Category Archives: Marathon Training

The Consistency Principle of Training

We all want results and we want them as soon as possible. Assuming you are putting in the proper work consistently you will get results.
Tomorrow you will be a little bit stronger. The next day you will be a little bit faster. The day after that you will be a little bit more flexible. Next week you will be able to run a little bit farther. All of this will continue a little bit at a time.
Then one day you will surprise yourself when all those little bits from all those training sessions add up to something great.
You will all be successful to some degree. How successful will depend on one thing. Above all else, being consistent in your training will be the predictor of how successful you are on that day.
I call this the Consistency Principle of Training.
The principle is simple and has two points so here it is:
Consistency Principle of Training:
  • Have a plan and write it down in pencil
  • Follow the plan daily
The first point seem easy enough, but I am continually surprised at how many people don’t have a plan. How can you get to where you want to go or achieve the results you want if you have no road map to get there? Writing it down in pencil simply means that life happens and when you come to a fork in the road you may need to take the shorter route. Life is adventure, but life is also realistic so don’t think you have to reinvent the wheel for your own success every time you set your sights on a new goal.
I recognize that stuff happens. If you can’t run 10 miles today because something unforeseen derailed your plan and now you don’t have the time, I understand. But can you run 5 miles instead?
If you can’t do five 1-mile repeats today because your work needs you to come in early and you could really use the overtime…can you do three 1-mile repeats or six 800m intervals instead?
If you can’t make it to the gym today because the school called and you need to pick up your kid because they are sick, can you do a 20-minute body weight workout from YouTube at home instead? Can you do something…anything…rather than nothing at all? This adds to being consistent.
When are you doing your long run this weekend? I’m doing mine Sunday at 8:00am. Since I know I am starting my run at 8:00am then I know I need to get up before 8:00am. I do the same prep for every long run the same as I would for race day. On race day, I am awake 1.5 to 2 hours before the start of the race. I need time to eat, allow my stomach to settle from breakfast and also hit the restroom a couple times before I start my run at 8:00am. Then, at 7:30am I take a gel
That being said, if you find yourself cutting your workouts in half or missing your workouts altogether more consistently than you are making it to the gym or completing a training session 100% then I would suggest reassessing your goals and your priorities because it sounds like the work that needs to be done isn’t aligned with your life at the moment. Maybe now isn’t the time for a marathon? Maybe a half would suit your schedule better? I’ve had years where a full marathon just was not in the schedule. I had to focus on a new job, my dissertation, or new additions to my family so I kept my race schedule to a couple races in spring and winter and did maintenance training throughout the summer…and that’s okay!
I knew I could not be consistent in my training so I adjusted my goals to fit my schedule.
So Brian, how do you stay consistent?
The second dot point of the consistent principle of training answers this question. I follow my plan daily. I know what training is coming up days or weeks ahead of time and everything else is planned around that training session. Most days it is simple as I train at 5:00am and have the training completed before work. Weekends can be a challenge unless I plan well. I have major long runs on the family calendar blocked off.
If I have to mow the yard, plant the garden, and have friends coming over that night then I have to get up and do my long run early. Also, if you’re wondering, yes, I have scheduled friends and family on different weekends when a major training session like a 20-miler is on the plan for the weekend. Remember, you made a commitment to a goal. Believe me, your friend or family member will be proud that you have not only committed yourself to a goal, but have also planned ahead. It’s okay, really.
Another method or tool I use to stay consistent is an MS Excel spreadsheet. I keep it on the desktop of my laptop…staring at me. As I complete my workouts I use a red, yellow, green system.  If I completed what I have written down then I fill in that cell as green, if I only do part of the workout then I fill in the cell as yellow, if I missed a workout all together then I fill in the cell as red. This gives me a quick look visually of how I’m doing with consistency. Sometimes we are doing a crappy job just because we don’t know that we’re doing a crappy job that’s why keeping track is so important. You don’t need MS Excel. You can use a regular wall calendar and a few colored sharpies.
That’s it! Have a plan and follow the plan. To review…
Consistency Principle of Training:
  • Have a plan and write it down in pencil
  • Follow the plan daily

I ask the athletes I train to look at their calendars for the next year when they decide to train for a marathon. I ask them to look at holidays, family obligations, school schedules, vacations, work schedules, conferences, church schedules, graduations, annual events, family visits, and to try as much as possible to see the unforeseeable.

I ask them to do this so we can write a more realistic training plan from the beginning (still in pencil) so they can follow that plan daily with greater ease.

P.S.S. – Post Script Seriousness

A word on inconsistency… If things have not gone well during training, there comes a time in a training plan when you have to make the decision if your training thus far can support the goal you made for yourself. It’s a tough decision too. If you have not been consistent… If you have skipped training sessions… If you have missed whole weeks of training on the plan… If you have had to “start over” multiple times… If you have more red cells on the MS Excel sheet than green cellsthen you have to decide if what you HAVE done is enough. The answer may be, “No.” This is when I give the advice to defer or DNS (Do Not Start). 

Why DNS? Ask yourself, “Is attempting a goal that you are not prepared for worth an injury at best and your life at worst?” Some think that’s an easy answer, but I’ve seen countless people toe the line completely unprepared for a race due to lack of consistency in their training and come up injured. I see this and am very happy that it was just an injury.

I loathe having to give this advice because no one wants to hear that they have failed. However, I would rather see you fail now, in the short term, than get injured or worse…think that your inconsistency is in some way “good enough” because you succeeded at this round of Russian Roulette.

I used to be proud to say I had NEVER DNF’d or DNS’d. Now, my personal motto is that if I’m not prepared then I don’t toe the line regardless of how expensive the registration. My life and my physical health is worth much more than a shiny piece of metal on a ribbon. My life and my physical health is worth much more than my pride.

Sorry to get so serious at the end, but some folks need to hear it. They need to hear that it’s okay to fail, learn, and try again next year.

Happy Consistent Training!


PR-ing the Purdue University Boilermaker Half Marathon

Today was the 3rd annual Purdue University Boilermaker Half Marathon. I signed up for this race last year right after running the soggy 2nd annual Purdue University Boilermaker Half Marathon. Today’s weather was a cool 47 degrees and overcast. If you are unfamiliar with the West Lafayette and Lafayette, IN area that surrounds Purdue University’s campus then let me tell you the course is a bit hilly.

The course starts out on the edge of campus near Ross-Aide stadium and heads out toward the Purdue golf courses. The first 5-6 miles are very pleasant with a few rolling hills and even includes a great deal of downhill grade running as you cross down into the Wabash river valley to the Lafayette side. Once into Lafayette you run around the downtown Lafayette area and then begin your trek back to the shores of the Wabash around miles 7-8.  It is very picturesque and filled with memories for those returning alumni, like myself, who spent our formative years at our ol’ Purdue.

Do you remember me saying a few sentences ago that you were running DOWN into the river valley? Holy hell, you have to get back to campus! Mile 8 to 9-ish is all uphill. You think a bridge would be flat. NOPE!  It looked flat from the other side! …optical illusion apparently.

Up until then I had been maintaining a nice sub 9-minute pace and feeling great! I was fueling on a strict schedule and running through the water stops without slowing down. I used the crush top cup method to pour water and gatorade down my gullet and kept running never breaking stride and surprisingly getting most of the life giving liquids into me without too much spillage.

That “last” hill felt like it went on forever and it took a lot out of me. We climbed and climbed and climbed. I passed many a runner who was brought to a walk, but I had trained for this hill as I run most all my treadmill runs at a 1% incline so I am used to maintaining pace on an incline.  By the time I was at the top of the hill I felt like I was moving so slow, but my Garmin was still telling me that I was well below a 10-minute mile pace even though I was over my 9:05 needed to come in under 2-hours. At the top of the climb we made a turn to take us over to the Purdue University hotel and through the heart of campus to head back toward the stadium.

Passing the 10-mile marker I remembered where the course goes next and I remembered I was mistaken on that “last” hill comment earlier. The course doubles back on itself to go back by the Purdue golf courses toward the finish line in order to avoid running up that enormously steep hill that is right next to Ross-Aide stadium.  In order to accomplish this the course goes up Stadium Avenue to McCormick Road, passed the fraternities near Slater Hill…yes, it’s called Slater hill because well, it’s a big hill…like the kind you can sled down in the winter time…with a couch if done correctly.

The good news! It’s not that long of a climb. The bad news! It’s steeper than the bridge I mentioned earlier. This time my Garmin told me that I WAS over the 10-minute pace for a short period. I caught more and more runners as many walked up that hill. At the top of the hill was the 11-mile marker. I had 2.1 miles to go on relatively flat terrain and I was about 95+ minutes into the race. I realized I could do 10 minute miles the rest of the way and still beat 2-hours!  However, I didn’t come here to run 10-minute miles so I pushed it to keep a pace closer to 9:20. After passing the 12-mile marker I enjoyed the last 1.1 miles. At about a quarter mile out three Fleet Feet guys passed me and I decided to stick with them. They were running an 8:22 pace which felt surprisingly good to me! I cleared passed the three as I sprinted to the finish looking at the clock right as I crossed the line.

The clock read 01:57:08.  I know a few more seconds will be shaved off since I wasn’t toeing the start line at the gun.

Afterwards I was prepared for the smile, but I was unprepared for the emotion as I’ve chased this sub 2-hour goal for a couple years through unbearable heat and more than one very chilly race. Today’s race was perfectly set with a cool temperature, a sun under cloud cover and otherwise dry conditions. I cannot be happier right now and I’ve already put my new PR medal in it’s place of honor on my PR medal holder!

In two weeks I have the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon. This is a training run for The Dopey Challenge and I am excited to run it! Next weekend I will still do a long run of close to or right at 20 miles. Looking forward to it!

Happy Training!


It’s all for charity…

Last week someone (Matthew Thomas) over at Team DAWS, the charity dedicated to ridding the planet of the horrible genetic disease known as Spinal Muscular Atrophy or SMA for short, came up with the crazy idea of challenging myself and a friend of mine (Mitch Brannen) to a little fundraiser for DAWS to raise some cash for a good cause.

The Challenge:

This is a very simple event.

Assuming a certain threshold of fundraising is met Mitch and I will dress up and run as Anna and Elsa (From Frozen…but you knew that) during the Walt Disney World Marathon weekend if people donated money.

After the fundraising goals are met, we will be dressed in full costumes that are being designed including a matching tutu or skirt. But who could forget complimenting makeup and a full wig to ensure authenticity…jeesh.

Donate money today and see us run around Walt Disney World in full regalia.  You never know what surprises may be in store.

What are the minimum donations for the two of us to run?

  • At the $500 total donation level, we will run the 5K in full costume.
  • At the $700 total donation level, we will run the 10K in full costume.
  • At the $1000 total donation level, we will run the Half Marathon in full costume.

When does the race take place?

  • Walt Disney World Marathon weekend is January 8-11, 2015

How do you know we ran in costume?”

  • Pictures will be taken along the way and posts on all of our social media including a Go-Pro video of the race!

Do you get a tax receipt?

  • Yes, 100% of your donation will be tax deductible and a receipt will come from DAWS.  

Upping the Ante: …but wait, there’s more…

If we raise $2000 in total donations, I have reluctantly agreed to shave my legs for the event…how do I get myself into these things? I keep remembering it’s all for a good cause.

Wait, it gets better!  Again at the same $2000 total donation level, Mitch will shave his head! No joke, we have video of him saying he would and you can see it here on my Facebook page!

Something for YOU the donor!

For every $25 you donate, you will be entered into a drawing for a free pair of new running shoes.  Donations must be made by November 30, 2014.  The drawing will be held on December 1, 2014.  Emails will be sent out to receive information on Brand, Style, Size, and Shipping Address.  Brooks, Asics, Nike, Saucony, and New Balance are all available.

I didn’t realize training for Dopey would make me so…well, you know.  Uh, happy to help out a good cause!

Happy Training!


I’m a Streaker!

Recently, I decided to start a run streak. If you’ve not heard of this phenomena then let me fill you in on the challenge.  A run streak is when you run every day rain or shine…or snow or ice…or hurricane for that matter as long as you do at a minimum a continuous 1 mile run. I was contemplating as to when I should publish a blog about my run streak because let’s face it, proclaiming from the mountain tops that you have a run streak of 3, 5, or even 14 days long is not really all that impressive. Therefore, from the mountain top of my recliner where I presently perch I am happy to proclaim that I have so far accomplished a run streak of 78 days! I have ran every day since May 29th for at least 1 mile, but usually more. Today was my 78th

My most active run week so far has been the week of June 16th covering 61 miles. June as a whole was fairly productive as I ran 170 miles and then followed up with a 130 miles in July. August is promising to be a heavy mileage month as it is just August 15th and I have already covered 90 miles!

I have no delusions of grandeur as I am fully aware that many runners put in a LOT more miles than this on a weekly basis, but I must say I have enjoyed running more and I have also gained a considerable amount of speed from all the extra miles. To put it the way the old cereal commercial did, “Mikey likes it!” My body is responding well and adapting to the increased mileage. Considering I am also following the Insanity DVD series while I do this run streak I can say that my body has never felt stronger or more fit!

Why do a run streak on top of Insanity training?  Well, as you know I am training for the Dopey Challenge this coming January. What better way to prepare myself for the challenge of running 48.6 miles across four days than to run every day up until, throughout and after the runDisney’s Marathon Weekend!

I’ve ran Goofy twice (once unofficial) and both times I felt okay afterwards with minimal recovery, but this year I want to run through the parks with ease and be able to have a good time after the marathon without a noticeable limp!

Why else?  I’ve been playing with low mileage training plans for a few years and they have served me well to build a base, however, I have noticed that I’ve stopped improving on speed and endurance. I am interested in running a single day ultra and have tried to make the jump to a longer distance race, but have found that it’s difficult to run a low mileage program and continue training by piling all my miles into my weekly long run. Plus, thru continued reading of research I have found that the usual weekly long run that many plans prescribe may not be the best way to go about training for any distance. So, thru this run streak I’ve decided to run more often and up my midweek mileage runs. The run streak just fits…and it’s a lot of fun too!

Anyway, I hope you have the opportunity to see me streaking thru your neighborhood or on a nearby race course!

Happy Streaking!


Running in your Dreams

Do you ever dream that you’re running? Not like, “AAAHHHH!!!! THE BEAR IS GOING TO EAT ME!!” …running, but dreaming that you are on a great run. Not just a great run, but the best run of your life! On this run your lungs are feeling great with nary a burn. Your legs feel like you could run until dawn. Your energy level is so high that your only thought is to see what’s over that next rise. It is without a doubt THE best run that you’ve ever ran. It. Is. Perfect.

Screenshot 2014-06-08 10.56.03

Goodbye dream, goodbye sleep, goodbye nice warm bed as it is time to hit the floor! EH, EH, EH, EH, EH, EH, EH, EH, EH, EH, EH, EH, EH, EH, EH, EH, EH, EH, EH, EH, EH, EH, EH, EH, EH, EH, EH, EH, EH, EH, EH, EH, EH, EH, EH, EH, EH, EH, EH, EH, EH, EH, EH, EH, EH, EH, EH, EH, EH, EH, STUPID ALARM CLOCK!! (snooze)….. 7 minutes of wonderful snooze…who decided that a snooze is 7 minutes long anyway…I mean 7 minutes? seriously?…..doesn’t matter….ahhhh, it cannot get better…this bed is the best bed since beds were invented as it is mine and it is warm and it is comfy and this would be a horrible run on sentence if i were not  sleeping right this very…EH, EH, EH, EH, EH, EH, EH, EH, EH, EH, EH, EH, EH, EH, EH, EH, EH, EH, EH, EH, EH, EH, EH, EH, EH, EH, EH, EH, EH, EH, EH, EH, EH, EH, EH, EH, EH, EH, EH, EH, EH, EH, EH, EH, EH…STUPID ALARM CLOCK! Who the hades has me running at 5am!?!?!?!?…stupid bad man! Ok ok ok ok…i’m awake…why did I stay up for the Project Runway Marathon on Lifetime…??

Sleep is important. Sleep to the average non-athlete is important. Sleep to someone who lives an active lifestyle or who is training for an event like a marathon, Ironman or other feat of endurance is even more important.  Here’s why:

1. Sleep curbs inflammation. Research indicates that people who get six or fewer hours of sleep each night have higher blood levels of inflammatory proteins than those who get more.  Your body needs time to reduce inflammation from your daily activities as well as from the bouts of exercise you put it through.

2. Sleep improves performance. A Stanford University study found that college football players who tried to sleep at least 10 hours a night for seven to eight weeks improved their average sprint time and had less daytime fatigue and more endurance.  The results of this study further support previous research seen in tennis players and swimmers.

3. Sleep assists in weight loss / maintenance. Researchers at the University of Chicago found that dieters who were well rested lost more fat (56% of their weight loss—than those who were sleep deprived, who lost more muscle mass.)  Dieters in the study also felt more hungry when they got less sleep. Sleep and metabolism are controlled by the same sectors of the brain. When you are sleepy, certain hormones go up in your blood, and those same hormones drive appetite the study reports.

4. Sleep helps with water reabsorption. During sleep, the kidney balances water, sodium and other electrolytes. Without enough water the kidneys can’t balance electrolytes properly. So make sure you’re well hydrated so this very important can happen during sleep!

5. Sleep is when you build / rebuild the brick house. Please excuse our mess while we make improvements for your future enjoyment. You go out for a long run, you take an hour and destroy it in the weight room, you tear it up on hill repeats, you run a PR. All of these tear you down and you need time to make repairs. Sleep is when you do this.

6. Sleep keeps you sane. In fact it is crucial to sanity. It seems that while you are busy doing your day job, your brain actually works nights and has quite a bit to get done while you are unconscious. Yes, running keeps us sane too, but sleep, it turns out is more important still!

So, it’s obvious that sleep is important, but how much do you need?

According to the National Sleep Foundation, most people need about seven to nine hours of sleep a night. Okay, 7-9 hours of sleep. Are you getting enough? This is if you are NOT an athlete.

If you ARE an athlete in training, that may not be enough. Now, just because you don’t consider yourself an athlete doesn’t mean you are not. If you are training to do a marathon, 5K, half marathon, Ironman, 10K, triathlon, duathlon or just go to the gym several days a week to stay fit, maintain or lose weight or play racquet ball with your best friend then guess what?  …you’re an athlete.

“Just as athletes need more calories than most people when they’re in training, they need more sleep, too,” says Dr. David Geier, MD, director of Sports Medicine at the Medical University of South Carolina. All the stress and grueling practices require more time to recover. Jim Thornton, president of the National Athletic Trainers’ Association, recommends that an athlete in training should sleep about an hour extra per night.

That’s eight to ten hours of sleep each night especially for those big training sessions like weekly long runs.

I know it’s difficult. Kids, work, homework, PTA, volunteering, family time, church, date night, chores, house work, social life, gardening, band practice, t-ball, alone time, vacation, bake sale AND you are also training to run the Dopey Challenge.

So, maybe don’t go for the 100% win of 10 hours of sleep each night. Maybe instead, track your sleep for the next 14 days and see where you are in regards to the amount of sleep you get. Next, if you’re under the minimum then try to get an extra 30 minutes each night of the week and maybe an extra hour the nights before and after your long run. It may not be what the doctor ordered, but it’s a step in the right direction!

Now excuse me please, I need to get to sleep!

Happy training and sweet dreams!


2014 and Beyond…a Look Forward

2014 is a big year!  Lots of goals and most of these relatively short term goals are to prepare me for 2015 and the charity run we have planned that will take the DAWS Spinal Muscular Atrophy Running Team (S.M.A.R.T.) 500 miles from The Walt Disney Family Museum to the gates of Disneyland after which we will run the Dumbo Double Dare to top off the mission to raise awareness and funding for research on Spinal Muscular Atrophy, a genetic disease that is the #1 killer of children under the age of two years.

So how does one prepare to run 19 back-to-back marathons to equal 500 miles then think it’ll be a walk to run another 19.3 miles around Disneyland? The answer: Lots of planning!

Screenshot 2014-02-15 13.22.55

I need to bring my physical self to a whole new level and I plan to do that by training for three BIG events in 2014 with several smaller events sprinkled in for continued motivation and fun. You can checkout my full race schedule here! Let me know if you’ll be at any of the races and we can meet-up for a pre-race  photo while we still look good!

Event #1: The Hendrick’s County Park-2-Park Relay

This run spans 45 miles. I will run it solo (I’ll have a support crew) on June 14, 2014. The event is timed and the cutoff is 9-hours. This will be the most difficult event of the year due to the cutoff. This ultra marathon event will be a huge push for me. I am planning on dropping 25 pounds to reach my best performance weight prior to this event, but it is the staging ground for all other events in 2014.

Event #2: Ride Across INdiana (RAIN Ride)

This ride will take me 164 miles across the state of Indiana in a single day. On July 12, 2014 I’ll ride this event with a group of friends so this should be a fun event, but I will not let the future fun detract from the fact that I’ll need to spend quite a bit of time in the bike saddle in order to prepare myself to go the distance.  Thank goodness this one has a lunch break around the halfway mark!

Event #3: Cedar Point 70.3 Triathlon

I am in the process of becoming a triathlete and with this event on September 7, 2014, I will earn my place as a more all around athlete. This event includes a 1.2 mile open water swim, 56 mile bike ride and a half marathon. This one is a little scary as I haven’t swam any distance at all in the last 20 years and before that it was just laps during swimming in middle school…good times!

The Plan

Training for three events is taking a lot of patience and planning. Currently I am doing two-a-day workouts in the morning and at lunch with a long run on Saturdays and a long bike ride on Sundays. The cross training is helping my recovery from any one workout. I usually swim in the mornings three days a week, and then also lift and bike in the mornings two days a week. Across lunches I’ll either do the elliptical for 60 minutes or run either a tempo run or do intervals. If I need a rest day then I take one and I have planned in pull back weeks where I drop my training volume significantly in order to let my body rest that week.

I was already trained to run a full marathon at Disney so it’s good to be starting from a solid fitness base. Dialing in my nutrition will be an important part of the training as will my recovery efforts. Nutrition will be 70% of the training as I must reach a healthy performance weight in order to maximize my training and push the envelope on training volume when I need to.

Of course, on September 8, 2014 what’s a guy to do considering all three of the big events will be completed? Easy, I “start” training for the Dopey Challenge at Walt Disney World coming up in January 2015.

I have a half marathon planned in October and in November I have a full marathon and a 30-mile ultra marathon on back-to-back weekends. I’ll be 8 weeks out from the Dopey Challenge at this point and poised to run a great series of races across four days!

I’m hoping to take a lot of pictures and have a lot of fun this year as I reach my short term  fitness goals to prepare me for 2015 and the DAWS  running team’s 500 Mile Challenge.

So expect a LOT of race recaps this year!

Happy Training!


You can also follow me on Facebook at Running Down a Dream 23

Tapering for Disney

Screenshot 2014-01-03 07.44.02

There’s nothing potentially more frustrating for a runner than the marathon taper…or any distance taper really. Last weekend I ran 21 miles for my last long run before starting my taper for the Walt Disney World Marathon weekend.  This will be the 4th anniversary of my 1st marathon and my 8th marathon overall. I am elated to run and go for a PR at the place where I love to run the most surrounded by fellow runners, teammates, friends and family! So all there’s left to do is…taper.

Tapering if you don’t know is a reduction in training time and intensity.  For 16 weeks I’ve been pushing the envelope on speed and distance with the goal in mind of PRing at Disney.  My current marathon PR is 5:15:07 and I have trained to come in under 5 hours for the marathon on January 12th.  My secondary goal is a PR of any kind.

With these goals in mind it is time to…train LESS?  Yep, welcome to tapering…woo hoo. Great!  Tapering…how’s that done? Train less, sleep more, eat less (since you don’t need the extra fuel for training), do more recovery activities like stretching, massage, foam rolling, go sit in the sauna, hangout and watch some Monday night football, etc., etc.  Mind numbing I know as the energy starts to store up from all the training I’ve done sine summer.

Still, it’s important. Science tells us it’s important so here’s how to do it!

T – Trust in Your Training (You’ve prepared yourself for this)

A – Adjust Your Caloric Intake (Eat less since you’re training less)

P – Perfect Your Race Day Strategy (Form a plan and stick to it)

E – Embrace the Free Time (Enjoy a few days of sleeping in)

R – Rest & Recover (Extra sleep and downtime)

Good luck on race day!

Happy Tapering!


Knowing When to Say, “No.” to the Cold Run

Screenshot 2013-12-07 11.41.10

I remember a post I wrote back in 2010 about being on an out and back training run and not realizing until I turned around that I was running WITH the wind on a very cold December morning in Indiana. I recall the temperature being in the teens and even though it was sunny once I turned into the wind I didn’t have my water pack (camel bak) on wind blocking duty.  Turns out I was ill equipped for that run and I almost repeated the error today except it’s nearly 20 degrees colder when factoring in windchill.  I posted on my Facebook account the following message this morning after coming back inside:

“Just stepped outside and forgot something as the “breeze” hit me.

I forgot that…

  1. I don’t run in 12 degree weather because I don’t like to run in 12 degree weather especially for 18 miles.
  2. The windchill is -1 degree and the temperature is dropping at the moment.
  3. I have a gym membership where they have treadmills inside a heated building.
  4. I will gladly (and warmly) accept ridicule only from my Canadian friends to the North as they did this at -30 degrees a few days ago. At least they were smart enough to have the proper equipment.

See my next blog post on gear I need to go outside today and run.”

*End FB post

The Proper Equipment is Key

Stepping outside reminded me why I want to live in Florida and that I have personal limits on training runs in regards to outside temperature. It also reminded me that I need to stock up on winter running gear.

For friends and family who need any last minute gift ideas for me here are a few suggestions to not only make me deliriously happy, but also warm and cozy on my winter excursions down ye olde runnin’ trail.

  1. Sock Liners – These are a base layer for your feet. Depending on the temperature a couple different options may be appropriate
    1. Hyperlite Stormsock for cold, but not super cold temps.
    2. Stormsock – Heavier than the previous so it’s good to go for those negative temps
  2. Clavas – You know those Ninja hood looking things from the old BlackBelt Theatre shows in the 80s?  What, you didn’t watch?  Ok, forget the BlackBelt Theatre and just think of a Ninja wearing that mask that only shows the eyes…or maybe the eyes, nose, and mouth depending on the style.  THAT is a clavas (sometimes called a headliner) and they make them for winter excursions and/or idiots like me who go out for runs in sub-zero temperatures. Definitely need one of these!
  3. Masque – Depending on the style of masque it can cover the lower part of your face such as the nose, mouth and chin to compliment the clavas described above.
  4. Mittens – Yes, mittens, not gloves and not the kind I wore to kindergarten. I need mittens designed for running. Keeping the fingers together will keep them warmer. If you can get a combination glove/mitten then even better! These are gloves that have a flap that will pull over the finger so it looks like a mitten and adds extra protection from the wind. A lot of runners forget that their hands need protection from the wind too. Remember, extremities will be effected by frostbite first as the body tries to pull heat into the core of the body. Don’t risk your digits.

Gear I already have, but that you should get for cold weather.

Remember, the rule of thumb is three layers for the upper body and two layers for your legs/lower body.

  1. A base layer for your upper and lower body. I like Under Armour Cold Gear, but there are other brands too.
  2. A fleece layer for your upper body to go over the base layer
  3. A wind pant made for running.
  4. A wind protection top to go over the fleece layer

Want more information on cold weather running? I go to the website as it has some information about running a marathon in Antartica. This information sheet in PDF format from the website lays it all out and even has links to some websites to buy the gear.

One final note.  This equipment doesn’t have to be expensive, but you aren’t going to find the quality equipment at Walmart and maybe not even Dick’s Sporting Goods for the gear you need when it’s pushing single digits and the wind picks up for a negative windchill. When this happens do one of two things. Either own the quality stuff or go to the gym.

Happy Training!


You can follow me on Twitter @TheRunningMan23 or “Like” my Facebook Page!

Midweek Update!

This midweek update is brought to you by the letter “R” for RUN!

So far my official training (all 3 days of it) is going well. This training cycle I’m adding more back-to-back runs during the week and slowly increasing my overall training volume as I inch toward the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend. It’s hard to believe I’ll be back for my fourth trip around the world in just over 111 days!

Training on Tuesday was a 3 mile run. I pushed the speed on this shorter run so I was running at a sub 9-minute/mile pace except for the warm up. I also managed to get an extra 1.5 miles of walking on campus going to my classes. I am working on my PhD in Education so I park as far away as possible from the building where my classes are held so I can get just a bit more of a calorie burn for Tuesdays. These little things that we can do to add miles here and there are important. The only time I don’t do this is if I am on a rest day.

Training this morning was a 5 mile run. I kept it at a 10-minute/mile pace until the last mile then dropped to a ~9min pace. I plan on doing an Insanity Plyometrics video once I get the kids off to school then it’s time to get down to the work day.

So here’s your motivation for running this week!  See image below!

Soon you and I will be running thru here!
Soon you and I will be running thru here!

Happy Training!