« May 2009 | Main | July 2009 »

June 2009

Top 20 Mistakes During Half Marathon Training

There is one thing I know about my training - I have made many mistakes.  As we tackle the Half Half marathon logo5 Marathon Challenge and talk about training, my first thought was to all the lessons learned the hard way.   To try to spare you the pain of making the same mistakes, here are the top 20 mistakes I have made during my half marathon training: 

Try to fake it without training.

Build a training plan of running only.

Forget the even the best plans need adjustment.

Ignore mental conditioning.

Decide there isn't enough time for stenghtenening and stretching.

Focus only on one event - "eggs all in one basket".

Skip "dress rehearsals"

Copy/paste week after week without a lot variety

Use well intentioned advice from a runner not like you or with different goals.

Start from scratch instead of expert resources.

Don't write down my plan or track my progress or results.

Forget about nutrition.  Eat like I am running 100 miles a week. Put on some weight. 

Don't involve family and friends.

Forget to plan your plan and skip the step of using a calendar to schedule my plan.

Stop being reasonable or flexible.

Forget to "phone a friend" - find someone who will keep you on track, sanity check.

Copy/paste a plan.  Forget to customize it and make it my own.

Think it all is supposed to be easy.

Think it all is supposed to be hard.

Don't break down the plan into smaller milestones.

Don't start.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Half Marathon, Full Challenge Week 3: Building A Base

As we move through the full challenge of a half marathon, we take on the topic of building a base.   This critical part of training is sometimes undervalued.   This stage is where your body begins to truly accept and adapt to a different level of fitness and comes to grips with pushing it farther in the weeks down the road.

In this weeks podcast on the topic, Gregg and Steve joined me for a conversation on the topic.   And Loungecast logo while we are all tackling our half marathon training differently, we all agree that being patient and building the miles - slowly and steadily - is important.  And the second fact we stumbled on is that we all know its important to also spend time building our strength and flexibility - but find it hard to consistently do so.   And last but not least, building a base doesn't mean running all the time - it also means a variety of cross training.   Take us with you on your next run or workout and then let us know your thoughts.

Download Half Marathon Full Challenge Week 3

Here are a few other great posts from the Know How Section in the Lounge.   We have a whole section devoted toTraining and Building Endurance.

If you are looking for some additional support as you prepare for your half marathon, please join us in the Half Marathon, Full Challenge Group.

And don't forget to join in the conversation on Sunday nights at 8 CST/9EST for our weekly podcast.  Dial 724-444-7444, call id:  53767.  

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Running on Food: A Splash of Southwest

 This article is part of a new series on Nutrition for Runners.   Heather from the blog, Trials of Training, has offered her expertise in Nutrition to runners in the Lounge to pass along information on recipes, nutrition, and running/food related questions.  She has her BS in Nutrition from Penn State, she is currently working to be a Registered Dietician, and is a loves to help runners with their questions.  

A splash of the Southwest in your post run fuel

by Heather

Running on foodI’m home in New Mexico for the week, and it’s all about the food here! The first thing I do every time I visit is suggest we hit up a local New-Mexican restaurant that serves my favorite food. There are a lot of local joints, but this one takes the top spot easily.

Mexican-style food is usually some combination of rice, beans, meat, veggies, and a tortilla (fried or fresh!). In other words, it’s quite the balanced meal! I almost always go with the Chicken Fajitas. This dish comes with grilled vegetables (green peppers and onions), tortillas, lean meat, salsa and refried beans. Depending on preferences, you can add in some lettuce, sour cream (easy on this, its high-cal in restaurants!), guacamole and/or shredded cheddar cheese.

From a Nutrition standpoint, you’ve got a meal with protein (chicken and beans), carbohydrates (beans and tortillas), vegetables, and healthy fats (guacamole!). I chose this as my dinner Entrée last night, and felt great during my run this morning. It’s also a Great post-workout meal!

Here’s the breakdown*:


1 c Green peppers, sliced 
½ c Onion, sliced 
2 Flour tortillas (taco size) 
4 oz Grilled Chicken 
¼ c Refried Beans 
1 tbsp Guacamole 
2 tbsp Salsa

Sauté the peppers and onion in a small amount of Olive Oil. Grill/broil Chicken and cut into slices, season with Fajita seasoning if desired. Cook refried beans as directed (canned). Put it all together and add whatever extra toppings (mentioned above) that you’d like! 

(Nutrition information regards only the ingredients above)

Calories: 525 
Carbohydrates: 55 g 
Fats: 14 g 
Saturated Fat: 4 g 
Protein: 42 g

*Nutrition information gathered from Calorie King (www.calorieking.com)

FREE STUFF Giveaway: Runner's Guide to the Meaning of Life

It’s not often that Amy and I get to give away exactly what runners are asking for.  But today we’re announcing the winners of the Mix My Granola Giveaway

Since there are no wrong granola mixes, ingredients of every kind and in every combination imaginable were were suggested.  And thanks for the added touch of some very creative names.  We'd love to get our hands and mouths on every mix you suggested.  This week's winners are Amy and Joel.  Please let us know when you try a mix that works for your fitness and your palate.

We want to thank Mix My Granola again for their sponsorship and support. What great pioneers in customized taste and nutrition!

This week's Giveaway Item: The Runner's Guide to the Meaning of Life

Runner's Guide To Meaning One of our favorite books is The Runner's Guide to the Meaning of Life.  Long after you've read endless training tips, racing techniques, and guidance to run better, this book takes an inward look at where we find meaning in running. Written by Amby Burfoot, a highly-successful runner and Senior Editor at Runner's World magazine, the book frames other ways we can seek and find greatness and meaning in our running.  Every runner ought to have this book on their night stand.

So we're giving away three copies of The Runner's Guide to the Meaning of Life autographed by the author.

This Week's Giveaway Topic:

This week marks the half-way mark of 2009, so we invite everyone to share how they're coming along with their running resolutions they made in January.   

  • What progress have you made on your fitness?  On your running performance? 
  • Have you made some new running friends?
  • Are you enjoying running more?
  • Have you nailed some goals?
  • What unfinished business do you still have the remainder of this year?
  • What are you most looking forward to in the second half of 2009?

We'd love to hear how your doing half way through 2009!

And to recognize your look back and look ahead, all Loungers who respond to the Giveaway Question between June 29 - July 4 will be eligible to win.  Runners’ Lounge will select and announce the winner on July 6th.  Simply go to the Lounge Forum to share your running progress update and also what you're learning along the way.  Your response can be as short as a sentence and as long as a blog post or story.

Leave your response today to become eligible!

Extra, Extra, Run All About It

Extra Extra By  Peter Washkowitz

As profiled in the Wall Street Journal on June 23rd, when he's not ensuring the safety and security of all New York City residents, police commissioner Ray Kelly is protecting his body...from becoming out of shape. On average, the head of the NYC police works out four times a week for a least a an hour. A knee operation three years ago made Kelly switch from running outdoors to using a treadmill while he jogs on for 30 minutes unless his knee is bothering him wherein he will walk on a treadmill at a speed of 4.4mph. When he's not running, Kelly weightlifts. When asked what his workout weakness is, Kelly responded that he doesn't, "stretch enough...I know I should do it more, and I'd like to do yoga, but I just don't have time". Whether it's running down a suspect or running for fitness, it's nice to see that the top NYC brass shares a similar view of fitness and exercise as I. I'll keep that in mind should I have find myself having problems with the law!

As profiled on Examiner.com on June 25th, maybe the 'Bridge To Nowhere' is actually the 3-mile route Alaska Governor Sarah Palin runs every other day. While she isn't the smartest runner int he corral, Palin is an avid runner and admits that she, "usually write[s] my best speeches
and letters [in my head] while out running". I cannot believe I am writing this, but I have to agree with the governor in that I usually have some of my best thoughts while I am running and can certainly understand what she means. Besides that, however, I tend to disagree with everything else she says.

As reported on CBSNews.com on June 25th, according to Ian Shrier MD, PhD, a specialist in sports medicine and Associate Professor at McGill University, stretching before working out, contrary to popular opinion, "...does not improve performance. It makes you run slower, jump not as high, and makes you weaker...stretching definitely can hurt people if you overstretch; people do it all the time if they force the stretch". While Shrier is not a big fan of pre-workout stretching, he does believe that warming up is crucial, "If you start running at full speed without warming up, your body will produce lactic acid. Lactic acid can impair muscle function for awhile, preventing you from sprinting efficiently at the end of the race". I rarely, if ever, have stretched before runs and have always wondered why so many people do so. From the way people contort their bodies before races, I was always amazed that more people did not injure themselves before the race had even begun. Thanks Dr. Shrier for proving my intuition correct!

As reported on BBCNews.com on June 26th, a pair of Scottish club athletes (one man, one woman) were banned from running in the Edinburgh Marathon for life after they were caught swapping entry numbers. The man, running with the woman's bib number, finished in a time which put the woman in the top 10 female runners. After a member of the pair's running club saw the finishing times, he altered the club and noted that the woman's finishing time was far too fast for her. Noting how disastrous it could have been had the man needed medical attention while wearing the woman's bib, the Scottish Athletics association released a statement noting, "the use of borrowed competitor numbers not only undermines the integrity of results, prizes and rankings issued by the sport but potentially has serious implications in the case of medical treatment to an athlete and alerting next of kin". Aside from being banned for life, I'm sure the man got punished in a second way as well: he has been the butt of many jokes from his friends for his lady-like finishing time!

Next Weekend's Marathons

Saturday, July 4th
Foot Traffic Flat Marathon (Portland, OR)

Open Mic Friday: Looking back at 2009 guests


With June winding down, this Friday we're taking a look back at some of the guests that have grace the Open Mic Friday space this year.

The list below doesn't include all our running friends, nor is it a list of our favorites.  But readers told us how many of these interviews made them laugh, appreciate running, and appreciate the deep human side of ordinary runners.

We hope you enjoy revisiting some of these interviews as we have, and we're looking forward to many more enjoyable interviews with friends of Runners' Lounge.

A runner dedicated to half marathons

Teri, the Relay Enthusiast

Coach Al, who coaches from the head and heart

The Jogging Stroller Mom

A doctoral student and ultra runner who knows no limits

A mom who discovered running and marathoning makes her a better person

Coach Christine: Who integrates running into others' lives

Xenia, a popular, mysterious, and hilarious runner and archeologist

Marathon Mama, a runner and blogger we love to follow

Julianne: a friend to all runners and bloggers

A marathoner who ran 52 marathons on 52 consecutive weekends

Lil Runner, who ran Boston right after having a baby

Take_it_and_run_thursday Welcome to Take It and Run Thursday! 

It's our way to bring together the knowledge of all of us ordinary runners.  It's the virtual equivalent to putting our virtual heads together.  Even though many of us aren't elite athletes, coaches or authors, it doesn't mean that we haven't earned a well deserved PhD in running.   Whether you are starting out, have 50 years of running under your belt or somewhere in between - all of us have lessons learned that make us wiser and better runners.  

This week's theme is ... Yeah, no one ever told me this about running....  Now that you are a runner, what is something you have learned about running that no one ever told you before.   You didn't read it in a book, a blog or hear it from a friend or another runner.  Or...maybe you did, but you didn't understand it or remember it until you learned it yourself.

Just click here to add your name and URL.   We have moved the linking widget to the Runners' Lounge Know How section so you can be instantly saved and published as one of the articles in the Basics of Running section.

Next week's theme is ... Running Fireworks.  In honor of the 4th of July, let's talk conflict, controversary, and commotion.    What are some of the topics that you and your running friends discuss and have different opinions on?  What are some topics that your family members take up with you?   It can be serious, technical or even fun.   Need an example, we loved the recent chatter with was so eloquently titled "Shirtless Coalition" by Nitmos.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Announcing The Ultimate Runner: Be part of this running book!

Amy and are delighted to share some exciting news!

Ultimate Runner A few months ago we told you about a new book project by Health Communications, Inc to bring together great stories and advice for runners.  Since then, our partnership with HCI has continued and we are now proud to announce we will be the authors of the upcoming book—The Ultimate Runner: Stories and Tips to Keep You Moving, to be published in Spring 2010.

The Ultimate Runner is a compilation of true stories from beginning runners to Ironman veterans, celebrating what's good, bad, and funny about running.  In addition to great stories, the book will share advice by experts plus capture the meaning, challenge, and beauty of running in stunning photography.

Share your running story!

We know many of you have a way with words, and we invite you to share your running stories for possible publication. The deadline for story submissions is August 15, 2009.

We have already shared many stories from Runners’ Lounge members with the book's editor and also encouraged many of you to re-submit your stories to HCI directly.  We want your story to be part of this book!

Stories can be inspiring, humorous, enlightening, or motivating, and can cover anything you've learned about yourself, others, or the world around you because of running.  From training for a marathon to actually finishing it, from a deeper spiritual connection to the world or a better connection to yourself, from running in exotic places to running for a cause—we welcome your insights and expertise.   

To spark your ideas, the chapters in The Ultimate Runner will include:

  • Physical Transformation
  • Emotional and Spirtual
  • The Social Side of Sneakers
  • Off the Beaten Path
  • Memorable Races
  • Running For a Greater Cause

If selected, your story will be enjoyed in a collection that will reach and touch runners around the world and you will be compensated!   Your stories can be submitted directly at the Ultimate Book site.


If you tell stories with photos instead of words, we want your pictures!  We’re seeking high-quality photographs that tell a story that words cannot.  Share your pics of some of the world’s most picturesque races or the breathtaking scenery others might have missed while they were struggling for breath.

We are also seeking interesting shots and compositions: a lone runner on a foggy morning, someone  running on the beach at sunset, a group of racers lining up together—images that motivate and inspire or shots that make you appreciate the moment in a way only an image can capture.

Your photos can also be submitted directly at the Ultimate Book site.

Since you are part of a great network or runners, we invite you to pass along this call-for-stories on your blog and also with your running friends, particularly in your local community with running friends, clubs, race directors, and running enthusiasts. 

If you have any questions, please contact Amy or me.

Running On Food: Summer Smoothies

This article is part of a new series on Nutrition for Runners.   Heather from the blog, Trials of Training, has offered her expertise in Nutrition to runners in the Lounge to pass along information on recipes, nutrition, and running/food related questions.  She has her BS in Nutrition from Penn State, she is currently working to be a Registered Dietician, and is a loves to help runners with their questions.  

Summer Smoothies

by Heather

Running on foodI’ve only recently discovered the wonder of SMOOTHIES. After finding and testing some very tasty recipes, I’m convinced this is one of the best ways to cool down after a hot summer run!

If this is your post-run fuel, include both carbohydrates and protein to help muscles replete glycogen and repair/build the muscles. Most recipes that include a favorable ratio of carbohydrates to protein (4:1) include high-protein sources like milk, yogurt, and/or peanut butter. Fruits provide simple sugars and the added benefit of various micronutrients. Bananas are a great pick, as they are full of Potassium which helps prevent sore muscles.

Smoothies are quick and easy to make, do it ahead of time and refrigerate/freeze it so that your post-Run drink is ready to cool you down right when you need it!

Here are just  a few that sounded tasty to me:

Chocolate Banana Protein Smoothie (2 servings)

¼ c low-fat chocolate milk Calories (per serving): 310 
2 cups skim milk  Carbohydrates:  46 g 
2 tbsp Peanut Butter  Protein: 15 g 
2 Medium bananas  Fat: 9.5 g (saturated fat: 3g) 
1 c Ice

Raspberry Chocolate Smoothie (2 servings)

1 ½ c fresh or frozen Raspberries*  Calories (per serving): 312 
1 Banana    Carbohydrates: 68 g 
1 tbsp Chocolate Syrup   Protein: 9.5 g 
1 container (6 oz) fat-free Plain yogurt  Fat: 1.5g  (saturated fat: 0.5g ) 
(vanilla flavored yogurt optional) 
1 c Skim milk 
1 ½ cups Ice

*Could also use blackberries, strawberries or blueberries

Banana Delicious Smoothie (2 Servings)

2 Bananas    Calories (per serving): 238 
1 container (6 oz) Fat-Free Lime Yogurt Carbohydrates: 55 g 
1 c Limeade    Protein: 6 g 
½ c skim milk    Fat: 0.5 g (saturated fat: 0g )  
2 c Ice

Berry Banana Smoothie (2 servings)

1 c (8 oz) soy milk   Calories (per serving): 219 
½ c fat-free vanilla yogurt Carbohydrates: 34 g 
1 c Frozen berries  Protein:  8g 
1 Banana    Fat: 6g  (saturated fat: 1g ) 
1 tablespoon peanut butter

Do you have any smoothie recipes or tips? Share them here!

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Runners Lounge Live: Episode 6 - Tips for Marathon Training Plan

Frayed Laces is back again with tips on selecting a good training plan.Runnerslounge live

About Runners' Lounge

  • We are ordinary runners sharing our favorite passion – Running
    The lounge is our escape for conversation and connection to our favorite people – Runners.
    Join the conversation today at www.runnerslounge.com.

    Runners' Lounge
    An on-line community where runners Connect, Share, and Discover to more fully enjoy running!

Subscribe to RSS Feed