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Running Rambles

Improve Your Training for 2017

As the New Year approaches, take the opportunity to assess your strengths and weaknesses by looking over your training log. (You are keeping track of what you have done in the past, right? If not, that’s Resolution #1 for 2017: enter the time and distance of every run in a training log within 24 hours of completing the run.) A year-end review can be very illuminating. I, for instance, fell short of my fall racing goals –– I was slower than I planned to be. To determine why, I took a look at my training log and realized that my...

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Set Measurable Goals for the New Year

If you took my advice to get some rest during the holidays to recharge both your body and spirit in preparation for the new year, you are now probably ready to get back to training. Be sure to set some measurable goals for the new year. It’s easy to merely exclaim that you are going to get in better shape next year or that you are going to get faster. The reality, however, is harsh: the more general the goal, the less likely you’ll accomplish it. To maintain motivation throughout the year, establish incremental, reasonable, obtainable goals that will prepare...

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Take a Break (Really)

This time of year, it can be hard to find time for running. Short days, holiday parties, social calls, and work commitments can cause havoc with your best laid plans. Rather than get frustrated, I suggest that you embrace slacking off. Before you check me for a head injury, hear me out: sometimes –– particularly after a busy fall season of marathons and turkey trots –– it makes sense to TAKE A BREAK. Hit the snooze. Shut it down. Take some time off. Take a cue from this guy Last December, I also advocated taking some time off to allow...

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Winter Running: Part V –– Motivation

During the last several weeks, I have offered some advice on the best way to “gear up” for your winter running. To speed recap: layer your clothing; look into merino wool for warmth and wicking; dress like it is 20 degrees warmer to prevent overheating; try a trail shoe when it’s icy; and be visible (passive reflection and active lighting) because it seems to be getting dark around 3:00 PM these days (sigh). When it starts to look like this, you need to make yourself visible. Now that you have the gear for winter running, you may still have problems...

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Winter Running: Part IV - Socks and Winter Weather Shoes

When thinking about warmth head to toe, of course one wants to think about warm socks and shoes. The key here is to think of these things as a system with components to adjust for maximum comfort and traction. Socks Because all running shoes have breathable mesh uppers, warm socks are a must for winter running. (Mesh is great for keeping your feet cooler in the summer, but in the winter, this design feature might be a drawback.) One way to achieve an ideal balance between breathability and warmth is to wear a merino wool sock. Merino wool is soft,...

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