.
Turner began the race in good form. He averaged 6:55 per mile, and at the 18-mile mark he was on pace for a 3-hour finish. At that point, he knew he could play it safe and easily make the Boston qualifying mark. Or he could continue to push the pace and try to finish in less than 3 hours. The latter strategy carried the risk that he might flame out and fail to qualify for Boston.
He remembered how competitive his father was at everything he did, never wanting to lose at basketball, golf or even a game of pool. "I thought, ‘I can’t keep this pace up,’ " Turner said. "But in the back of my mind, I thought, ‘Well, what would he do? I’m in Boston safely. Would he back off or keep coming at you?’ " Turner powered through the final miles, finishing in 2:59. He was the 90th person to cross the finish line in a race that began with more than 21,000 runners.

Turner has since returned to Missouri to be with his father. Every marathon he runs in the future will be a fund-raiser for cancer research, especially the Boston Marathon.
Turner believes running saved him, and he would love for his steps to help save another life.

By JOE WALLJASPER Columbia Daily Tribune sports editor

Make Your Marathon Dream A Reality

If you’re planning to run a marathon this fall, now is the time to start training. Here are some tips to stay on track and cross that finish line.

The BasicsProper shoes are one of the most important parts of training. Experts say not to choose sneakers simply because you like the color or the style. Go to a specialty running shop and get help finding a pair that’s right for you. The right shoes will help prevent injuries, but they’re also just the beginning.

The TrainingRunning a marathon can be an experience like none other, especially in New York.“It’s sort of the closest any of us will get to playing in Yankee Stadium,” said David Willey of Runner’s World Magazine. “You have 2 million people on the streets on New York cheering for you, essentially.”But getting ready for the big day takes discipline, dedication and months of training.Willey said you should train for at least 16 weeks, especially if it’s your first time. Shoot for running five days a week and build up for a really long weekend run.

He also suggested joining a group.“It sort of distracts you from the discomfort that goes along with any kind of serious training,” Willey said. “And it gets you with people who are at the same level as you are so you can feel like you’re in it together, which makes it more fun.”There are charity training groups so you can raise money for a cause as you train for your goal. There are also groups with professional trainers like “The Running Center” with Coach Mindy.“I have been coaching for 14 years and it’s been my dream to open up a facility where runners can come to congregate to learn how to run properly,” Coach Mindy said. “Proper running form is important to me so a lot of what we do at the center is about good form.”If you’re planning to go it alone, experts strongly recommend building a program. Remember, the goal is 26.2 miles, but not farther. You need a plan to get just there.

Marathon has a link called “Smart Coach” where you can customize your own training program. You can also check out the New York Road Runner’s Club Web site which offers a personalized plan for various levels.“The key is just to know each week what you’re going to do over the course of the week,” said Willey.“[Know] what your long run is going to be on the weekend so you have some structure in place to get you there.”While there’s no secret to crossing the finish line, with the right gear, the right program and the right amount of heart, it can be in your sight. “It’s the challenge. It’s knowing that no one else can do this but yourself,” said Willey. “This is all about yourself and your challenge to reach that pinnacle.”

Thanks to Ducis Rodgers for this great article!

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Welcome Marathon Runners!!

Hello fellow runners or runners to be:

For all of you that want to run a marathon, but don't know where to start...this is the place for you. I hope to provide all the training tips and information for running your first marathon. And hey, even if you have run a marathon already...I'm sure this website will still help. Let's get started!

-The Marathon Professor