Easy Running - How to do it

#TrainSmarterNotHarder #RunEasy #TrainingPhilosophy #InjuryPrevention Last week we talked a bit about why easy running is important. But how do you actually do it? What exactly do we have to do to get what benefits? There’s really two types of easy running which are used for two different purposes. Developmental workouts and recovery runs. How we approach each type is based on what we’re actually trying to accomplish with those workouts. Cardiovascular and Metabolic Developme

Resolve to run easy

#NewYearsResolutions #TrainSmarterNotHarder #Endurance #RunEasy #Recovery #TrainingPhilosophy It’s that time of year again. We’re all setting goals and resolving to get better in one way or another. I know I’ve written about goal setting before (Goal Setting), so I figured I would offer a different piece of advice that hopefully will help some folks. I recommend learning how to run easy. Running easy isn’t sexy and cool like committing to doing 2-5 miles of speed work at leas

It’s Conditioning

#ItsConditioning #MentalTraining #TrainingPhilosophy #ItWillBeFun #MentalToughness #Resilience For those of you who don’t already know this, I took a 10 year hiatus from running after red shirting cross country my freshmen year of college. While there is a part of me that wonders how fast I would have gotten if I had done another 4-5 years of dedicated distance running, I was in desperate need of a change of pace. I found it at the Shaolin Lohan Pai Kung Fu School. I learned

Training While Injured

#Injury #TrainSmarterNotHarder #Recovery #TrainingPhilosophy #CrossTraining I have a very distinct memory of my high school coach pronouncing “Running is not pain free” at the start of the cross country season one year. What he was trying to impress on the new runners was that training for endurance athletics is fundamentally an uncomfortable process. He was also pretty fond of saying it takes a special kind of stupid to be and endurance athlete because of said discomfort, an

Training while sick

#TrainingPhilosophy #TrainSmarterNotHarder #TrainingWhileSick #Recovery Try as we might, we all get sick every now and again. Hopefully it’s infrequently and we recover quickly when we do. But how do we modify our training schedule when it happens? There are plenty of “heroes” out there that push through injury and sickness, never missing a workout or taking a day off that wasn’t already written into their training plan from the start. As much as it can make us feel like a ba

Get up early to get the workout in

#TrainingPhilosophy #Priorities #RiseAndShine #EarlyBirdGetsTheWorm When’s the best time to get your workout in? The short answer is to do it as early as you can. The simple reason for this is that it limits the ability of life to crop up and get in the way. If we plan on working out later in the day, there’s simply more opportunities for something to happen at work, one of the kids get sick, or to simply not feel up for it. If we do it earlier in the day, it makes it more li

Treat little things like they are big things

#TrainSmarterNotHarder #LittleThingsMatter #Recovery #TrainingPhilosophy #EarnYourMiles #CrossTraining #Running #Triathlon We all know how important it is to warm up, cool down, stretch, ice, cross train, do our drills, and get the core work in. But who has time for all that, right? I mean, we run/Tri because we like to run, bike, and swim. Quite honestly, even if we had infinite amounts of time, we still wouldn’t WANT to do all those little things. But if we want to be able

Know when to pull the plug

#TrainingPhilosophy #Running #Triathlon #ExercisePhysiology #TrainSmarterNotHarder For any given workout, we should be trying to get a specific result. We may be working on our lactate threshold, our coordination, our top end speed, or the ability to buffer our blood pH, whatever. We’re also often working multiple things into the same workout. From a theoretical perspective, the more time we spend working hard enough to go over the minimum threshold required to improve, the m

Building fitness one layer at a time

#TrainingPhilosophy #InjuryPrevention #TrainSmarterNotHarder #Running #Triathlon #Progression #MilesMatter Note: This post assumes that you’ve been training. If you’re just starting out then it’s impossible to not increase your intensity and volume at the same time. This is why it’s extra important to be cautious when starting an exercise program. Listen to your body, know that the first couple of weeks are going to be a little rough, and don’t be afraid to pull the plug on a

Live like a clock

#TrainSmarterNotHarder #TrainingPhilosophy #Running #Triathlon Our bodies like routine and repetition. They don’t like having the daily cycle thrown out of whack all the time. That’s part of the reason why it’s so hard to wake up early, and why we start to drift off at the same time most evenings. It’s why we get hungry at the same time, and why consistency is the most important part of any training plan. There are lots of ways that we can think of the phrase “Live like a clo

Using that theoretical construct of fitness to plan training

#TrainingPhilosophy #Endurance #Training #TrainSmarterNotHarder The previous blog post was a pretty esoteric bit about how to visualize fitness as an object in n-dimensional space. And while that’s all well and good, how do we actually use it? Basic Review of the n-Dimensional Concept of Fitness First off – If you are really confused about what I’m talking about, go read the previous article were I explain in a little more depth the n-dimensional concept of fitness (https://w

Theoretical concept of fitness

#TrainingPhilosophy #TrainingConcepts #Running #Triathlon Strap in folks. We’re getting theoretical today! *Note: I'll be updating this later today or tomorrow with images to help show what we're talking about. I often tell people that I tend to think of fitness as an N-dimensional space. And if the person I’m talking to doesn’t have a strong statistical or math background, their eyes often glaze over at this point because they have no idea what I’m talking about. Hang with m

Life Happens – When the random Tuesday interrupts your training plan

#TrainingPhilosophy #LifeHappens #Running #Triathlon #Priorities Not all of us are slaves to our training plans. But most endurance athletes I’ve met over the years can get a bit… grumpy… when life gets in the way of training. It could be a bad weather event. It could be a family emergency. It could be that you got called into work to cover for someone who got in a wreck on the way in today. Fundamentally, life happens and sometimes there isn’t any way around it. The question

The Sheehan Approach

#TrainingPhilosophy #RacingPhilosophy #Running #Racing #GeorgeSheehan #Prefontaine George Sheehan was a cardiologist who took up running again after entering adulthood. He was a prolific writer, father of 12 children, speaker at large running events, and a sports philosopher. But the core of what he became as he aged was this: a runner. He had a philosophical approach to running that some would argue bordered on the nutty side. A good chunk of his personal philosophy could be

Planning your race season

#TrainingPhilosophy #Planning #RaceDayPlan #Running #Marathon #TrainSmaterNotHarder Why plan your race season? Why not just go run whatever 5k is happening this weekend if we’re feeling frisky and motivated when we get up on Saturday morning? These are good questions. But a better place to start might be thinking about the difference between running while at race and actually racing or time trialing. Running at a race can be a great way to fill that social aspect of our train

In Pursuit of Excellence – Part 2

#Excellence #TrainingPhilosophy #Running #Triathlon #Endurance A few weeks back I wrote a blog post about the concept of excellence. I didn't quite have the space to really say everything that I wanted to, so we're doubling back around for part 2. It's a bit longer than I was expecting, and I have a feeling that it's something we'll be coming back to in the future as well. So what does the pursuit of excellence mean? Well, quite frankly I think it probably depends on the pe

Recovery is priority number one

#Running #Triathlon #Recovery #TrainingPhilosophy When it comes to improving as an endurance athlete, consistency is king. Obviously getting out the door and actually doing the work is the first part of that. The second part is being able to do it. If we get hurt, or we haven’t recovered from the last hard effort, we aren’t going to be able to do the “quality” work. Without recovery there is no progress. We don’t actually get fitter while doing our harder or longer quality wo

Getting started from ground zero – The how’s and why’s of how I introduce new runners to running

#Running #TrainingPhilosophy #NewRunner #CouchTo5k First things first: Running should be fun. If you aren’t having a good time, there’s something else you could be doing with that time to fulfill whatever goal or reason you have for doing it in the first place. And as much as I personally want everyone in the whole world to enjoy running, the fact is that some people just don’t like it. There are more time efficient ways to burn calories. There are lower impact methods to get

Time, effort, and volume budgets

#TrainingPhilosophy #Running #Triathlon #TrainSmarterNotHarder The time required to get the right training in to get better is often the biggest linchpin in the whole process for most of us. We only have so much time available to spend training because we have other priorities and responsibilities that we need to take care of as well. Most of us can’t ditch work early every day to get a workout in. Nor can we just ignore making dinner for our kids. Quite frankly, most of us h

Thems the breaks, kid – The case for planned breaks from training

#TrainingPhilosophy #Consistency #Recovery #MarathonTraining Consistency is the single most important factor when it comes to continued development as an endurance athlete. So why would we ever intentionally step away from training? That would be self-defeating if we want to get better, right? Not necessarily. Eventually, if we’re training hard, we’re going to make a mistake or not do some aspect of our recovery homework and something is going to start to give. Repetitive mot