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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The 20MR Episode 37: Marathon training update, safely running in the dark

Thanks for tagging along for Episode 37. If you are new to the podcast: Welcome! If you enjoy the show, please share the information with other running buddies. I am excited that many are becoming "groupies" of The 20MR podcast; I am also humbled.

In this episode, after giving an update on the week's training, we talk a bit about the importance of eating properly before a long run or speed session. I have experienced some problems lately that may be related to my lack of nutrition before I head out the door for those sessions. If you have had a similar experience, let me know what works for you. Email me with any suggestions or comments. Send me a wav or mp3; I will share it with our listeners. I am convinced that I need to begin practicing the habit of eating properly before a stressful workout. We shall see how it turns out. I will keep you informed.

The second half of this episode is spent discussing issues relative to running safely in the dark. During this time of year, that can be an issue whether you run in the early morning or the evening. I offer some suggestions and insights. For reference, see the article in the January issue of Runner's World entitled Collision Course. Here are some of the issues we cover:
  1. Run against traffic if at all possible, even though running on the same side of the road can cause problems with running mechanics. If you have to choose between safety from cars or concerns about the running mechanics, err on the side of safety and give drivers their space.
  2. If you run late night, drivers may be tired or possibly drinking. Be extra cautious!
  3. If you are an early morning running, you may be dealing with folks just returning from working third shift and suffering from fatigue and inattentiveness. Again, give drivers their space. It could save your life.
  4. Distracted drivers are also a problem. Texting, talking on the phone--you name it--may be diverting that driver's attention. Be alert and be safe.
  5. If you have concerns, always get off of the road. Give them THREE FEET, at least. Again, the hassle of running through high grass is preferable to getting hit be an oncoming vehicle. Err on the side of caution.
  6. ASSUME THAT DRIVERS DO NOT SEE YOU. Never take it for granted that you are visible, and again, act accordingly.
  7. Don't try new routes in the dark. Make sure that you have run the route in the daylight and are fully familiar with the terrain and surroundings, such as dogs, potholes, and the like.
We also talk about things that we need to know in regard to when an oncoming car may see you. While I won't go over the list here, listen to the episode for those details and check out the article I referenced above.

Don't forget I'm on Twitter. My handle is 20minuterunner. I would love to have you as a follower. Send me a tweet.

Next week, Lord willing, I will tie my record for the longest run I've ever taken: 18 miles. Not sure how that will work out with winter weather in the forecast, but you don't want to miss it.

Again, I appreciate you listening more than I can adequately say. And as always,

Thanks for sharing some of the road with me,
The 20 Minute Runner

Download this episode (right click and save)

Listen to Episode 37 (click the player below)


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The music heard in the body of the podcast is entitled “The Tables Have Turned," by Andrea Harper. Check it out at Music Alley.

The opening and closing music heard in this podcast is entitled “Point of No Return” by Roger Subirana and is the title cut of the album. Check it out at Jamendo.com.

The transitional piece heard in the podcast is entitled “The Long Goodbye," by Wendy Wall. Check it out at Music Alley.

The background music “Long Ride Home," is by John Williams. Check it out at Magnatune Music.


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Episode 36: Marathon pacing, long run (time vs. distance)

As the painting to the right testifies (Luc-Olivier Merson, 1869), long distance running can be a bit of a challenge. The scene is of the Greek, Pheidippides, announcing that the Persians had been defeated at the Battle of Marathon in 490 B.C. He immediately died--maybe he should have eaten at least one more gel. Anyway...

Thanks for coming along for Episode 36 during this 15 mile run. We talk about the importance of scaling back and pacing, along with an adequate warm-up. The concern is often trying to beat the time it took to run that last 4 miler, 10 miler, or whatever distance it was. But long-term marathon training requires the ability to also know how to slow down and rest.

One of the issues I would like your feedback on is about the long run. As they get longer in preparation for the marathon, I'm not sure if I need to run by time, distance, or a hybrid. For instance, is it better to cover 22 miles, or 3.5 hours? Is either adequate? Send me an email about your experience in this area. Along with the long runs, marathon training also requires faster running. We talk about the issue in this episode. Faster running is important for faster and more comfortable race efforts.

As the months have passed since I began running again (19 and counting), and as I have gradually gotten a bit swifter on my feet, I have come to the conclusion that breakthroughs are based just as much on how long we've been running as how long we are running. A base of several months is critical to the marathon effort. Of that, I am convinced.

Kudos to Kim who is running the half at the NC Marathon, the same event I am running March 20th. I am sure she will do well, even though she does not have the benefit of many months on the roads. She will make it to the finish and run a great race.

In closing, I do have one more request. Send me an email on how (if you have ever run or are training to run the marathon) to pace the effort. Should I run easy for the first half, then gut it out? Should I run three segments: easy, harder and hold on? This question is one that I really need some input on and I look forward to your advice.

That about wraps up the episode. It is really great to have you along. And as always,

Thanks for sharing some of the road with me,
The 20 Minute Runner

Download this episode (right click and save)

Listen to Episode 36 (click the player below)



_________________________

The music heard in the body of the podcast is entitled “Revolution," by Wiser Time. Check it out at Music Alley.

The opening music heard in this podcast is entitled “Point of No Return” by Roger Subirana and is the title cut of the album. Check it out at Jamendo.com.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Episode 35: Marathon basics, breakthrough training

Things have been quite cold lately--at least for central North Carolina. This run reiterates that fact: around freezing and quite breezy.

However, the training and planning for the marathon continue, whatever the weather may hold. On marathon day, missed runs and workouts will become clearly evident. In order for that to not happen, it is necessary to do the hard work in all types of weather and settings. Thanks for tagging along on this run in Episode 35.

We discuss training updates and talk about the basics of marathon training. While I have never run a marathon--this being my first--I hope you can benefit from my experience as we literally learn together. We cover a few issues in this episode, among them:

  • How to meet the electrolyte and nutritional needs that arise during long runs. I share with you what I am trying. Gels, almonds, raisins and Xtreme Beans are all a part of the discussion. I want to know what has worked for you on the long runs. Send me an email.
  • I also talk about the basics of any marathon training. While these things are not exhaustive, they must be an important part of training for 26.2 miles. Among them:
  1. The long run
  2. Speed work
  3. Cross-training
  4. Strengthening the core
  5. Rest (may be one of the most important aspects of long distance training)
  • I close by briefly sharing my observations on my training. After 17 months on the road, I seem to have clearly had a breakthrough (for me) relative to speed and strength. While the effort feels the same, the results are faster and stronger. If you have ever experienced this, I would like to hear about your experience. Our bodies truly are amazing creations.
As always, it's good to have you along with me. You can also follow my training on Twitter. My handle is "20minuterunner." Drop me a tweet and let me know you're listening. And as always,

Thanks for sharing some of the road with me,
The 20 Minute Runner

Download this episode (right click and save)

Listen to Episode 35 (click the player below)



_________________________

The music heard in the body of the podcast is entitled “Sleepaway," by Rob Costlow. Check it out at Music Alley.

The opening music heard in this podcast is entitled “Point of No Return” by Roger Subirana and is the title cut of the album. Check it out at Jamendo.com.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The 20MR Episode 34: Why I'm running the marathon, a memorial to my father

Welcome to Episode 34, a very special program that I have looked forward to for quite some time. In this episode, you tag along with me on a 14.2 mile run. While we explore new running territory, we also go down the halls of time...5 years to be exact. My father passed away from lung cancer on January 3rd, 2005. I still miss him.

As he was on his deathbed, I began keeping a log of each day's events and my perceptions of those events. He used to tease me about "that book you're writing." I denied it, but later decided that my struggles with him through the dying process might assist others going through a similar situation. I did go on to write that book and self-published it about 1 year after his death. The response was overwhelming--and encouraging. It still is.

I share some excerpts from that journal that became a book during this run. I also include a few very short clips of my father himself that I was able to pull from some old videos that I have and cherish.

While I am running the marathon for myself and to raise money for the American Lung Association, I am also running it (and running in general for that matter) to escape the demons that still show up occasionally, reminding me of the shortcomings of my father and the holes in our relationship. While my father prepared us--and himself--for his death, I still feel a needless sense of loss about it all. Alcoholism robbed so much from him, our family, and me.

Running the marathon is about exercising those demons, yet pleasing my father still. For I know that he would ultimately be pleased with the way I am dealing with the shortcomings and missing parts in our relationship.

The marathon will be a cleansing and healing process for me. The healing has already begun with the training...and this episode. I trust your running helps you to escape whatever "demons" are at your heels as well. Can I outrun them? I don't know; but I'm trying. It's good to be able to honestly share my heart with you in this episode. And as always,

Thanks for sharing some of the road with me,
The 20 Minute Runner

Download this episode (right click and save)

Listen to Episode 34 (click the player below)







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_________________________

The music heard in the body of the podcast is entitled “Goodbye," by Aaron. Check it out at Music Alley.

The background music at the end of the podcast is entitled "El guardia dels somnis" by Roger Subirana from the album "Lost Words." Check it out at Jamendo.com.

The opening music heard in this podcast is entitled “Point of No Return” by Roger Subirana and is the title cut of the album. Check it out at Jamendo.com.

To order a copy of "For As Long As I Can, A Son's Memoir of His Father's Dying Request," ask for it by name (or my name) at any bookseller, go to the link at the left, or order from Amazon. A portion of each book's sale will be donated to Hospice. I truly do appreciate your support.

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When sending email, please include your first name, city/state or country. Your email may be shared on a podcast. Also, feel free to send me a short mp3 or wav audio file. I might play it during a podcast. Your comments are always welcome.